Sports Round Up November ’23


Joana Schenker has finished in second place on the fifth leg of the bodyboarding World Tour in South Africa. The Sagres athlete eliminated current world champion Sari Ohhara in the semi-final but lost out to Spaniard Teresa Miranda in the final round. The result sees Schenker finish the world circuit in fourth place. Following the event, she said, “I am very happy with this result and to be ranked in the top four in the world. The conditions were quite difficult during the event with rain and strong wind, but the organisers did a good job managing to choose the best possible conditions during one of the biggest swells of the last ten years.”


The 2024 Vuelta de España (Tour of Spain) will begin on 17 August with a time trial in Lisbon. It is only the second time ever that the prestigious Grand Tour race has started in the Portuguese capital, the previous edition being in 1997. Two further stages will run between Cascais and Ourém and between Lousã and Castelo Branco, before the event crosses over the border into more familiar territory.


Álvaro Bautista (Ducati) has completed a memorable double by winning both World Superbike races at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarvenear Portimão. The Spanish riderrecorded his 23rd and 24th victories of the season in what was the penultimate round of this season’s World Championship. Bautista, who is the reigning world champion, completed the circuit at an average of 163,41 kilometres per hour and leads this year’s championship by 60 points from Turkey’s Toprak Razgatlioglu.


The Leões children’s ‘Netball taster Day’

The Leões Netball Club of Tavira launched its inaugural children’s ‘Netball Taster Day’ on 7 October with the aim of promoting the sport to a new generation. The day was a great success with 20 ‘enthusiastic’ children in attendance. Netball’s popularity in Portugal continues to grow, with high potential to form its own league structure. If you are interested in playing netball in the Algarve, email

World Cup football

FIFA have announced that the 2030 World Cup will be a joint venture between Portugal, Spain and Morocco. The bid was the only candidate put forward and will follow the three-nation World Cup of 2026 in Canada, USA and Mexico. In a surprise twist, Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay will host three matches to honour the ‘centenary celebration’ of the 1930 World Cup in Uruguay.

International men’s football

Highly-rated Algarve youngster João Neves has made his debut for the Portuguese national side. The 19-year-old Benfica midfielder came off the bench in the 86th minute in a 3-2 victory against Slovakia. Neves was born in Tavira and represented Casa Benfica Tavira before moving to Lisbon in 2012. After just 25 appearances for the first team, he has earnt his first international cap, playing alongside fellow Algarve hot-shot Gonçalo Ramos.

Show jumping

© Município de Lagoa

Alice Laruça has finished in second place at the junior Portuguese Cup in Esposende. The young rider from Lagos (riding Libelle) has a great future ahead of her and was publicly congratulated by the municipality of Lagoa, from which she has received funding.


Portugal have missed out on qualification for the European Cricket ‘Championship Week’. Three victories in Group F over Norway, Luxembourg and Scotland Xi saw them finish second and reach the qualifying round. However, defeats to Germany and Scotland Xi saw them crash out at the semi-final stage. 


Imortal (Albufeira) were beaten in the Portugal Super Cup final by Benfica. The Algarve side went down 93-75 against one of the powerhouses of Portuguese sport. Victory for the team from Lisbon sees them lift the trophy for the 15th time. Imortal will now concentrate their efforts on the league, which will include two local derbies against fellow-Algarve side Portimonense (Portimão).


Heather Watson and Olivia Gadecki © Racquet/The Campus Carby Volkswagen

Gabriela Knutson has won the W40 Quinta do Lago tournament following a surprise 6-4 6-1 victory over Great Britain’s Harriet Dart. The twenty-six-year-old from Czechia was unseeded but won all four matches with the loss of just one set. In the doubles, the Portuguese pairing of Francisca Jorge and Matilde Jorge lost their final to top seeds Heather Watson and Olivia Gadecki. The tournament attracted many big names and was the highest-profile women’s event ever to take place in the Algarve.

Valentine Royer and Henrique Rocha at the final of M25 Tavira Open

Young Portuguese sensation Henrique Rocha completed a historic double by winning the M25 Tavira singles and doubles title. The nineteen-year-old from Porto has been touted as the next big thing in Portuguese tennis. In the singles tournament, he saw off top seed Valentine Royer 6-4 6-4, whilst in the doubles, he teamed up with countryman Jaime Faria to win 6-3 6-1. Rocha is coached by ex-Portugal number-one Rui Machado, who hails from the Algarve.


Seventeen-year-old Lara Martins looks set for a long, successful career in professional football following a memorable month for the young Algarve star. Having forced her way into the Benfica first team squad, she then made her Champions League debut coming on as a half-time substitute. Not content with making up the numbers, Martins scored two goals and provided an assist in a fabulous performance in their 8-1 victory. As if that was not enough, she then received an international call-up for the Portugal under-19 squad. The ex-Farense (Faro) youth striker looks set to have a terrific future in front of her.

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