Jose “Jose” Lopez will leave his Olympic dream until later.
The Puerto Rican gymnast is now setting his sights on the Olympic Games in Paris 2024 after making the difficult decision not to seek a ticket for the next tournament of the sporting event that will take place from July 23 to August 8 in Tokyo, Japan.
Lopez, who reached the final at the Pan American Games Lima 2019 at the jumping horse event, also made the decision due to the high level of competition and the complex qualification process that he will find in the Pan American Adult Championships, from June 4 to 6. In Brazil. This will be Tokyo’s last eligible event.
Regional powers – such as Brazil, Canada, and the United States – will be able to rank up to six athletes and gain access to gymnasts from smaller nations.
The decision was also affected by the new registration law of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG), which will be in effect from 2021 to 2024 and which requires a change of routine shortly before the Tokyo Olympics.
“Qualifying is really difficult. Since there were not enough preparations for the pandemic, we decided not to go to Pan American. This was my last chance to qualify for the Olympics. Instead, I will prepare for the next Olympics with the new registration code. Lopez explained that I have another tournament left and preferred to prepare speaker.
These codes are updated at each Olympics and this time include changes in the ordering and value of the items within the final score of the routine, forcing gymnasts to immediately adapt to the new competition standards.
For his part, Lopez was the only Puerto Rican gymnast – in the men’s branch – who had been contemplating traveling to the Pan American Championships in Brazil. He was looking for his first Olympic ticket.
Doubts remain that the qualifying event will take place amid the high incidence of Coronavirus in Brazil. Last Sunday, the South American country recorded 42,980 new cases and 1,657 deaths due to the virus.
However, postponing Olympic ambition is not synonymous with comfort for Puerto Rico.
On the contrary, Lopez continues to adjust his routine for the national championship, which will take place in December and which will determine the national team that will then go through its qualification for the 2022 Central American and Caribbean Games. Interference with routine. ”The 23-year-old gymnast said,“ Every four years it should be changed when some elements of the code are eliminated and others gain a lower value. ”
“What follows is the quest to qualify for the Central American Games. That seems very applicable. Well, get a medal,” he concluded emphatically.