Rochele Nunes, 31, who won a silver medal in the Tel Aviv Grand Slam in February, stressed that the competition in Portugal is a “moment of even more joy with being able to win a medal at home”.

The Brazilian judo star, who at the beginning of 2019 started to represent Portugal, said that her main objective is to reach the Tokyo Olympic Games, in July, and that this is the “time to make mistakes and correct mistakes”.

“I see this [European Championship] competition as very strong and I want to win, but this is also a chance for preparation” for the Olympic Games, said the athlete, who competes in the +78kg category.

Patrícia Sampaio, who returns to the competition after an injury, stressed that her recovery is “going very well and as expected” and that she will look to the Lisbon competition as a chance to get the best possible result, without the pressure of winning medals.

“It will be very good to return to compete at home and at the European Championship. This is a very important step that gives another motivation to return in a big way”, she said while stressing that her injury “only changed the course, but not the final destination”.

The preparation continues “to be done for the [Olympic] Games, but what I manage to do in the middle will be good to score points, although I am already qualified, but I want to get in the best possible position and form”.

“We are used to competing and winning medals in each competition, so I think you can expect a good performance [at the European Championship in Lisbon], taking into account what we have been working on together”, said Patrícia Sampaio, who competes in the - 78kg.

The Portuguese team is in preparation for the European Judo Championship, which will take place in Lisbon, from 16 to 18 April, in Cernache, Coimbra.