Andres Silva winning the octathlon (Getty Images) © Copyright
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Uruguayan gem Andrés Silva looking for Decathlon success in Grosseto

Uruguay is a small country of only 3 million inhabitants that is widely recognized by its football tradition and its talented players. Those players come from all over the country and Tacuarembó is one of those cities from the interior of Uruguay that produces quality football players.

Andrés Silva, the 2003 Octathlon World Youth Champion was born in Tacuarembó, and even though he is not a footballer, he is one of the biggest prides of the entire Nation.

This talented and versatile athlete is one of the best 400m junior runners in the world, with a recent South American junior record of 45.80, but for the Grosseto World Junior Championships he has decided to enter the Decathlon, which he will contest for only the second time of his life. This says how much Andrés loves new challenges.

Here’s how he approaches the third World Championships of his life.

“My coach, Andrés Barrios and I decided to contest the Decathlon when we prepared this season. What’s also clear for us is that my future will be in the races, but still we don’t know exactly which event.”

“I was born in Tacuarembó, and I moved to Maldonado when I was 12. That’s when I met my coach, and that’s how I started to “play” on the track.”

“I get a lot of support from is my family, who is still living in Tacuarembó, my coach and my training partners. They have supported me since the beginning. I also receive help from my club, “Campus de Maldonado”, the Uruguayan National Olympic Committee, the Sports Ministry, and private sponsors such as Nike and “Uragua”, which is the company that supplies water for the area of Maldonado.”

“The victory at the Octathlon in Sherbrooke was very surprising since it was my first experience in a World Youth Championship at that particular event. I knew I was going to face the best athletes of my age, and that we entered the event with the 5th best performance. But my coach and I decided that it was very possible to win the gold medal, and we went for it.”

“The reception in Uruguay after the victory in Sherbrooke was wonderful. A Lot of people and media were waiting for me at the airport. People I knew and many people I didn’t know. It’s something I will never forget.”

“The transition to the Decathlon went very smoothly, and in the first one in Rosario, Argentina, I scored 7440 points, which improved the South American previous mark with the light implements by almost 700 points. The “new” events for me were the Discus and the Pole. With the Discus I almost had no problems, since the technique was simple to learn.

“The Pole presented more difficulties, and at the beginning we had to train with a cane that we call “Caña Tacuara”, which is obviously not the same than a regular pole. But later on, a coach in Uruguay, Rodolfo Díaz, gave us a big hand, lending us some poles, and giving us some useful tips.”

“I give a lot of credit to my family, because they always supported me in everything I did. Then, I’m grateful to have a good friend in my training partner Heber Viera, the 2003 South American Champion, and 100m and 200m National record holder. I have always looked up to him as an inspiration and a motivation to keep improving.”

“Training in Uruguay presents a few difficulties, not only because there isn’t a lot of support for our sport, but also because in the winter we don’t have an indoor facility to train, and compared with more developed countries, we lack on materials and infrastructure. Still, I appreciate all the support that we have from private sponsors and official institutions.”

“Looking ahead, I guess I will finally concentrate in the 400m, which is the event that I enjoy the most. I also feel that I could obtain great results in the 400m Hurdles.

“After Grosseto I will concentrate on the 400m, since at the past South American Under-23 Championships in Barquisimeto, Venezuela (26 June) I obtained the B Standard to participate in the Olympic Games with a time of 45.80.”

“This year’s preparation was outstanding, not only in training, but also with the results that we obtained.”

“We wanted to win at the South American Under-23 Championships and lower the 46 seconds barrier. We achieved both, and now our expectation is set in Grosseto, where we will try to better the Decathlon mark obtained in April in Argentina.”

“I’m in great shape and in great spirit. We know that I will face athletes with more experience in the Decathlon, but I promise to give it all, as I have always done every time I step on a track.”

Eduardo Biscayart for the IAAF


Andrés Byron Silva
Born in Tacuarembó on 27 March 1986. 1.80m, 74Kg.
Coached by Andrés Barrios.

2003 Octathlon World Youth Champion. 2004 South American Under-23 Champion at 400 meters, 2003 South American Junior Champion at 400 meters, 2002 South American Youth Octathlon Champion.

South American Junior records at 400 meters (45.80, also a National record) and Decathlon (7440 with Junior implements)

His performances of 2004
200 meters
21.51    1  Montevideo  4 April
21.28 NR-j 0.3 2 Piñeyrúa Montevideo  18 April
400 meters
46.86    1  Montevideo  20 March
46.79    1  Montevideo  4 April
46.9    Dec  Rosario  24 April
46.77    1 SAmGP Porto Alegre  1 May
46.29    3rA Guaita Santiago de Chile  8 May
48.91    1 NC San Carlos  30 May
47.09  2h1 SAmC-U23 Barquisimeto 26 June
45.80 NR AR-j  1 SAmC-U23 Barquisimeto 26 June
110 meters hurdles
14.93 NR-j -0.2 3 Piñeyrúa Montevideo  18 April
400 meters hurdles
52.45   1 NC-U23 Montevideo  6 June
Long Jump
7.30   0.2 Dec  Rosario  24 April
Decathlon (Junior implements)
7440 AR-j  1-j  Rosario  25 April
 10.8/-0.5 7.30/0.2 12.41 1.89 46.9 15.1/-0.3 35.76 3.90 51.96 4:19.7

Other South Americans to watch
Profiled Athletes
Argentina’s Germán Chiaraviglio - click here
Brazil’s Júlio César Miranda de Oliveira - click here

Other names
Jorge Célio Sena (BRA, 200m)
Diego Chargal Martins Diniz Gomes (BRA, 800m)
Eder Antônio Souza (BRA, 110mh)
Diego Venâncio (BRA, 400mh)
Rogério Bispo (BRA, LJ)
Oswaldo Ortega (ECU, 10000m Walk)
Zenaide Vieira (BRA, 3000m St)
Milena Agudelo (COL, PV)