Pepi Sánchez, with her gold medal and a Spain flag after winning the 800 metre sprint in Portugal. / SUR

Pepi Sánchez wins the 800-metre sprint in the over-70s category

At the age of 71, the Antequera athlete took gold at the European Championship in Portugal and will participate in another two events

ANTONIO J. GUERRERO

With a time of three minutes and 14 seconds, Pepi Sánchez Quintana won gold for Spain in the 800-metre sprint race in the over-70s category at the European Championship in Portugal on Wednesday. The 71-year-old has also broken another record, with her gold-winning time bettering the previous Spanish one by seven seconds.

Pepi is the fastest Spanish 400 and 800-metre sprinter in her category and she is aiming to smash even more records, including times set on the European and world stages.

"I arrived on Tuesday and on Wednesday I was already participating in the 800-metre final and I won. I was very calm, there was a very tall and thin Dane, I saw that I could overtake her, I did, and won. The satisfaction was incredible, to be able to cross the line first after a race and hear my country's anthem and to have the gold [medal] in my hands," Pepi said.

Additionally, she also qualified for the 200-metre sprint final that will take place tomorrow (26 February) in Braga, which means she could take another medal. On Sunday she will participate in the 200-metre relay event. Both races are included in this European championship, which even includes an over-90s category.

"In Spain, I have been competing in and winning races non-stop, but to do it outside [Spain], representing your country and managing to reach and win finals is something that never crossed my mind when I came here," she said.