Babacar Seck, vigilant… and medalist in his spare time

Babacar Seck has just conquered the world games gold which took place in Birmingham (Alabama, USA). The karate fighter, who compete in kumite in the +84 kg categoryalso wears plenty of podiums this year in the Premier League: gold in Matosinshos (Portugal), flap plate (Morocco) and Bronze in Fujirah (United Arab Emirates). If at the next meeting in Baku (from September 2 to 4) a medal is hung, could be proclaimed world tour champion.

What very few know is that behind every medal there is a small miracle because Seck can barely train. For four months he has worked as a security guard at the Alcampo, Calle Delicias in Zaragoza, from 5:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.. Eight hours up every day. “My legs are very heavy. When I went to train before work, I couldn’t stand that long,” he explains.

I sometimes got home at two in the morning and went for a run around my neighborhood (Oliver),” he continues. “It’s crazy, but if i go to sleep i feel bad because it seems that i am not giving my best. I also have a basketball court next to my house and I sometimes sprint there. Or I get up and do some physical training before work,” he said.

For the medals I won for Spain, I think I don’t deserve to be in this situation

Babacar Seck, World Games champion in kumite

Since karate left the Olympic program after the Tokyo Games, it no longer has an ADO scholarship or any other form of assistance. by institutions or a private sponsor. Beforethanks to this scholarship, I was training twice a day: fitness in the morning and karate in the afternoon. Now it is impossible. You have to work to live and help at home. He trains at maximum in karate twice a week. “Sometimes only one or none,” he admits. “If my opponents knew… For the medals I won for Spain, I don’t think I deserve to be in this situation,” he laments.

Seck, in the m

Seck, on the top step of the World Games podium.

No scholarship or other financial aid

It is a miracle -another in Spanish sport- in which talent outweighs lack of resources. “The body has memory but it’s not healthy, it lasts a few championships but this situation will eventually take its toll. I know what I’m capable of, but I can’t compete in these conditions. If I could train like an elite athlete, like I did before, I don’t know how far I could go… Imagine what I would be capable of if I had help and could dedicate myself to sport‘ he said thoughtfully.

Have I ever come home from work at two in the morning and gone for a run around my neighborhood?

Babacar Seck, World Games champion in kumite

Because work not only takes time away from training, it also prevents you from properly performing what is known as the elite athlete’s “invisible training”: rest and nutrition. Now you have to have a lot of control over what you eat as you no longer train at the same volume as before. He was lucky enough to compete at heavyweight in kumite, but he came in overweight in some competitions. “And it shows,” he says.

Babacar Seck, in the supermarket where he works.

Babacar Seck, in the supermarket where he works.

Babacar, that He is now 24 and came to Spain aged 11 from Senegal with his family looking for new opportunities, it was always clear to him that sport was his passion. A year after his arrival, he already spoke perfect Spanish. his father I thought that in football I would have little luck, so I was aiming for karate because he had already practiced it in his country of origin. It was the year 2010.

With its 190 centimeters it dominates the tatami. I stood out from a very young age and has already stepped onto the podium with a junior bronze medal in the Europe Under-21. In addition, he has accumulated Spanish titles in all categories, from cadet, junior to absolute. Since arriving in our country, he has been training at the Sankukai gymnasium and from the start he caught the attention of Santiago Velilla for his talent, but also for his commitment. Babacar was going to train an hour before the start of the lessons.

Just eight years after his first karate class in Spain, he made his debut in an absolute world championship with a bronze medal. at the WiZink Center in Madrid. That year, 2018, was also european money and the next, continental bronze in Guadalajara.

A kumite referent

today he is one of the referents of the national kumite team. In recent years he has combined training and championships with his studies in the welding technician diploma. I ended up leaving them and completed a security guard course, which he currently does. Now, in his work at Alcampo, many people recognize him. Before he arrived, there had been an incident at the supermarket. “The security guard who was there before was attacked, but since I’ve been here, there’s been no problem. My boss is very happy and gives me facilities so that I can compete,” he admits.

The security guard who was there before was attacked, but since I’ve been there, there’s been no problem.

Babacar Seck, World Games champion in kumite

After winning the world games gold On July 10, many people came to congratulate him. “They appreciate the effort I’m making and it’s worth it,” he says.

But despite his situation, Babacar keeps the motivation intact. “We always try to bring her in from anywhere. We have experienced difficult things in life and I think of all the efforts that those around me have made and continue to make to help me. to get titles. Ivn Leal, the coach, does everything in his power to help me. I am very grateful to him,” he admits.

I always try to get motivation from anywhere, we’ve been through some tough things in life

Babacar Seck, World Games champion in kumite

As long as some kind of financial help arrives, I will continue to work an eight-hour walk to the supermarket and take time where there is none to train and keep giving medals to Spain. “I used to pray to win one in the World League (Karate Premier League) and now I have three and I can be the big winner. She’s crazy. For me it’s a dream“, he admits before going one more day to work at the Alcampo de Delicias in Zaragoza as a security guard.

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