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Panamanian Athletes with Potential to Shine in Toronto 2015

Panamanian Athletes with Potential to Shine in Toronto 2015

Posted by Miguel Ernesto on May 09, 2015

Panama has participated in all editions of the Pan-American Games and the country has always won at least one medal, totaling 46, 3 of which are golden. Four years ago, in Guadalajara, the performance was very poor, as the delegation barely reached one bronze medal. Is Panama going to improve its results Toronto 2015? The answer to that question will mostly depend on what these four athletes and the men’s soccer team can do.

Alonso Edward (Athletics)

This 25-year-old athlete, a specialist in 100 and 200 meter dash, is the main hope of Panama.

His first outstanding competition was the junior World Championship in 2008, where made 10.91 seconds in 100 meter dash and he was eliminated in the preliminary stage. Edward later traveled to the United States in order to train at the Barton County Community College, in Great Bend, Kansas. The improvement could be perceived in a short period of time. In 2009 he broke two Panamanian records by running 100 meters in 10.09 seconds and 200 meter dash in 20.34 seconds.

Edward competed in Berlin World Championship and he made history, as he got the silver medal in 200 meter dash, with a record for South America of 19.81 seconds. The athlete was 20 years old, so he became the youngest world medalist of all times in that distance. He was only surpassed by the great Usain Bolt, who set the universal record, with 19.19 seconds.

Afterwards, some injures slowed down his career, but in Toronto Edward is definitively going to be one of the favorites to prevail in 100 and 200 meter dash.

Carolena Carstens (Taekwondo)

This Panamanian athlete, who is 19 years old, lives in the United States, but she’s going to represent Panama because of her dual nationality.

Carstens stood out in the world of this martial art back in 2011, when she got the silver medal in the junior Pan-American Championship, 52 kilograms. Due to her excellent results, she was invited to participate in London Olympic Games, so this athlete became the first Panamanian tae kwon do expert to compete in this event. In 2014, Carstens won the Pan-American Championship, held in Aguascaliente, Mexico. In Toronto, she is going to be one of the 12 athletes fighting for a medal in the 57 kilogram category.

Eileen Marie Grench (Fencing)

This 29-year-old fencer gave Panama its only title in the Central American and Caribbean Games, carried out in Veracruz. In Guadalajara Pan-American Games she won the bronze medal, with the saber. That was the only medal collected by her country. In Toronto, United States-based Grench will certainly do her best to be on the podium.

Yvette Lewis (Athletics)

This 20-year-old runner represented the United States in several events, but in 2012 she decided to change Federation and she presently competes for Panama, in 100 meters hurdles and triple jump.

Lewis participated in the Pan-American Games held in Rio, 2007, and Guadalajara, 2011, standing for the US in both events. She won two medals at the Mexican city: 100 meters hurdles, 12.82 seconds, and she was a member of the US team that ranked second in short relay, right behind Brazil.

The athlete represented the Panamanian flag at the world event that took place in Sopot, Poland, 2013, where she occupied the ninth position. In 2014, Lewis prevailed in 100 meters hurdles in the South American Games, in Chile; in the Iberian-American Championship, in Brazil, and the Pan-American Sports Festival, Mexico City.

Lewis is another strong candidate to be on the podium in Toronto Pan-American Games.

Soccer Team

The Panamanian soccer team qualified to Toronto Pan-American Games by winning the tournament of the Central American Soccer League, -20 category, held in El Salvador. At the Canadian city, the Panamanian team coached by Leonardo Pipino is going to introduce some players from the -23 category, who are going to face strong rivals as they were included in Group A, along with Brazil, Canada and Peru; while B is made up of Uruguay, Paraguay, Mexico and Trinidad & Tobago. The first two positions of each group will go to the semifinal stage.

According to the Chairman of Panama’s Olympic Committee, Camilo Amado, their hope is mainly focused on athletics. The director admits that they are going to have a hard-to-accomplish mission in Canada, especially after the poor results obtained in Veracruz, where the country finished in the 14th position, with barely 7 medals (1-2-4). “Reaching the gold is not easy, but there is always a chance”, he said.

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