Peru's President Humala attends Dakar Rally awards ceremony

By Manuel Vigo

Humala presented the first place trophies and said he hoped the 2012 Dakar Rally would be the first of many major sporting events taking place in Peru in the near future.

Peru's President Humala attends Dakar Rally awards ceremony

(Photo: Jelle Lieuwens)

Peruivan President Ollanta Humala was present during the awards ceremony of the 2012 Dakar Rally, which came to a close in Lima today.

The President presented the trophies for the first place finishers, Cyril Despres (Winner of the motorcycle category), Stephane Peterhansel (Cars winner), Alejandro Patronelli (Quads), and Gerard de Roy, Darek Rodewald and Tom Colsoul (winner of the Trucks category).

"This is not the last, but the beginning of a series of competitions. Peru is waiting for you with great affection," President Humala said at the awards ceremony in Lima’s Plaza de Armas.

Humala said he hoped such high profile sporting events would continue to come to Peru.

"Peru is very happy to have you here today. Peru, the land of the Incas and Machu Picchu, gives you a warm welcome," he added. "Peru is ready for such high profile events and I\‘m sure these competitions will come [to Peru] again," he said according to Andina.

President Humala was accompanied First Lady Nadine Heredia; Prime Minister Oscar Valdes; the head of the Peruvian Sports Institute (IPD), Francisco Boza; and the head of the Dakar Rally\‘s organizing committee, Etienne Lavigne.

Last week Eduardo Dibos, Dakar’s representative in Peru, said the 2013 Dakar Rally, which is already scheduled to finish in Chile, could start in Peru.