SAN SALVADOR – Colombian Natalia Linares used the energy in the Jorge “Mágico” González Stadium to become the new Central American and Caribbean long jump champion.
“When I felt the energy of the applause, I told myself that it was the right time to do something big,” said Linares.
She set a new record with a jump of 6.86 meters, but she also qualified for this year’s World Athletics Championships and the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
With the smile that characterizes her, Natalia described the experiences of participating in her first Central American and Caribbean Games.
“From the moment I stepped onto the track, I felt the affection of the Salvadoran people and their motivation made me feel at home,” said the 20-year-old athlete.
Linares became the first athlete to qualify for Paris 2024 since San Salvador 2023 and the 21st from her country.
The new long jump queen of the region revealed that as an omen she imagined she would have a magnificent performance.
“I imagined myself on the podium. I was constantly practicing my country’s national anthem in front of the mirror,” she said.
He pointed out that at the moment of achieving the mark of 6.86 meters, at the first opportunity, he was overcome with emotions: “It was a unique moment to live it, I didn’t know whether to cry or laugh”.
She said that her last jump during the competition was in gratitude to the Salvadoran fans for motivating her and filling her with energy for a good performance.
She thanked Centro Caribe Sports for the event and for allowing her to show who Natalia Linares is.
“I felt the responsibility to do something impressive for people to remember me and I did it,” she said.