Déborah Rodríguez commented on her feelings after qualifying for the semi-finals in the 800-meter freestyle at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Talking with the National Sports Secretariat, the Uruguayan athlete thanked all the support received, dedicated her great career to her nephews and highlighted how much It was inspired by rowers Bruno Cetraro and Felipe Klüver.
The Uruguayan finished second in her heat, where there were five rivals with the best season records (eight athletes ran in the series). Rodríguez had a time of 2: 00.90 (70 hundredths of his best mark, and national record, achieved in Geneva on June 12). Cuban Rosé Mary Almanza won that fifth qualifying series with 2: 00.71.
After the race, Rodríguez commented: “I fought to the end, I said: I will give up my life if necessary in this race. And it was what I did. Sometimes when one goes through difficult moments, moments that are a series of difficulties after another, one loses confidence and security.. My coach has helped me a lot in this process. I also thank my psychologist José, who until the last minutes before running was calling me, working on the emotional part that was the most challenging for me ”.
“I really thank my whole country, everyone. My dad and mom sending me funny videos, lots of joy, my mom with all the love, my brothers and especially my nephews who are the light of my eyes, I dedicate it to my nephews who are always with me. I’m very happy, I want to enjoy this moment, but now I can focus on the next race ”, underlined the flag bearer of Uruguay at the opening ceremony of these Games, sharing this honor with the rower Bruno Cetraro.
The Uruguayan could become the first Uruguayan woman with three Olympic participations this Thursday, surpassing Josefa Vincent (1968 and 1972), Felicia Ospitaleche (1968 and 1972), Serrana Fernández (2000 and 2004), Inés Remersaro (2012 and 2016), and Dolores ‘Lola’ Moreira (2016 and 2020).
Rodríguez, 19, participated in the 2012 London Olympics, where he competed in 400 meter hurdles, finishing 28th out of 45 athletes. At Rio 2016, the athlete finished sixth in her qualifying series in the 800 meters, but met her goal of achieving the best mark of her season and finished 46th out of 65 athletes.
In these Tokyo Games, Rodríguez has already entered the top 24 in the competition and this Saturday, at 9:10 in Uruguay, will play the semifinals in series 3 with Ugandan Winnie Nanyondo, American Raevyn Rogers (fourth in the world ranking), Cuban Almanza, Keely Hodgkinson from Great Britain, Katharina Trost from Germany, Moroccan Rababe Arafi and Chunyu Wang from China. All of Rodríguez’s rivals have personal records below two minutes; In addition, except for the Ugandan Nanyondo and the Uruguayan athlete, the remaining six members of this heat also have their best marks of the season in less than 120 seconds.
The athlete thanked and remarked a great source of motivation: “Let’s go up my country! I want to send a hug to all Uruguayans. A big hug to the rowing team made up of the teacher Osvaldo (Borchi), Bruno Cetraro and Felipe Klüver; every afternoon I went to chat with them, to live that moment with them. They inspired me to have this result, it is beyond words what they did beyond the results; the courage these kids had when it came to rowing is admirable and I had this result for them, so thank you gurises! “
On July 20, 2021, Rodríguez commented in an interview with the Uruguayan Olympic Committee about his dream in his life: “In the long term, when I am 75 or 80 years old, that I can rock on a deck chair, look at the horizon, the sunset or the sunrise and say: ‘In my life I did everything I wanted to do. I lived, I did, I undone, I made mistakes or successes, I did everything I wanted to do ”. Now you can add to everything done, and what remains to be done, having qualified for an Olympic semifinal.