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1945-Elena Congost photo

Elena Congost

Athletics
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Biography

Impairment information

Type of Impairment
Vision impairment
Origin of Impairment
Congenital
Classification
T12, F12

Further personal information

Family
Partner Roger Esteve
Occupation
Athlete, Teacher
Languages
Catalan, English, Spanish
Higher education
Education, Physical Education - Autonomous University of Barcelona: Spain

Sport specific information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She took up the sport in Barcelona, Spain.
Why this sport?
She enjoys athletics as it gives her the desire to improve herself.
Club / Team
Club Atletico L'Hospitalet Atletisme ISS: Spain
Name of coach
Roger Esteve [partner, personal], ESP

International debut

Year
2002
Competing for
Spain
Tournament
World Championships
Location
Lille, FRA

General interest

Memorable sporting achievement
Winning gold in the T12 marathon at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (Athlete, 17 Jul 2017)
Most influential person in career
Her coach. (Athlete, 17 Jul 2017)
Hero / Idol
Spanish Para long distance runner Manuel Garnica. (Athlete, 17 Jul 2017)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Train, eat, sleep and repeat." (Athlete, 17 Jul 2017)
Awards and honours
In 2019 she was presented with the Special Award of the city of Castelldefels in Spain. The honour recognises people and associations that have contributed to the spread the values of liberty, equality, solidarity, progress and civility. (elcastell.org, 15 Apr 2019)

In 2016 she was presented the Gold Medal of the Royal Order of Sports Merit of Spain. (csd.gob.es, 18 Oct 2016)

In 2016 she was named Best Athlete of Vic, Spain. (Facebook page, 18 Feb 2017)

In 2013 she received the Silver Medal of the Royal Order of Sports Merit of Spain. (regiondigital.com, 29 Oct 2013)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. (puntvalles.com, 04 Feb 2019)
Impairment
She has a hereditary impairment that causes the gradual loss of sight. (elcastell.org, 15 Apr 2019; sportec.es, 09 Dec 2009)
Other information
NO GUIDE
She did not run with a guide in the marathon at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, where she won gold in the T12 classification. One of the issues she faced was collecting her drink at the hydration stations, while another was knowing the exact pace she was running at. "When I train and compete, I know what pace I'm following thanks to the GPS watch I wear. Yes it is true that, more or less, this rhythm is internalised, but sometimes I think that I'm doing well and it turns out that I am running 20 seconds slower per kilometre. The problem is that I do not see the watch and it is the guide who tells me the pace." (puntvalles.com, 04 Feb 2019)

STRICT DIET
She stopped drinking milk in 2008 and then gradually started to leave meat and sugar out of her diet. "I went to a naturopathic doctor and he encouraged me to eat only fruit for a week, and then start with a vegan diet. I thought It would be impossible to face my training sessions having only eaten fruit. I tried it and it was the opposite, I had more energy, vitality and I felt super good. I started to feel much better and the workouts were superb. Then, when you find out what the food industry does to animals, you just convince yourself to continue with the lifestyle. They tell me I'm crazy but my results have endorsed my decision." (puntvalles.com, 04 Feb 2019)

SWITCH TO MARATHON
She was a specialist in the 1500m event until the marathon was included for her impairment category in the Paralympic programme for 2016. "I convinced my coach Roger Esteve to do it. At the beginning he told me I was crazy, but once I adapted so well to the 3000m, 5000m, and 10,000m we decided to do it. For me the event is a new challenge." (avancedeportivo.es, 02 Mar 2016; runners.es, 01 Mar 2016)

Results

Unit Date Rank
Athens 2004 Paralympic Games (Athens, Greece)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 100 m T12 Heat 4 2
Women's 100 m T12 Heat 2 3
Women's 100 m T12 Final B 3
Women's 200 m T12 Heat 1 3
Women's 200 m T12 Heat 2 3
Women's 200 m T12 Final B 3
Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games (Beijing, China)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 1500 m T13 Final Round 6
Women's 800 m T12/13 Heat 2 3
IPC Athletics World Championships Assen 2006 (Assen, Netherlands)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 800 m T12 Final Round 5
Women's 800 m T12 Heat 3 2
Women's 400 m T12 Final B 9999
Women's 400 m T12 Heat 2 4
Women's 400 m T12 Heat 1 1
2011 IPC Athletics World Championships (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 1500 m T12 Heat 1 2011-01-23 2
Women's 1500 m T12 Final 2011-01-25 2
Women's 400 m T12 Heat 1 2011-01-26 3
London 2012 Paralympic Games (London, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 1500 m T12 Final Round 2012-09-04 2
IPC Athletics World Championships (Lyon, France)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 1500 m T12 Semifinal 2 2013-07-26 2
Women's 1500 m T12 Final 1 2013-07-27 3
IPC Athletics 2015 World Championships (Doha, Qatar)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 1500 m T13 Final 1 2015-10-30 5
Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 1500 m T13 Heat 1 2016-09-08 4
Women's Marathon T12 Final Round 2016-09-18 1
World Para Athletics Championships London 2017 (London, Great Britain)
Event Medal Unit Date Rank
Women's 1500 m T13 Final 1 2017-07-14 6