Arley Mendez Perez

Further Personal Information
Marital status
Married
Family
Wife Antonieta Galleguillos, son Alexis
Occupation
Athlete
Languages
Spanish
Sport Specific Information
Name of coach
Giorgi Panchev [national, personal], BUL
Training Regime
He trains for three hours in the morning and for two-and-a-half hours in the afternoon.
General Interest
Most influential person in career
His family, and coach Giorgi Panchev. (economiaynegocios.cl, 19 Feb 2018)
Injuries
He was affected by a back injury at the 2018 World Championships in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. He was still able to win gold in the snatch competition of the 89kg category at the tournament. (aguasdigital.com, 12 Nov 2018; latercera.com, 06 Nov 2018; economiaynegocios.cl, 25 Oct 2018)
Awards and honours
In 2017 he was presented with the Best of the Best award by the Chilean Olympic Committee [COCH] and the Circle of Sports Journalists. (iwf.net, 08 Jan 2018)
Famous relatives
His wife Antonieta Galleguillos represented Chile in judo at the world championships in 2007 and 2013. She has also competed in weightlifting at international level, placing 11th in the 53kg category at the 2014 Pan American Championships in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. (SportsDeskOnline, 04 Oct 2018; economiaynegocios.cl, 19 Feb 2018)
Ambitions
To win a medal at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. (alairelibre.cl, 06 Sep 2018; emol.com, 18 Jul 2018)
Other information
CHANGE OF CATEGORY
He has competed in the 85kg category throughout his international career, but the International Weightlifting Federation [IWF] made changes to the weight categories in 2018 and he has to decide whether he will change to the 81kg category or the 96kg category in order to compete at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. He plans to make a final decision after competing at the 2018 World Championships in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. "I won't be at a disadvantage if I compete in the same category as everybody else. The one who is better prepared and the one who trains the most will win an Olympic medal. We will see how my rivals are [at the 2018 World Championships] and then we will make the decision to go down or go up for the Olympic Games." (alairelibre.cl, 06 Sep 2018; emol.com, 18 Jul 2018)

COMPETING FOR CHILE
He represented Cuba at junior international level, but defected to Chile after competing at the 2013 Pan American and South American Junior Championships in Santiago. In March 2017 he obtained Chilean citizenship, and took part in his first international competition for his new country at the 2017 Bolivarian Games in Santa Marta, Colombia, where he won gold in the 85kg category. (iwf.net, 2018; adnradio.cl, 22 Nov 2017, 20 Nov 2017; eldeportero.cl, 17 Mar 2017)

LONGING FOR FAMILY
Born in Cuba, he became a Chilean citizen in 2017. He is no longer allowed to enter Cuba, which meant he could not attend his father's funeral in December 2017, and hopes to arrange for the rest of his family to join him in Chile. "Having Chilean nationality, I lose the Cuban one, but to enter Cuba I have to do it with my Cuban passport. They said to me at the embassy, 'No, you cannot enter because you are sanctioned'. It's very hard to go so long without seeing your family. I communicate with them when I can. I'm going through the procedures so they can come to live here. I have to send them the invitation letters [so I hope] that they like it and want to stay. My father died in December and it was a hard blow, he was the engine of the family." (economiaynegocios.cl, 18 Feb 2018)

NATIONAL FIRST
He became the first weightlifter representing Chile to win a medal of any colour at the world championships when he claimed all three gold medals [snatch, clean and jerk, overall] in the 85kg category at the 2017 edition in Anaheim, CA, United States of America. (iwf.net, 04 Dec 2017)

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