Sport in Peru

Sport in Peru

= Football=

The most popular Peruvian sport is association football. The Peru national football team has made four World Cup appearances:
*1970 (quarterfinalists)
*1978 (quarterfinalists)

The national side has also won two Copa América trophies: 1939 and 1975.

Football legends from Peru include Hugo Sotil, Cesar Cueto, Roberto Challe, Héctor Chumpitaz, Percy Rojas, Juan Carlos Oblitas and Teofilo Cubillas, Peru's most successful striker in the World Cup Finals with 10 goals.

Current renowned players include midfielder Nolberto Solano (West Ham United), and strikers Claudio Pizarro (Chelsea F.C.), Jose Paolo Guerrero (SV Hamburg), Jefferson Farfán (PSV Eindhoven) and Miguel Mostto, (Barnsley). Universitario de Deportes, Alianza Lima, Sporting Cristal, and Cienciano are the biggest teams in Peru. In 2003, Cienciano won the Copa Sudamericana by beating Argentinian club River Plate, and then proceeded to beat Latin American powerhouse Boca Juniors (Also from Argentina) in the Recopa Sudamericana played in Miami.


Taekwondo in Peru was first introduced by John Polar. John Polar, an Arequipeños instructor master the art of Taekwondo in Cochabamba, Bolivia, an introduced this form of Martial Art in the early 1970's. The first Peruvian Taekwondo Clubs were to be found in Arequipa.

Late in 1970's Sa Bum Nim Byon Oh Park, introduce Taekwondo in Lima. By about 1979, Sa Bum Nim Jon Hye, after a few years spent in Argentina also joined Byon Oh Park in disseminating Taekwndo in Lima.

Simultaneously to this two, John Polar and Byong Oh Park, Alex Velazques was doing Taekwondo with a reduced number of practiciones 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 open up a Club, Black Belt Taekwondo Club were most of their best students from San Marcos continued training.

In 1981, the first open martial arts competition was run. In this competition, practicioners from Kung Fu, Shotokan Karate, Kyokushinkai and other styles, along with Taekwondo took part. It was the first time Taekwondo athletes were to atke part in any open national event. It was also the golden debut of Taekwondo as the first three places were for Taekwondo teams.

1st Place: Black Belt Taekwondo2nd Place: San Marcos Taekwondo3rd Place: Jon Hye Taekwondo Academy.

It is in that tournament that names of Cesar Landeo (Black Belt) and Luis Oshiro (Jon Hye) became famous and well known. Cesar Landeo in particular attracted the attention of athletes of different styles in Martial Arts.

Afer this experience Taekwondo grew up in popularity and a number of Clubs and academies started to flourish. Late 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)were he graduated as Electrical engineer. The UNI team has won more than 10 university championships between 1981 and 1994 at university level. Other Takwondo Cluba 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 gained by the mid 90's is still going strong, while great efforts are done to restore its stand in the Peruvian Sport. The tireless effort of Cesar Landeo and Carlos Fuller should soon restore this.

In the 2008 Olympic games, Peruvian Peter Lopez finished 4th.


Another popular sport is Women’s volleyball (Silver medal in Seoul 1988 Olympic Games, Runners-up in World Championship in 1982 and 12 times South American champion).


Felipe Pomar, 2nd World Surfing Championship, Peru 1965, 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, 1998, and 1999, and have more South American Champions in J24, Windsurf, Laser Class and Lightning.


Peruvian shooters have won 3 of Peru's 4 Olympic medals. Edwin Vásquez won Peru's only gold medal in London 1948 Olympic Games, while Francisco Boza (Los Angeles 1984), and Juan Giha (Barcelona 1992) both won silver medals.


Luis Horna and Jaime Yzaga are the most famous Peruvian tennis players. Tennis Hall of Famer and Davis Cup and Wimbledon winner Alejandro Olmedo was born in Peru but played for the United States. Laura Arraya is a best Peruvian Tennis player in womens. Her brother is Pablo Arraya, a former Peruvian tennis player.

Although the sport is not quite as popular as others in Peru, the Peruvian tennis team generally does well and is usually at the Americas Zone Group I. Twice Peru has gotten to the World Group playoffs in 1989 and 1994, but was not able to advance into the prestigious World Group. In 2007, the Peruvian team, commanded by Luis Horna and Iván Miranda, beat the Belarus team of Max Mirnyi and Vladimir Voltchkov, and will play in the 2008 World Group.

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