Astana 2019: Philosophy the key for Jainer Cantillo

Colombian looks ahead to next Worlds with one year to go 30 Jun 2018
a male powerlifter raises his arms in celebration on the bench

Jainer Cantillo is targeting a first Worlds medal at Astana 2019

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By IPC and Natalia Calderon

“I enjoy reading philosophers like Aristoteles, whose knowledge helps me focus on what I write and how I feel."

“Life is so short and the trade of living so difficult that when one finally starts to learn it, it is already time to die.”

This quote from popular Argentine author Ernesto Sabato could easily apply to powerlifter Jainer Cantillo’s life philosophy.

The Colombian, one of Sabato’s most fervent readers, does not like wasting his time and missing the opportunity to learn new things. For that reason, when he is not competing, he can be found reading, writing or composing music.

“Ernesto Sabato has been one of my favourite authors since I was a student,” he said. “I like how he writes about humans and every time I see a text from him, I have no doubts about grabbing and reading it. I especially like his novel ‘El Túnel’ (The Tunnel).

“I also enjoy reading philosophers like Aristoteles, whose knowledge helps me focus on what I write and how I feel.

“As I devote much of my life to sports, I also read a lot about training theory. I then try to apply what I learned in the books into practice.”

His responsibilities as an athlete do not leave much time left for him to write, but still manages to find some moments now and then. “I do not write every day but even if it is for some minutes, I like writing down my feelings and thoughts onto a notebook.

“I especially enjoy writing lyrics for songs.”

Popular Colombian folk music ‘vallenato’ is his favourite genre and his inspiration, “but I also listen to pop and ballads. When I am training or competing, however, I enjoy metal music such as Rammstein.”

His love for music also began at school. At 15 years old, he even joined a vallenato musical group and learned to play three instruments: the caja, guacharaca and timbales.

Over the past few weeks, Cantillo has had little time for his two passions, though, as he is training hard for his next big powerlifting competitions.

In exactly one year, the 43-year-old will compete in his fourth World Championships in Astana, Kazakhstan, looking to win his first medal after finishing fifth at Mexico City 2017.

But he is first looking forward to participating in the Americas Open Championships on home soil in Bogota, this December.

“I want that moment to come and break the continental record again,” said Cantillo, who holds the Americas record of 211kg in the men’s up to 80kg.

“We are training very hard with my coach Freddy Jerez to achieve our goals.”

The Astana 2019 World Para Powerlifting Championships will take place in the Kazakh city between 30 June and 6 July.