12/10/2023   Ines Henriques' farewell to racing



In an interview with the Lusa Agency, Inês Henriques recalled her sporting journey as "long, beautiful and with ups and downs, like the life".

Susana Feitor, her countryman, with whom she shares the absolute record of 11 appearances at the World Championships, was her inspiration and responsible for the decision to dedicate herself to race walking after seeing Susana became U20 world champion in Plovdiv 1990.


Both were part of the Rio Maior race walking group, together with the famous João Vieira, but also with his twin brother Sérgio Vieira, Vera Santos and, more recently, Mara Ribeiro, Miguel Carvalho and Miguel Rodrigues.

Inês Henriques consolidated her career in the 20km, but her “second life” began to emerge after the 2015 Beijing World Championships.


"I was no longer happy and I didn't want to continue something that no longer made me happy", she acknowledged, recalling the coach's stimuli and her motivational strategy:

"I was on holiday for more than a month, without training, it was the month I left to paint the house, and I painted it all inside by myself, it was my therapy."

After ending her career on Sunday, Inês Henriques looks with concern at the future of the discipline, due to its lack of renewal.

"The best athlete is Ana Cabecinha, who is certainly not a young person. Now Vitória Oliveira has appeared, who shows some pleasant things, evolving very well, but she is also almost 30 years old. In the men there is only João Vieira, who is older than me, so the situation is difficult,” he lamented.

The abandonment will also “will cost" her usual coach Jorge Miguel, she admits, and "it is also the end of a cycle in her life".

"He has trained many athletes who, instead of doing other things, have been on the track. I think it will be a bit difficult for him too, because he doesn't

will train more.

But he accepted my decision well, because he expected it too. That's how it is, he just wants to see me happy and I want to keep running and feel happy," she concluded.

Still without a defined future, Inês Henriques refuses to make hasty decisions, trusting that "other doors" will open, without athletics and popular competitions, which will disappear from her post-career future.

On Sunday, on the occasion of the Tour of the parish of São Sebastião, where she took her first running steps in 1992, Inês Henriques will join her family, friends and all the people she considered important on her journey, with, among the various guests , the president of the Portuguese Olympic Committee (COP), José Manuel Constantino, the former Olympic marathon champion Rosa Mota and all the presidents of the Municipality of Rio Maior”.