"The purpose of this selection is to offer the best team for the competition that will take place in Portugal, where we hope to enjoy the support of fans."
Portugal will be represented by 16 swimmers at their home IPC Swimming European Open Championships in Funchal, Portugal, from 30 April–7 May.
Many of the world’s best swimmers will travel to Funchal, the capital of the island of Madeira, to compete at the Complexo de Piscinas Olimpicas do Funchal. It will be the last major competition ahead of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Free tickets are still available for download at Funchal2016.com, where competitions will also be streamed live every day.
The Portuguese team, announced by the Portuguese Swimming Federation (FPN), is composed of 12 male and four female swimmers, in what is the largest national delegation in history to compete in a European or World Championships.
Among the best Portuguese swimmers, six have already reached the minimum qualifying times for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games: Simone Fragoso, Joana Calado, David Grachat, David Carreira, Joao Pina and Nelson Lopes.
Grachat won his first World Championships medal in 2015 with bronze in the 400m freestyle S9.
Others, including Madeiran local Emanuel Goncalves, will try to qualify for Rio 2016 at the Euros.
"This is a selection of very experienced swimmers in international competitions, as in the case of David Grachat, Nelson Lopes or Emanuel Goncalves, but also has some swimmers that will make their Europeans debut such as Jose Costa, Nuno Alves and Renata Pinto,” said Mariett Matias, the national team coordinator.
"We expect the more experienced athletes to motivate and create a relaxed and safe environment for the younger swimmers to compete at their best," Matias continued. "The purpose of this selection is to offer the best team for the competition that will take place in Portugal, where we hope to enjoy the support of fans.
"It will be a very competitive European Open. Swimmers will have one of the last chances to meet the minimum qualification for the Paralympics. We expect all of the Portuguese athletes to give everything they have.”
Jose António Silva, President of the Organising Committee of Funchal 2016 and FPN believes that the Portuguese swimmers "will compete at their best.”
With a chance of Portuguese swimmers winning medals, Silva said that "It is very important for FPN to organise this event, and essential to spread and promote the values of equality and swimming for all.
“We want to host many athletes and teams from other countries. It is an opportunity to show the greatness of our country. We hope to organise the best event ever."
The Complexo de Piscinas Olimpicas do Funchal opened in 2004, consisting of a five-storey building, a 50m swimming pool, a diving pool, a 25m pool and a training pool.
In 2005 it hosted the Multi-Nations Youth Meet and most recently in 2015 the International Open Masters. The venue is located in the heart of Funchal, next to the University of Madeira, the congress centre, library and public archives.