Manuel Bravo (I), president of the Ecuadorian Athletics Federation, witnessed the gold medal in the mixed relay marathon that Ecuador achieved at the Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile. Photo COE
Daniel Pintado from Cuenca and Glenda Morejón from Imbabura will be honored as the best athletes of 2023 by the Ecuadorian Athletics Federation (FEA) during the ‘Athletic Gala’ that will take place on Saturday December 9 in Quito.
Diario El Mercurio spoke with the president of the entity, Manuel Bravo, regarding the upcoming Olympic year and the expectations they have both in the new form of athletic competition and in Paris 2024.
– What stands out most about 2023?
I would highlight, first, Daniel Pintado’s world medal (2nd in 35 km), at the men’s level. At the women’s level, Glenda Morejón’s sixth place in the world (in 20 km). Why not also think about that spectacular medal (gold in the Pan American Games) that leaves us positioned worldwide as the first expectation within the ranking of the new modality of the 42 km walk.
– What can be improved by 2024?
I would believe in the intrinsic relationships that must exist between sports organizations. The sidewalks are outlined as respect for institutions and autonomy.
– What are you thinking about for the Turkish (Olympic) qualifier in the mixed relay marathon?
With the mark (2h56m49s) that Pintado-Morejón achieved in the Pan American Games, we possibly enter among the 18-19 federations that have a mark. But of course, the selective event is the World Cup (Antalya Team Walking Athletics, April 21, 2024)… The idea is to have two places, Ecuador deserves it for its sports development. Obviously they are country quotas, it is the country that chooses who to take. First we have to qualify, then we will see how we build the team.
– Speaking of resources, has there been a meeting with the new minister?
None. So far we are dealing with surpluses from 2023. The FEA received about $940,000 for high performance late. We received the resources in May… We are hoping that the new Government, the new Ministry will deliver the resource in January, or in February at the latest. In May we will be on the verge of an Olympics.
– Is the POA ready?
The POA is the same, so much so that we are the first and I believe the only federation that has already published its Selection Criteria for next year. That is one of our strengths… We have had a 98% compliance rate with the schedule. The 2% is because they changed venues or because the International stopped doing the World Cup or something like that.
– How much is needed to cover the entire year?
Around 2,000,000. It is an important budget due to the number of athletes and the representation that athletics has. In fact, it was the sport that had the best result in the Pan American Games: two gold and two silver medals… The current situation of the State does not give us a good taste of what is to come in the future, but we will have to think and hit the doors of the State, which is what gives us the resources.
– How many athletes do you want to reach Paris 2024 with?
Since there is no 50 km (march), the possibility of six athletes going decimates us. By repeating the relay with 20 km (walking) athletes, the number is reduced. I would think that around 10 to 12 athletes…
– In progress there is always an expectation of a podium. What happens with the other tests?
In the other tests you have to wait for them to classify first. The bar is very high to qualify, it is by ranking, now no one gives anything away… Today we have Juleisy Angulo injured (torn ligaments)… We have speed in a generational change, there is Anahí (Suárez), Nicole Caicedo, the team the post, I hope we can qualify first, but we need to go to the events. The qualifying event is going to be in the Bahamas, in March, the seven finalist teams qualify… Today, chances of a (Olympic) medal are based on the march.