Stefano Porcu will represent Sardinia at the Japanese Paralympic Games “It is an honor and satisfaction to lead this group, we want the medals”
CAGLIARI. Waves the flag of the four Moors in the blue Paralympic canoe team that is preparing to participate in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, scheduled for next September 2 to 5. Leading it is the Sardinian coach Stefano Porcu, former director of the Paralympic kayak national team also in Rio 2016. Cagliaritano, 55, physiotherapist, former canoeist who grew up in Cus Cagliari where he started paddling and then moved on to the section of the Naval League of Su Siccu, Porcu in these days is completing the last training sessions in Castel Gandolfo with the blue team before leaving for Japan: “I have been following canoeing since 1987 – explains Stefano Porcu – I know the world of paddles very well and I have I was able to ascertain that, after the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, there has been a great evolution in the paracanoa, in all respects, not only sporting but also human. In short, there has been a lot of inclusion among Paralympic athletes. For me it is a great satisfaction to train girls and girls with disabilities ».
The blue team is made up of three paraplegic canoeists: Federico Mancarella, who will compete in the single KL1 200 meters, Eleonora De Paolis (in competition with the Polynesian single-blade canoe equipped with balancer) who in Kl1 obtained the pass for Tokyo after the repechage, and Veronica Biglia: «The team has just returned from the European championship which took place in Poland and from the World Cup, which took place in Hungary – specifies the coach of the paracanoa national team – where it has always climbed the podium. In Tokyo we would at least like to confirm the results obtained in international competitions, considering the latest performances, the conditions are all there to win medals ». The blue team also had to include another canoeist, Esteban Farias, vice world champion like Federico Mancarella, but the Lombard athlete had to forfeit for health reasons: “A real shame, because Farias – continues the technical director of the Azzurri – he was the one who could certainly have given us a medal, he started in his category among the favorites ». However, the three paddlers are far more competitive than in Rio de Janeiro, where the Paralympic athletes finished fifth and eighth in the various specialties.