After a bumpy Olympic cycle and with results below expectations, the Olympic medalist achieved redemption by helping the Tokyo 2020 mixed relay team achieve a silver medal
For all the fan of Olympic sports, the name of Luguelin Santos is engraved in the memory courtesy of one of the two medals that the country achieved during the London 2012 Olympics. His silver medal came minutes after the gold of Felix Sanchez, which brought hope to the Dominican sport to continue climbing within a discipline in which the young Dominican was seen as the possible relief of the two-time gold medalist.
However, things did not go quite right for Saints, who has had to overcome multiple adversities to return to some Olympic Games. Since his silver medal in London, the Dominican had to face multiple obstacles, which would leave the runner in places where everyone expected him to be better. In 2013, Saints would reach third place in the 400 meter dash (with a time of 44.52 seconds), in the World Athletics Championship celebrated on Moscow. That same year the runner would return to Russia for the “Diamond League”, A competition where he came in fifth place with only three points, a much lower amount when compared to those that obtained first place (20).
The 2014, Saints he only reached a podium, this was in the 400 meters flat of the XVI Ibero-American Athletics Championship. Outside of this competition he had outstanding performances, but no podiums, the most outstanding was fourth place in the Central American and Caribbean Games Veracruz 2014.
During 2015 and 2016, Saints stayed on a roller coaster of performance. I would achieve a gold medal in the Toronto Pan American Games, despite not having a great start to the season. He would go to Rio in the 2016 Olympics, but failed to qualify and his last race of the year culminated in Brussels with a time of 45.02 seconds. 2017 was a complicated year where injuries played a trick on the Dominican.
It would recover with some solids Central American and Caribbean Games in Barranquilla during 2018, getting gold in the 400 meter dash and silver in the 4×400 relay race. To complete the good year, the Dominican rider would also reach first place in the Americas team in the 1AAF Continental Cup in the 4×400 relay race.
Saints it was a promise of success in Lima 2019, but he was in seventh in his defense of the gold medal achieved in 2015, being disqualified for the world championship held in Doha.
Now with significant individual accomplishments and much to redeem, Saints faced one of the most important professional challenges of his career, achieving a medal in Olympic Games again.
The sprinter was key during the semifinal stage of the competition of 4×400 mixed relays, which made its debut in Tokyo 2020. Thanks to the Dominican, the Caribbean quartet managed to get to the final in which they would win the silver medal and despite the fact that they did not participate in the last race, there is no doubt that their effort in the semifinals and their seniority were essential to guide a young team where the average age is around 23 years (not counting Santos).
A deserved silver medal for an athlete who has had to overcome adversities of all kinds to become the first Dominican in history to win two medals in two different disciplines.
Note made with information from Fernando Sena.