Representing ones country on the biggest sporting stage in the world has been a dream of Mozambican C-Boat paddler Joaquim Lobo and following a strong showing at the ICF Canoe Sprint African Championships the dream has become a reality as he and his C2 partner Mussa Chamaune prepare to take on the world’s best at the Olympic Games in Rio di Janeiro in August.
The 21-year old Lobo from Maputo has been working hard in the build up to the Olympic Games following the confirmation that he had a spot on the Mozambique’s national team for the showpiece event the preparation could begin.
Lobo will be competing in the C2 1000 metre event at the Games with Chamaune following their win at the African Championships with a debut trip to the Olympics always the goal when the pair got to the continental showpiece at the beginning of April.
“This is going to be my first trip to the Olympic Games and I am incredibly excited for the opportunity to compete against the best in the world,” Lobo mentioned.
“I am confident that I will be as prepared as possible for the Games and after the African Champs we have been working really hard on our technique and are hoping that we will be on top of our game when we compete in Rio.
“Correcting those mistakes has been my major focus recently and I am confident that I will be in good condition when I arrive in Rio for the Olympics!”
The youngster from Southern Africa has had a taste of international competition both at the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in 2015 as well as the Africa Sprint Championships in 2016 at Shongweni Dam.
Preparation will be paramount for the Mozambican duo as they head into the final furlong of their build-up campaign with an eye on making the final in the C2 1000m however the challenge will be stiff given it is their first appearance at the Games.
“I am really looking forward to observing and learning from the best athletes in the world and as much as we want to make the final we are there to take in as much as we can as well as soak up the Olympic spirit.
“I have been paddling for six years so being able to get to the Olympic Games in six years is something that I am really proud of and I want to go out there and make Mozambique proud,” a focused Lobo commented.
The pair of Lobo and Chamaune will not only be attending their first Olympic Games but they will also be setting a milestone for paddling in Mozambique.
“This is definitely the greatest moment of my career and to be the first paddlers from Mozambique to qualify for the Olympic Games is such an incredible honour and we are going to work as hard as we can to be as prepared as possible when we get on to the water.
“We will be training with the Brazilian Junior and Under 23 teams where we are trying our hardest to improve and get faster every day,” he explained.