From July 26 to August 11, the eyes of the world will be on our capital city, as we will host the most important multi-sport event on the American continent, the Lima 2019 18th Pan American Games.
During this period, we will be visited by outstanding athletes from 41 countries, who will participate in 61 disciplines, 22 of them being qualifiers for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Listed below are some of the most successful athletes who will come to our country to show their full potential.
Representing the United States, the Athens 2004 100-meter Olympic champion, Justin Gatlin. This outstanding athlete will participate in the 4x100 meter relay event, looking to beat his Brazilian counterparts, the current world champions.
Gatlin, who won gold at the London 2017 World Championships, is the fifth fastest man in history, behind legends like Jamaicans Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake and Asafa Powell, and his compatriot Tyson Gay.
Competing alongside the American runner are Cravon Gillespie, Michael Rodgers and Cameron Burrell. The Videna sports complex will undoubtedly be the scene of a great sporting spectacle.
This Mexican athlete is the top racquetball player in the world. Paola Longoria comes to our country with a view to winning her ninth gold in the Pan American Games, in a competition that will be held at the Callao Regional Sports Village.
With more than 10 years of experience in the sport, Longoria is one of the most influential and admired athletes in Mexico. She and her compatriot Samantha Salas will take part in the doubles, in which they will try to defeat their main rivals, the Bolivian Valeria Centellas and Yazmine Sabja, the current world champions.
Caterine Ibargüen and Yulimar Rojas
Both athletes are the best in the triple jump event. Considered the world's best athlete in 2018, the Colombian Caterine Ibargüen won gold at the 2011 Guadalajara and 2015 Toronto Pan American Games.
Venezuelan Yulimar Rojas won gold at the 2017 World Athletics Championships in London. Both of them will offer an unforgettable duel at the Videna.
Elaine Thompson and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce
The Jamaican Olympic Committee confirmed the participation of its stars Elaine Thompson and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the two fastest female athletes in the world.
Fraser-Pryce was Olympic champion in Beijing in 2008, in the 100 meters, a feat she repeated four years later in London. She did in addition win two silver medals in the English capital, in the 200 meters and in the 4x100 meter relay.
Thompson for her part is the latest Olympic speed queen. In Rio 2016, this outstanding athlete won the gold medal in both the 100 and 200 meters. Both will star on the athletics track at the Videna.
Argentina hockey team
Champions in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and twice Pan American champions, the men's hockey team, coached by Germán Orozco, is here to repeat the feat and get their ticket to Tokyo 2020.
Stars such as Lucas Vila, Matías Paredes and striker Agustín Mazzilli will be complemented by youngsters Lucas Toscani and Thomas Habif, set to shine in the matches that will take place at the Andrés Avelino Cáceres Sports Complex in Villa María del Triunfo.
Did you know?
- The official song of the 2019 Lima Pan American Games, "Jugamos todos" (Let's all play), was written by Pedro Suárez-Vértiz, and sung by Guillermo Bussinger, vocalist of Pedro Suárez-Vértiz La Banda, and María José Suárez-Vértiz, daughter of the Peruvian rock musician.
- The mascot of the Lima 2019 Pan American Games is Milco, inspired by the 'cuchimilcos' from the Chancay culture, and created by the Peruvian designer Andrea Medrano.
- The events will take place in 14 districts of Lima and in the constitutional province of Callao. The main venues are the Videna, the Villa María del Triunfo Sports Complex, Callao Regional Sports Village, Villa El Salvador Sports Complex and Punta Rocas, among others.
Sources: Lima 2019/ EFE