To the illusion of participating in a European event at the highest level, add 14 years to it. “What a mess we got into,” laughs Cesar Palacios “Xavi”, the guide and partner at the Estadio Under Olasso, the young man from Avila who will, from Monday, take part with the Spanish national team in Europe. Youth Paralympic Games, European Youth Paralympic Games to be held in Finland until July 4th. A total of eight sports modalities – athletics, goal ball, swimming, judo, boccia, table tennis, wheelchair basketball and confrontation – and more than 800 participants – 500 athletes – from 25 different countries. and a man from Avila among them. A sporty, but also personal experience, perhaps the most important of his time. “It’s my first international competition. It’s a very big reward for what I’ve been doing. He demonstrates all the work and dedication behind him,” he explains on the Ciudad Deportiva, where he usually trains three days a week with his mentor Rubén Rodríguez and César Palacios’ Chapi.
He will participate in the 800, 400 and long jump events. Three fronts are competitive but viewed with particular interest. “The race I go to with the most intention is the 800m,” say the athletes from ClubAtletismo Ecosport. In Rakokivi, the venue for athletics events, he will not only face the best in his specialty, but also athletes who are older than him, although at the age of 14, he will be competing in the Sub’17 class. Keep in mind that these European Youth Paralympic Games are for Sub’17 and Sub’20. However, he is completely confident in his choices. “I look good, both physically and mentally. I will do everything,” he explained in a season where this opportunity has been won so far. “I go with the idea of making my marks and if I can fight for something, I will.”
In his hands are as many as three Spanish records. His best times are in the Sub’16 T11 class for the 300, 600 and 1000m dash. The latter two were confirmed just a few weeks ago in Segovia, at the FEDC Spanish Palace Athletics Championships. 3’12”62 in the 1000m dash and 1’51”19 in the 600m dash. “These last two seasons have been very good and I personally am very happy.” The UScadé union had already set its sights on him, as he ran at the beginning of June in a control zone in Valencia. They want it for themselves.
Now is the time for Finland. There are nerves, but no pressure. “I am 14 years old and this is a prize,” he told himself, “although more will surely come as a result of that.” Now athletics is just a sport, a hobby, as it should be at his age, but this does not prevent him from having dreams. “I would like to debut at the Olympics,” he says to himself, and if he continues at this level, he will achieve it.
Expedition from 32. The Spanish expedition, made up of 32 athletes, will travel on Monday, 21 of them from athletics, 4 from goalball, 4 from judo, 3 from swimming. Spanish Blind Sports Federation for the largest edition of all those held to date of the Para European Youth Games
Among the 21 traveling athletes, 15 are novices, as is Onder Olasso, and among the participants is Valenciennes Nagor Fulgado, who competed in the previous Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
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