by Simon Daish
Speaking to Sportstar, João Monteiro said he is inspired by the recent success of Belarusian table tennis star Vladimir Samsonov who claimed his 27th Men’s Singles title on the ITTF World Tour with his victorious campaign at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Australian Open.
“When Samsonov can win (aged 41), everything is possible especially if you do your best”, João Monteiro.
Monteiro, 33, has enjoyed his fair share of silverware over the past few years and he continues to be a major presence on the international scene.
The Portuguese athlete achieved success in the Men’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles competitions at the 2015 and 2016 editions of the European Championships respectively, but arguably Monteiro’s standout performance in recent times came in the Men’s Singles tournament at the 2016 ITTF-Europe Top 16 Cup in Gondomar where he achieved a silver medal finish.
“In that tournament, I had beaten the world’s top ranked players on my way to the final. This proved that I belong to the best”, João Monteiro.
Another great milestone in Monteiro’s career came at the 2015 European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan where Portugal claimed the Men’s Team gold medal following a terrific victory over France in the final.
“The entire crowd was pushing for us. There was more pressure. It was a big moment for Portuguese sport and the country’s table tennis”, João Monteiro.
Currently, Monteiro is busy preparing for the inaugural season of the Ultimate Table Tennis League which will be hosted in India. The Portuguese player believes that the formation of the competition can only be of benefit for the sport:
“It is good for Indian players as they will play with top foreign players. Since each match will be best of three games, the focus will be intense. From the fans’ point of view, it will be interesting”, João Monteiro.