Two Mexican women are among 24 contenders for a prestigious sporting accolade. Racquetball player Paola Longoria López and kickboxer Melissa Martínez Aceves have been nominated to become The World Games Athlete of the Year 2021.
The World Games are an international multi-sport event held every four years. The 2022 event, at which both Longoria and Martínez will compete, will be held in Birmingham, Alabama, in July.
The competition’s Athlete of the Year is determined via an online poll.
Longoria, a San Luis Potosí native ranked No. 1 in the world in racquetball, currently has just over 9,000 votes, while Martínez, a Mexico City-based kickboxer who is the world champion in the 52-kilogram division, has more than 15,000.
Indian hockey player P.R. Sreejesh currently leads the competition with over 122,000 votes. Voting ends on Monday.
The Athlete of the Year competition is held every year to celebrate the achievements of outstanding World Games athletes, International World Games Association president José Perurena said in a statement.
“This time we’re not just looking at the successes of the past, we’re also looking forward to our event in Birmingham, Alabama. The majority of our candidates on the short list will compete in The World Games from July 7 to 17,” he said.
Among the sports to be contested at this year’s event are 10-pin bowling, flying disc, lacrosse, power lifting, sport climbing, sumo and tug of war.
With reports from El Universal