The karate fighter, who has not left the podium since January 2015, started with tantrums because her brother was targeted at krate and her at ballet.
“Ooooondaaaaaaaa viiiiiiitaaaaaaal!” Y Sandra Sanchez He made the gesture of Son Goku with his brother Paco, legs bent, wrists together, fingers tense, all from back to front as in a drive tennis. Cartoon series Dragon Ball It was his favorite as a girl at home and he marked her so much that he always travels with seven balls in his suitcase and he marked her so much that she is the best in history in something similar.
Snchez competes in kata, the form of krate that evaluates the movements of this martial art, without rivals, with a jury, and when we say compete we mean that he wins. Since January 2015 – six and a half years! – he has never gotten off the podium, in any competition, big or small, and that has earned him number one in the world rankings in all this time, an unusual fact. This Thursday (from 12.30 pm) the culmination of his career should arrive. Never in the history of the Olympic Games was there a clearer medal for Spain.
- Do you know that all the forecasts count on you?
- Well, I know. I have trained to go home with a medal, I know that the results have accompanied me, I know that I can be there, but I cannot take anything for granted. In my sport a small imbalance leaves you out, even if you are number one in the world. So I must focus on getting it right and getting the medal.
Sanchez does not stop laughing, the joy that has always pushed him; without it, impossible. Her story is a story of persistence, over and over, over and over, since she was very young. When she was four years old, they signed up her brother Paco for karate and her for ballet, and that’s when her crusade began. “I went to the gym every day and asked to stay with my brother. He would catch me some tantrums … In the end my parents, to make me stop, they pointed me out thinking that I would get tired in a few weeks. And look …”, recalls Snchez that as soon as he was a promising young man, he was no longer one. As a teenager he received a scholarship to live at the High Performance Center (CAR) in Madrid, but after a month he decided to park it to take care of his mother, who was ill with cancer, and that put his career in danger. In the offices they did not understand it, in the offices they considered that it was no longer valid.
And when she returned, she was ignored for years and she had to find another way. “After an international competition in Dubai, I was offered to stay and work in a club there [el Shabab Al-Ahli Dubai FC], competing all over the world, teaching the children, with very good conditions and it changed my life, “describes someone who practically since that moment, when he was 33 years old, has not known defeat again. karate, he won two Europeans and his first medal in a World Cup and returned to Spain with a name. By then, another moment of insistence, he had already achieved that Jess del Moral He was his coach, his aspiration from a young age, and he had already honed a technique that in his sport seems insurmountable.
- Even if she competes in Japan and her biggest rival is a Japanese, Kiyou Shimizu?
- What the judges decide I cannot control. I can only control my physical state, my concentration, my acting. I must focus on that and leave out external factors.
For her, actually, it is now or never. On the one hand, krate appears at the Olympic Games as deference of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) towards the organizing country, Japan, but will disappear for the next Games in Paris 2024 and it is unlikely that it will return. On the other hand, Sánchez will be 40 years old next September and his retirement seems close. A few months ago the Spanish Federation appointed her as the coach for the sub21, junior and cadet teams and her future seems directed there, to the benches.
“I do not know when to leave it, but it is clear that this is not infinite. I would like it to be a beautiful moment, also that it could be with the public, with people. Then I am sure that I will have a lot of krate to offer,” he explains before his great moment this Thursday at the mythical Nippon Budokan in Tokyo. His medal seems assured, the clearest in the history of Spain, but if at any moment in doubt he already knows where he can get strength: “Ooooondaaaaaaaa viiiiiiitaaaaaaal!”.