María Pérez shortens her recovery and sets her sights on the Paris Games
The reigning world champion in the 20 km and 35 km walk, and Physiotherapy student at UCAM, is working on her return to the tracks with the help of the UCAM Research Centre for High Performance Sport.
María Pérez, from Granada, an athlete and student at the Universidad Católica de Murcia, and one of the great favourites to win the Olympic gold medal in the 20km walk this summer, is already in the last phase of the recovery process for a stress fracture in her sacrum. The athlete, who has been in the facilities of the CIARD-UCAM (UCAM Research Centre for High Performance Sport) to fine tune her return to training and her nutritional plan, is happy with the evolution of her injury.
‘I have shortened the recovery time by four weeks. The doctors were reluctant at first, as science says that the timeframe is 12 weeks, but last Thursday I received the news that I would be allowed to run and live a normal life already. However, as can be expected, gradually. But I am very happy. It was the best Christmas present I could have had,’ said the walker.
Regarding the work with the researchers of the UCAM Research Centre for High Performance Sport to establish a nutritional plan, she noted how ‘the CIARD is very important in all my processes. One of the key elements of my recovery process has been my diet. Thanks to the work of my teammates and my perseverance, we were able to recover and shorten the time required,’ added the athlete.
On the academic side, María, who is studying the UCAM Bachelor’s Degree in Physiotherapy, will be planning her next term with her tutor in a few weeks' time.
On her way to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, she first has to withdraw from the Spanish 20km Race Walk Championships, a decision that is beyond her control: ‘I've never been an athlete who has given up championships, I've even participated in longer distances than those for which I trained,’ explained María But the goal of this planning is the Olympic 20km Race Walk final, which will be held on 1 August in Paris. The coaches will decide if she will also be competing in the mixed relay, six days later. Before the Games, she will have the opportunity to measure herself against the best and test her performance in high competition. ‘I will probably take part in the World Cup, but I don't know if I will compete in the 20km or in the mixed relay yet. It will be up to my fitness,’ stated the athlete.