Saturday, December 4

Spain sprints in the medal table

Pablo Carreño wins bronze in tenirs and Fátima Gálvez and Alberto Fernández, gold in trap.

Pablo Carreño wins bronze in tenirs and Fátima Gálvez and Alberto Fernández, gold in trap.

The national delegation In Tokyo he woke up with a reassuring analysis served by Spanish Television: until this Saturday, the same rate of medals was maintained in the Japan Games as in previous Olympic editions. There were three (Cerezo, Maialen and Valero), the same as in the first week of London, Athens, Sydney or Beijing. A relief, then. But the real balm came in shots. In the pit and in the mixed event, the aim of Fátima Gálvez and Alberto Fernández hooked thousands of Spanish early risers to television and to their appointment with 50 dishes in a row, which they tried to break without pause, one after another. It happened in the trap, one of the most exciting events on the Olympic calendar, one of those that reaches almost millionaire audiences every four years.

Without almost anyone suspecting it, the shot became the first gold mine for Spain in these Games. Neither taekwondo, nor judo, nor fencing. The predictions of the quinielistas did not hit the plate, Fatima and Alberto did, splendid in the semifinal and full of faith to come back in the very final for the title against San Marino.

The Spanish trap couple takes over from those who led the way to gold in past Games. In this order, Isabel Fernández in 2000; Gervasio Deferr in 2004; Samuel Sánchez in 2008; Marina Alabau in 2012 and Mireaia Belmonte five years ago. The wait was eternal, but it was worth seeing them excited at the foot of the Olympic pit and thus overcome the deep disappointment that their individual performance produced.

[Consulta el calendario de los Juegos]

By then, the day had already brought other stimuli such as collective triumphs in water polo and hockey, that also guarantee supposedly affordable crosses. Tomorrow the very exciting duel between Gasol’s Spain and Doncic’s Slovenia is expected, both clearly on the rise. And to round off the success in team sports, Miyagi needed to fulfill football, where a reaction from the Olympic team was needed to improve their discreet group stage. But in some Games, not even a team as talented as that of Pedri, Olmo or Unai Samón it is free of shocks and suffering. ‘La Rojita’ seemed eliminated when a blow in the last breath allowed him to force the extension and then access the semifinals. With the leathery Ivory Coast down, the Spaniards already see the podium up close.

And as in any Olympic event, the course of events distributes labels of heroes and villains. Among the first, an Asturian titan named Pablo, colossal in a memorable duel against the world number one. For his incomprehensible statements about the pressure – somehow making Biles ugly his withdrawal – he made not a few enemies. Half the planet went with Carreño. Its bronze is almost golden. Arrese, Conchita, Viví Ruano, Anabel Medina, Arantxa, Corretja, Costa, Rafa Nadal … and now this colossus of Gijón. Tennis never fails.

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