Miguel Vieira came into history as the first Portuguese judoka in the Paralympic Games, today he is one of the six Portuguese athletes who will participate in the World Cup, to play in Odivelas, and guarantees to be proud for already speaking in the plural.
“Today I realize that there is no longer talk of Miguel, other people are already talking about other judokas, I am very proud to realize that my colleagues are motivated and committed to good results,” Miguel Vieira said.
The judoka of the Total Judo Club will be one of six Portuguese representatives in the World Championship for the blind and low vision, the biggest event on the schedule of the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA), which between today and Sunday will join in Odivelas 280 athletes, of 43 countries.
The only Portuguese Paralympic Judoka, who competes in the -66kg category, are joined by Henrique Sousa (-60kg), Sérgio Mendes (-60kg), Magnos Nhanco (-66kg), Djibrilo Iafa (-73kg) and Ruben Gonçalves .
Miguel Vieira assured that the whole team, led by Jerónimo Ferreira, has high expectations, and recalled that “a test like the World Cup has an increased level of responsibility, especially for being the first scorer for the Paralympic Tokyo2020.
The judoka pointed out that the preparation was “very good” and highlighted the fact that there was “inclusion and the team have interned with the Olympic team”.
However, he left an alert: “We still have conditions so that we can respond in the best way to the high yield of the Paralympic judo, but the answer will be given inside the rug!”.
Miguel, who in 2015 represented Portugal in the World Cup, and together with Henrique Sousa and Djibrilo Iafa participated in the European, also in Odivelas, assured that “he fell in judo for blind parachute”, after having suddenly lost sight of 20 years.
“I came to Portugal in an attempt to recover my vision, I finished my 12th year and I was not able to go to college. I wanted to be busy, I searched the internet for places where I could do judo, a practice I practiced from 14 to 19 years old.” he explained.
Miguel Vieira wanted to “just” practice the modality in a non-competitive way, but eventually came to high-profile judo.
Integrated in the program since Seoul1988, Paralympic judo is practiced by the visually impaired, divided by weight categories and by three classes, according to the degree of visual impairment.