by Simon Daish
Portugal could very well be a force to contend with in Halmstad with Marcos Freitas, Tiago Apolonia and João Monteiro leading the team’s efforts. Diogo Carvalho and young star João Geraldo also make the selection.
Victorious at the 2014 European Team Championships held in Lisbon and then one year later at the 2015 European Games in Baku, Portugal has become one of the stalwarts of European table tennis over the past couple of years but on the world stage the team is yet to make a real statement.
Never before in the history of the competition has Portugal won a medal at the World Team Championships but two years back at the most recent edition of the event the trio of Marcos Freitas, Tiago Apolonia and João Monteiro achieved a respectable top eight finish in Kuala Lumpur.
Last year at the Liebherr 2018 European Team Championships in Luxembourg, the exact same Portuguese squad heading to the upcoming tournament in Halmstad gave its fans reasons to be optimistic: the team pulled off a fine semi-finals win over Team France only to lose out at the final hurdle to Germany but nonetheless a silver medal was secured.
Seeded eighth for the 2018 World Team Championships, the Portuguese men’s team will be considered as outsiders for a shot at silverware in Halmstad but if one or two of their big hitters are on form then they could be one team that no one wants to draw in the latter stages of play.