Every step is one of glory to Beru. The Olympics hosted the best and yesterday Gladys Tejeda and Jovana de la Cruz proved why they were called the Olympics and that they wore not only the two-tone uniform, but the whole of Latin America as well. Under extremely harsh conditions, the Peruvian women ranked first in our region in the women’s marathon Tokyo 2020 In a test of up to 15 dropouts due to the prevailing heat in Sapporo.
Seeing Gladys coming out with the help of a wheelchair speaks volumes about what this test means. The race started with 27 degrees and finished with 29 degrees, demanding our reps max.
“Everything possible has been done to be OK and to be the best South American, that’s OK,” Gladys tells us succinctly in our brief call, after addressing the topic of the competition.
Once again, Peru represented the continent, as did Gladys herself at Rio 2016 (15th) and as Ines Melchor did at London 2012 (25th). This time, conditions haven’t helped improve attitudes and standing between the peaks, but the Peruvians continue to show that their strides are the best on the continent, with the exception of the continent’s Spanish-speaking athletes.
“The competition is very tough, the weather. We tried to win it, but the weather was decisive,” Giovanna told us at the end of the race. She shares her passion as an athlete with a mother’s job and with such pride she will return to the country.
Sapporo, a city on the island of Hokkaido, is famous for its massive Odori Park, and there Peruvians crossed the Olympic goal as Latin America’s best, once again hoisting their national colours.
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