Glenda Morejón, from competing with hollow shoes in 2017 to gold medalist at the 2022 World Walking Championships | Other Sports | sports

The path traveled by the Ecuadorian walker Glenda Morejón (Ibarra, May 30, 2000) towards world consecration in Oman 2022, this Saturday in the 35 kilometer event, has been long, difficult, sacrificed, with many obstacles, and many shortcomings.

However, due to a lack of government support, the national marching star quickly responded with an international title earned in Nairobi, Kenya in 2017.

Morejón’s feat had universal resonance when news broke that she had been sent to the Under-18 World Championship to compete in hollow shoes. Today, in the hour of the greatest glory of the Ecuadorian athlete, some of those responsible for this disgrace congratulate her, effusively, through social networks. And the current public sports authorities of the country do not escape the opportunity to jump on the train of victory.

On July 15, 2017, the tricolor, then 17 years old, recorded 22 minutes, 32 seconds, 30 hundredths in the 5 kilometer walk. That day, Morejón left behind Turkish competitor Meryem Bekmez (22m32s79c) and Russian Elvira Khasanova (22m35s72c).

After the success of the imbureña in Nairobi, several Third World events that took place behind the scenes were made public. Coach Giovan Delgado commented, when Morejón returned to Ecuador, that for the U-18 World Cup “Glenda was in excellent condition” and that “thinking the title was not impossible”. For this reason, in Ibarra, there was an arduous task before the trip to Kenya to raise funds.

Sale of cats for traveling

“The family and Glenda herself have dedicated themselves to selling chochos, sausages and other things at events. In addition, the boys from the Tarquino Altamirano athletics school made a collection. The Imbabura Sports Federation also provided support. About $1,200 was raised, revealed Delgado, who was born in Guayaquil, who did not go to Kenya and technically counseled his student over the phone.

Based on a conversation with the athlete’s parents, Luis Morejón and María del Carmen Quiñones, on July 21, 2017, EL UNIVERSO reported that “the biggest obstacle (for the U-18 world champion walker) is economic. The $60 scholarship she receives from the Imbabura Sports Federation is not much, considering that the household is supported by what Ms. María del Carmen can earn at a fruit stand that she has at Mercado 24 de Mayo, in Otavalo. Don Luis is a teacher, but he does not work. Years ago he looked for a job and they didn’t hire him anywhere. He then preferred to take care of his children and take care of the house”.

perforated shoes

EL UNIVERSO added in this publication five years ago that “the needs were reflected in the fact that Glenda Morejón did not have a pair of shoes to train in the days before the World Cup. The ones she had, through practice, ended up with holes. So she (she) chose to train with the same ones she would compete in Nairobi, until she exhausted them and dragged them into training. But these barriers only further encouraged the athlete” from Imbabura.

That the tricolor was crowned world queen of the under 18s, in the 5 kilometer walk, with half-destroyed shoes had repercussions at all levels. “I regret what happened with Glenda Morejón. What a pity that it is only when a gold medal is brought that the hero is discovered. This cannot happen again, ”said Lenín Moreno, president of the Republic, July 22, 2017. The official interest came too late.

“The shoes normally last two months, but last training the pair only lasted three weeks and with the patch I put on, one month,” the walker’s dad said.

“Holes in part of the heel”

In a note on Exchange, In 2017, the father of the world Under-18 monarch asked for more support for Glenda Morejón. “She told (Don Luis) that before her trip (to Nairobi, she) had to wear her competition shoes in training; It’s because his training shoes had holes in the heel. He fixes them himself, but says that this time it was impossible to fix them. Together with her daughter’s coach, Giovan Delgado, they agreed that she wears the main shoe, so as not to interrupt her preparation, ”she reviewed herself.

Jefferson Pérez, a gold (1996) and silver (2008) medalist at the Olympics, joined the complaints five years ago. “It’s frustrating. I read headlines that history repeats itself, from Jefferson Pérez to Glenda Morejón, because we’re both wearing broken and mangled shoes. A needed transformation hasn’t been generated in the sport national,” said the former Azuaya walker.

On July 27, 2017, Morejón, in statements reproduced by the newspaper The North, from Ibarra, said the following about the aid awarded to him by the Ministry of Sports: “I was surprised that they placed me in category D (of the High Performance Plan ). I thought it was going to be in another series above. I will receive 300 dollars. It’s not even a base salary. It is not fair”.

“How much more do you want to give him?” »

Faced with widespread reproaches for the small amount, in a radio interview, Roberto Ibáñez, Undersecretary of Sports at the time, reacted to the same date that Morejón protested. “They say $300 is nothing! My God, it’s a 17 year old girl! How much more do they want to give him? Less than 24 hours later, via Twitter, Ibáñez clarified: “The Ministry of Sports has allocated $15,000 for the rest of the year (2017) in favor of Glenda. The 300 (dollars) I referred to are for his personal expenses.

On July 10, 2019, Andrea Sotomayor, who is no longer a minister but demoted to the post of sports secretary under the Moreno regime, explained that the problem of Morejón’s holey shoes served as an “alert”. “In Glenda’s case, when she won her (gold) medal, she made us realize that her (juvenile) category should be high performance. I always thank her for making it clear to us. But she came to Nairobi to win a medal with state money, there was help”.

‘we have just arrived’

And in EL UNIVERSO, Sotomayor pointed out, also in 2019, that it was not the absolute responsibility of the state portfolio. “Let’s remember that we arrived (at the post) in May 2017 and Glenda competed in June 2017 (it was actually July)”.

Among Morejón’s other feats, in addition to the one achieved in Nairobi in 2017, and the one he achieved during the Senior World Cup this Saturday in Oman, first place in the La Coruña International Walking Grand Prix, in Spain, in 2019 stands apart. (test considered world heritage of this sport by the International Athletics Federation), which earned him the direct ticket for the 2020 Olympic Games.

He also won the gold medal in the 10 kilometers at the U-20 Pan American Games in Lima 2019; in 2021, she retained the titles of the South American sub-23, held in Guayaquil; and won the Pan American Youth Games in Cali, Colombia; and last February, Morejón finished first in the 20 kilometer march of the Sudamericano de Lima.

The Ibarra native’s success at Oman 2022, with a time of 2 hours, 48 ​​minutes and 33 seconds, led to Ecuador’s first title in a team event of these championships, with teammates Paola Pérez (fifth, with 2h53m58s), Magaly Bonilla (sixth, with 2h54m39s), Karla Jaramillo (seventh, with 2h56m14s) and Johanna Ordóñez (ninth, with 2h59m57s). (D)

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