The new generation of athletes from the continent will meet, starting this Thursday, in Cali, Colombia, site of the first edition of the Junior Pan American Games. El Salvador is present in the competition with a team of 66 athletes in 22 sports disciplines.
Most of the national delegation is already in Cali to participate in the inauguration that will take place at the Pascual Guerrero stadium.
Carlos Pereira, head of mission of the national contingent, explained that due to coronavirus protocols, only athletes, some members of the mission and medical personnel will parade to verify that sanitary measures are being followed.
The first sports that will see action, according to Pereira are badminton, boxing, weightlifting, swimming, squash, shooting, and compound and recurve archery.
The inauguration, as well as the different sports, will have reduced capacity, due to Covid-19, however, the organizers have guaranteed that the majority of the population is vaccinated for the event.
The flag bearers for El Salvador in Cali are Paola Corado, for archery, and Uriel Canjura, for badminton.
“Super excited. I already want to carry the flag of El Salvador in the parade, I think it will be a grand opening and I feel super happy to have this privilege, “Corado told INDES before the event.
For his part, Uriel mentioned that “it took me by surprise and I think that for every athlete it is an extra motivation. I am proud because it is a very great honor, but most of all I feel happy and motivated for what is to come “, he stressed.
In total, there are six cities that will host the Games, in 21 sports venues. Cali is the main headquarters, the rest are Jamundí, Yumbo, Palmira, Buga and Calima El Darién.
According to the organizers’ data, the presence of 3,800 athletes between the ages of 18 and 23 from 41 countries in the Americas is expected. There will be 28 sports and 39 sports disciplines that make up the Pan American Games.
All the athletes who have arrived in Cali have undergone PCR tests, each delegation has been guaranteed to stay in the same hotel to avoid contagion, according to the El Salvador head of mission.
Regarding the projections that El Salvador has in the fair, Pereira said that a number of medals have not been raised, but they have determined sports in which the country is strong.
“It is risky to say in which disciplines we can win medals, but we have possibilities in sports such as archery, badminton, swimming, skating, rowing, athletics and bowling” The other disciplines also have the possibility, the intention, “Pereira explained.
One of the great absences in the Cusco team is that of the swimmer Celina Márquez, who for health reasons will not compete in Cali.
“We respect this situation. We will follow up with Celina. It is a very sensitive loss for the country ”, assured Pereira.
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