European Championships | 7 Sep 2023
Marcos FREITAS hasn't lost his momentum this summer
After winning the silver medal at the European Games in Krakow, Marcos FREITAS of Portugal did not lose his momentum. Last week in Kazakhstan, he reached the semifinals, and in Lima in August, he clinched the title. These results are a good opening act for the upcoming 2023 STUPA European Championships in Sweden, which will start this Sunday in Malmö.
In Almaty, FREITAS lost to XIANG Peng of China before defeating the no. 1 European player, Darko JORGIC of Slovenia, as well as Yang WANG of Slovakia and XU Yingbin of China. In Lima, in the final, Marcos overcame KAO Cheng-Jui. On his way to the ultimate stage, Portugal's player defeated Jonathan GROTH of Denmark, LIM Jonghoon of Korea, Alexis LEBRUN of France, and Vitor ISHY of Brazil.
After his outstanding performance at the European Games, it appears that Marcos hasn't lost his steam.
“It has been a good last two or three months. I played very well, mainly thanks to the excellent preparations I did over the summer. Also, I finally recovered completely from my shoulder injury, which I had for quite some time. I felt better and better, which allowed me to practice more during the summer. Those training sessions made me feel good, fit, and confident, resulting in good performances in previous months,” said FREITAS.
Portugal’s FREITAS, Tiago APOLONIA, Joao MONTEIRO, and Joao GERALDO are in the same group with Hungary and Greece.
“I am looking forward to the Championships, but I am aware of how tough it is going to be. In Europe, we have many strong teams, and every match will be difficult. Our group is very strong, and we have to maintain a strong focus to achieve our first goal, which is to qualify for the quarterfinals.”
Portugal’s players have been very busy with events in the past few months.
“Right now, everyone is in very good shape, and we are ready for the challenge. Not only are we eyeing success at the Europeans, but also the qualifications for the World Championships and a place in the Olympic Games tournament, which will be secured by the winner of the Championships. We have that ultimate goal in our sights, and we will give our best to achieve the win.”
Marcos arrived on Sunday from Kazakhstan and joined the team at the training camp.
“We are working together with the England team in the training camp, and this is a very good way to prepare for the event. We will be together by the end of the week when we will fly to Malmö.”
After a busy summer of WTT tournaments, have you noticed any shifts in power or emerging talent that could potentially cause upsets in Sweden?
“Right now, there are many good players in Europe, and a lot of young talent is emerging. Although I think that the top eight teams are the favorites, as the seedings predict.”