Sports round up – March 2023


The Autódromo Internacional do Algarve will host the opening round of the 2023 MotoGP World Championship on 24–26 March. The Portimão circuit will see the season start in Europe for the first time since 2006. It will also be the first time that Portugal will host the opening race of the calendar. Current world champion Francesco Bagnaia will be looking to improve on his 8th-place finish in 2022, whilst Portuguese star Miguel Oliveira is hoping for better things after moving from KTM to Aprilia after the conclusion of last season. 

Photo courtesy of Autódromo Internacional do Algarve


Faro cyclist João Rodrigues is among twenty-six people charged with trafficking performance-enhancing substances. The former W52/FC Porto rider was banned for seven years in October as part of a major doping investigation. The findings throw a shadow over what was a blossoming career, Rodrigues having already won the Tour of Algarve and Tour of Portugal. With ten of its riders indicted, the W52/FC Porto team has also had its licence suspended.

Algarvian pro-cyclist Amaro Antunes has announced his retirement with immediate effect. The thirty-two-year-old from Vila Nova de Cacela was a three-time Tour of Portugal winner and raced the prestigious Giro d’Italia. In his “goodbye letter”, he stated that he can look back on his career with “a lot of passion and pride”.


A young athlete from the Gymnastic Club of Loulé has been honoured for his dedication to trampolining. Nineteen-year-old André Afonso Dias recently represented Portugal at the World Championships in Bulgaria, where he finished 2nd in the team event and 7th individually. Attending a ceremony at the São Brás de Alportel City Hall, Dias was described as a “source of pride” and an example of the “determination and courage” required to be at the top of his game.

Photo courtesy of Município de São Brás de Alportel

Beach football

The Portuguese national beach soccer team has kicked off its season with two friendly matches at the Passeio das Dunas in Quarteira. In a double-header against Moldova, Portugal were victorious 5-2 and 8-2, respectively. Attention now turns to potentially tougher matches against Spain and France.

Photo courtesy of Federação Portuguesa de Futebol


Portugal failed to advance from the group stages of the men’s Handball World Cup following a 32-30 defeat to co-hosts Sweden. Needing at least a draw to reach the quarter-finals, Portugal led at halftime but were ultimately beaten by a Swedish side that went on to reach the semi-finals. Denmark lived up to their favourites tag by beating France 34-29 in the final.

Algarve Sports Personality of the Year

Gonçalo Ramos has been voted the Sports Personality of the Algarve for 2022 by Fair Play da RUA FM. It has been an exceptional year for the 21-year-old footballer from Olhão. Having scored fifteen times for his club Benfica, he went on to make his international debut for Portugal. At this year’s World Cup, Ramos upstaged the great Cristiano Ronaldo by becoming the second youngest player to score a hat trick in the knockout stages. The young Algarvian follows in the footsteps of his father, who played for Farense.

Photo courtesy of Fair Play – RUA FM


The youth teams of Portimonense basketball club have enjoyed a fabulous month. The under-16 boys, under-14 boys and under-14 girls teams have all become regional champions and will progress onto the national championships. Huge credit must go to the young athletes but also to the excellent coaching set-up. The Portimão club is extremely active in promoting basketball to the city and is always welcoming new players and supporters.


A schoolboy from the Nobel International School in Lagoa has won the 1500-metre title in the under-14 age group at the prestigious ECO RUN in Setúbal. Klaas Edward Aling, who runs for the ADAA Lacobrigense athletics club, was picked to represent the Algarve and took overall victory in his age group. Klaas, who has been trained by coach Pedro Braz Correia since he was five-years-old, followed up his victory by winning again at the Lagos City Circuit un.


The World Surf League will return to Portugal from 8–16 March in Peniche. Home to some of the world’s largest waves, the Portuguese event will be the only European leg of this year’s championship. Alex Botelho, who hails from Lagos, is part of the Men’s Big Wave Tour, whilst Yolanda Hopkins from Faro has her focus on the Women’s Qualifying Series. Hopkins recently rose to fame by finishing in 5th place at the delayed 2020 Olympic Games.

Alex Botelho © emeraldmediacreative

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