He completes his eight Olympic participations and closes 30 years of professional walking at the highest level
In 35th place, after 4 hours and 20 lengths of effort, Jesús Ángel García Bragado this morning put an end to 30 years of experience in the elite, and eight consecutive participations in the Olympic Games. A journey that began in Barcelona’92 and which has also ended in Tokyo’2020, something that for him has been hard because his last presence in the Games has become, as he recognized, a matter of state that has not benefited him for nothing in its preparation.
Despite everything, despite his many fears of not arriving, of injuring himself, Chuso has competed in Sapporo and although far from the marks he would have liked, he has closed his professional cycle as he knows, with a lesson in sacrifice to reach goal. “You have to understand why it is time to withdraw. I would have liked to do it much better, but you have to accept the age and now a new life begins, “said the walker after his arrival on a complicated hot and humid Japanese morning in Sapporo.
García Bragado has had words of gratitude for the Spanish Federation for their trust. “I have to thank you for doing everything possible so that I could be here even though I am on my way to 52 years old and I have not been able to do any planning as a young kid, because I had to reserve myself for here”, In fact , has acknowledged that he arrived in Japan knowing that he “had deficiencies” in his preparation. And that’s why you have to accept it. I think you have to understand why it is time to withdraw.
By starting this Friday, at 5.30 am, in the 50 km race in Sapporo, García Bragado has broken, with eight appearances, the world record for Olympic participations in athletics (men or women). Until this Friday, the Madrilenian was tied at seven with the Jamaican sprinter – then Slovenian – Merlene Ottey. And only four athletes, counting all the disciplines of the Olympic program surpass him, three with nine participations and one, the rider Ian Millar, with ten.
At 51, García Bragado, who was world champion in Stuttgart’93, is leaving with the 50-kilometer test itself, which has been removed from the official athletics program after the one that was held today in Sapporo. Among his best results, that fourth place in Athens and that fifth in Beijing, two appointments in which Bragado came to dream of medals. Now, it’s time to start a new life, after three decades devoted body and soul to the march.