The Government awarded today the Medal of Honor to Sports Merit, one of the highest national sporting awards, to the Portuguese Canoe Federation, during the Champions Gala of that modality, held in Coimbra.
In the session, and without surprise, without the prior knowledge of the president of the federation, Vítor Felix, the Minister of Education, Tiago Brandão Rodrigues, who supervises the area of Sports, called him to the stage and announced the award: “This medal is yours and this medal is for all that the country owes to canoeing, “said the official.
The Medal of Honor to Sports Merit is intended to reward individuals and national or foreign collectivities for the services rendered in favour of national sport and for the continuity or repetition of actions or relevant facts prescribing Portuguese sport and the name of the country.
Tiago Brandão Rodrigues, who said he was “in love” with canoeing, recalled the evolution of the sport in Portugal, arguing that Portuguese canoeing “is already a world power”, highlighting the “consistency of results over the last years and the projection that canoeing won. ”
The Minister of Education also recalled the “exceptional year of 2018” for national canoeing, which included Fernando Pimenta’s two world titles in 1,000 and 5,000 meters, stating that a two-time world champion “does not appear by coincidence, nor by simple force “, but by the work done.
In the Gala of Champions were distinguished with diplomas more than 200 athletes national champions of 2018 and winners of the first paid ones of the past year, 30 clubs national champions by speciality, the winner of the national ranking of veterans and the winner of the national ranking 2018, Clube Nautico of Ponte de Lima.
Other international athletes who represented Portugal in World and European championships and national technical honorees and the municipalities of Montemor-o-Velho (Coimbra) and Vila Verde (Braga) were among the winners.
In the gala, the Portuguese Canoe Federation awarded the athlete award of the year to the two-time world champion Fernando Pimenta and Maria Rei, junior world champion in 1000 meters, was distinguished in the women’s sector.
Hélio Lucas, Fernando Pimenta’s coach, was distinguished coach of the year, young Messiah Baptista’s promise of the year, the canoeist José Ramalho received the fair-play award and the team of the year was awarded to the K2 500 meters of Joana Vasconcelos and Teresa Portela.