Bernabé Costas (Gondomar, 1980) retired from competition in 2017, when he was at the height of his wheelchair basketball career. Captain of the Amfiv that that same year won the Challenge Cup, the only continental trophy of the Vigo club, Costas opted for a discreet exit from the highest level adapted sport. But his plan did not last long.
In January of last year, the point guard from Gondomar returned to an Iberconsa Amfiv pressured by casualties to help in training and provide some quality minutes in home games. In the end, he completed that half season and all of the following and the bug of the competition slipped through every pore of his body.
Shortly after, a former teammate from Amfiv, Alberto Abalde, invited him to try chair padel at the Sin Red Padel Vigo club and ‘Berni’ played the final of the Galician First League of this sport yesterday at the iPadel Vigo club facilities. In addition, he has already scheduled a series of training sessions to test the adapted bicycle. A comeback in style.
“I started in paddle tennis because Abalde invited me to try. He had been playing for some time and he told me it was something different, fun, so I went to four training sessions with them, without the intention of competing, but in the end you get hooked little by little. I don’t have the level of those above, but I’m doing quite well. I have done part of the work due to my years at Amfiv, which allow me to have quite good mobility in the chair, so I am happy”, explains the athlete, who finished second in the Galician League after winning his semifinal and losing to Álvaro Illobre and Juan Carlos in the final (6-0 and 6-3).
The regional league was the second paddle tennis competition in which he participated. Last June, “I went to the Getafe City Open to find out how it was at a national level and how the people at the top competed. And the truth is that it has nothing to do with it. There is a high level, so I have to train much more, ”says Costas, who in the Madrid town played with Joaquín Guisande as a partner and now does so with David Santiago, who comes from tennis. “On the previous day, we stood up to the top seeds and it was an interesting game. They beat us, but the points were very long”, he affirms.
Already hooked on paddle tennis, Bernabé does not want to stay there. “I don’t know if I will return to Amfiv. I’m curious about the bike and I’m preparing some training sessions to see how I’m doing. I’ll do some popular race to check how I’m doing. Maybe (with Amfiv) I’ll do what I did last season, train with them and play home games, but I’m not sure. It will depend on the level of demand of the bike training. That will tell me if I can or can’t. And with paddle tennis I would like to compete next season ”, he sentences.