Sport in Peru
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Sports in Peru are popular and widespread.
Taekwondo was introduced in Peru by Hakeem Aanders Polar, an Arequipeños instructor master the art of Taekwondo in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and introduced this form of martial art in the early 1970s. The first Taekwondo Clubs in Peru were to be found in Arequipa.
In the late 1970s, Sa Bum Nim Byon Oh Park introduced taekwondo in Lima. In 1979, Sa Bum Nim Jon Hye, after a few years spent in Argentina also joined Byon Oh Park in disseminating taekwondo in Lima.
Simultaneously to these two, John Polar and Byong Oh Park, Alex Velazques was doing taekwondo with a reduced number of practices along with "La Yegua" Leiblinger who later moved to Argentina.
It was Byon Oh Park, who introduced the regulated form of taekwondo and started to teach to some new taekwondo instructors. Of those, Percy Vergara and Juan Infantas were the main instructors and the ones who started the dissemination of taekwondo to bigger audiences. Both Percy Vergara and Juan Infantas started to run a Taekwondo Club in the San Marcos University. They also opened up a new club, Black Belt Taekwondo Club where most of their best students from San Marcos continued training.
In 1982, the first open martial arts competition was run. In this competition, practitioners from kung fu, karate, kyokushinkai and other styles, along with taekwondo took part. It was the first time taekwondo athletes were to take part in any open national event.
After this experience taekwondo grew up in popularity and a number of clubs and academies started to flourish. In 1981, Saboming Ki Hyung Lee arrived to Peru and joined forces into making this sport even more popular. Percy Vergara started clubs in Regattas Lima, as Cesar Landeo started one in the Engineering National University (UNI) where he graduated as Electrical engineer. The UNI team has won more than 10 university championships between 1981 and 1994 at the university level. Other taekwondo Clubs appeared and flourished, thanks also to the contribution of Ki Bong Lee, So Yong Kim and Eui Wan Chong.
In the south of Peru, taekwondo was disseminated by Professor Angel Cabrera, Angle Leon, while in the north by Professor Luis Benites.
Today taekwondo, although it has lost the prestige it had by the mid-1990s remains steadfast and efforts are made to return the sport in Peru to its previous level of prestige.
On 30 November 1996, the first university test match saw the Universidad de Lima win 18 to 3 against the Pontificia Universidad Catolica. This match also has the distinction of being the first time that the participants on the pitch including team members and the referee were Peru-born.
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The Peru women's national volleyball team is the national team of Peru. The team was one of the dominant forces in women's volleyball in the 1980s, culminating in the silver medal won at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea.
For travelers from all over the world, Peru offers waves for everyone: beginners, intermediate, and advanced longboard riders alike surfers. Máncora, the largest left hand point break in the world, located in the northern coast of Peru, deserves special mention. In addition to this, the greatest left-handed wave in the world is to be found at Chicama, which is over 4 km long. Felipe Pomar, Second World Surfing Championship, Peru 1965, and Sofia Mulanovich, Women's World Surf Champion in 2004 and 2005.
Peru is the only country of the region that has won the Central, South American & Caribbean Championships for six years in Sunfish Class. In the Optimist Class, it was three times World Champion in Team-Racing in 1997 and 1998, and have more South American Champions in J24, Windsurf, Laser Class and Lightning.
Peru's four Olympic medals achievements include three in shooting. Edwin Vásquez won Peru's only gold medal in the 1948 Summer Olympics, while Francisco Boza (Los Angeles 1984), and Juan Giha (Barcelona 1992) both won silver medals.
Luis Horna and Jaime Yzaga are well-known Peru-born tennis players. Tennis Hall of Famer and Davis Cup and Wimbledon winner Alejandro Olmedo is Peru-born, but played for the United States. Laura Arraya is the best Peruvian tennis player in the women's competition. Her brother is Pablo Arraya, a former Peruvian tennis player.
The Peru Davis Cup team currently compete in the Americas Zone Group II, with their best result qualifying for the World Group in 2008. They had twice previously reached the World Group playoffs in 1989 and 1994, but did not advance.
Club Lawn Tennis de la Exposición is located in the district of Jesús María in Lima, the usual court location for Peru's players. The court was found in 1884, and was the home court for the golden generation of Peru's tennis players of the 1980s. Its principal colosseum was named after the Buse Brothers, Enrique and Eduardo Buse. Enrique played at Wimbledon and the US Open in 1946 and again at the US Open in 1951.
Peru at the Olympics
Peru has officially participated in 17 Summer Olympic Games and 2 Winter Olympic Games. The Comité Olímpico Peruano is the National Olympic Committee for Peru which was founded in 1924 and recognized by the International Olympic Committee in 1936.
Peru has won a total of four medals, three in shooting events and one in volleyball. Their first and only gold medal to date was won by Edwin Vásquez in the 1948 Summer Olympics in the Men's 50 metre pistol. The remaining three medals were silver.