Eduardo Avila Sanchez and Lenia Ruvalcaba rise to the challenge and achieve Parapan American victory
26 Aug 2019
Eduardo Avila Sanchez (in white) stormed to gold in the men's up to 81kg at Lima 2019
Mexico enjoyed a double celebration on the last day of judo competition at the Lima 2019 Parapan American Games as Eduardo Avila Sanchez and Lenia Ruvalcaba topped the podium.
Two-time Paralympic champion Avila Sanchez successively defeated USA’s Nathan Ostergaard, Peruvian Antero Villalobos, Brazil’s Harlley Pereira and Cuban Gerardo Rodríguez to take the men’s up to 81kg gold.
"The medal was always in my head, I always thought about it. I am very happy to have achieved it,” said Avila Sanchez.
"These are my last Parapan American Games. I am leaving happy. It has been a long road with a lot of work. Tokyo 2020 will for sure be my last competition. I have competed in this sport for many years and my
body is not in the same condition as it was 10 years ago."
The hosts also celebrated through Villalobos, who secured bronze.
On the other hand, Ruvalcaba showed why she is the reigning Paralympic champion with a memorable performance. The Mexican achieved four victories, including one against her arch-rival, Brazilian Alana Martins, to win the women’s up to 70kg.
It marks a highly successful Parapans for the Mexican judo team, who returns from Lima with three golds following Brayan Mendoza’s gold in the men’s up to 80kg title on Saturday.
Argentina-Brazil ends in a draw
The South American football 5-a-side derby finished 0-0. It was defending champions Brazil’s second scoreless draw, while Argentina had already recorded a 2-0 triumph over Costa Rica.
Argentinian star ‘Coki’ Padilla said: “This is a good result, but we wanted to win and had the chance to do it. The draw is still important as we have four points out of six against a very strong opponent.”