Sandra Sánchez, the reigning world kata champion, tells us about the long and hard road to the top. This karateka has had to overcome her rivals on the tatami and the opinions of many who did not believe in her. Here is her story.
SANDRA SÁNCHEZ, WORLD KATA CHAMPION
"It doesn't matter what other people think: I decided to believe in myself and in what I can do"
She started to compete when she was just four years old and success came at the age of 32: world kata champion. After many years competing against her rivals on the tatami and against those who never believed in her, Sandra Sánchez has become one of the best karatekas in history, through perseverance.
READ SANDRA SÁNCHEZ'S STORY
Sandra Sánchez, world kata champion: "There's nobody else. There's just you. When you do kata from the heart, your soul sweats."
Jesús del Moral, Sandra Sánchez's husband and trainer: "I believe Sandra's success came through determination, day after day. The fact of not thinking about what else is out there."
Voice over: "Sandra has never given up. She knew her moment would come."
Sandra Sánchez: "I spent many years losing. It was really hard to get onto the national team, so the scale still isn't balanced."
Jesús del Moral: "When she gets something into her head, she goes for it."
Sandra Sánchez: "Do you remember when I used to cry because I wanted you to sign me up for karate?"
Serafín Sánchez, Sandra Sánchez's father: "How couldn't I remember; the whole neighbourhood knew!"
'Pakito', Sandra Sánchez's brother: "She used to cry because she wanted to be with me. She didn't care about anything else."
Sandra Sánchez: "Brotherly love."
Jesús del Moral: "I think Sandra Sánchez is indefatigable. She always tries to be better than she was last time."
Sandra Sánchez: "When you're on the podium and are given a medal, then you're aware of what it took to get there. And that's why I appreciate it so much and experience everything with such great excitement."
Voice over: "Many did not have faith in her because of her age."
Sandra Sánchez: "I think the phrase that 'I'm getting on a bit' is the one I've heard the most. When people tell you you're too old to do something, I think that in the end it's a reflection of what they think of themselves. Inside, I had the feeling that I didn't care because I knew that I could do it and someday they would realise they were wrong."
"When a moment like that arrives, obviously you feel proud to say it doesn't matter what other people think because I decided to believe in myself and in what I could do."