Golden swords – El Diario de Yucatán

Fencing, with solid touches and high expectations in Yucatan

Once known for being a factory of world boxing champions, for the achievements of its famous baseball players who filled stadiums night after night, and soccer players in a growing modernity, Yucatan now places itself in the elite of other disciplines that are slowly making their way to little, without so much media noise, or high budgets. Fencing, for example. Well, not a simple example. Much more.

And several of the young figures of this discipline are on the path that, they hope, may lead them to the dream of participating in the Paris Olympic Games in 2024. Before, however, there is an important list of international events to which they have participated. doomed the task of preparing to attend representing Mexico.

Recently, in the reopening of sports activities at the national level, Yucatán made an appearance in the first filter for jousts that are part of the Olympic process. In the Guadalajara bubble, the Mexican Fencing Federation made its first filter and the representation of Yucatán won a gold medal, two silver and one bronze, with a delegation of four athletes: Leandro Sauri May, Mauricio Peraza Muros, Gerardo Franco and Abigail Valdez, who, despite their barely twenty years on average, have placed themselves among the best exponents in the country, among much more experienced swordsmen. Another born in Yucatan, Julián Ayala, was also gold in the event, although not with a Yucatecan flag, but by another entity.

The development of the discipline in the entity received a strong boost with the opening of gyms with wide spaces, suitable for this specialty, and then with the arrival of Cuban methodologists and experienced trainers. Little by little fencing was placed among the sports of the national program and Yucatán appeared on the scene.

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What was done in Guadalajara in recent days meant the endorsement of Yucatan in the national sky. “Maybe they didn’t think Yucatán could go far for years. Today, the work done is recognized nationally, and we have participated for years in competitions abroad, ”says Leandro Sauri, who was sixth place in the Pan American Games in Lima in 2019, when he was just 18 years old. Now twenty years old, he has a scholarship in Business Administration at the Anahuac Mayab University.

In the filter of Perla Tapatia, Leandro, a specialist in epee, seized the gold medal in epee in first strength, the main category of this sport. Gerardo obtained silver in youth sword and bronze in it, but in first strength, while Mauricio was silver in first strength saber. Abigail ranked sixth in saber.

Recent triumphs are no accident. “All of this is based on the efforts that are made. You do not see many times the work of an athlete. For example, long and intense training sessions, sometimes doubles, or having to sacrifice the family, youth activities, vacations. Because in addition, we must study and correspond to those who from the universities give us opportunities to study thanks to sports ”, says Mauricio Peraza, who studies Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, also through the Anáhuac Mayab.

High expectations

The goals are very clear. This is how they tell us during a training session at the Multigym “Socorro Cerón Herrera” in Kukulcán, which, for various reasons, Gerardo and Abigail could not attend. Mauricio expresses that his expectations are now placed on participating in the Pan American Championship and the World Universiade. “I know that, at the rate we are going, as we are working, we can achieve it. I’ve always thought of a phrase: ‘hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard’. I didn’t make it up. Floyd Mayweather said it. I think it is the best way to achieve the goals ”.

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And they are loaded with illusions, as well as responsibilities. Because they want to transcend, but they must reciprocate equally to those who have placed their trust in them. Leandro tells it like this for the “Special Sundays at”: “Sports changed my life. Before arriving at fencing, it did not cross my mind that, in such a short time, I could travel to many countries, if I was at a high level of competition, that you could represent your country. And I also got a scholarship at a university as important as Mayab. All thanks to sport! And in three years, I see myself at the Olympic Games in Paris. I’m going to work to achieve it ”.

And well, if you want to achieve those goals, what you have to do is work and get mental. Freshly unpacked from Guadalajara, they attended their training sessions at Kukulcán, a long session that is difficult not only because of training, but everything that revolves around that environment.

Putting on the combat uniform, for example, a combination of several kilos of weight, with special fabrics, including metals for the touches, with masks, which by themselves cause intense embarrassment and natural fatigue. And let alone the large investment to obtain them.

They don’t just carry that. They already have the weight of being elite athletes, representatives of a society that is getting to know them little by little, despite the limited diffusion that their sport has.— Gaspar Silveira Malaver

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