2015 Top 10 Colombian Athletes
2015 Top 10 Colombian Athletes
Over the past years, Colombia has been present in sports-related talks, and 2015 hasn’t been an exception for the coffee-producing country. The year is about to come to an end and, when we listen to comments about 2016, Rio Olympic Games come to our mind. But, before Brazil, a special event took place in Canada, Toronto Pan-American Games, where the country of coffee and roses ranked fifth on the medals table.
2015 also witnessed the America Cup and Women’s World Soccer Cup; nonetheless and against all predictions, Colombia men’s team didn’t stand out in these sports disciplines as expected. Women were the ones to put in the plug for the country by reaching the round before the quarter final and prevailing against the French team.
This scenario makes it hard to handpick the top 10 Colombian athletes in 2015. There are many examples and, depending on different opinions, people have their favorite players.
Panamerican World based its list on champions, gold-medal winners. This time round there was no space for second positions, silver or bronze medals... We chose the champions crowned over the past nine months, so this is our 2015 Top 10 Colombian Athletes list.
The roster is headed by the “Golden Smile of Colombia”, Caterine Ibargüen, an athlete that constantly surprises and amazes everybody with her performance in competitions. She is the Triple Jump World Champion, a title backed up by 29 victories in a row, three years on the podium, since her silver medal in London.
The number of women in the world doubles men’s, and Colombia follows that rule. Our second position is held by another lady: Mariana Pajon. Mariana has had an excellent year and she ratified it in Argentina by climbing to the top of the podium twice and taking the gold medal in the timed race and the series of the World BMX Cup.
“Tata” has conquered five gold medals, including Manchester and Papendal, and she’s shinning everywhere despite of her fall in the Pan-Am Games.
Of course, it was about time for men to join the list, and this is the third position. Bogota-born Miguel Angel Rodriguez is the fourth best Squash player of the world, the first and only Colombian to be ranked in a world Top 20. He won the gold in the 17th Pan-Am Games of Toronto, thus showing how right the decision of taking him was.
The wrestling continues and we’re talking about Jackeline Renteria in this discipline. Three gold medals (Italy, Belarus and Greece), two bronzes (Canada and Holland) and the invitation to Rio Olympic Games, these are Jacky’s achievements this year. Although she was expected to win the gold in the Pan-Am Games, just like Mariana, and go higher in the US World Wrestling Championship, she has represented her country with great results.
As sports skyrocket in the coffee-producing country, Nairo Quintana is one of the main representatives since he was crowned champion with his bike in the Tirreno Adriatico-2015. This seems to be a simple achievement when you meet him and learn about his potential. The fact is that adverse circumstances stopped him from going higher this year.
It wasn’t about a fall, as we’ve seen him back on track after an incident... It was a virus what made him fail to reach his goal: being victorious in Spain. He ranked fourth in Spain and second in the France Tour. Of course, the World Cycling Championship is still to be raced.
Toronto Pan-Am Games were one of the most remarkable events of the year and a gymnast that won five medals in this competition has to be on the list. Jossimar Calvo is the best gymnast of the continent, backed up by the three gold medals and two bronzes collected in Canada a few months ago.
There is diversity of flowers in Colombia and the same happens with sport disciplines, such as diving with Orlando Duque. The top diver of the country is the World Champion of High Diving.
This victory is joined by the sixth position in high diving during the World Swimming Championship and the bronze medal in Cartagena World Diving Championship.
Now, we’re back to the wheels and the sport that has shed more glory on Colombia over the years. Fernando Gaviria was the World Track champion, Omnium, in France World Track Championship and he also prevailed in the second stage of Czech Republic Tour.
Let’s stay on the bike, since there is a name that cannot be put aside: Rigoberto Uran. Rigo had a great performance at the sixth Quebec Grand Prix, after he was crowned CRI champion at the National Road Championship held in Antioquia.
How about soccer? You must be wondering the reason why there are no soccer players on the nine previous positions, specially taking into account that Colombia is internationally acclaimed in soccer terms. Well, this has not been a great soccer year for the coffee-producing country; however, there is an outstanding forward this year: Carlos Bacca. He is the Champion of the Europe League and contributed to the victory of his team by scoring two goals in Seville, the second title in a row.
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