The Tokyo Olympic Games are here, after a year of delay caused by the global pandemic, and Spanish athletes are prepared to try to achieve the maximum performance in the great event of world sport, which has been repeated since 1896. the first edition is underway in Athens. The options to get to the top of the podium are diverse and here we review the main ones of a delegation that amounts to 321 athletes.
The two Spanish flag bearers lead the medal chances for Spain, Mireia Belmonte Y Saul Craviotto, who aspire to achieve in both cases their fifth Olympic medal, which would allow them to reach the height of those achieved by David Cal, who to date is the most awarded in history in our country with five. The Catalan swimmer is assured of her presence in the 800 and 1,500 freestyle tests, although she could also swim the 400 styles and the 200 butterfly, a test in which she would defend the gold won in Rio. The canoeist will compete in the K-4 500 meters and K-1,200 tests, with many options to be able to triumph again in Tokyo, in a sport of wide successes throughout history and that will also feature the K-2 1,000 meters with Francisco Cubelos and Íñigo Peña and with Teresa Portela, like other spearheads. In the K-1 whitewater slalom event, he will defend his title won in Rio Maialen Chourraut.
Saul Craviotto and Mireia Belmonte, flag bearers of Spain at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (Photo: COE)
Image Source: From Official Website
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Other great names who already know what it is to savor the honeys of an Olympic podium, reappear as great aspirants to get back on the drawer in the Japanese capital. In athletics, Orlando ortega He is our strongest candidate in the 110-meter hurdles, a test where he was already silver five years ago. Also Lydia valentin He will once again be a clear benchmark in weightlifting, in search of his fourth medal.
Ortega’s is not the only name with options in athletics, with the presence of Ana Peleteiro in triple jump, or the walking events in which the 20-kilometer European champions excel, Maria Perez Y Alvaro Martin. Also Mohamed Katir, recent national record holder of 1,500, 3,000 and 5,000, will be one of the favorites in this last distance in the Japanese capital, the only one in which he will take part. Neither will that of Mireia in swimming, with the recent continental gold of the 200 styles, Hugo Gonzalez.
A sport that returned to the Games in Rio 2016 was golf and at the Tokyo event, Spain will have the top favorite to take the gold, Jon rahm. Winner of the US Open a few days ago, his first ‘major’, and number one in the world, the Barrika player, is one of the main familiar faces of the delegation.
Jon Rahm, 2021 US Open champion
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Karate opens in Tokyo and with it the medal options for Spain in this discipline, with Damien Quintero in the male category and, above all, Sandra Sanchez in the female, great dominator of the world ranking in recent years. Sadly, this sport will cease to be Olympic in Paris 2024, despite efforts to keep it on the schedule.
An Olympic Games cannot be understood without sailing being once again one of the sports that has given the most glory to the global record of the Spanish team. The 470 world champions, Silvia Mas Y Patricia cantero, they will fight for the top of the podium, in addition to Támara Echegoyen Y Paula Barcelo, which will also have great options on 49er FX, along with the rest of the team, which is on Blanca Manchón in the RS: X class, among others.
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A double world champion will be the main exponent of Spanish judo in Tokyo, Niko Sherazadishvili, in the -90 kilos category, together with the Cordoba Julia Figueroa, who reached bronze in the last world championships in -48 kilos. They aspire to follow the path set by greats in this sport such as Miriam Blasco or Isabel Fernández, who managed to reach the top in Barcelona 1992 and Sydney 2000 respectively.
In triathlon, the three-time world champion, Mario Mola, will seek to follow the path of Javier Gómez Noya, and achieve his first Olympic medal. Both will be in Tokyo 2020, leading the aspirations of Spain in this discipline. The Galician was already silver in London 2012 in a fierce fight against the Brownlee brothers.
Alejandro Valverde he will have his last chance to get on an Olympic podium in Tokyo, at 41 years old, being once again the main favorite among the Spanish team to return to get gold in the road test, something that Samuel Sánchez did in Beijing 2008 On the track, it will be the pair formed by Albert Torres Y Sebastian Mora the great trick, that they start with great options in Madison and in the Omnium (where only Torres will participate).
Fatima Galvez Y Alberto Fernandez they will seek to repeat the feat carried out in Athens 2004, where María Quintanal was a silver medal in the pit, in shooting. Also in synchronized swimming, with a team led by Ona Carbonell or in taekwondo, where the European champion Adriana Cerezo seeks in its first Games to be able to climb to the top of the podium, Spain could celebrate a medal. In tennis, Nadal’s loss leaves Garbiñe Muguruza already Pablo Carreño as the main references of the Spanish team.
Spain, a team delegation
The different teams that represent Spain in the Tokyo Olympic Games are once again one of the main focuses to take into account when it comes to the final medal table for our country. The return of football it revives the spirit of Antwerp 1920 or Sydney 2000, where silver went, or Barcelona 1992, where in a vibrant final at the Camp Nou, they won gold by beating Poland. But far from it will be the only set with options.
The basketball He managed to hang medals again in Rio twice, in the male and female category, something that he will seek to achieve again in the Japanese capital. It will be the last chance of a generation that will be commanded by Pau Gasol again, after his good end of the season with Barcelona, and who has been chaining medals since Beijing 2008. In the women’s category, the Eurobasket could be a jug of cold water, staying fourth and out of the possibility of getting into the qualifying phase for the World Cup, however, Lucas Mondelo’s girls arrive in Tokyo wanting to turn the situation around and shine again as they did five years ago in Brazil.
Pau Gasol (Spain)
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The handball male, world and European champion, aspires to close the cycle with the missing title, the Olympic, after not being present in Rio de Janeiro. The ‘Warriors’, who were sixth in the last round and third in London 2012, will also have their options in the female category.
The water polo The men’s, current world runner-up, will enter the pool with the goal of a gold that was already achieved in Atlanta 1996, and the women’s, European champion and World Cup silver medalist, will try to get on a podium that he savored in London and from which he was very close in 2016. Also the hockey grassFor both men and women, it will be a sport that must be taken into account in terms of medal possibilities.
In short, a Spanish delegation that disembarks in Tokyo 2020 with the hope and desire to do something great in Japan, with predictions that could even improve the edition of the story that has brought more glory to our country, with the 22 medals that were achieved in Barcelona 1992, which are still the benchmark to overcome for national sport.
The spectacular venues of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
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