The Chilean was the great surprise of the fencing team at the last Pan American Games in Lima 2019. After reaching the semifinals, he won the silver medal in his first Pan-American participation.

Currently, Gustavo Alarcón is one of the best fencers of the Chilean team. In Lima 2019, participating for the first time in the Pan American Games was one of the great surprises of Team Chile: he reached the final of the championship and obtained the silver medal.

The San Joaquin-born fencer trains Monday through Friday with the goal of continuing to improve and thus possibly secure a spot to compete in the Tokyo Olympics. In addition, he is preparing for Santiago 2023, an instance where he believes that the Chilean team can obtain multiple medals.

Here Gustavo Alarcón tells us more about fencing, his link with sport and his expectations for Santiago 2023.

How did you get into this sport?

I came to fencing for my family, specifically my aunt Ruby Alarcón, an athlete in her time and later a coach. She initiated me on fencing when I was very young. At first, I was not very aware of what I was doing, because I practiced other sports such as soccer and basketball, but around 12-13 years I realized that I liked fencing a lot and decided that I was going to dedicate myself to it on a professional way.

How do you train to be a fencer?

There are technical and physical sessions. The first is linked to the ability to make decisions at a split moment and under pressure. There are times when you have to be quick, but you also have to think. The physique of fencing is linked to movements, guard position, attacks and flexibility. Personally and at the level that I am, my training sessions are from Monday to Friday with a physical session and a technique session, plus the fights with the coach.

How is the sport developed?

Fencing in Chile is still small, there are not many people who practice this sport. There are several clubs where one can practice it, and at a recreational level there are almost always options, however, at a competitive-professional level the circle is still reduced, but we are growing. 

What is the most difficult part of fencing?

Discipline and perseverance. Fencing is a martial art and these things are key to coping with the sport, you have to practice and develop them. In addition, knowing how to overcome adversity is part of the most difficult things. 

How do you see the participation of fencing in Santiago 2023?

I think it is going to be good and interesting, because it is a super beautiful instance in which we will be local. In addition, it is a time where good projections are seen, since this new wave of fencers is emerging with an internal level that had not happened before, where there were always 1-2 who had that level, and now we are like 4-5 . Any of us can be the best.

What are your expectations for the event?

The idea is to be able to get a team medal and hopefully now because fencing has never had a gold in the Pan American Games. Santiago 2023 is the opportunity to obtain several golds.

Do you hope to win, too, an individual gold?

Of course. If we keep doing things right, and we can get a team gold, we can definitely win individual gold. Hopefully to get two gold medals in Santiago.

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