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Five Venezuelan Athletes with a Chance of Winning a Medal in Río 2016

Five Venezuelan Athletes with a Chance of Winning a Medal in Río 2016

Posted by Miguel Ernesto on May 26, 2016

Four years ago, Venezuela celebrated the Olympic title obtained by fencer Ruben Limardo in London. It was the second time in the history of Olympic Games that a Venezuelan athlete climbed to the highest step of the podium, after boxer Francisco “Morochito” Rodriguez’s crown conquered in Mexico, back in 1968. Will Limardo be capable of repeating this result in Rio 2016 Olympic Games? Who are the other Venezuelan stars at the Brazilian city? PanamericanWorld invites you to take a closer look at five athletes with the potential to win a medal in the most important sports event of the world.

Venezuela has participated in 17 editions of the Olympic Games since the country made its debut in London, 1948. All in all, the Venezuelan athletes have collected 12 medals, two of which are golden (Rodriguez and Limardo), two silver medals (boxers Pedro Gamarro, in Montreal 1976, and Bernardo Piñango, in Moscow 1980) and eight bronzes.

Boxing has stood out, with five medals, while taekwondo has contributed with two victories. 

Venezuela will go to Rio with a delegation made up of over 60 athletes, who are going to compete in 16 disciplines, 15 singles and a team one (men’s basketball). These numbers were way below that country’s historic record (108 athletes in Beijing, 2008), but they are similar to the London edition in 2012.

Ruben Limardo (Sword – Fencing)

In London, Limardo’s performance with the sword was brilliant, since he prevailed in the final over Norwegian Batosz Piasecki. This fencer later won the gold medal in the World Championship held in Argentina, in 2013, and he finished second that very year, in Budapest.

Moreover, he won two titles in Toronto 2015 Pan-American Games, in singles by defeating Argentinean Jose Dominguez 15-6, and in team sword.

Limardo won his ticket to Rio 2016 thanks to the team victory against Finland 37-27 in this year’s World Cup, hosted by Vancouver. He undoubtedly is Venezuela’s flagship in this edition of the Games.

Yulimar Rojas (Triple Jump – Athletics)

This 20-year-old triple jumper will be feeling very inspired in Rio, since she conquered the indoor world title in Portland, in March 2016, with 14.41 meters.

Colombian Catherine Ibarguen will be her biggest rival, an athlete that has been undefeated for four years and didn’t participate in Portland. Rojas is in great physical shape and, with her 1.92 meters of height and excellent elasticity, she’s one of the main stars in this discipline around the globe. Nobody would be surprised if she makes it to the podium at the Brazilian city.

Stefany Hernandez (BMX – Cycling)

This cyclist, who competes in Bike Moto Cross (BMX), was proclaimed world champion in Zolder, Belgium, in 2015, and this 24-year-old athletes presently occupies the second position in the world ranking.

Hernandez participated in London Olympic Games, where she finished in the ninth position. Four years later she’ll be one of the favorite athletes to win the title in Rio.

Andreina Pinto (800 meters Freestyle – Swimming)

At the age of 24, this swimmer dreams about winning an Olympic medal to put an end to her sports career, in which she has conquered over two tens of medals in events in Latin America, although she hasn’t been able to stand out in an international first-level event.

In her two previous Olympic Games, Pinto finished ninth in the 10 km test, in Beijing, and she later got the Olympic diploma in London, by swimming to the eighth position in 800 meters freestyle.

Pinto qualified for Rio back in August 2015, for 400 - 800 meters freestyle competitions, as well as 200 meters butterfly. Reaching the podium won’t be easy because the Venezuelan swimmer occupies the eleventh position in the world ranking in 400 meters freestyle (4:17.07 minutes) and she’s the thirteenth in 800 meters freestyle (8:31.64).

“I just want to be on the podium; I don’t care if the medal is golden, silver or bronze,” Pinto told the local media.

Albert Subirats (Swimming)

This experienced swimmer will also have some medal-winning chances in Rio. He has collected 15 titles in Central American and Caribbean Games (the top winner of all time in this tournament), one gold medal in Guadalajara Pan-Am Games, in 2011, and he has participated in three editions of the Olympic Games, from Athens to London.

Among his main results, he holds the world title in short swimming pool, 50 meters butterfly, in 2010 and he got the world bronze in 50 meters butterfly, in Melbourne, 2007.

Subirats got his ticket to Rio by winning the gold medal in 100 meters butterfly, in the South American Championship carried out in Paraguay, where he set a record for the region, with 51.9 seconds.

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