The last week delivered two historic medals in athletics to close the harvest in five, the lowest after eight years, in the Olympics. There was no gold and the generational change was felt in Tokyo 2020.
Colombia had two consecutive podiums in athletics. Enjoying the achievements of Anthony Zambrano in the 400 meters and Sandra Arenas in the 20-kilometer march, thrilled in a competition that felt distant due to the disputed times, the absence of public and in which there were no Olympic champions.
The appearances of London with one gold and Rio with three, aroused much expectation at the Games. It was not so. The delegation had fewer participants (71), the favorites went through injuries and the team that reports the most triumphs in history, competed with a third of its athletes. The warning was given in the 2019 Pan American Games in which the country finished below Mexico, Cuba and Argentina, their references to set the objectives in the Japan matches.
Mariana Pajón inaugurated her era in BMX with the gold medal in 2012. She extended her dominance in 2016. Caterine Ibargüen climbed from silver to the Olympic title in that period. The same happened with the weightlifters, they embraced glory with Oscar Figueroa. Two Games overflowing with triumphs.
Without knowing it, it was the closing of his stage in high performance. For this edition they recovered from injuries, found younger rivals and accepted that the brilliance of the brightest generation was extinguished. A logical consequence of sport.
Boxing won two in Rio and aimed to repeat in 2020 with Íngrit Valencia and Yuberjen Martínez. The Cauca fell 0-5 to Japan’s Tsukimi Namiki in the quarterfinals and the Antioqueño was eliminated by fellow local Ryomei Tanaka in a disputed decision.
The performance of the tennis doubles pair of Robert Farah and Juan Sebastián Cabal. They lost in the quarters 6-3, 3-6 and 10-7 against the New Zealand duo.
In weights, Mercedes Pérez lost ground in the snatch and although she gave everything in the second phase of her exercise, she was left without a podium for three kilos in the 64 kg category.
Of the 34 medals that Colombia has, nine are from the weights. They have been fixed since 2000 with the gold of María Isabel Urrutia. For Tokyo the team had three athletes out of the eight scheduled for a doping sanction. A sensitive low that was felt in the final account.
Luis Javier Mosquera won silver in the 67 kg. Mercedes Pérez finished fourth and Santiago Rodallegas, fifth in the 81 kg.
The neighbors outnumbered the country. Ecuador won two golds in road cycling and weights; while Venezuela in triple jump. The first took 48 athletes and the second 43.
The most celebrated of these Olympic Games were the medals of Anthony Zambrano and Sandra Arenas. That of the guajiro was in the accounts for his performance in the Olympic cycle. It was celebrated with everything because it was achieved in a discipline in which there is little visibility of our own. The marchista was a pleasant surprise. With that silver one, five were completed.
The figure was below expectations. In London there were nine, in Rio eight. Three years to go until Paris 2024.