Ana Moncada. / SUR

Local sailing champion Ana Moncada moves up a level

Under-21 champion of Spain and silver overall, she moves up to the highest level with the aim of qualifying for the Paris Games

MARINA RIVAS

Ana Moncada is one of the sportswomen from Malaga province who this year came close to participating in the Olympic Games. She just missed out on going to Tokyo in the qualifiers, competing against some of the best in the world, despite her young age. At just 20 years old, she is one of Spain’s great sailing promises, specifically in the ILCA 6 category, or what was previously known as Radial Laser.

Moncada ended her season last week and did so with two new podium places in the Spanish Championship held in Barcelona: she was the under-21 champion and the runner-up overall, behind the Olympian Cristina Pujol.

The pressure to try to reach the Tokyo Olympics Games affected her more than expected

Starting next year, this young woman from Malaga, who lives in Barcelona, where she trains and studies Public Relations, will officially become a ‘senior’. A jump in category for which she is already preparing.

“There is a much higher level. You have to keep training every day, there are no more secrets. I need strength and endurance for my boat to go fast,” she said.

It will be tough, but one of her greatest assets has always been her nonconformist and self-confident mentality:

“I think that if I continue with my progress I will be able to be up there [at the top].” There are only three years left until the Paris 2024 Games, her true goal, and the Spanish team’s qualification for the event is already close (in March-April 2022).

Added pressure

Another of Moncada’s characteristics is her sincerity, and she admits that this last year has not been her best year and that the pressure to try to reach Tokyo, despite the fact that at her young age there was no rush to make the Games, affected her more than expected: “I always manage pressure well, but I think that in the qualifying regatta for the Games I got more nervous than necessary.”

That frustration with always wanting to compete with the best affected her in competitions: “My goal was to do my best in my last youth championships, and in the end I did not make a podium in any of them ... In the European [championship] at the beginning of summer I finished seventh and then in the World, fourth. It’s not bad, but I was left with the desire to make the podium.”

Now she wants to work hard to recover the Ana Moncada who amazed the world with her talent in 2019. That year she was absolute champion of Spain, European youth and sub-21 gold and youth world runner-up.

It’s time to reboot, rest for a few days, and start a new stage in her career.