Two bronzes were added to Sunday’s gold, one in a male and one in a female.
The Ecuadorean triathlon team proved to be the best in the pan-American, after reaching the gold medal in the mixed relay, a test with which this discipline concluded at the first edition of the 2021 Cali Valley Junior Pan American Games.
Two bronze medals were added to Sunday’s golds, one in the men’s singles and one in the women’s, undoubtedly placing triathlon as one of the most memorable sports in this U.S. youth event, with three medals claimed.
With Azuaya Cecilia Fárez as head coach, the gold-bathed team consists of Paula Vega, Nancy Lojano, Gabriel Terán and Xavier Criollo, who set a time of 1 hour 24 minutes and 8 seconds. Two days before the competition of this day in Calima, at the foot of the beautiful lake of the same name, which, by the way, had a pleasant climate that allowed better participation of athletes, Paula Vega and Xavier Criollo took the bronze medal in the individual test.
The mixed relay day began at 09:00, starting with Nancy Lugano, then Gabriel Terran as the first relay, Paula Vega in the second and closing in on Xavier Criollo, positions that were difficult to plan for coach Varez, but in the end they ended up pushing.
It was difficult to organize the strategy, the tactical part. However, prior analysis of the times our competitors did to win the singles event, specifically Mexico and the United States, allowed us to take on the relay event with more confidence. To do this, we decided on a leveling order according to the pros and cons of each of the boys that could help us beat them, and we ended up right by putting Nancy in the game, followed by Gabriel, Paula and Xavier. Frieze emphasized the competition clause.
Nancy Lugano would end up handing the position in second place after completing the first 300m of swimming, 6.2km of cycling and 2.5km of running, to Gabriel Terran.
She stated that the strength at the beginning of the competition was in swimming, hence her coach decided to launch it first. “I’m strong in swimming and I knew I was going to be out of the water first or second, but I had to hit really hard in athletics to give the competitors a little bit of an advantage and for Gabriel to keep his pace in the relay.”
Gabriel Terran, for his part, achieved the goal and successfully managed his relief, as planned. “We knew that by swimming, which is one of my strengths, I could maintain or improve the difference that Nancy had left me. Thus, I was able to cut 35 seconds off the Mexican and get away from the American and I was able to hand the baton to Paula, and I held on to second.”
Despite this, Paula Vega had to dance with the ugliest, fighting alongside Mexican Alvarez, who cut the difference in the race when the Ecuadorean took first place in her relief. “My relief was practically dependent on the previous two characters, Nancy and Gabriel, and I had to go a little lower or further away from the American and not let me catch up with the Mexican, but she has a great run and I tried to get as close to her as possible so that Gabriel could fight her in the closing with a good shot.”
Until then, everything that was planned was delivered and it was Xavier Criollo’s turn to fight the lockdown, which would be a heart attack in the enemy Final who preferred the Ecuadorean. To conduct the test and gold for Ecuador in mixed succession. “The Mexican was 15 seconds behind me and I had to stick to a short cycling distance because it was very hard to catch him in the race. That’s how I worked and cut the time and was able to finish the race really fast I didn’t know at the time what the outcome would be, but I managed Than to cross the finish line first and be full of emotions,” concluded Criollo. (Dr)
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