Weight category: -52kg/-57kg
Achievements: Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist/Five-time senior European champion, five-time senior world medallist
I started Judo when I was 14 years old because my sister convinced me to try it. Before that I had done athletics and football. I wanted something different and I thought it would be fun for travelling, pushing my limits and meeting new people.
At the beginning I didn´t think of that too much, I just wanted to be the best I could and have fun. But then I realised how important and such a big honour it would be, so it was a goal to represent my country.
Judo is more than a sport:
Judo is a way of life. The values of judo will stay with you no matter what, if you are a competitor or just someone who likes to practice judo but does not compete. The most important thing is the experience of being a judoka as that stays with you for all of your life.
Senior European titles:
I think the reason is the belief that I have in me and in all my hard work. Of course I love what I do, so I don´t see judo as a sacrifice, beside all efforts that competing in high level demands - if you are enjoying what you are doing and you put 100% into it, everything comes naturally. Since the beginning I've always worked hard and believed a lot in my capabilities, but the most important is that it was always very pleasant for me to go to training. And of course I've always fought for the first place, I've never put a limit, and I will always try to achieve a medal in all the competitions.
Judo in Portugal:
Over the last few years judo has become a very respected sport in my country and it is getting more and more participants therefore more interest from the public. Now everybody knows judo, before people only knew judo as a martial art.
Judo's continued growth:
The World Tour is getting really good because you have different types of competitions, from European Cup, Grand Prix, Grand Slam, to the different levels of athletes. The tournaments always have a great organisation and it is becoming more spectacular and attractive for those watching and also for the competitors. I really like the environment and the level of great competitions such as Grand Slam, Grand Prix and Masters. Now every athlete that starts in the World Judo Tour can start with the right level of competition and the ambition to go further. It´s a challenge for the youngest athletes. Also the updates and live stream help everybody to follow and be involved in the competition.