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Colombian skaters full speed ahead at Pan American Games in Lima

Colombian skaters full speed ahead at Pan American Games in Lima

The Colombian Pedro Causil (c.) takes gold, Venezuela’s Jhoan Guzman (l.) wins the silver and the Mexican Jorge Martinez (r.), bronze, in the men’s 300 meter time trial on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019, at the Pan American Games in Lima. EFE-EPA/Juan Ponce Valenzuela

EFE

The Colombian speed skating team confirmed this Friday its leading position on the continent as Pedro Causil again took gold in the men’s time trial, while silver went to Geiny Pajaro in the women’s competition in the 2019 Pan American Games at Lima.

Triple Pan American champ Causil told EFE how pleased he was about the outcome, particularly after taking gold three weeks before in the World Roller Games. He said he won this time because “I came with total conviction that I was in top condition to show what that competition had prepared me for.”

The skater said “we always go out to win, we always go out to grab the medals,” above all because “we want to show people why we’re world champs.”

Unlike the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara where he also competed, Causil said that “skating in the Americas at the level of the Pan Americans has developed a lot,” and that was evident in the “top quality rivals” he faced this Friday in Lima.

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“However,” he said, “we keep fighting and thank God we keep on winning,” he said.

The silver medalist in the women’s 300 meters time trial, 21-year-old Geiny Pajaro, said she was happy about taking second place in her first Pan American Games.

Pajaro added that she has been training all her sporting life to make the Pan Americans and was pleased to have been selected from among the many excellent skaters in her country.

“I always dreamed of being in the Pan Americans, and I’m happy that out of so many good skaters they picked me,” she said.

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The skater dedicated the win to her family: “They have always supported me. My dad has been behind me in all this, we’ve been fighting together and thank God it worked.”

The trainer of the Colombian speed-skating team, Ivan Vargas, told EFE that the secret of his skaters’ success “is the talent they have as athletes and how hard they’ve worked, because skating isn’t really a national sport in Colombia.”

“We’re really happy, very pleased with the performance of Colombia’s skaters. We knew it was going to be a pretty hard test since we had some tough rivals from the rest of the continent, including many world champions,” Vargas said.

Causil with Vargas as the team’s coach have won this event in the last three Pan American Games, which, he said, “makes us all the happier because it’s not easy.”

“It’s a very demanding sport that requires time - months and years - of training to win a medal at the highest level of the sport like this was,” he said.

As for Causil, the star of Colombian speed skating, Vargas said that “he’s a very talented guy who has worked extra hard for many years, throughout his sports career, and here he is with another Pan American championship.”

In the competition, Causil won with a time of 24.701 seconds, while the Venezuelan Jhoan Guzman chalked up 24.720 and Mexico’s Jorge Luis Martinez crossed the finish line at 24.777 seconds. EFE-EPA mmr/cd


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