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    The Colombian Mariana Pajón and the Cuban Julio César de la Cruz, were chosen the most outstanding athletes of the current season by the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) in Doha, Qatar.

    Two of the most successful athletes in the history of continental sport were honored at the ANOC Awards held at the Katara Hall in Doha in Qatar.

    In the annual celebration that brings together the representatives of the 206 National Olympic Committees and where the most relevant performances of the year by continent are rewarded, the Panam Sports athletes chosen were Mariana Pajón de Colombia BMX cycling specialist, and Julio César de la Cruz Colombian boxer with a vast experience.

    Mariana Pajón, despite having one of the most difficult years of her career after an injury, knew how to get up and get ahead. When the diagnoses indicated that it was very difficult for her to get back on a bicycle, she didn´t give up and proposed to recover and continue with her sport that she loves so much.

    He returned to training and last July he was crowned for the second time in his career, Pan American Champion in Lima 2019. For all that the double Olympic medalist means, for his spectacular recovery, for his title in the continental event and for that promising future that It will surely take her to her third Olympic Games, is that ANOC chose her as the Best Female Athlete of America 2019.

    “For me it is a big surprise because there is a group of very important and very talented athletes around our continent. This motivates me a lot for what is coming. I have the qualifications for the Tokyo Olympics and I hope I do very well,” told Mariana Pajón to Panam Sports.

    In men, the winner was the Cuban boxer Julio César de la Cruz. The Olympic Champion in Rio de Janeiro, 4 times world champion and three-time Pan American champion, has plenty of reasons for this award. In his career, of 208 fights he has an impressive record of 191 wins, 32 by KO, and only 17 defeats.

    A recognition more than deserved for this athlete who dreams of repeating Olympic Gold in Tokyo 2020.

    “I am very happy with this award. I thank ANOC, Panam Sports, my Cuban colleagues, my mother and my people. This award means a lot to me. For me to represent Cuba in this beautiful event and win this recognition is the payment to everything is sacrifice and the effort I have made during all this time. Now I have the qualifier to Tokyo and of course I want to go for my second gold medal in an Olympic Games,” said Julio César de la Cruz.

    From now on, the most important awards begin, and this year the Panam Sports Awards to be held in Fort Lauderdale United States on Friday December 13, have been included for the first time in history.

    On the occasion, the Pan American Sports Organization will reward the best athletes, technicians and National Olympic Committees that have shone in this 2019, emphasizing, of course, the historic event that was the Pan American Games of Lima 2019.

    As a service to our readers, Around the Rings will provide verbatim texts of selected press releases issued by Olympic-related organizations, federations, businesses and sponsors.

    These press releases appear as sent to Around the Rings and are not edited for spelling, grammar or punctuation. 

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