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Interview – Tiago Apolónia

1. How did ping pong come into your life? When did you think of becoming a professional?

Table Tennis comes up very early. When I was only 4 years old, I started to contact the sport through my older brother’s influence. I spent my whole career in Portugal at Estrela da Amadora, and when I was 19, I decided to go to Germany to play and become a professional.

2.  Do you have any idol? Why do you have an idol?

In Table Tennis, I have several players that I admire a lot, but I can highlight the former Swedish player Jan Owe Waldner and the current Olympic champion Ma Long. In other sports, I highlight Cristiano Ronaldo and Roger Federer.

3. During your journey, what was the best advice you were given?

I was lucky to have several coaches and several people around me who were helping me and giving me good advice. The most important advice was always to be focused and responsible at all times of training and games, and to believe that it is always possible to do more and better.

4. What is your biggest dream at the professional level? Or have you already achieved it?

Fortunately, I have already achieved several dreams. I had several dreams that became challenging but actual goals that I managed to accomplish throughout my career due to work. And now it’s still the same, I still have “dreams” that I want to make real, such as winning medals in Europeans and World Championships and being present at the Olympic Games Paris 2024

5. What is your opinion about the development of ping pong in Portugal?

I believe that Table Tennis is becoming more and more recognized in Portugal due to the good results achieved by this generation. However, I think that something more could be done to make the sport grow in terms of clubs and federated athletes.

6. How important is nutrition as an athlete? What strategies do you usually adopt in the different periods of the season?

Nutrition plays a pivotal role in the preparation and life of a professional athlete because it is one of the most important factors to be as fit as possible to train more and better.

7. How would you describe your routine? What is an Olympic athlete’s day like?

My routine varies a lot from the time of the season I am in. But the most typical/usual day consists of having two daily training sessions. The morning training session is usually 90% for technical training (training on the table), and the afternoon session is divided between technical and physical training. Each of these sessions lasts between 2 and 3 hours.

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