Babacar Seck is 20 years old and arrived in Spain with 11. This Saturday he won the first Spanish medal in the World Championship: bronze in kumite in the category of +84. Baba, as they all call him, is a tiarraco of almost meter and ninety. He left Senegal with his family in search of new opportunities and settled in Zaragoza, where he lives and trains. He is the second of six brothers. The father was the first to arrive, he did it in patera. "I admire him for everything, everything he has done, he has done for us. He came in patera, for difficult routes and he did it. The second to arrive was me, by plane. To measures that my father began to do well, my mother and my five brothers were arriving, "says Baba in the bowels of the WiZink Center where the World Cup is being played.
His face is still full of sweat. No one in his family has been able to come to see the bronze that he has achieved in his first absolute world championship. The father lives and works in Switzerland as a welder. The mother and her four brothers have returned to Dakar. Baba lives in Zaragoza with his older brother, Yaya. "I told him to put Teledeporte, maybe it would come out", he wants to pass the anti-doping control and go to warn the family of the medal he has just won. Portuguese Reis Filipe has been imposed by 7-1.
He does not stop thanking everyone who crosses his path in the mixed zone. His brother works as a welder like the father. Baba, who did a course of security guard, is now removing the average degree of welding. "It's difficult to reconcile the two things, but I try because it's worth it. I'm going to class from 8.30 to 14.40 and in the afternoon I'll train, "he says.
Who is responsible for cooking? "Since my mother left, we are a little bit annoyed with the food. A lot of McDonalds and many orders … ", jokes. It only becomes serious to remember the hard times it has gone through. "It was not easy. I like to represent Spain because many times our skin color is not respected. One of the things that motivates me most is that they see that a black can be in the national team, fighting and feeling the colors, "he says.
"This bronze means a lot to me, because I've worked hard to get it. When I started, they told me: 'if you work very hard one day you will get it'. I'm getting it and I'm progressing more and more, "he explains with the mint set in Tokyo 2020, where karate will be Olympic for the first time. "The tournament has been very hard and more so when you are young like me. The majority here is 25 years old and I am 20. Experience shows, I started doing karate in 2010 and my rivals were already World and European champions, "he analyzes.
In kumite there are categories by weight, such as judo and taekwondo. The matches last three minutes (two in the female category). There is a scoring system for yuko, wazari and ippon. Since his arrival in Spain, Babacar is formed in the gym Sankukai, from there also come Raque Roy, a member of the female kata team (that this Sunday will fight for gold), Marcos Martínez and Samy Ennkhaili, both in the kumite set. Baba was junior bronze in the European Under-21 and accumulates titles of Spain in all categories from cadet, junior to absolute. In May he stayed at the gates of the bronze in the absolute European.
"This medal is dedicated to my whole family who has supported me a lot, my coach and my club and all my friends from Zaragoza," says Baba. "When I arrived in Spain in 2010, I did not think I'd get a world bronze. I remember one day training with my friend Sami I said looking at myself in the mirror: 'Uncle, who was going to tell me years ago that I would be here concentrating to compete in the World Cup,' reveals now.
He not only competed, but he has taken a bronze. "When I stepped on the tatami, I only thought about my adversary. But when I arrived at the pavilion this morning I was very excited. I began to mourn for my family, for all that I have lived, for work, for training, for all the hard that has been, "he says before going to celebrate the medal with all his companions.