Thursday, August 15, 2013

Colombia’s Ibargüen Wins World Triple Jump Title

Over three weeks after Colombian cyclist Nairo Quintana captured second place in the Tour de France, one of his compatriots secured another sporting triumph for the South American nation.

Caterine Ibargüen won the women's triple jump at the world track and field championships on Thursday in Moscow. 

The silver medalist at last year’s Summer Games on London triumphed earlier today with a leap of 48-3 ¼ feet (14.85 meters).  Despite faulting on three of her six jumps, her second attempt earned her the gold ahead of hometown favorite Yekaterina Koneva and reigning Olympic champion Olha Saladuha of the Ukraine.

“I felt all of Colombia jump with me!” exclaimed Ibargüen who also thanked her supporters in Puerto Rico where she went to university as well as her Cuban-born coach Ubaldo Duany.

After winning the gold medal, Ibargüen received congratulations from many of her compatriots including President Juan Manuel Santos and the governor of the Antioquia province where her family resides.

“Her father told me ‘you are the chief of all of this since you helped her accomplish this.  I want you to be happy with the victories she obtains’”, exclaimed Ibargüen’ grandmother, Ayola Rivas, who was joined by friends, family and well-wishers of the current Diamond League points leader in the women's triple jump.

Ibargüen’s gold wasn’t the only accomplishment by athletes from Latin America and the Caribbean at the world championships.  Jamaicans Usain Bolt and Shelly-Anne Fraser-Pryce confirmed their gold medals last year in London by winning in the 100-meter dash for men and women, respectively.  Luguelin Santos of the Dominican Republic, for his part, took bronze in the men's 800-meter race.

In the meantime, preparations for the upcoming 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro have not been free of problems.  In June, hundreds of thousands of Brazilians took part in street protests partly as a result of the overspending of public funds for Olympic venues.  On Wednesday, Marcio Fortes, who was chief of the Olympic Public Authority (APO), called it quits:
The head of the public body coordinating planning for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro has resigned, raising concerns about the city's ability to stage the first Games in South America…
The APO coordinates preparations for the Games between Brazil's federal, state and local governments, but is not responsible for delivery or construction of Olympic-related projects.

The resignation may concern inspectors from the International Olympic Committee, who will be in Rio at the end of the month to assess progress on preparations for the games. The IOC has expressed concerns that planning and construction are moving slowly.
Earlier this month, Leo Gryner, chief operating officer of the local organizing committee, acknowledged $700 million in public money may be needed to cover a shortfall in the operating budget. He also acknowledged Rio got a late start on games construction.
Video Source– YouTube via Universal Sports

Online Sources – The Guardian; Huffington Post; ESPN; The Latin Americanist;; Caracol Radio

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