18-year-old Diogo Ribeiro Makes Swimming History For Portugal In Fukuoka, Japan

Image of Portuguese swimmer Diogo Ribeiro.

Image of Portuguese swimmer Diogo Ribeiro. Credit: Facebook - Federação Portuguesa de Natação

Portuguese swimmer Diogo Ribeiro made history this Monday, July 24, at the World Swimming Championships in Fukuoka.

He picked up a silver medal after coming second in the 50-metre butterfly. As reported by the Portuguese Swimming Federation, the 18-year-old exclaimed: ‘I’m speechless, I still can’t believe it’. He added: ‘I knew I could dream’.

Ribiero is the current junior world record holder for the distance and finished today in a time of 22.80 seconds, which is a new national record.

He was beaten to the gold medal by the Italian swimmer Thomas Ceccon who clocked 22.68. Maxime Grousset of France took bronze with a time of 22.82.

Coimbra-born Ribeiro currently represents Benfica and the young athlete voiced his intention to remain in Fukuoka and ‘face one test at a time’.

He holds the junior titles in both the 100 butterfly and 50 freestyle and promised to remain ‘focused and give everything’ in Fukuoka.

Ribeiro has already qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics

Ribeiro has already qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in the 50 free, 100 free, and 100 butterfly. Today’s medal was achieved on his debut in the senior World Championships.

The young man made history by achieving something no Portuguese had ever done in claiming a podium finish in the World Championships in any of the water disciplines including pure swimming, open water, artistic, diving, or water polo.

Only two Portuguese swimmers won medals previously

Alexandre Yokochi’s fifth place in the 200m breaststroke in Madrid in 1986, was Portugal’s previous best finish. Ana Barros finished eighth in the 50m backstroke in Perth in 1991.

This is Diogo Ribeiro’s second medal in senior competitions, after coming third at the 2022 Europeans, in Rome, over the same distance.

He is only the third Portuguese swimmer to win a medal at European championships, after Yokochi’s 1985 bronze in Sofia in the 200m backstroke, and Alexis Santos, in London 2016 in the 200m freestyle, according to sicnoticias.pt.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com