When El Salvador was about to inaugurate the XIX Central American and Caribbean Games in 2002, Alisson Montano was just a newborn, but after more than 20 years, the athlete will experience the oldest regional competition of the continent as one of the representatives of Salvadoran taekwondo with great international projection.
Alisson, an athlete of the INDES Effort and Glory Program and originally from Chalchuapa, Santa Ana, has also managed to establish herself as one of the emerging figures of national taekwondo following a 12-year career in the sport.
Montano was born on November 19, 2002, and the opening ceremony of the Central American and Caribbean Games was held on November 23, 2002.
“My goal for these games is to win a medal to put the name of the country high. The goal is clear: winning the first place. We are preparing in the best way, working hard in every training session,” said the 20-year-old athlete.
For the Central American and Caribbean Games San Salvador 2023, taekwondo will be hosted in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and the competitions will take place from July 4 to 7 at the Pabellón del Centro Olímpico “Juan Pablo Duarte”.
“These are my first games and they are going to be nice; taekwondo is taking place in Santo Domingo, and we are going to give our best. I know that all the athletes are working hard to get a medal,” she emphasized.
Alisson competes at -57 kilograms, which is the same category as one of the former figures of Salvadoran taekwondo: Laura Vanessa Vasquez, who in her heyday was number 1 in America and ranked sixth in the world ranking in March 2011.
“At the moment I am among the top 10 in America (91st in the world) and Vanessa Vasquez was an inspiration for me and I compete in the same category, I saw her fight in a national, and we all went to the ring to see that fight. It was great!”, she commented.
About the INDES Effort and Glory Program, she said that it is key to keep training. “The Effort and Glory Program is a huge support, you can feel the encouragement and more opportunities are opening up, I’m glad to be part of them,” said the taekwondo athlete who has been part of the program since 2022.
Montano began her athletic training at the age of eight at the Academia Alemar, directed by Alexander Marcelo Martínez, in her native Chalchuapa.
“Taekwondo is a sport that has captivated me since I started it; after so much time, I have seen the results, but I am taking my first steps at the international level. My mother brought me to the Academia Alemar because I was very hyperactive and taekwondo is a sport with a lot of discipline, and that helps to have self-control and an indomitable spirit, in addition to many other values that work in daily life”, explained the athlete.
Alisson will approach her first Central American and Caribbean Games with maximum motivation after securing her place for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games on March 24 with a 2-0 victory over Gianna Vega, from Puerto Rico, in the playoff round of the qualifying tournament held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
“This achievement makes me feel proud. I am from Chalchuapa, and I am proud that the first qualification of Salvadoran taekwondo for the Pan American Games in Santiago was made by a Chalchuapaneca. I was delighted that the people here were overjoyed. In Santiago, I hope to give my best, do a good fight, and get a medal”, she mentioned.
“It is a pleasure to have the first taekwondo athlete of El Salvador directly qualified to the Pan American Games Santiago 2023, and it is a pleasure to have been part of this wonderful achievement not only for the academy but also for the city. About Alisson, I can point out her tenacity, her discipline, and she is a committed athlete”, said Alexander Marcelo Martinez, director of Academia Alemar, which was founded in August 2011 in the San Sebastián neighborhood of Chalchuapa.
The routine of the female representative of the -57 kilograms begins at 6:00 a.m. with weight training to strengthen the muscles of the legs in the Jhony Fitness gym located in the urban area of the city of Chalchuapa.