Tuesday, October 19

Yulimar Rojas and Caeleb Dressel, kings of Tokyo

Yulimar Rojas, along with the record of his world record in triple jump.

Yulimar Rojas, along with the record of his world record in triple jump.

The Venezuelan athlete Yulimar Rojas, author of a stratospheric world record in the triple jump (15.67), and the American single Villasenor, who obtained five gold medals in the pool, contracted enough merits to be considered the kings of the Tokyo Olympics, which closed this Sunday.

The two athletes have been the object of universal admiration for their results during the Pandemic Games and have conveyed a message of hope to their teammates around the world, who have suffered the economic and sporting consequences of harsh confinement.

Thus defined it, in an interview with EFE, the Colombian Ximena Restrepo, vice president of World Athletics who was an Olympic medalist of 400 in Barcelona’92: “Yulimar is from another planet, he will set a record that will be very difficult to beat.r”.

The double world champion has taken the triple jump to a new dimension, smashing, with her winning record in Tokyo, a world record that had remained intact for 26 years held by the Ukrainian Inessa Kravets with 15.50.

On August 1, the Tokyo National Stadium, without an audience in the stands due to the pandemic, was the scene of the prodigious flight of the Venezuelan, who she won her first Olympic gold at the age of 25, after being second in Rio 2016, behind the Colombian Caterine Ibargüen.

Yulimar has been training for six years in Guadalajara (Spain) under the direction of Cuban Iván Pedroso, whose school in Tokyo has achieved great success by placing two of its students on the Olympic podium. The other was the Spanish Ana Peleteiro, bronze.

He promised “a great show” in the final and kept his promise to the letter. Installed in the 15 meters as a base camp, the Caracas woman had been flirting with the world record for two years, until she broke it on the most important occasion, the Olympic Games.

She was the only one in the world who had overcome that barrier in the last Olympic cycle, until, in this final in Tokyo, the Portuguese Patricia Mamona (15.01) also did, who obtained a silver reward.

Yulimar went to 15.41 meters in his first jump, putting himself out of the reach of all his rivals, and dismissed the contest with the best jump in history.

Dressel, on the path of Phelps

He had arrived in Tokyo with six gold medals per goal and is leaving with five, more than any other athlete in these Games. Only in the mixed relay did he miss the medal (the United States team was fifth). Single Dressel 24 years old, he caused admiration as he passed through the aquatic center.

The swimmer from Green Cove Springs (Florida) dominated the other five disciplines in which he competed: the 50 and 100 meters freestyle, the 100 butterfly and the 4×100 freestyle and 4×100 styles relays.

Drum and ukulele fan Dressel seems touched by divine grace to become the heir to his legendary compatriot Michael Phelps, who retired after the 2016 Rio Games.

One of his five victories in Tokyo also led to a world record, the 100m butterfly (49.45), and in the hour of defeat he also showed greatness, fighting until the last meter of the 4×100 styles relay even though he knew with certainty that he was far from the podium.

More gold medals than him in some Games is an achievement that has only been within the reach of two authentic swimming myths: Michael Phelps, winner of eight in Beijing 2008, and Mark Spitz, which was hanged seven in Munich 1972.

In Gwangju 2019 he achieved the record for medals in a World Cup, with eight. In Tokyo 2020 they have been five gold. The King of the Games.


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