Jesus Angel García Bragado is a 50-year-old Spanish race walker. He had taken part in seven Olympics. And the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be the eighth time this athlete appears at this leading international sporting event.
Last September, Bragado joined hundreds of athletes to Qatar to attend the 2019 World Athletics Championships. This was his last chance to win the 2020 Olympic Games. Under the heat in the desert, Bragado spent more than 4 hours struggling to make his dream come true. As a result, Bragado ranked 8th, which is just enough for him to have a slot to Tokyo next year.
At the Rio Olympics, Bragado has been the most athletic athlete attending the most Olympics (7 times). His passion for the sport made him want to break his own record, but age seemed to oppose Bragado’s efforts. Not many people can continue to play at their peak in their 40s, especially in such an energy-intensive content as walking 50 kilometers.
Before coming to Doha, Bragado failed in every tournament that he set out to win the slot for the Olympic Games. However, when the last chance comes, reality becomes even more cruel. Bragado’s biggest rival in Qatar is not the other athletes, but the harsh climate in the Middle East. On the day of Bragado competition, the outdoor temperature was quite high (31 degrees C) and had a high humidity (73%).
The less-than-ideal weather conditions make all athletes perform worse than they normally. Still, the miracle has finally arrived. Bragado hurriedly walked down the road and overtook his twenty-year-old rivals. In the midst of the heat, Bragado’s mind was so sharp that when he competed, he had a friendly conversation in the middle of the road with a German in Freiburg.
Bragado shared that more than 4 hours in Doha was indeed the most difficult 50km distance of his life, even harder than 7 times to attend the Olympic Games. The reason why Bragado made his determination to Tokyo Olympic is the last major tournament in his career. And he feared he would not have a full end when he set that big goal.
In 1991, Bragado participated in an international walking tournament for the first time. 22-year-old impresses when he finishes in fifth place in Sheffield (England). Two years later, he became a world champion. At the Atlanta 96 Olympic Games, Bragado was the candidate for the gold medal.