Hugo Arillo Vazquez is hoping for a successful 2021 after a frustrating season due to the coronavirus pandemic ©Facebook/Hugo Arillo Vazquez

Spanish taekwondo athlete Hugo Arillo Vazquez is hoping to put a season ruined by the coronavirus pandemic behind him and get his fledgling career back on track.

The promising 18-year-old enjoyed a successful 2019 on the youth circuit, with victory in the Spanish Open along with silver medals at the Belgian Open and World Taekwondo Europe Multi European Games and a bronze at the European Championships.

But his hopes of kicking on this year were dashed when the outbreak of coronavirus forced taekwondo events to be brought to be a halt.

"It has been a very difficult season for everyone," said Arillo in comments reported by YoSoyNoticia.

"Luckily, I have taken it with great patience, with desire and looked to improve things that you do not have time to do when you are in a period of competitions.

"I have literally done one competition so far this season, which was the senior Spanish Championship.

"I got a bronze medal and it left a bad taste in my mouth."

Arillo is eager to return to competitive action as he bids to climb "many places in the senior Olympic ranking" in 2021.

Tokyo 2020 looks likely to come too soon for Arillo, with 2017 world bronze medallist Jesús Tortosa in the same weight class.

Spain can only be represented by one athlete in the men's under-58-kilogram category, and Tortosa is fourth in the  Olympic rankings at present.

Hugo Arillo Vazquez claimed four youth medals last season including gold at the Spanish Open ©FER Project
Hugo Arillo Vazquez claimed four youth medals last season including gold at the Spanish Open ©FER Project

"I hope that soon, those of us who are taekwondo professionals, can be taking a normal rhythm of competitions and be able to move forward," Arillo added.

As well as competing, Arillo said he was also focused on his studies and was grateful for the support of the FER Project.

The Trinidad Alfonso Foundation-backed initiative aims to help Valencian athletes achieve their best results in national and international competitions, as well as contribute to their participation in the Olympics or Paralympics.

A total of 142 athletes received support from the FER Project in 2020.

"You have to make an extra effort to keep a high training pace and at the same time have energy to spend hours studying," added Arillo.

"The FER Project is a great support for me.

"It helps me to achieve my goals more easily.

"It is a great pride to be able to be on a team with some of the best athletes in the world."