The varnish between Nélson Évora and Pedro Pichardo definitely cracked. The two triple jump world champions for Portugal, both born outside Portuguese territory, engaged in a bitter exchange of comments.
The relationship between the two was never good and there had already been several episodes with comments revealing some acrimony between the two, but nothing like this.
It all started when Nélson Évora spoke of Pedro Pichardo in podcast “40 minutes” by Radio Observer.
“We don’t have a junior athlete who jumps 16 meters, who we can say will jump 17 meters as a senior or who can win a medal. I’m glad he brings a medal, but what does this reflect? Whose interest? that? It was Portugal! Of course, it’s good, in the short term. It was an investment made in the short term. An athlete was bought to be able to have results in the short term. It’s a reference. That’s how it is! I have nothing against him and never have . I spent 11 years in Portugal, I didn’t compete for Cape Verde and Ivory Coast, and I even feel ashamed when I come face to face with the federations of my origins. I even lower my head. They are my roots but I didn’t want to because I came here with six years old. I don’t know anything about Cape Verde and Ivory Coast. I had two people at home who educated me according to Cape Verdean customs. Apart from that, all my friends are Portuguese. When I was given the choice in juvenile , I refused. Said I wouldn’t feel good wearing the cap misola from a country I didn’t feel like.”
The answer came shortly afterwards, on social media, from Pedro Pichardo.
“When you say that I was bought you are disrespecting me, I am not a prostitute nor am I like you who left the club badly because they offered you more. I don’t know what problems you have in your head or if you have problems with someone who is at Benfica , but you shouldn’t mix things up and talk about me (…) I left Cuba because of the problems that everyone knows, I was in Sweden and Benfica made me an offer, as other clubs from other countries did. knowing nothing about your problems, simply focused on my career. Also because you were already a champion but you had never beaten me, in your career you only beat me twice and your best mark, 17.74, I jump more than that leggings long and wearing a hat. You were never my reference as an athlete or as a person. (…) Spending 11 years to have a Portuguese document does not make you more Portuguese than anyone else, none of us was born here. You say you don’t have anything against me (…) but whenever you have an opportunity you talk about Pichardo. Be a man and speak directly to the person or club you have a problem with and stop talking about me that you already look like a girl when you like a guy (you’re handsome but I’m not gay). I’ve always stayed in my corner, but that’s enough humility and silence. You can have your story and be Nélson Évora, but I also have mine and I am Pichardo. When you are the winner of the Diamond League, when you jump 18 meters and have my titles in one year, then we are talking about champions. I’m better than you, accept it. You know”