Powerlifter Herbert Aceituno has been chosen as Americas' Best Male Athlete of Lima 2019 after winning El Salvador’s second Parapan American title after 20 years.
In a highly contested poll with 58,066 votes on the Americas Paralympic Committee’s website, the Salvadoran overcame badminton champion Raul Anguiano by just over 300 votes.
While Aceituno received 45.08 per cent of the votes, Anguiano had the massive support of 44.44 per cent of the poll’s participants.
In the men’s up to 65kg, Aceituno lifted 180kg and 182kg after failing his first attempt to set a new Parapan record and take gold.
“This is a gift from God. To help my country win a medal again is very important. We are growing bit by bit, but we have made history,” he said.
On the other hand, Anguiano claimed Guatemala’s first Parapan American title ever, in the men’s singles SL4. “To win the gold medal was the goal I wanted to achieve, but I had to go step by step first.”
Peruvian track athlete Rosbil Guillen (5.28 per cent), who gave the hosts the first of their five golds at Lima 2019, ended third.
Gustavo Fernández (ARG), Carson Sanocki (USA), Alberto Abarza (CHI), Akeem Stewart (TRI), Javier Serna-Marlon Pérez (COL), Henry Borges (URU), Eduardo Ávila Sánchez (MEX) were also nominated.
In lieu of the Americas Athlete of the Month award for August, the honour is being separated into three different categories – Best Female Athlete, Best Male Athlete and Best Team – based on results at Lima 2019.
Sara Vargas was chosen Best Female Athlete.
The nominations were compiled from submissions by National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) from across the continent.
The 2019 Americas Athlete of the Month winners are:
• January – Johanna Sossa and Johana Martinez, Colombia, wheelchair tennis
• February – Rebeca Valenzuela Alvarez, Mexico, athletics
• March – Matias Pino, Chile, table tennis
• April – Daniel Martins, Brazil, athletics
• May – Sherman Guity, Costa Rica, athletics
• June – Luis Flores, Chile, table tennis
• July – Juan Carlos Garrido, Chile, powerlifting
• August (Lima 2019 Best Female Athlete) – Sara Vargas, Colombia, swimming
• August (Lima 2019 Best Male Athlete) – Herbert Aceituno, El Salvador, powerlifting