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“Athletics is not just a hobby”, Anita Poma, the youth from Huanca who broke a record of more than 20 years

Athletics is the base sport and in Peru there is a lot to hold on to. The national team returned from the South American Sub 20 tournament in Bogotá with 11 medals, seven of them gold to achieve their best performance in an event of this magnitude.

The national delegation vastly improved what it had achieved two years ago in the South American of the category that was organized in Lima, with only one gold, two silver and four bronze medals. This time, the seven golds were achieved in middle-distance events, to which are added two silver and two bronze medals.

Anita Poma and Verónica Huacasi were the most outstanding, with two gold medals each. While Anita won the 800 and 1,500 meters, Verónica prevailed in the 3,000 and 5,000 meters.

About to turn 19, Anita holds the national record for the 800 meters with a time of 2:05:57 minutes, which she achieved last year at the Iberoamericano in Spain, beating a mark that has reigned since 1999, in the hands of Faustina Huamaní. .

  • 2022 (May) – Anita Poma: 2:0672
  • 1999 – Faustina Huamani: 2:07:04
The medals in the South American
Seven gold, two silver and two bronze


Anita Poma, gold in the 1500 meters.

Anita Poma, gold in the 800 meters.

Verónica Huacasi, gold in 3000 meters.

Verónica Huacasi, gold in the 5000 meters.

Luis Chávez, gold in the 5000 meters.

Russell Cjuro, gold in the 3000 meter hurdles.

Yeferson Cuno, gold in the 3000 meter hurdles.


Luis Chávez, silver in the 3000 meters.

Elvis Companocca, silver in the 5000 meters.


Luzmarina Choquepuma, bronze in the 3000 meters.

Nider Chest, bronze in the 3000 meters.

Seven gold, two silver and two bronze

What sensations of winning the two tests in the South American Sub 20?

I’m happy, calmer now. Very motivated because this competition has been the beginning of the season, so there are good expectations for what is to come.

And how do you analyze brands?

Good for the medals, but not so happy with the marks, although we were realistic that because of the height they could not be lowered. In the 1,500 she had no competition and led the entire race. I tried to demand myself, but at height it gets complicated. In the 800 I got very close to my mark and running like this at altitude gives me a good feeling for when I run at sea level.

How did you decide to be an athlete?

No one in my family has been involved in sports. My mother a little in the school stage of her, but she was not dedicated. When I was 11 years old, my older brother signed me up for a street race and that’s where I started running. I entered the IPD program when I was almost 13 years old. That’s where I started with Professor María Caballón. Two months later I met my coach Benjamín Tello and he signed me up for my first Under 18 competition when I was 13 in 2017. I started running 100 and 200 meters.

You start as a sprinter, then

The teacher played speed games and on one of those days Professor Benjamin came to see us. There I stood out and the teacher took me to do speed, but he told me that it was part of the job to get to run middle distance. With my speed and being from Huancayo it was going to help me develop the resistance to run the 800 and 1,500. At 14 it was my first 800 slam.

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And right away do you feel that you can continue the career of an athlete?

At the age of 14, when I started, I won my first medal in a South American School Games. It made me see that it was a skill that I could exploit. I took more importance and it was no longer just a hobby. That’s when I realized that sport was already part of my life routine.

And now we know that you study and compete at the same time

It was my goal. Some universities had contacted me. In addition to sports, one of my goals has always been to finish a health course. They gave me a scholarship and I’m taking it along with studying dentistry. The first years it was quiet because I started in a pandemic and the classes were virtual. Now I go, but since school I always took it on par, it’s a habit that I have to organize myself.

What sensations of achieving the record for the elderly in the 800 meters?

It was very motivating for me, showing myself that I am capable. That has driven me a lot. The fact of having the record adds to the responsibility of maintaining it. We have a plan for it and to improve it, which is what is sought.

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And now it’s your turn to move on to the senior category

I was in my first Ibero-American and I went to the Odesur Games. There I have seen the level of competition of older people. It will be a sudden change for sure, but I have already met him and we are training with that objective, to be up to the task.

Source: Elcomercio

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