The men's handball team has established itself within the top 3 in America, along with Brazil and Argentina. This was confirmed at the Pan American Games in Lima 2019, where they won the silver medal in the final against the trans-Andean team.

Felipe Barrientos, national team player and technical director of the Sub-17 women's handball team, is one of the most experienced in the national squad and has been part of the successful path. That is why he hopes to be in Santiago 2023, either on or off the field.

How will it be to compete at home?

For me it is very significant to be present at the next Pan American Games. It is the most important sport event in the history of Chilean sports and I am aware of its size. I have participated in six PanAms, since Santo Domingo 2003, when I was 18 years old, so I have seen its evolution in the last 20 years and for me it has been to live almost an Olympic Games, because the Pan American Games are the closest thing to that. For this reason, I think it is super exciting to experience it at home, we are privileged to be able to experience the most important sport event in our history. I feel lucky to be able to participate, either as a player or as a coach. 

What benefits do you think its organization brings to the country?

The first thing is that on a cultural level it will be a new image of sport. This is the opportunity that the country has to position sport as a product that people really consume, because although the Copa América also gives a leap in quality at the level of sport events and consumption. The ODESUR Games gave a glimpse of how successful other sports are: for example, for handball week, there were more than 20 thousand people in Viña del Mar and that opens up the sport as a product that, if it is consumable, the resources arrive .

What are your expectations for Santiago 2023?

The first thing I want to do is live it, whether as a person, player or coach. I believe that as part of the coaching staff I will be there because that is one of the objectives I am with, but at the level of results, I believe that men's handball has to be the protagonist. Hopefully the final in Lima will be repeated, especially being at home, with the public supporting, plus the historical aspect of the moment. Anything can happen, but the first objective is to be in the finals and get a medal. Now as a coach, being in the semifinals would be a great step, they are a young team with a lot of projection. Being in that phase gives us the step to fight for the medals.

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