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Karate defines national team for San Salvador 2023 and prepares in La Libertad

A delegation of twenty karatekas and technical staff of the Salvadoran Karate Federation, with the support of the Town Hall of Puerto de La Libertad, met at the Tropical Surf Hotel, to fine tune details and improve the atmosphere for the Central American and Caribbean Games San Salvador 2023.

Among the attendees are 10 of the 12 national team members who will represent El Salvador in this regional competition. The only absentees are Mario Lopez (individual kata) and Steven Olivares (-67 kg), who reside abroad.

The official list of karateka for San Salvador 2023 is completed by Pedro Recinos (-60 kg), Carlos Galán (-75 kg), Jorge Merino (-84 kg) and Stanley Tepas (+84 kg), in the men’s division. While the women’s team is composed of Helen Galán (individual kata), Gabriela Izaguirre (-50 kg), Abigail López (-61 kg), Estefany Izaguirre (-68 kg) and Andrea Ruiz (+68 kg).

Four youth prospects joined this group, who, although they will not participate in San Salvador 2023, are preparing for the Central American University Championship. They are Bryan Delgado, Wilman Bran, Enrique Ruiz, and Fatima Rivas.

The gathering on the Salvadoran coast will last 24 hours, with a full agenda for the athletes, according to Oswalds Mata, president of the Salvadoran Federation. “We have scheduled a series of activities focused on the integration and growth of the group, both technically, physically and psychologically,” explained Mata.

With the sound of the waves in the background and the warmth of the coast of La Libertad, the karate fighters will have “a change of environment”, physical training, psychological talks and a technical clinic given by judges Jorge Molina and William Aparicio.

The technical director of the Salvadoran Karate Federation, Williams Serrano, ensured that these types of activities are carried out with several objectives in mind. “First of all, to take them out of the traditional training environment and, secondly, to promote the integration of the group, so that they get to know each other and come together as a group,” Serrano said.

Regarding the objectives of Salvadoran karate in San Salvador 2023, the director assured that all the selected teams have real opportunities to win a medal, and that everything will depend on how they perform in the competition. However, he is cautious in saying “we could secure at least three medals, because we know that our rivals will be strong, and they will want to win the medals because we are local”, he said.

The director also confirmed the list of coaches who will lead the national team in the Central American and Caribbean Games San Salvador 2023. The roster is integrated by nationals Gamaliel Pérez, Jaime Ávalos and Georgina Cruz; as well as Spaniards Javier Ferreira and Frank Salazar, and Eddie Aceituno, from Guatemala.

For their part, the karatekas were thrilled with the initiative. Jorge Merino, member of the INDES Effort and Glory Program, who last weekend won the gold medal at the USA Open International 2023, in Las Vegas, United States, said that “it is nice to be able to do this kind of events because we know each other better, we correct technical aspects and become a closer group”.

Gabriela Izaguirre, a member of the INDES Effort and Glory Program, who also returned from Las Vegas with a gold medal, emphasized that “these events greatly help us as a group, to bring us closer together and allow us to continue to grow and improve before the competitions we have”.

The schedule of high-level international events does not stop for Izaguirre. The karateka, who is ranked fourth in the U-21 world ranking in her category, said she will participate in two editions of the Premier League, the first one in Rabat, Morocco, from May 9 to 15, and the second one in Fukuoka, Japan, from June 9 to 11.

Now, Salvadoran karate is getting ready for the National Championship, to be held in La Libertad, on April 29 and 30, with the participation of more than 500 karateka, which will award points for the annual ranking.

Serrano also confirmed a training camp for the national team for San Salvador 2023, which will be held in the Dominican Republic from June 1 to 15, and for which the team members living abroad will have already joined.

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