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Ernesto Canto won everything and did it for Mexico, says Daniel Bautista

Rosalía A. Villanueva

La Jornada newspaper
Sunday, November 22, 2020, p. a12

A great loss for Mexican sports and as a friend, Daniel Bautista considered the death of Ernesto Canto, with whom he spent the last hours in the hospital and to whom he said goodbye yesterday after the cremation of the legend of the march.

The Montreal 76 Olympic champion remembers the happy moments that happened, when Canto conquered the gold medal at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles 84 and fulfilled the promise he made.

“That time we cried hugging each other because it was a very special day for both of us: him, for being an Olympic champion at 24 years old, and me, because it was my birthday (36). I remember that August 3, 1984.

Ernesto won everything and did it for Mexico. No marcher here or in the world has surpassed it. In four years he was the best in a single cycle (80-84) to see the flag waving at the top as Central American, Pan American, world and Olympic champion, without overlooking his world records, emphasizes Bautista.

“There were many anecdotes, but the one from Los Angeles is kept in my mind and heart. When Ernesto won the competition he told me ‘come with me, I’m going to a watch shop, I want to see something for the teacher (Jerzy) Hausleber’. He bought him a Cartier because three days before it had been his birthday (54) and it was such a grateful way for the coach that he led him by the hand to win all the titles (in the 20 kilometers) “, he talks.

In addition to the appreciation and admiration that Canto al Negro professed for him, as he said with respect and affection to Bautista, they also had anguished and dramatic moments that only they know what a disqualification means when they were at the top and close to the goal.

Daniel experienced it firsthand at the Moscow Olympics 80 with that famous tunnel where the judges were relentless. The same situation was suffered by Canto in Seoul 88.

“I hugged him and we cried, it was a feeling of helplessness and anger, because I was sure that Ernesto would win another Olympic medal. He was an exceptional athlete.

He kept his promise to be an Olympic monarch. He did not have to prove more, he had already won everything, concludes Bautista.