Colombia aspires to win 5 medals and have 100 athletes at the London 2012 Olympics, said to the President of the country’s Olympic committee (COC).
“In relation to the performance of our athletes in the qualifying process and its global brands I would say that we are in with a chance to win 3 or 5 medals. Although we expect more medals and all gold,” said COC head Baltazar Medina.
Currently 93 athletes have qualified for the Olympics across 15 discplines– 26 in athletics, 18 in women’s soccer, 17 in cycling, eight weightlifting, six in swimming, five horses, two in tennis, gymnastics, judo and wrestling, and one in fencing, taekwondo, shooting, sailing and boxing, for which two more are expected to qualify.
“There are three disciplines in which we have a great potential to win — cycling, athletics and weightlifting, without mentioning judo, wrestling and bowling where we could also aspire to very good results,” said Medina.
Currently, the women’s team appears most likely to make an impact in the summer, with over 60% of qualified athletes being female, a figure boosted by the qualification of the women’s soccer team. The COC president hailed this achievement, lauding it as a “celebration for women and recognition of their efforts in dozens of disciplines.”
The main medal hopes include Catherine Ibarguen and Luis Fernando Lopez in athletics, Mariana Pajon and Juan Esteban Arango in cycling, Oscar Figueroa in weightlifting, Carolina Colorado and Omar Pinzon in swimming, Yuri Alvear in wrestling, Jeisson Monroy in boxing, and the women’s soccer team.
Colombia will hope to increase its delegation and surpass the touted 100 mark before they travel to London, U.K., this summer. With 93 qualified athletes, Colombia has already seen progress compared to Beijing 2008, for which just over 60 athletes qualified.
“What Colombia is achieving right now is not the product of chance […] This is due to several factors, first of which is a process which was planned out more than 12 years ago.” Said Medina, referring to sport development efforts made over that time.