Mexico’s history at the Olympics

Hubertus von Hohenlohe
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Cinco de Mayo celebrates the Mexican victory over France at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Mexico’s greatest Olympic achievement occurred 106 years later, when its capital hosted the 1968 Summer Games.

Mexico City’s Olympics are best remembered for Americans Tommie Smith and John Carlos‘ black-glove salute on the medal stand after winning gold and bronze, respectively, in the 200m. It was also Mexico’s most successful Olympics in overall medals — nine. Golds were won by boxers Ricardo Delgado and Antonio Roldan and swimmer Felipe Munoz.

Mexico’s most decorated Olympian is Joaquin Capilla, who won four medals over the 1948-56 Olympics in diving, traditionally one of Mexico’s best Olympic sports.

More recent Mexican Olympic notables include race walker Bernardo Segura, who won 20km bronze in 1996 and crossed the finish line first in 2000. However, he was disqualified in Sydney for the common infraction of “lifting,” or not having at least one foot on the ground, three times in the race. Segura had reportedly received congratulations, including speaking on the phone with Mexico’s president, before officials broke the news to him.

Sprinter Ana Guevara was in a lane next to Australian hero Cathy Freeman in the 2000 Olympic 400m final and finished fifth. Guevara won the 2003 World Championship and then silver in the 400m at the Athens Olympics.

Mexico had its most successful Olympics other than 1968 in London in 2012, winning seven medals. The soccer team’s first-ever gold, over Brazil, was the most celebrated.

Mexico earned rare Winter Olympic buzz in Sochi for the presence of its lone athlete, Alpine skier Prince Hubertus von Hohenlohe, who became the second oldest Winter Olympian of all time at 55. They marked his record-tying sixth Winter Olympics.

Former world No. 1 golfer Lorena Ochoa, who retired in 2010 at age 28, has said she is not tempted to come back for golf’s return to the Olympics in 2016. If she reconsidered, her path to Rio de Janeiro would not be that difficult. Ochoa would have to be ranked No. 470 to make the Olympic golf field if it was chosen based off the world rankings on Cinco de Mayo.

A possible Mexico bid for the 2024 Olympics now appears unlikely.

Ireland’s history at the Olympics

Brigid Kosgei, world record holder, to miss London Marathon

Brigid Kosgei
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World record holder Brigid Kosgei withdrew before Sunday’s London Marathon due to a right hamstring injury that has bothered her for the last month.

“My training has been up and down and not the way I would like to prepare to be in top condition,” was posted on Kosgei’s social media. “We’ve decided it’s best I withdraw from this year’s race and get further treatment on my injuries in order to enter 2023 stronger than ever.”

Kosgei, a 28-year-old Kenyan mother of twins, shattered the world record by 81 seconds at the 2019 Chicago Marathon. She clocked 2:14:04 to smash Brit Paula Radcliffe‘s record from 2003.

Since, Kosgei won the 2020 London Marathon, took silver at the Tokyo Olympics, placed fourth at the 2021 London Marathon and won this past March’s Tokyo Marathon in what was then the third-fastest time in history (2:16:02).

Ethiopian Tigist Assefa moved into the top three by winning the Berlin Marathon last Sunday in 2:15:37.

The London Marathon women’s field includes Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei, a winner in New York City (2019) and London (2021), and Yalemzerf Yehualaw, who was the Ethiopian record holder until Assefa won in Berlin.

The men’s field is headlined by Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, the second-fastest male marathoner in history, and Brit Mo Farah, a four-time Olympic champion on the track.

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Dmitriy Balandin, surprise Olympic swimming champion, retires

Dmitriy Balandin
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Dmitriy Balandin, the Kazakh swimmer who pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the 2016 Rio Olympics, retired at age 27.

“Today I would like to announce the end of my sports career,” Balandin said last week, according to Kazakhstan’s Olympic Committee. “I am still inspired. A new phase of my life begins. I have a lot of cool projects in my head that will soon be implemented.”

Balandin reportedly has coaching aspirations.

In 2016, he won the Olympic men’s 200m breaststroke out of lane eight as the last qualifier into the final. He edged American Josh Prenot by seven hundredths of a second and became Kazakhstan’s first Olympic swimming medalist.

He followed that up with 11th- and 17th-place finishes in the breaststrokes in Tokyo last year.

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