(ATR) At the end of the ninth inning Santo Domingo tied the game with Leon in the race towards the so-called "Centennial Games".
On January 31, the day to close bidding, Santo Domingo deposited its letter of intent to bid for the 2026 Central American and Caribbean Games, the centennial edition.
The documentation included the endorsement of the city's mayor, David Collado, and the government support of the President of the Republic Danilo Medina
Santo Domingo joins the Mexican city of León, Guanajuato. Officials from Leon officially certified their interest last October during the ODECABE General Assembly in Panama City, host to the Games in 2022.
The 2026 Central American and Caribbean Games are the oldest regional Games in the world. The first edition of the Games was held in Mexico City with three countries, Cuba, Guatemala and the host nation.
In addition to this historic version Mexico has celebrated the Central American and Caribbean Games in 1954, 1990 (both in Mexico City) and in 2014 (Veracruz) in addition to the Pan American Games of 1955, 1975 and 2011 (Guadalajara). In 1968 it hosted the first Olympic Games in a Spanish-speaking country.
The Dominican Republic organized them in 1974 (Santo Domingo) and 1986 (Santiago de los Caballeros) and in 2003 sponsored in its capital successful Pan American Games, the last ones hosted in the Caribbean.
The president of ODECABE, Luis Mejía Oviedo, told Around The Rings that the Executive Committee must endorse both candidates on March 7 during their meeting inthe Panamanian capital.
He will also certify the nomination of the Colombian city of Santa Marta as the only candidate for the inaugural Beach Games of Central America and the Caribbean in 2022.
The ODECABE Executive meeting will culminate a two-day visit with the Monitoring Committee of the regional organization that will inspect the initial stage of preparations for the 2022 Games that include 30 nations..
Mejía Oviedo will return to Panama a little more than a month after his last visit. Since then hereceived news of the sudden death of his brother in Santo Domingo.
"We must continue," Mejia, the president of the Dominican Olympic Committee told ATR on the 1990 day mark of his election as the seventh president of CACSO.
The sports leader, a member of the International Olympic Committee, anticipated that the next meeting will decide the date and place of the ODECABE General Assembly this year. The meeting will choose the 2026 games and ratify Santa Marta 2022.
Mejía Oviedo reiterated his optimism with Panama 2022 after his last visit of which he returned with the schedule of work and
the guarantee of a budget that exceeds the $ 300 million.
Although it has not yet been possible to meet with the new president of Panama, Laurentino Cortizo, the president of CACSO has corroborated "the aptitude and goodwill" of the president through meetings held with his representatives.
Mejía Oviedo does not rule out a meeting with Cortizo in that first week of March.
"I don't have control of the agenda but whenever possible it is a boost to the Games," he said.
"What I want is to hear the noise of the machinery. The planning times are over ... now is the time to execute".
Reported by Miguel Hernandez.