by Simon Daish
João Monteiro has enjoyed a highly successful career in the sport to date and has been a major player on the European scene, claiming three gold medals at European Championships level and playing an important role in Portugal’s title winning campaign at the 2015 European Games.
In an interview with the official Ultimate Table Tennis League website, João Monteiro has now shed some light on his table tennis origins.
“The first introduction to ping pong was with my cousins in Switzerland, they had a table in their house and we played every day almost all summer. After some time, my first coach came to the primary school where I was studying and conducted some tests for all kids in the school. From the 120 kids, he chose the best 20 and I was among them and then he brought us to a club to teach us to play table tennis”, João Monteiro.
With the Liebherr 2017 ITTF European Championships approaching at a rapid pace the continent’s top players are training hard to be in the best shape possible for the Luxembourg event set to take place in September.
Monteiro will also compete at the upcoming Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Czech Open at the end of August to further his preparation for the continental tournament in Luxembourg.
However, while Monteiro loves to compete at the highest level of table tennis he admits that it is sometimes difficult for him to be away from his wife Daniela Monteiro Dodean, who is herself a professional player, and their child Lara.
“Table tennis is like a relationship. First you meet and get to know it, after you fall in love with it and in the end, you cannot live without it. At least for me. The only bad thing about table tennis for me is too be away from my wife and daughter”, João Monteiro.
The Portuguese competitor also gave some sound advice to anyone looking to make it big in the sport.
“Practice hard and give your best every time to improve and be the best player you can be, but the most important thing is to enjoy and love playing because without love and passion for the sport, it is difficult to be a good player”, João Monteiro.