The Portuguese men’s table tennis team will be at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020, from July 24 to August 6, with four athletes – Joao Monteiro, Marcos Freitas, Thiago Apollonia and Joao Giraldo – participating in the team and individual competitions.
However, the Portuguese team will consist of three active athletes, and Joao Giraldo will initially be a substitute. Although the 25-year-old, who was born in Mirandella, accepts the decision, he admits he was hoping to start after, in his opinion, the best season ever.
Giraldo was crowned champion of the French Table Tennis League by Loups d’Angers, the team he has represented since 2018. He was the athlete with the best result in the Ligue 1 (22 wins and four losses) and was an individual national champion in Portugal. .
“I admit that it is not easy to make the decision. If the Olympic Games had been held in 2020, I would have understood the decision completely. However, given that it was an extraordinary year and perhaps the best performance of the Portuguese this year, as the only competitions I have played in Qatar, And in which I played very well, and the leagues in Europe, where I participated in one of the most competitive competitions, is the message of the player I am and what I can do for Portugal.The young Transmontano player told JN: My best in any situation, as I have always done so far. .
For the chairman of Clube Ténis de Mirandela, the club that formed João Geraldo and who is still interested in his development, there is no doubt that we are facing the best Portuguese player today. “He had an extraordinary season, he was a champion in France in a team that never won the title. He scored 22 wins and four losses, three of which happened at the start: since then, he has been the great captain and pioneer. A great factor of Angers’ victory. It is possible that he is currently Best Portuguese player,” as Isidro Borges guarantees.
Remember that João Geraldo is part of the Portuguese men’s delegation who will, from Tuesday, take part in the European Singles Table Tennis Championships, which will take place in Warsaw, Poland.
The men’s team consists of Joao Monteiro, Thiago Apolonia, Marcos Freitas, Joao Giraldo and Diogo Carvalho. Also on the women’s team are athletes Fu Yu, Ines Matos, Leila Oliveira, Rita Vince and Shao Jenny.
The European Championship was scheduled to be held in September 2020, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic