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Rodrigo Ventura joins national open water swimming team for the San Salvador 2023 Games

Fátima Portillo, Dayana Meléndez, Elías Segovia and Rodrigo Xavier Ventura, athletes of the INDES Effort and Glory Program, will be the representatives of the Salvadoran Swimming Federation (FSN) in the open water modality (10 km) for the Central American and Caribbean Games San Salvador 2023, which the country will organize from June 23 to July 8.

The Salvadoran swimmers competed today in the qualifiers for their respective modality, which was organized by the Salvadoran Swimming Federation in Parque Recreativo Apulo, Lago de Ilopango, where they were joined by athletes from Colombia, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, and Costa Rica.

Ventura was the biggest surprise of the day for El Salvador when he earned one of the eight spots for the regional event by clocking at 02:04:16.58 hours in the 10 km race. He was the best-placed Salvadoran in the men’s U-17 category, where his compatriots Fernando Roque (2:17:42.34), Diego Coreas (2:19:42.06) and Roberto Iraheta (2:25:24.56) also competed.

Xavier commented, prior to the event, that he had good expectations, although he clarified that it was his first official competition in this modality, since his forte has been his performance in the 50-meter pool.

“The goal was to qualify to be part of the team that represents El Salvador in the Central American and Caribbean Games in open water; I am trying this modality as well. I feel happy and proud with the result, because they were 10 kilometers”, said Ventura.

In the case of Fatima, Dayana and Elias ratified their place with a good participation during the qualifiers.

Luis Araujo, manager of the FSN, explained that as the host country of the San Salvador 2023 Games, El Salvador has four assigned spots; an internal process was established to select the national representatives, and the qualifier served to consolidate their place. Furthermore, it became a good opportunity for them to practice.

Araujo also emphasized that CCCAN will issue an official statement in the coming days on the qualification, which will be shared by the federation.

Fátima Portillo was second in the 18 years and older category with a time of 2:09:24.61 hours. First place went to Mexico’s Martha Rocío Sandoval, an athlete with World Championship experience, who dominated the race with a time of 2:06:09.61. Third place went to Colombia’s Mariana Libreros with a time of 2:09:27.31.

“Besides practicing, my expectation for this event was to get good results because we are locals. The podium has always been the ultimate goal, and to be within the best 10″, said Portillo, a 19-year-old athlete who has been training with Club Azura Florida Aquatics since last year.

Meanwhile, Dayana Meléndez achieved a time of 2:15:29.18 hours and won first place in the 17 and under category, in addition to the best fifth time in the general classification.

The Salvadoran shared the podium with Mexico’s Natalia Gutiérrez, who registered a time of 2:21 :43.64 and Honduras’ Dayli Benítez with 2:23:54.31.

In the case of Elías Segovia, who also trains at Club Azura Florida Aquatics, he finished the competition with a time of 2:04:11.58 hours and in seventh place. The race was dominated by Mexican Arturo Perez with a time of 1:58:17.42 hours, followed by Colombian Juan Jose Castro with 1:58:40.31, and Mexican Jose Daniel Castillo with 1:58:40.40.

“We are happy with the qualifier, it had been many years since El Salvador had not organized a competition of this type, 36 athletes from seven national teams that we managed to gather participated, and it is an organizational success. We are happy for the sporting achievements, our athletes confirmed their place to represent us in the San Salvador 2023 Games”, said Araujo.

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