Olympics: Mexicans to watch in London
MEXICO CITY – Keep an eye on these Mexican athletes at the London Games:
Paola Espinosa, Mexico City, diving: The three-time Olympian won bronze in 2008 in Beijing in the 10-meter synchronized platform with partner Tatiana Ortiz. Espinosa, who carried the flag for the Mexican delegation in 2008, took bronze in the 10-meter platform at the World Championships in 2011 and gold in the 10-meter platform, synchronized platform and synchronized springboard at last year’s Pan American Games.
Fernanda González, Mexico City, swimming: She holds the country’s record in the long-course 50-, 100-and 200-meter backstrokes and short-course 50-, 100-and 200-meter backstrokes. She competed in the Beijing Games but didn’t medal.
Victoria Montero, Toluca, badminton: She enters London as Mexico’s lone representative in sport after winning bronze at last year’s Pan American Games. She won gold in the singles and doubles competition at the Central American and Caribbean Games in 2010.
Horacio Nava, Chihuahua, race walking: He’s improved greatly since placing sixth in Beijing in 2008, as he won the 50-kilometer (31-mile) race at the Central American and Caribbean Games (3:56.46) and Pan American Games (3:48.58) in 2010 and 2011, respectively.
Éder Sánchez, Tlalnepantla de Baz, race walking: He’s coming off a first-place finish at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Puerto Rico, when he won the 20-kilometer race (12.4 miles) in 1:22:32 in 2010. A year later, he placed 15th in the event at the most recent World Championships and sixth at the Pan American Games.
Óscar Soto, Mexico City, modern pentathlon: The gold medalist at the Pan American Games in 2011 is a strong favorite to occupy a spot on the pedestal in London. He finished eighth in Beijing 2008, second at the World Cup 2009 in Mexico City, first at the Central American and Caribbean Games 2010 in Guatemala and second at the Open Senior Hungarian Championship, held in June in Budapest.
Óscar Valdez, Nogales, boxing: After losing his first bout at the Olympics in 2008, Valdez is in position to contend for a medal in London, as he’s coming off a silver medal-winning performance in the bantamweight division at the Pan American games in 2011. In 2008, at the age of 17, he became the first Mexican to win the youth World Amateur Boxing Championships when he took gold in the featherweight division.