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CORREIA Joao
Sport Para athletics, Para swimming
NPC Portugal   
GenderMen
Age39
Place of BirthSanto Tirso, POR
Height1.59 m
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Type of Impairment
Spinal Cord Injuries
Origin of Impairment
Acquired
Classification
T51
Further Personal Information
Residence
Santo Tirso, POR
Occupation
Athlete
Languages
Portuguese, Spanish, English
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
He took up athletics in 1992 at a club in Braga, Portugal. His first competition was at age 16.
Why this sport?
He became interested in the sport after watching a half marathon in which there were wheelchair racers competing.
Club / Team
Centro de Atletismo de Santo Tirso: Portugal
Name of coach
Jenny Archer [personal], from 2015
Senior International Debut
Year
2003
Competing for
Portugal
Tournament
European Championships
Location
Assen, NED
General Interest
Hobbies
Reading, watching TV, cooking. (opraticante.pt, 01 Apr 2020)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning a silver medal in the 200m at the 2003 European Championships in Assen, Netherlands. (Athlete, 06 Nov 2019)
Most influential person in career
Swiss wheelchair racer Heinz Frei, who gave him his first racing wheelchair. (Facebook page, 03 Oct 2019; opraticante.pt, 10 Jun 2017; Athlete, 06 Nov 2019)
Hero / Idol
Swiss wheelchair racer Heinz Frei. (Athlete, 06 Nov 2019)
Injuries
In August 2018 he underwent back surgery and returned to competition in January 2019. (jornaldoave.pt, 10 Sep 2019)

An injury forced him to undergo surgery on his spinal cord in January 2006. After the procedure, he rushed back to training in order to compete and obtain a qualifying time for the 2006 World Championships in Assen, Netherlands. He reached his goal and qualified for the event, but while competing, he began noticing a loss of upper-body strength and upon his return to Portugal his doctors informed him that his first vertebra had been severely damaged. The injury required immediate surgery that the doctors gave him just a 10% chance of surviving. After three more operations and intensive physiotherapy treatment, he was finally able to return to the sport in 2015. (runningmag.pt, 03 Apr 2016)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Never give up." (Athlete, 06 Nov 2019)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (santo-tirso.tv, 03 Nov 2020)
Impairment
He has paraplegia as a result of injuries he sustained in a car accident at age two. (Facebook page, 19 Jul 2018; opraticante.pt, 10 Jun 2017; Athlete, 06 Nov 2019)
Other information
DOCUMENTARY
He is the subject of 'Nunca Desistas' [Never Give Up], a documentary that tells the story of his life. (santo-tirso.tv, 16 May 2019)

Competition Highlights (historical)
Paralympic Games - Para athletics
Rank Year Event Result
6 2021 100m T51 24.37
World Championships - Para athletics
Rank Year Event Result
9 2006 100m T52 36.86
  2006 200m T52  DNS
8 2017 100m T51 27.73
6 2019 100m T51 24.57
European Championships - Para athletics
Rank Year Event Result
6 2016 100m T51 27.13