The Pan American Open that takes place in the city of Medellín in 2023 has already begun and The duo for the department of Norte de Santander is made up of two young people who seek to make history in this competition, which will go until next Sunday March 19.
They are Maryuri Ureña Parra, 18, who is a victim of the armed conflict and was born in the town of Banco de Arena -rural area of Cúcuta-, and Pablo Sanabria, a talented 15-year-old from Cucuta.
About these games WEEK communicated with Johana Orozco Pallares, manager of the Colombian Judo Federation, who told about the challenges that these young people will have to assume in the competition in which there are 238 athletes from 19 registered countries.
“This is a qualifying event with points for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, that started here in Colombia, then Cuba, Panama, the Dominican Republic and Peru follow,” said Orozco.
For his part, Pablo, began the competition with his head held high, in which, on the first day, he obtained a Bronze Medal in the Junior 81 kilograms category, leaving the name of Norte de Santander high.
While Maryuri, who is a national and international benchmark athlete and is ranked No. 1 in Latin America, will compete this Thursday, March 16 in the same Junior category; Next Saturday, March 18, he will compete in the Senior.
The competitors are from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, the United States, Uruguay, Venezuela and the local, Colombia.
Among the figures that the Pan-American tatami will have is Kaliema Antomarchi, from Cuba, fifth in the past Tokyo Olympics. For Venezuela, Anriquelis Barrios, who is the favorite of the 63 kilograms, after placing fifth in the Olympics.
The Colombian team will have 79 judokas in action, where another of them is Brenda Olaya, who will try to continue adding points in the Junior world ranking to consolidate in second place. Regarding her Senior aspiration, the Valle del Cauca judoka is ranked 86th in the world, with the option of being on an Olympic tatami. While Jerónimo Pino, from Antioquia, will fight in Cadets and Junior.
“More and more countries attend the meeting in Colombia and this increases the international friction for ours, with a view to achieving international objectives. Medellín, thanks to the local authorities, INDER and INDEPORTES ANTIOQUIA, is in tune to show the best to these athletes”, pointed out Wilson Figueroa Melo, president of the Colombian Judo Federation.
The combats take place in the Guillermo Gaviria Correa combat coliseum of the Atanasio Girardot Sports Unit, in the city of Medellín, with free admission for those who wish to support this sport.
Mariana Pajón makes history
Mariana is a double Olympic gold medalist. She was on the podium at London 2012 and Rio 2016. In addition, she won the silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics on July 30, 2021. She is champion of 18 world championships in different categories and is now part of the Guinness Book of Records, who recognized her as one of the most important athletes in the bike-cross.
“For me to have a world record is a dream come true. I remember asking for the Guinness World Records books at Christmas, birthdays and special dates. And see amazing people and talent. Receiving a degree is the result of hard work and big dreams.”, said Mariana Pajón, the most important BMX athlete for Colombia.
From the age of 5, he showed his skills on two wheels. She competed and beat all the children, being the only woman. She won her first continental championship at that age and her first world championship at age 9.
“At 31 years old, she is a world leader in her discipline, becoming one of the influential women in Colombia who has marked the history of sports and the world.”, they highlighted on the official website of the Guinness World Records.