Mexico aims for 100th Paralympic gold medal

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Today the country – which is the most successful Latin American country in Games history – will celebrate its 100e gold medal and 300e overall at Tokyo 2020.

Mexico have just three gold medals and 11 podiums complete their Paralympic goal of reaching their 100e gold medal and 300e in total in Tokyo 2020. Today, the country – which is the most successful Latin American country in the history of the Games – sends to Japan a strong team of 60 athletes – 31 women and 29 men – in 11 sports .

“We have established athletes with great experience and many young athletes who will be competing in the Paralympic Games for the first time. This combination of experience and youthfulness of our delegation and an adequate preparation process gives us the certainty and confidence that we will have a successful participation in these Games, ”said Juan Pedro Toledo, the Mexican Chef de Mission.

The main members of the team are athletes such as three-time Paralympic powerlifting champion Amalia Perez in women up to 55 kg. The 44-year-old has been undefeated at the Paralympic Games since Beijing 2008.

“These are the most anticipated Games considering all that we’ve been through throughout this year,” said Perez. “The virus physically locked us inside our homes but couldn’t lock our dreams. I feel motivated, I need to make the most of my time before Tokyo 2020 and give the best of myself in every training.

“Still being among the best weightlifters in the world after 30 years is because of my daily hard work in a sport that has taught me so much throughout my life. I love it, and my family and my friends. friends keep pushing me to go further and bring honor to my country. “

In judo, defending champions Lenia Ruvalcaba and Edoardo Avila Sanchez – the “Judo Man” – carry their country’s hopes on the tatami mat. Ruvalcaba missed the women’s world title to 70kg in 2018, but came back stronger than ever to win Pan American gold and two Grands Prix.

Judoka Lenia Ruvalcaba Getty Images

Ruvalcaba remains focused on the ultimate prize: “In sport nothing is certain, I know my rivals are training hard for the gold medal and I have to train even harder. It was different from other years. I adapt to changes but know a good job has been done.

“It fills me with pride and emotion to be able to represent Mexico again and to know that I will do my best.”

Sanchez meanwhile made a stunning comeback after a serious back injury in 2019, winning first place at the Pan Am Championships and Parapan Am Games.

Mexico is also aiming for several medals in swimming and track and field.

Diego Lopez Dias clinched four gold medals at the 2019 World Para Swimming Championships in the men’s 50m backstroke S3, 200m and 50m freestyle S3 and 150m individual medley SM3, reaching majority since his debut at Rio 2016.

Para-swimmer Diego Lopez Diaz Lima 2019

“I think that the work that I have done for a longer time after Rio has given me good results, to continue my preparation after Rio de Janeiro 2016 was a great motivation that I wanted and I want to continue to improve myself”, a said Dias. “I still have a lot to improve and that motivates me almost every day to continue to give good results.

“It is a great pride not only for me but for all my colleagues to represent this great country. When you see our flag flying it’s a very special moment that leaves you with a great taste in your mouth and it’s worth all the sacrifices you have to make to be there at the highest level.

On the athletics field, María de los Ángeles Ortiz Hernández took the top step of the podium in the women’s F57 shot put five years ago, after three years later with the world title.

Mónica Olivia Rodríguez Saavedra also won gold at the Women’s 1500m T11 Worlds and will head to the track.

In order not to miss the opportunity to make a statement in new sports, Mexico has also cultivated incredible talent in para taekwondo which will debut at Tokyo 2020.

Juan Diego Garcia, an eighteen-year-old taekwondoin, will step into the ring as the reigning World and Pan American champion in the men’s up to 75kg in K44.

Taekwondin Juan Diego Garcia â’¸ World Taekwondo

Archery, table tennis, triathlon, rowing, horseback riding and boccia are also in the sights of Mexican medals.

In addition to reaching their historic milestones of 100 gold and 300 total medals, the team wants to improve on the 15 medals (four gold, two silver and nine bronze) it won in the last Paralympic Games.

Toledo continued: “We have confidence in the work, experience and professionalism of the coaches and multidisciplinary groups in charge of the preparation of our national teams and in the perseverance and abilities of our athletes and in the results that our athletes have had in international events during this cycle.

“Federal, state and municipal government institutions have supported the national teams at all times, meeting the needs of each of our athletes in the various stages of this process up to Tokyo 2020.

“We worked during the last Paralympic cycle to achieve the goals set and one of them is based on improving the number of medals obtained at Rio 2016.”

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