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Portuguese swimmer Joao Vital wants to swim in Olympics like grandfather

Portuguese swimmer Joao Vital has spoken about emulating his grandfather Felga Ribeiro by competing in the Olympics.

Swimmer Joao Vital has talked about aiming for European success in Baku and wanting to emulate his grandfather Felga Ribeiro by swimming in the Olympics.

Ribeiro has a swimming legacy in Portugal after becoming the first countryman to break the sub-60 second barrier in the 200m freestyle and by competing in two Olympic Games.

"He watches me all the time and he gives me advice, but he is a short-course swimmer," said Vital, who competes in the 100m and 200m backstroke, and the 200m and 400m individual medley at Baku 2015.

"He tells me it's very different now. The pools were without walls and lanes. I have never seen a colour picture of him in those days, only black and white pictures and video.

"He has a big haul of medals. I have maybe 50 nationals medals and he has more, 100.

"He competed in Rome and Tokyo in 1960 and 1964. When I was growing up he used to talk to me about it and that's why I want to go to Tokyo in 2020."

Ribeiro still swims at the age of 72 and will be competing at the World Masters in Kazan, Russia, in August.


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