Spanish sport has lost two new opportunities this Saturday to put an end to the last collective success in the Olympic Games after the defeats of the men’s soccer team, against Brazil, and women’s water polo, against the United States, leaving in a quarter of a century the absence of gold metals.
Spain has won four gold medals in team sports throughout history, two in Barcelona (men’s soccer and women’s hockey) and others two in Atlanta’96 (men’s water polo and rhythmic gymnastics), with the girls’ the last one achieved on August 2, 1996.
That team formed by Marta Baldó, Nuria Cabanillas, Estela Giménez, Lorena Guréndez, Tania Lamarca, Estíbaliz Martínez and Maider Esparza It will continue -at least- until Paris 2024 as the last to get a gold, in a date in which water polo was also the protagonist with a sensational triumph a few days before, at the end of July 1996.
The team led by Manel Estiarte It had a great squad made up of Josep Maria Abarca, Ángel Andreo, Daniel Ballart, Manel Estiarte, Pedro García, Salva Gómez, Iván Moro, Miki Oca, Jorge Payá, Sergi Pedrerol, Jesús Rollán, Carles Sans and Jordi Sans.
Since then, the Spanish delegation has had nine opportunities to turn its luck, but in all of them it has been elusive. The first option was offered in those same Olympic Games with the men’s hockey silver, who lost 3-1 to the Netherlands in the final.
Four years later in Sydney 2000, There was only one chance and it was for football, but the national team fell to Cameroon in an agonizing penalty shootout. In Athens ’04 there were not even finals in team sports, but there were in Beijing ’08 with men’s basketball, men’s field hockey and synchronized swimming.
The Family could not with the United States (118-107), nor the ‘Red Sticks’ with Germany (1-0), while the ‘synchro’ team led by Gemma Mengual and Andrea Fuentes had to settle for silver before the eternal power of the Russians in this discipline.
In London 2012, that luck did not change for Spain, which lost the women’s water polo final against the United States – as in Tokyo 2020 – and the men’s basketball final against the same rival (107-100) in one of the best matches of the world. Olympic basketball of all history.
Finally, in Rio 2016 Spanish sport also had the chance to change history with the presence in the women’s basketball final, but Mondelo’s men had no option against the Americans (101-72). In rhythm, Spain was also silver from the hand of Sandra Aguilar, Artemi Gavezou, Elena López, Lourdes Mohedano and Alejandra Quereda.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.