In his first Pan American Games, the young Para athlete from Concepción was crowned the best in America in the 1500 meter event.

He is only 20 years old and has already been a junior world champion in the 1500 meters in the T46 category. Mauricio Orrego joined the world of athletics at 14, and despite the fact that at that time he did not know the Paralympic movement, he still dominated the tracks.

In the Parapan American Games in Lima 2019, he won the gold medal after winning the 1500 meter, a race that he fought until the end with the Brazilian Yagonny Reis De Sousa, who followed him on the podium by only 50 hundredths of a second.

Today he wants to continue adding experience in world-renowned competitions, such as the next Grand Prix to be held in Dubai in mid-February 2021, until he reaches his second Parapan American Games in the best way, where he wants to repeat the result of Lima 2019.

Is the objective for Santiago 2023 already defined?

By classification, my category is T46 and it is only open to 400 and 1500 meters. So, as I am a long distance runner, I can only opt for the second test, therefore for a medal. My intentions are to be able to renew my title, and if this cannot be done, the objective is clearly to get on the podium, which I always look for in all competitions.

Despite your age, you have a lot of experience in competition. Do you hope to improve your ranking with this event?

The competitions I have already competed also help me a lot. In 2017 I started with the Youth Parapan American that was held in Brazil and that was my first international competition, then the Junior World Championship came, where I was world champion. Last year it was the Adult Parapan American Games, where I was also champion, and then the Adult World Cup came, where I gained a lot of experience competing with the best in the world. All the tournaments in between serve as preparation for 2023.

Does the possibility of competing at home change expectations?

Expectations are high because we are going to be the host city and I will be able to bring my people if everything goes back to normal (the pandemic). I will be more comfortable as I will be competing in places where I usually train, and the weather and schedule are very favorable for me, so the expectations are very high. The pressure will be in being able to revalidate the Parapan American title.

As an athlete, what do you think cannot be missing in Santiago 2023?

Food! (laughs). I believe that the organization and logistics in terms of transport and other issues should not fail. All of these things need to be on time and organized responsibly. In Chile we are used to leaving everything for the last minute and that must be eradicated. On the subject of buses, when I have attended other international competitions, they arrive on time, which ultimately benefits the athletes and the organizing team as well.

What are your next sport challenges?

Probably a Grand Prix in Dubai and in March I will compete in Brazil. Basically these competitions are to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics which is one of my great goals.

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