Lima 2019: Diego Duenas’ Parapan Am dream

Colombian cyclist wants to relive Toronto 2015 success 21 Sep 2018
Man on track cycle rides around a velodrome

Colombia's Diego Duenas is working toward another Parapan American gold.

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By Natalia Calderón and APC

“There was nothing more incredible in my sporting career than having won the Parapan American title at Toronto 2015"

The Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games was special for Diego Duenas, and the Colombian cyclist hopes the 2019 edition will be even more memorable.

In Toronto, Duenas achieved the most important title of his career: gold in the men´s individual pursuit C4.

That ignited the confidence Duenas needed to go on and win bronze in the same event at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

With less than a year to go until the sixth Parapans in Lima, Peru, the 28-year-old already dreams about defending his title.

“I see myself winning the gold at Lima 2019,” Duenas said. “There was nothing more incredible in my sporting career than having won the Parapan American title at Toronto 2015. It was such a nice feeling and I am feeling very motivated to perform the best I can in Lima.”

Two-discipline goal

I addition to defending his title in the velodrome, Duenas also wants to do well in the road discipline, potentially a podium in the road race and time trial.

“The support of my family, national sports organisations and all those who surround me will be fundamental,” he said.

To see his dream come true, Duenas not only needs support but a practical, detailed plan.

“I am following a very strict and tough training plan for Lima 2019, even harder than the one prior to Toronto 2015,” admitted Duenas, who made his Parapan debut at Guadalajara 2011.

“I am running against able-bodied cyclists. We know there is going to be a great level in Lima, so I need to be very well-prepared and reach my best possible form before competition kicks off.”

Duenas divides his trainings on the track and on the road, which requires double the effort. But he believes he can succeed in both.

“Preparation on the track and the road has been going well. Of course I need to be very well trained to do so. With that in mind, I decided to go and live in the city of Sogamoso, where conditions for cycling are better and have many places to train.

“We really hope all the effort pays off and I get to run a good race and achieve my goals. It will be hard but not impossible.”

Lima 2019 will take place between 23 August and 1 September and will feature over 1,800 athletes competing across 17 sports.