Portugal will not have senior athletes in the European Cross Country Championships for the first time – Modalities
Portugal will not have any athlete in the main races of the European Cross Country Championships, which happens for the first time in the competition, which has been held since 1994.
After 27 editions, five individual victories and 10 collective victories, Portugal ‘is not going to play’ in the main races of the Europeans that will take place in Turin, Italy, on December 11th.
The Portuguese godmother, with 21 athletes, does present complete teams for the under-20 and under-23 levels, both male and female, and in the mixed relay, to which the Portuguese return, after the absence of the last edition.
The selection criteria defined by the Portuguese Athletics Federation ‘were for everything’, even for this table: “the athletes that the National Technical Director understands have the best conditions to represent the national team will be selected”.
Mariana Machado, from Sporting de Braga, absolute national champion, is again the great figure: she leads the team for the sub-23 and will try to improve the bronze of Dublin, last year. In Lisboa2019, she had already won bronze, in the under-20s, so she was looking for her third consecutive podium.
She is also accompanied by the experienced Lia Lemos, also from Braga (24th last year) and Inês Borba, from Sporting.
In the men’s under-23s, the highlight is Benfica’s Etson Barros, absolute runner-up, just behind teammate Samuel Barata.
Junior quarter in Lisbon, three years ago, Etson Barros has progressed a lot in recent months, both in cross country and on the track, in obstacles.
With him will be Benfica fans Miguel Moreira, who was once a national champion, and Pedro Amaro and Sportinguista Rúben Amaral.
The women’s under-20 team has two repeaters, Beatriz Fernandes (ADN Oeiras) and Rita Figueiredo (Sporting). Newcomers Ana Marinho (S.Salvador do Campo), Diana Fernandes (Várzea) and Lara Costa (Várzea) complete the line-up.
In the men’s team will be Duarte Santos (Sporting), Leandro Monteiro (Sporting), Rodrigo Freitas (Benfica), Rodrigo Lima (Sporting) and Rúben Pires (Várzea).
The mixed Portuguese relay, for the 4×1.5 km, returns, after having chosen not to go to Dublin2021.
Salomé Afonso (Sporting) will be her third European in the relay and Patrícia Silva (Sporting) the second. Both remained in the bronze of Lisbon2019.
The two male elements are now Nuno Pereira (Sporting) and Isaac Nader (Benfica), which guarantees a balanced and competitive team.
The selection travels to Turin on December 9th, with José Regalo as ‘team leader’ and António Sousa as responsible coach. There will be two coaches on the team, precisely those responsible for the strongest athletes: Paulo Murta (Etson Barros) and Sameiro Araújo (Mariana Machado).