Argentina Goes for 5 Gold Medals in Toronto
Argentina Goes for 5 Gold Medals in Toronto
There are several countries on the list of favorites to win medals in 2015 Toronto Pan-American Games. Argentina will be one of the strongest competitors, with excellent athletes in several disciplines. The country is going to play an important role in all sports, but there are some areas where it’s the favorite. We now show you five sports in which the southern nation is very likely to take the gold medal home.
Female Field Hockey
“The Lions (Las Leonas)”, a name given to Argentina’s popular female field team, has had nearly flawless performances in Pan-American Games over the past decades. Since 1987 it has conquered the gold medal in every edition of the Games, except for the one held in Guadalajara, Mexico, where the gold was taken by the United States and The Lions got the silver.
With six victories in seven championships, the team captained by Macarena Rodriguez looks like the great favorite. The team coached by Santiago Capurro regretted the retirement of its star Luciana Aimar, but it’s already training at full throttle. Before the Pan-American Games, The Lions are going to participate in the semifinal stage of the World League in Valencia, late June. This is an important event as it would help them qualify to the 2016 Olympic Games.
The coach told PanamericanWorld that the team “is training young girls” after the retirement of historical members. “The team still counts on internationally acclaimed players, who are working to help the new girls fit in so the renovation process is fruitful”, Capurro explained.
“We’re training to be in our finest condition for the Pan-American Games. Winning the gold is the direct qualification to the Olympic Games and that’s our aim: we’re going for the gold”, he said. As for the absence of the historical leader, Luciana Aimar, Capurro admitted that “the game style of “Lucha” is irreplaceable; we cannot look for a substitute”. “We’re bringing new people in, with new skills, so as to balance the team”, the coach underlined.
Male Field Hockey
Their male equivalent also stands among the favorite teams for Toronto. “The Lions (Los Leones)” conquered the gold in the last edition of the Pan-American Games and they have also shinned over the years, winning both gold and silver medals.
The team coached by Carlos Retegui has obtained excellent results in other international tournaments and it’s also training hard to participate in the semifinals of the World League before the Pan-American Games.
“We’re taking step by step, game by game”, Retegui told PanamericanWorld.
Although the main objective is to qualify to the Olympic Games by winning the gold, the coach explained that “both history and ranking are not important when it comes to playing, there are eight teams and everybody wants to win, so we have to focus on each game”. Also as part of the training, the team kicks off a European tour to play against Germany, Holland and England (ranked 2, 3 and 4 respectively). Furthermore, it will put together the final group to attend the Pan-American Games, which includes 8 of 20 players in European leagues.
Along with the field hockey teams, there are other athletes that are likely to win the gold: Pumas 7, the Argentinean Rugby 7 team. Coached by Santiago Gomez Cora, experts describe it as the best team in South America. During the past edition of the Pan-American Games, it lost the first position against Canada, but the team got the silver medal and left the United States behind.
The team has gotten several recognitions on the international arena: it was crowned vice-champion in the World Cup, 2009; it practically won all the editions of the South American Seven and prevailed in the US Seven.
Santiago Gomez explained PanamericanWorld that the team is looking forward to reaching the podium and being in the finals. They are also focused on qualifying for Rio de Janeiro Games 2016. “The presence of several teams at international level is an element against favoritism. All rivals count and must be respected”, Gomez underscored. According to the coach, the strongest rivals in Pan-American Games are the teams from the United States and Canada, and South Americans Chile and Uruguay.
The rowing team members are also looking at the gold. The women and men that have been handpicked to compete in this discipline in Toronto come from Tafi del Valle, Tucuman.
The Pan-American Games include eight rowing competitions for men and six for women. In the previous edition, the Argentinean team won five gold medals, two silvers and one bronze. They were followed by the teams from Cuba, with three gold medals, and the United States’, with four. Cristian Rosso, from Mar del Plata, is the most outstanding figure in the group. On the other hand, Argentinean journalists also highlight Nicolas Repetto, Marina Cosci and Pablo Conte. We’ll probably see these names among the medalists in Toronto 2015.
Argentina can also go for the gold in this discipline. Although Brazil and Cuba stood out in this sport in Guadalajara, with six gold and silver medals each, the Argentinean team is one of the favorites in the -48 kilos female category.
Paula Pareto, called “la peque”, got the gold medal in the 2011 Games, after the bronze obtained in Rio de Janeiro, 2007. The 29-year-old judoka, who was born in Buenos Aires, holds several international results: bronze medal in 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and a diploma in 2012 London Games, where she ranked 5th in her category. Beyond her past performances, the athlete is developing an unstoppable 2015. She has won three gold medals to date: Samsun Grand Prix, Turkey –a training stage for Toronto Games and the World Championship of Judo, to take place in August in Kazakhstan -, Pan-American Open in Santiago de Chile and Pan-American Open in Buenos Aires.