20/11/2020   Ernesto Canto passed away



On the evening of today 20 November 2020 Ernesto Canto, the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic champion who was fighting against one of the worst enemies: pancreatic cancer also extended to the liver, died at the age of 61.



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Who was Ernesto Canto?
Ernesto Canto Gudiño was born on October 18, 1959 in Mexico City, and was a specialist in 20 kilometers of walking and in his day it was certainly not easy to win against him in an international event in which he participated.
The chain of his successes and podiums is endless, a rich curriculum that spans his glory days in all categories. His idol was José Pedraza, silver at the 1968 Mexico Olympic Games.
At the age of 13 he began his collection of victories: national champion in the U18; Subsequently, in 1973, he won the 10km of the Central American and Caribbean Youth Championship of Caracas 1974, a title he held in Xalapa 1977 and also obtained the American youth title, in Montreal.
Ernesto Canto had its golden age in the 1980s. He covered the 20km of the Central American and Caribbean Games in Havana 1982, later won the Pan American Games in Caracas 1983 and the world title in Helsinki 1983 and broke the world hour record at the Softeland Grand Prix, covering the distance of 15,253 meters.


Mar del Plata 1983: Canto, Mercenario, Leblanc (CAN)

It was on that occasion that he set a new world record in 20km (1:18:40.0h) by beating another Mexican legend, Daniel Bautista (1:19:49). In 1984 Olympic gold came at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, getting 1-2 with Raúl González (MEX) and in front of Maurizio Damilano (ITA).
His most important medals can be summarized in the following:
Olympics - 1984
World Cup - 1983
World Cup - 1981
Pan American Games - 1983
American Cup - 1990
World Cup: 1983 and 1991
American Cup - 1990
Those were the years of the Mexican school of the march born with the coach Jerzy Hausleber (POL). Mexican athletes from Daniel Bautista and Pablo Colin, first up to Bernardo Segura and Noe Hernandez at the end of the century were certainly not kindly pointed to by the public. Only Raul Gonzalez and then Carlos Mercenario were saved.
Even Ernesto Canto in this historical period had to suffer technical ups and downs, which culminated with his disqualifications at the World Championships in Rome in 1987 and at the subsequent Olympic Games in Seoul in 1988. In both races he was in the leading group and he was fighting for victory.

Ernesto Canto followed by Maurizio Damilano at the Coliseum in Los Angeles 1984
Two young Ernesto Canto and Maurizio Damilano: a duel that will be repeated over time.