Orlando Ortega, during a competition.
SportMedia THERlando Ortega, Olympic runner-up in Ro 2016, is standing when evening falls in Madrid. Turn your back on the Go Fit gym Beautiful valley, in whose tracks part of the oxide accumulated in the stop forced by COVID-19 has been removed. Everything was scheduled for the assault on another Olympic podium, which has been postponed for a year. The great hurdler traveled this Friday to Cyprus again, where he has his training base with Antonis Giannoulakis. What did Thursday look like? I found myself very well. I was very anxious to start competing and I did not expect such a result [hizo 15.57 en un 150 vallas]. Just come to enjoy, to start again and obviously I have finished very happy. Now in order to tackle the next thing, which, if possible, would be the Shanghai Diamond League. That date will be complicated. China announced that it cancels all international events So far they haven’t told us anything. I still have a calm mind and I want to be very positive to give my best when the opportunity comes. At the moment, we only have that appointment if it is held in the short term. There is also the Spanish Championship, obviously, in which I will try to participate. Although, well, with all this coronavirus issue you have to take great care and go step by step. Is it a year thrown by the pandemic? No one expected anything of this magnitude. It was very difficult, because we were prepared to compete in the Olympic Games, but unfortunately this has happened. I am a person who adapts very quickly to circumstances and we cannot continue making excuses. It is not in our hands. We must accept what is there and help us so that this does not continue to spread, taking care of each other. What I want most is that we can end all this and be able to compete in the Games. Does it make you anxious not to know how the McLeods, Shubenkov and company are? I always care about myself. I don’t look at what the others are doing. If I am well and I am sure that I will give my best on the track, no problem. If they are going to beat me, let them beat me on the track. But they are going to have to run a lot on the track. Right now my concern is to get back in shape as soon as possible and when I compete again I will give my best to whoever I am. He looks relaxed, anyone would say that he is playing five years of work in this case in just 13 seconds. This confinement has helped me a lot to think and realize how short life can be. That you are here today, but that tomorrow you don’t know where you can be. There is nothing more beautiful than enjoying, doing what you like most, going for a run … I am a family guy. It is what pushes me the most, my motor. If my family is fine, I am fine. Quiet. Happy. We have been in touch, but apart in confinement. And you realize that … joln! I could have enjoyed a little more of them in life. They are things that you think about coldly and say: you have to enjoy a little more. Before I did not enjoy it much and now I enjoy it twice. If I have the opportunity to compete tomorrow, I will enjoy it, I will not go with the torment I used to go with. And that is what God wants. The only thing that has no fix in life is death. The rest has it. Is there any calculation to know that the tenths being passed this year will not affect the future? Does he talk to his coach? In the case I do not see it in training. I have not been able to see my coach since the Spanish Indoor Track Championship in Orense because of everything that has happened. Tomorrow [por hoy] to be with him in Cyprus and then we will try to give details. If I look good in training, I know that later in the competition I will be. It all depends on it. For me, not having my coach was a handicap. I think that all the hurdlers can agree that in the 110 hurdles it is not only important the sensations that you can have, you need to have those two other eyes of the coach because there will be a detail that will escape you and that your coach will be watching in the passage of the fence, in the smooth … That is given by the technicians. The Games reach 30 years, the maturity of the athlete. In the entire history of the Olympic hurdles, only McKoy won with more than 30 in Barcelona 92. Does that motivate you more? This fact, which I did not know, is another point of motivation. Age doesn’t worry me. If I feel good, fit, calm, I know I will respond on the track. Then there are things that no longer depend on you as happened in the Doha World Cups. No matter how old I am I will give my best. Has Omar McLeod finally apologized? No, that stayed there. Not even worth commenting on. More than what happened will not happen. And we have not had a close relationship either. It is a ‘hello, how are you’, when we see each other and that’s it. For my part, everything forgotten and everything remains the same. We will continue to be rivals on the track and friends off the track. Do you understand Shubenkov’s wishes for nationalization, what happened to you? Unfortunately I feel what he is going through. I don’t like to generalize. It’s not fair to put them all in the same bag. There are those who have taken them doping and people who have never been through that. Why not let those guys who have shown that they are clean all their lives compete, and why not let them represent their flag? If they catch the doped, they will be sanctioned for life. Always support clean sport. But the Games is about that: representing your flag, representing your people. If they put you in the position of canceling the Games or celebrating them without the public, who do you choose? It would not be the same without the public, but the most beautiful thing is to enjoy some Olympic Games. There are young athletes who are going to be their first Games and depriving them of that would be a shame for me. If they have to be done behind closed doors, let them be done. Obviously respecting all the protocols. It would be a shame not to have an audience, but many people at home would be supporting us and even if we are alone on the track we will feel the encouragement of them, of our families. There is no public, it doesn’t matter. Those are Olympic Games and it is not going to change for anything in the world.