Colombian Mauricio Valencia Secures Class F32-33-34 Gold in Shot Put

"Superman" secured the top prize at the Santiago 2023 Parapan American Games with a throw of 11.17 meters.

Friday, November 24th, 2023.- Mauricio Valencia, the "Superman" of shot put in Colombia, celebrated the gold medal at Santiago 2023 in the F32-33-34 class (cerebral palsy, competing in a wheelchair), held at the Centro Atlético Mario Recordón of the Estadio Nacional.

The Para athlete achieved a distance of 11.17 meters, surpassing his compatriot Diego Meneses, who won the silver medal with a mark of 10.71, while the bronze went to the Argentinian Sebastián Poltrone, with 9.17.

Valencia has a disability in his legs that has not prevented him from becoming a global sports figure. Cerebral palsy due to hypoxia at birth (insufficient oxygen to the legs) prevented him from walking normally since childhood. However, this difficulty did not thwart his dreams of success.

The Para athlete, born in Villavicencio, a city in central Colombia, southeast of Bogotá, participates in javelin and shot put. In 2012, with only one year of preparation, he won gold at the Parapan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.

He has successfully participated in the Paralympic Games in London (achieving 5th place), while in 2014, he won gold and a silver medal at the South American Games in Santiago. He also achieved success at the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, in javelin throwing, in the F34 category with a distance of 36.65 meters.

The sporting achievements continue in Valencia's career. At the Athletics World Championships in London, he won bronze and gold in shot put and javelin, respectively. And at the Parapan American Games at Lima 2019, he once again secured the gold in javelin throwing with a distance of 34.13.

Written by Ernesto Bustos B.–José Tomás Lambert; translated by Rocio Rojas / Santiago 2023 vía Photosport
Photo by Jonnahtan Oyarzún / Santiago 2023 vía Photosport