Author: Lima 2019 press release Lima, 11 August 2019


The Peruvian athlete finished in a formidable way the 3000 m steeplechase. He ignited the Athletics Stadium with an unprecedented performance in disciplines of track and field.

Mario Bazán

Five years ago, he thought about quitting athletics. The lack of support after an injury that left him out of the track for nearly two years, made him think about other priorities. However, his wife’s support (who is also an athlete) made him persevere. And this afternoon, at the podium of the 3000 meters steeplechase, with a crowd giving him a standing ovation at the athletics stadium, he felt that all was worth it. 

Brazilian Altobeli Santos won the gold, but Bazán managed to pass the last three obstacles and put pressure on the Colombian Carlos Sanmartín, who took the silver, and defeated the American Keter Benard for the bronze. This victory will be with him for many years. 

“During the seven and a half laps, I was thinking how the end was going to be like. We were six in the last 300 meters, but I was mentally prepared to endure the first laps and burn all at the right time. The feeling of winning a medal in my country is amazing. I don’t know if this will happen ever again, running in these great conditions, and that's why I enjoyed it so much,” said Bazán.  

At the age of 31, Bazán has achieved an unprecedented medal in track and field athletics in Peru. This victory adds up to the marathon gold medals of Gladys Tejeda and Christian Pacheco, as well as the silver medal won by of Kimberly Cardoza in race walk, one day before the end of the Lima 2019 Games. His story of personal overcoming should be highlighted. 

"I thought of all the sacrifice I had to make since October last year, away from home, training and competing alone in Europe. Without a doubt, the work of 15 years has paid off, to live this unique moment, with my people supporting me from the stands. When I was starting in this sport, nobody supported me, but sport gives us these satisfactions,” he concluded. 

The Pan American Games have given us a new epic episode for Peruvian sport, as the many others forged in determination and dedication. Now, the 35th medal of the Pan American Games for Peru is a reality.