Fernando Pimenta, 31, who had been Olympic runner-up in London2012 in K2 1,000 metres alongside Emanuel Silva, finished the K1 1,000 metres race in Tokyo2020 in 3.22.478 minutes, just behind Hungarians Balint Kopasz, the new Olympic record holder, with 3.20.643, and Adam Varga (3.22.431).
"This is one of the dreams. I missed the other one, of being an Olympic champion. I gave my best in this Olympic cycle, very long, with a lot of regularity. From 2017 showing that the 2016 Pimenta was a candidate for the medal, I didn't make it because of things I couldn't control. I just have to be happy", declared the athlete.
According to Fernando Pimenta, "the two Hungarians were stronger", congratulating his opponents, even though he recalls the way he was "the most regular in all World Championships and Europeans at this distance" throughout the Olympic cycle.
The canoeist also took the opportunity to thank "all the Portuguese" and all the structure around him, but also the coach. "We went through many ups and downs, we suffered a lot", he recalled.
Finally, he admitted that "it is still hard to believe and put your feet on the ground": "Only when I touch the medal will I believe", he said.