Five women are very likely to win gold medals for Mexico in 2015 Pan Am. Over the past years, Mexican sport has stood out, in most of the cases, in international events thanks to females. Such athletes as Soraya Jimenez, Ana Gabriela Guevara, Lorena Ochoa and Iridia Salazar have made the world watch Mexico in a special way.
PanamericanWorld has handpicked five sportswomen that, because of the experience and quality shown at international level, are even included in the group of the top Mexican athletes of all times and they can shine in Toronto. We know that some people won’t see eye to eye with us, but let’s just start debating.
PAOLA ESPINOSA- DIVE
Paola Espinosa was born in La Paz, Baja California Sur, 28 years ago. She is a diver specialized in the 10-meter platform. She made her Olympic debut in 2004 Athens, although it was in Beijing where Paola got the Olympic glory. On August 12, 2008 she won the bronze medal in synchronized dives, 10-meter platform, along with Tatiana Ortiz.
Paola ranked first in the 10-meter platform test during the World Swimming Championship held in Rome, Italy, in 2009. Moreover, she took three gold medals in the 2010 Central American and Caribbean Games carried out in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. As for Pan-American Games, she has obtained 6 gold medals, 3 silver medals and one bronze in three different editions. In 2012 London, Espinosa became the first Mexican sportswoman to obtain two medals in different Olympic events, as she won the silver in the same test she had previously done it in Beijing, but this time around she was accompanied by Alejandra Orozco.
Despites some injuries she has suffered over the past years, Paola is a world-class athlete who is expected to be completely healthy for Toronto and she undoubtedly represents one of Mexico’s hopes to collect medals.
MARÍA DEL ROSARIO ESPINOZA- TAEKWONDO
Maria del Rosario Espinoza comes from La Brecha, Sinaloa, and she is a Taekwondo expert. This martial artist is described as one of the best Mexican athletes of all times as she won the gold in 2008 Beijing and bronze in 2012 London, category +67 kilos.
In 2007 Maria del Rosario Espinoza was proclaimed world champion in the taekwondo championship that took place in China and, in 2010 Mayaguez Central American and Caribbean Games, she got the gold medal. In 2011, Maria couldn’t repeat the results she had obtained in 2007 Rio de Janeiro Pan Am as she didn’t qualify for Guadalajara. This was a serious setback for the Mexican athlete, because she couldn’t compete in his homeland, with her people.
“Maria Bonita”, as she’s known, was back on track in 2014 and she fought her way up to the highest position on the podium in the Central American and Caribbean Games held in Veracruz. Furthermore, she got the silver medal in Queretaro Grand Prix. She has already qualified for 2015 Pan Am, so we’ll keep an eye on her in Toronto. Maria del Rosario is a champion and she won’t stop until she leaves Guadalajara behind and continues to 2016 Rio.
PAOLA LONGORIA- RACQUETBOL
Paola Longoria was born on July 20, 1989. She has been labeled World Queen of Racquetball. It’s not an Olympic sport, but Paola has shed light on this discipline because of her supremacy over the past years. On October 19, 2014, something interrupted the athlete’s winning streak of 152 victories in a row and 37 titles, which meant 3 years 5 months and 18 days without a defeat. It was the longest period of victories in the history of racquetball in both disciplines. Longoria is the twice world champion of the International Racquetball Federation in both categories – single and doubles -, so she’s the first player to obtain both titles at the same time.
Longoria is also the number one racquetball player of the Women’s Professional Racquetball Organization, and she was the first woman to obtain the first position on the professional ranking, 2008-2009 season. She repeated the achievement during the 2009-2010 season, and the player has stood at the top of qualification over the past three seasons. Paola is the present world, Pan-American and Central American racquetball champion, and she’ll try to repeat in Toronto the three gold medals she won in 2011 Guadalajara, in singles, doubles and teams.
AÍDA ROMÁN- ARCHERY
Aida Roman has become one of the most important sport benchmarks in Mexico. Her charisma is undeniable and her quality is a guarantee. This archery expert, who was born on May 21, 1988, was proclaimed best athlete in 2014 by the International Archery Federation.
In 2010 Central American and Caribbean Games, Roman was the second athlete with the highest number of medals, with eight (7 gold medals, 1 silver). Aida got the gold in teams and bronze in singles during 2011 Guadalajara Pan Am. In 2012 London Olympic Games her efforts and discipline helped her obtain the silver medal in the single test, so she was given the National Sports Award by the government of Mexico. In 2014 Aida was the Central American champion in teams in Veracruz, she got the gold medal in the Archery World Championship held in Nimes, France, and the archer won two gold medals in the finals of the World Cup in Lausanne, Switzerland. These are the reasons why Aida Roman is going to be a strong rival in 2015 Pan Am.
FERNANDA GONZÁLEZ- SWIMMING
Swimmer Fernanda Gonzalez is the only one on this list that hasn’t won an Olympic medal or been proclaimed world champion in her discipline. In spite of the popularity of swimming in Mexico, the results in this sport discipline have not been as good as expected; however, Fernanda’s decision of moving to Gainesville in 2013 and joining the Florida Gators team, coached by Gregg Troy, has been fruitful.
25-year-old Gonzalez is described as one of the finest Mexican swimmers in the history of the country. She participated in both 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympic Games, and she holds the Mexican records in 50, 100 and 200 meters backstroke, as she’s a specialist in this style. In 2011 Guadalajara Fernanda made history as she was the first Mexican swimmer to be on the podium three times in the same Pan Am edition, with three bronze medals. She did this before going to the United States, so after two years of training with one of the best coaches of the world, Fernanda’s goal in 2015 Toronto will be to improve her results. In 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games, her performance was great. She collected five gold medals and one silver, way better than her 2 gold medals, 2 silvers and 2 bronzes in 2010 Mayaguez. We should pay attention to Fernanda in 2015 Toronto, as she could go farther than expectations.