Guatemala City, Oct 18 (EFE).- Guatemalan athletes will be at the Pan American Games in Santiago, which start on October 20, without the possibility of wearing their national colors or celebrating on the podium with the sound of their anthem. , because the International Olympic Committee (IOC) maintains a suspension on the sport of the Central American country.
The suspension is due to the fact that the statutes of the Guatemalan Olympic Committee (COG) were partially modified in August 2022 by the Constitutional Court, the country’s highest court, an action prohibited by the IOC, which gave way to the sanction.
In the midst of this panorama, approximately 135 athletes will represent Guatemala in more than 20 different disciplines, according to what a source from the Guatemalan Olympic Committee informed EFE, waiting for the official delegation to be sworn in in the coming days.
According to Guatemalan athletes, despite the suspension, the scholarships and preparatory competitions have been paid for by the sports authorities. However, there is discomfort for not carrying the colors and flag of their nation.
The Olympic regulations in these cases indicate that the Guatemalan delegation must compete under the neutral colors of Panam Sports.
Meanwhile, on a sporting level, the strongest card for Guatemala is the experienced sailor Juan Ignacio Maegli, 35 years old, who will seek a seventh Pan American medal and defend the gold obtained in Lima 2019.
Likewise, Guatemala has a strong delegation for the long-distance and walking events in athletics. Alejandro Barrondo, bronze medalist in the 20 kilometer walk in Lima 2019, will be one of the references.
A notable absence for the Central American country will be that of long-distance runner Luis Grijalva, positioned among the best five runners in the world in the 5,000 meters and who will not be in Santiago as he will prioritize his preparation for the Tokyo 2024 Olympic Games.
At the Lima 2019 Pan American Games, Guatemala finished in 16th place in the medal table of 41 participating countries, with 19 medals in total: two golds, nine silvers and eight bronzes.