Joana Vasconcelos: "In Barnaul, I got into a boat as if I were my own»

Joana Vasconcelos: "In Barnaul, I got into a boat as if I were my own»

On May 21, an athlete from Portugal won an Olympic license in the 500-meter kayak race. Today, she answered the questions of "Altai Sport".

- Joana, what are your impressions of the competitions, the canoeing canal, Barnaul?

- I like everything very much. It is a little difficult because of the wind, but we constantly have to fight with it in our sport. I am very happy that I will get to the Olympic Games for the second time.

- When was your first time at the Olympic Games?

- In London. There I took the sixth place.

- If yesterday was relatively warm, today the weather is cold. Have you had any experience performing in such harsh weather conditions?

- We usually compete when it's warm. But in France in 2010, there was a similar weather, a lot of rain.

- Do you get directly from these competitions to the Olympic Games?

- The rules in Portugal change every year. But this time I knew in advance that if I won, I would go to the Olympic Games.

- What is your goal for the Tokyo Olympics?

- I didn't manage to get to the previous Olympic Games, although I really wanted to. Now that the goal is achieved, I will just try to perform as best as possible.

- Portugal is a country that makes some of the best boats in the world. In Barnaul you got a kayak of domestic production, didn’t you?

- Here are the same boats «Nelo» as in Portugal. They were exactly the same as at home. The only thing is that the color is slightly different, but it’s okay.

- We know how much football is loved in Portugal. How popular is canoeing?

- It's hard to say what can compare with football. But canoeing is also popular in Portugal. We have a lot of really good athletes. People like me (laughs), like Joao Ribeiro, Teresa Portela, Fernando Pimenta…

- Will people recognize you on the street?

"No, no!" (laughs). But celebrities like Fernando Pimenta will certainly be recognized.

- We wish you to become an Olympic champion, so that you will also be recognized.

- Thank you very much.