700 athletes, including some «sounding names», will compete in another edition of the Professor Carlos Gravata Quarteira Triathlon, today, Saturday, and tomorrow, Sunday, the 25th and 26th of March, in this town in the municipality of Loulé.
Today the Quarteira Triathlon European Cup in Elites will be disputed. Tomorrow, in addition to the Portuguese Cup, a national competition between clubs is scheduled, the Juniors competition will be disputed.
In 2023, the Quarteira Triathlon has «one of the best start lists ever», according to the Câmara de Loulé.
The Englishman Jonathan Brownlee, holder of 3 medals at the Olympic Games, joins the Portuguese João Pereira and Melanie Santos.
Sérgio Dias, president of the Portuguese Triathlon Federation, foresees a race "very disputed and close until the end", with a "very big and strong French army".
«The fantastic sun at this time of year and which always attracts many athletes, some from latitudes further north and who end up having, at the beginning of the season, a good opportunity to combine a more pleasant climate with a European Cup at the beginning of the season », added the same responsible in the presentation of the test, which took place on Thursday, in Calçadão de Quarteira.
In technical terms, the head of the Federation says this is “a misleading test. Swimming turns out to be always more complicated than what athletes anticipate: cycling, being mostly flat, ends up having its difficulties due, sometimes, to the wind. The race is fantastic, with the public cheering for the athletes », he explained.
Vítor Aleixo, mayor of Loulé, praised the «natural conditions of the city of Quarteira so that the tests take place in the best way» and also highlighted the impact on the community and on the local economy.
«The athletes come with their coaches, companions, family members, and then they return. It is important for hotels, for catering, for our cultural facilities that are visited at this time », he noted.
Chris Kitchen, vice-president of the European Triathlon Union, spoke of a «special race», not only because of the weather conditions but also because of the way in which the city, the Municipality, the Board and the Federation work together.
«We have the ideal infrastructure… When I arrived yesterday there was nothing here and now we have everything prepared for tomorrow's race. This is appalling! It is one of our first events and we are always looking forward to its realization », he praised.
Telmo Pinto, president of the Parish Council of Quarteira, considered, for his part, that «it will be important that Quarteira remains not only as a destination for the competition itself but also a training destination for athletes, a true reference in terms of place of internships and preparation of athletes».
In 2022, the Quarteira Triathlon returned to its usual form, after two atypical years due to the pandemic: the interregnum, in 2020, and the 2021 edition held in November. Last year, at the end of March, it was the first event on the International Calendar and the European Circuit of the Europe Thriatlon 2022 of the Triathlon European Cups.
Event held 20 years ago, with the name that is also a tribute to its founder, Professor Carlos Gravata, the event has had an international character since 2009. Since that year, and in 13 international editions, it contains 2573 participations, 1509 international athletes different from 62 nationalities from 5 continents.
In 2018 it was nominated for Best Event of the Year by Europe Thriatlon and is «the international event in Portugal with the most editions and longevity and one of the main ones in quantity and quality, which registers high numbers of participants».