By Carlos Rivera / Ovalle
Until Sunday, the Fifth Youth Parapan American Games will take place in Bogotá (Colombia). The international event brings together seven hundred and thirty-nine male and female para-athletes from twenty countries on the continent who compete in the disciplines of PC soccer, blind soccer, para-swimming, para-athletics, para-table tennis, wheelchair tennis, sitting volleyball, judo, wheelchair basketball, goal ball, bocce and parapowerlifting.
In this Pan-American scenario and in the High Performance Center in Bogotá, the table paratennis competitions are held, where the national duo formed by Ignacio Torres and the ovallino Claudio Bahamondes, achieved bronze in the MD14-18 category.
In individual category T6, at the end of the key he faced Chileans, where Ignacio Torres beat Claudio Bahamondes 3-0 (11-7, 11-5 and 11-6), guaranteeing gold and silver for the national mission that achieved a total of 7 medals: 3 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze.
For Bahamondes, a native of Ovalle, this Pan American tournament has a special meaning, since it crowns the work that they have been developing for a couple of months, “I am really very happy, they are my last Youth Pan American Games and I was able to close them with silver in individual and with a bronze in men’s doubles, so I’m happy, with that and to continue working, because it is the focus, of all this time of training that I have been, for quite some time, years so to speak and now to prepare for Santiago, the focus is on Santiago and to continue, that is the goal”.
He reiterates that these were his last youth games, so the balance is highly positive, “I have just come from my last youth games and I am quite happy with my performance, I managed to make the individual final, Chilean final, although I lost, but even so, I am very happy with my performance, I beat a Colombian with a very good level, while in the doubles with my partner Juan Ignacio Torre, we achieved third place”.
In addition to the medals achieved, Bahamondes says he feels very good, “having had a preparatory Parapan American game for Santiago, at the end of the year, leaves me with a very good feeling, not all athletes who have qualified for Santiago have the privilege After previously playing at this level, which in my case is the last youth, I close a cycle and now to prepare Santiago with everything”, he stressed.
The third-year kinesiology student, who froze to concentrate on his sports preparation, will be traveling at the end of June to a world circuit in the United States, also preparing for Santiago 2023, “I’m still much more motivated, in training, in competitions, We hope to continue earning ranking points on the world tour and give it my all in Santiago, it will be my first adult Parapan American Games and I will certainly give my 100 percent physically, mentally, technically.”
At the same time, Claudio thanked him for the support he has had in his career, “I am also happy for the IND of my region that is giving me a hand, we are in talks and it has given me support in this regard, in implementation. To all my family, my parents, Johanna Vega and Carlos Bahamondes, especially who have been the fundamental pillar, and to all the people who make up the Chilean team”.
Nor has the paratennis player forgotten his coaches Francisco Carrasco, Christofer Godoy, the coach of my club in Santiago, Cristian Carrasco, Marcos Bocali, kinesiologist and physical trainer, the people who make up the Paralympic committee and the Ovalle club, Dragon FT who always reaches out to me whenever I need it, like coach Ricardo Ibacache, “super happy with that and continuing is a job for many people, not just mine, a giant coaching staff with whom we will do everything possible to reach Santiago in the best conditions and give everything for my country”.
The news of the national achievements in Colombia reached the ears of the Seremi de Deportes de Coquimbo, Fernando Medina, who highlighted the deployment and training that Claudio Bahamondes has achieved and that he began his sports career, through the regional training programs of the National Institute of Sports, “the achievement that Claudio has reached reflects the effort and perseverance of him and his family. As a Ministry we are proud and also this year, he is being supported with the Outstanding Athletes project, which is financed by the regional government, to continue strengthening his career. We hope to see him at the next Pan American Games in Santiago 2023, representing the region”, he stressed.
It is a multi-sport event that summons para-athletes every 4 years and the Dominican Republic, Chile, Peru, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Paraguay, Honduras, Argentina, Ecuador, Venezuela, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Brazil, Jamaica, Aruba, El Salvador, Uruguay, Cuba and Colombia.
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