A stroke was the cause of death for Carmen Longa, 65 years old. His grandson, Ronal, was next to her. He did not leave her alone for a moment. They both prayed for her health to improve, but fate had a sad end for them.

Ronal, who lived in the same house in Istmina, Choco, He was Carmen’s eyes and at the moment of her death he was by her side, as always. He was in charge of breaking the news. Sad and crying, he left the house in search of her brothers and parents, to whom he reported the event.

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The blow that Ronal Longa received was so hard that he decided not to live in that house again. Memories of him tormented him, he kept remembering the person who gave his life for him.

Without comeback

He did not appear in those parts again. Ronal, silver medal in the 100 meters of the past South American Athletics Championship of the sub-20 category of Bogotá, he couldn’t believe life was so hard on him. That Carmen had left was a blow to his heart.

Longa was defeated in the final sprint by the Brazilian Renan Correa on the El Salitre track, but the Colombian, once he crossed the finish line, looked at the stopwatch, which marked a time of 10 seconds and 08 hundredths, his best record, with which he broke the national sub-20 records, which were held by himself (10.23); the sub-23 record (10.18), which he had Jhonny Rentería, and the senior (10.11), by Diego Palomeque.

Once he realized that, he raised his gaze to heaven, trying to find Carmen, he blessed himself and began to pray, while he walked part of the track and in the speaker that thundered in the stadium his name was heard and he said it. immense of the result he had achieved.

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An Our Father, a Hail Mary, Ronal pronounced. He embraced his rivals, but Carmen was always on his mind, the person who helped him get ahead, to become a true example.

Bad student

The days passed after the death of his grandmother. Whenever she had to go near that house she would collapse, she would avoid going to those places. He went to live with Johana Mosquera, his mother, a mine worker, along with his other brothers: Carlos, Genaro, Ronald Stiven, Linda, Lorena, Anderson, Darío and Nicole.

Six months after his grandmother had passed from this world, Ronal returned to the house, which was located in the Charcal neighborhood of the Choco population.

When I returned to the house, I couldn’t stop crying, the memories haunted me, so I made the decision to pack my suitcase and go live in Bogotá.

The South American runner-up was in the corner, he looked at the house with one eye, he began to cry and when he was going to return his grandfather forced him to enter and he stayed.

Ronald was studying. He was not doing well. He wasn’t the best in the class, but he wasn’t one of the last either, although in terms of discipline he was losing the year. They never fired him, but he is aware that his behavior was not the best.


South American Sub-20 Athletics Press

He hated mathematics, geometry, he did not like addition, multiplication, subtraction or division at all, and even less English.

Weekends changed everything for him. He went with his grandfather to a plot near Istmina, he calls it the farm, but “that was a bush, a forest,” the young athlete recounted.

He picked bananas, fruits, plantains, that was his distraction, although what he didn’t like was that he had to get up very early, because at 4 in the morning he had to be up and ready for the ‘work day’.

hard transfer

“She died in 2012 and I couldn’t recover. I wanted to forget that black episode of my life. When I returned to the house, I did not stop crying, the memories haunted me, so I made the decision to pack my suitcase and go live in Bogotá,” Longa told TIME.

He arrived in the capital of the country in 2013. He settled in the house of his aunt Silvia, in the neighborhood Tunjuelito.

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“It was a difficult area, I remember, but the most difficult thing was the change. It was very hard for me to come to the capital from Chocó”, a big city, very cold and almost without knowing anyone, she said.

At first they didn’t let him go out alone. He always did it accompanied, because they feared that he would get lost or that something would happen to him. He played soccer in the neighborhood, the sport he was passionate about. He played as a central midfielder, although he says that he “distributed little” and was rather “warm”, he recalled.

The idea of ​​coming to Bogota It was for him to study, so that he would be better trained and that was what he did. Her father, José Giovanni, worked in construction and had almost no time to be with him, so Silvia was key.

He continued kicking a ball, but on one occasion the physical education teacher, whose name Ronal does not remember, told him to try athletics, that he had a good biotype for that sport.

It was clear, Longa is 1.83 meters tall and weighs 74 kilos, ideal for being a mighty athlete, but he didn’t start with speed, the first thing he did was jump.
He tried the high jump, it went well. He was national runner-up with a mark of 1.80 meters, a medal that was hung in the tournament that took place in Ibagué in 2021.


South American Sub-20 Athletics Press

He doesn’t remember how he got to 100 meters. Only in his mind is that he competed in the 4 × 100 and 4 × 400 relays, but it didn’t hit him, the height “kicked” him and when the competition ended he fell to the ground breathless, almost dead.

Soon he stopped jumping and moved to the 100 and 200 meters, and he did better. At least the fatigue was not as great as when he was part of the two posts.

“Adaulfo ​​Coba He was my first coach in speed. He was the one who chose me, corrected me, led me down that path. Then I passed into the hands of Jorge Benitez and perfected me It’s that I owe a lot to both of them,” Longa said.

Last year he had an excellent experience. On his first outing of the country he had to go to compete in Spain. He was in Pamplona and there he hung the bronze medal of the José Luis Hernández Memorial Meeting in the 100 meters, with a time of 10 seconds 54 seconds.

“It was crazy. A long trip, and I arrive and the food treated me badly. I did not like. It was very simple, you don’t cook it like chicken or fish do at home, which is what I like the most. But I do want to say that my favorite food is lentils, I adore them, I delight in them. As for the result, I was happy with that third place”, stated Ronal Longa, born in Istmina on June 30, 2004.

He is a believer, because he always entrusts himself to the Lord of Miraclesto whom he lights candles to help him in his next objectives, as in the budapest world cup, in August. There he wants to “knock it out of the park.”

lightning goals

“I dream of going under 10 seconds. You will say that I am missing eight hundredths, but it is that lowering them is hard, you have to work a lot, but that is what I want. Also, getting on a podium there would be ideal, with a lot of emotion. I also want to get the minimum mark for the Olympic Games in Paris”Ronald specified.

He is a sprinter, he runs 100 and 200 meters, the tests in which Usain Bolt reigned for a long time, but for Ronal his idol is not the Jamaican, he is Asafa Powell.

“Carmen lives in me, she has never left and all my victories are always dedicated to her.”

He says he is inspired by the champion of the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the 200 meters. “He’s a beast,” she said.

Ronal Longa hasn’t been to Istmina for four years, he hasn’t seen his friends from the block, he hasn’t visited his brothers and his mother, whom he left there.

Ten years have passed since Carmen’s death and she still remembers her, talks to her, prays to her and even continues to cry.

“I do everything in his memory. In 2012 he left me and I remember that bitter moment as if I were living it. Carmen lives in me, she has never left and all my victories are always dedicated to her, ”said the new Colombian lightning.
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Lisandro Rengifo
Editor of EL TIEMPO


Original Publisher: https://www.eltiempo.com/deportes/otros-deportes/ronal-longa-la-historia-del-atleta-mas-veloz-de-colombia-video-771467