"There is no greatest rival than yourself. I will try to lower my times and improve my skills. That is my first goal. I have much work to do. The Parapans are this kind of events that inspire me to move forward. That you can achieve more things and get further in life.”
Para athlete Gabriel Cuadra Holmann has decided to change the way he trains to focus on longer distances and have more chances of succeeding at the Lima 2019 Parapan American Games.
“I was reclassified into the T38 category so together with my team we had to make a series of decisions to better adapt to this change,” the 25-year-old said.
“Now we will start focusing on the 800m, 1,500m and 5,000m. My training has been modified a lot, running more kilometres while trying to gain resistance without losing speed. That has been hard and still need to learn many things.”
Earlier this year, Holmann shone on home soil by taking double gold in the men's 800m and 1,500m T38 at the Para Central American Games in Managua, Nicaragua. It was his first time competing in longer distances.
“I was running many kilometres at the beginning, but had to stop last April due to the difficult situation my country is going through. We used to start training very early in the morning and it got too dangerous due to the turmoil in Nicaragua.”
Despite the difficulties, Holmann remains confident ahead of his third Parapans in Lima next year.
“I hope to perform the best I can and achieve qualification for Tokyo 2020. That is what I am training hard for. I need consistency, to focus on my mental strength, getting to know well the events I compete in and be confident,” he said.
Holmann dreams of repeating or possibly outdoing his performance from Toronto 2015, where he took two bronze.
“Every athlete always wants to win a medal. But there is a long way I have to follow before the Parapan American Games get underway. Closer to the competition I will be able to see my chances.
“Toronto 2015 was very gratifying for me. Giving Nicaragua two bronze medals was great and I felt my country followed my performance.
“With my coach we always say there is no greatest rival than yourself. I will try to lower my times and improve my skills. That is my first goal. I have much work to do.
“The Parapans are this kind of events that inspire me to move forward. That you can achieve more things and get further in life.”