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Teresa Portela: “Whoever follows her gets it”

“This money tastes like work and more work, if something defines me it is perseverance”

"Paris 2024 is just around the corner, I want to continue enjoying this medal among the best".

Olympic Games / Canoeing.- The Spanish kayaker Teresa Portela was “very happy” as soon as she won the silver medal this Tuesday in the K-1 200-meter final of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, since, according to the paddler 39-year-old Galician, “whoever follows her gets it.”

In the sixth Olympic Games, the Galician achieved the great challenge of achieving the Olympic medal that she resisted so much. “I’m happy because whoever follows her gets it. I’ve been trying to fight for that medal for many years,” she said in statements to the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE), which is collected by Europa Press.

Portela, who in London 2012 had been very close to the podium, was very excited about a metal that she had to wait to celebrate, since the final in which the New Zealander Lisa Carrington won was very close and needed to resort to the ‘photo finish ‘.

“This test is so, so difficult, we move so many thousandths that separate us, and I finally succeeded,” said a Portela who gave the Spanish delegation the eighth medal at Tokyo 2020.

Portela acknowledged that she wanted to live this moment of being on the podium. “It had marked me to enjoy these Games with the ‘thorn’ of wanting more. I entered and was second. It seemed clear to me that I had finished second. I feel very lucky in life, whether I got this medal or not. All depoertistq that is here he deserves a medal because getting there is very complicated, “he said at a press conference.

The Galician highlighted the effort that it has cost her to achieve Olympic glory. “I know how hard I worked for this medal. There were many years in which I was happy because the results were with me and others in which they were not. They were obstacles to overcome. I believed that I could, I told myself I have to get it and I have achieved it. I am happy to have insisted, “he stressed.

She thanked athletes from other disciplines such as triathlete Javier Gómez Noya or fellow paddler Saúl Craviotto for congratulating her. “That people like Javi Gómez Noya or Saúl, who I admire, congratulate me. That excites me,” she said.

She dropped everything when she arrived on arrival at Tokyo’s Sea Forest channel. “I was out of air as soon as I reached the finish line. It tastes like work and more work. There are no secrets. When it rains it is to be in the rain and you have to insist. Year and year go by and you have to try to grow. If something defines me, it is the perseverance and believe that one day I would get this medal, “he said.

With the silver at her side, her Portela admitted that she has not yet digested her success in Tokyo. “I did not have time, I still do not believe it. I know it was worth it. Not only for the medal but for showing me how far I can go. It is very easy not to try. I try, work, fight and expose myself,” he said.

Her first thought was of her daughter because it is the first time that he travels without her to a great competition, and “it is hard”. “She always accompanies me and for me it is essential to reconcile, to be able to enjoy my family and in this case I have not been able to because of the situation we are experiencing. I was able to speak with her and I was very happy,” she reported.

Regarding his future, he did not rule out being in the next Olympic Games in Paris 2024. “Paris is just around the corner. Now I think about resting. Getting here cost me a lot and I want to continue enjoying my sport among the best and that. It passes through Paris. The years fly by and I don’t rule it out. I am not guided by my age, it makes me follow the chronometer. Today I am more motivated than ever. This medal does me good, “she said.

The president of the Spanish Canoeing Federation, Pedro Pablo Barrios, recalled that nine years ago at the London Games he witnessed Portela’s tears of sadness. “You have taken what you deserve. You are a mother athlete and an example for the generations that follow. You have made us very happy canoeing, sports and Spain. All the medals are important and this one shines a lot,” he stressed.

For the president of the COE, Alejandro Blanco, the Olympism “owed” this medal to the Galician paddler. “The second one tastes like gold to us. You are an example for Spanish and world canoeing. Olympism has given you back the medal you deserved and that you escaped by the thousandths in London. Everyone wants to win a medal, but everyone wanted you to win the medal. This morning there was too much emotion. This medal is yours, “he said.

© 2021 Europa Press.

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