"In Spain I have been training only with my father for five years. I think that training with [Milan] Trajkovic is going to contribute a lot to both of us. I needed to find that demand again, that hunger, and that's why I started this new project: to fight for gold in Doha and Tokyo, "the Spanish athlete Orlando Ortega told EL PAÍS to explain the step he took after the frustration that led him to finish fourth Glasgow's European past on indoor track in the 60m hurdles, a race that won the Cypriot Trajkovic. Ortega, 27, Olympic runner-up in Rio, has done what any athlete would do when he feels it is necessary to keep moving forward and not lose the train towards his goals: he has changed his coach.
Ortega's main objectives continue to be the Doha World Championships in October and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. These goals will now prepare them with Antonis Giannoulakis, coach of Milan Trajkovic, who trains in Cyprus with a group of sprinters and hurdlers young people that Ortega plans to join on Monday. They want to know each other as soon as possible in order to start working on their objectives. "I will be a month or two. Obviously, I'll have to move but I will not leave Valencia. Valencia is my house, my place. Moving to live in Valencia was what gave me peace of mind and a more positive mentality. It has rejuvenated me and helped me to prepare well this winter. Little by little we will see how we organize my training when I am here. "
After the Glasgow final, Ortega spoke with Trajkovic and his coach. They saw that they shared the same vision and the same objectives and, in addition, the Spanish and the Cypriot had already forged a friendship. "With Trajkovic something very healthy has happened," says Ortega. "We've known each other since the Rio Games. We have spoken many times, we have laughed together. The day we talked in Glasgow he told me that together we can improve. He is a piece of athlete and his group has shown that they have done things very well. Since the Games he has been in all the finals. "
Ortega, 27 years old and a native of Artemisa (Cuba), is not any athlete, but one of the best hurdlers of all time, he is the Rio Olympic runner-up and is, together with Ana Peleteiro, the main medal option for the Spanish athletics at the World Championships in October in Doha and at the 2020 Games. In the mixed zone of Glasgow he said that he had personal problems, that he did not want to know anything about athletics and that he only wanted to "disappear from the planet".
"I just exploded. If it had been bronze, I would have felt the same, it's time to explode and let go of everything. But I already told the media that I'm not going to retire, I never said that, "clarifies the athlete. "This winter I was competing and the start was getting better, I had not enjoyed it that long. But in life these things happen, you go from being happy to feeling frustrated in seven seconds. What happened to me in the Glasgow final was lack of concentration, I started to think about personal problems that I had not thought about all season. I lost that opportunity, but I do not lose confidence or faith. "
The good results of this season, he reiterates, are due to being close to the sea, to the climate and the life that reminds him of Cuba, when he trained with a large group, 13 athletes, and he had a constant motivation because, he tells, to travel to the great championships there were only two passes in the selection and it was necessary to win them, it was a constant struggle. What has affected Ortega all these years has been loneliness and the absence of that extra motivation he wants to recover in Cyprus.