Vanessa Fernandes

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Vanessa Fernandes
2008 Vanessa Fernandes.JPG
Fernandes at the 2008 Summer Olympics
Personal information
Full nameVanessa de Sousa Fernandes
Born (1985-09-14) 14 September 1985 (age 34)
Perosinho, Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal
ResidenceJamor, Oeiras, Portugal
Height169 cm (5 ft 7 in)
Weight55 kg (121 lb)
Fernandes finishing second in Lausanne 2006
Fernandes (left), silver medalist at the 2008 Summer Olympics

Vanessa de Sousa Fernandes GOIH ComM OM (Portuguese pronunciation: [vɐˈnɛsɐ fɨɾˈnɐ̃dɨʃ]; born 14 September 1985) is a Portuguese athlete who is a former triathlon European and world champion, and an Olympic medalist.[1] In duathlon, she was also European and world champion.

Fernandes won the European Triathlon Championships five consecutive years (5 elite and 3 under-23 titles), beginning in 2004, and on 1 September 2007, she became world champion for the first time, in Hamburg, Germany, managing to grab the only title (apart from the Olympic sceptre) missing from her career. She competes for S.L. Benfica since 2005.


Born in Perosinho, Vila Nova de Gaia, Fernandes was introduced to triathlon in 1999, when she was fourteen, by her father, Venceslau Fernandes, a former professional cyclist and winner of the 1984 Volta a Portugal. She competed for her local triathlon club Clube de Perosinho and then for Belenenses where she became world champion of under-23. Later in 2005, Fernandes joined S.L. Benfica and represents the club to this day. Occasionally, she enters cross country events. She competed at the Olympic Games for the first time in 2004. On the second Olympic triathlon competition, at age eighteen, she finished in eighth place with a total time of 2:06:15.39.

In June 2006, Fernandes won the International Triathlon Union World Cup, ranking number one in the world.[2] In September, she equaled Australian Emma Carney's record number of consecutive wins in the World Cup, with a twelfth victory at the Beijing leg. Later that year, she was awarded with the "Best Female Athlete of the Year" prize from CNID (Clube Nacional de Imprensa Desportiva; English: Sports Press National Club) at its annual sports gala. In 2008, she won her 5th-in-a-row Elite European Championships title, at "home", in Lisbon, Portugal.

In August 2008, she finished second in the Beijing Olympic Games, winning her first olympic medal.

After years without competing, Fernandes is training with the 2016 Summer Olympics in mind.[3]



  • 18th – European Championships (Carlsbad, Czech Republic) – junior
  • 2nd – European Duathlon Championships (Mafra, Portugal) – junior (team)


  • World Cup:
  • 4th – World Championships (Cancún, Mexico) – junior
  • 3rd – European Championships (Győr, Hungary) – junior
  • 3rd – European Duathlon Championships (Zeitz, Germany) – junior






  • World Cup:
  • 1st – World Duathlon Championships (Győr, Hungary)
  • 1st – European Championships (Copenhagen, Denmark)
  • 1st - World Championships (Hamburg, Germany)
  • 1st – Life Time Fitness Triathlon (Minneapolis, United States)




  1. ^ Vanessa Fernandes.
  2. ^ 2006 BG Triathlon World Cup rankings.
  3. ^ "Vanessa Fernandes: "Quero voltar a ir aos Jogos Olímpicos"" [Vanessa Fernandes: "I want to return to the Olympic Games"] (in Portuguese). S.L. Benfica. 29 October 2014. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Ordens Honoríficas Portuguesas" [Portuguese Honorary Orders] (in Portuguese). Presidency of the Portuguese Republic. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  5. ^ Atletas condecorados com Ordem do Mérito (in Portuguese)

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Diana Gomes
Portuguese Sportswoman of the Year
2006 – 2008
Succeeded by
Michelle Larcher de Brito