Olympics: Colombian president hails first goldAugust 11th, 2012 - 7:34 am ICT by IANS
London, Aug 11 (IANS) Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos celebrated the country’s first gold medal in the women’s BMX (Bicycle Motocross) at the London 2012 Olympics.
Santos thanked cyclist Mariana Pajon for garnering the country’s first gold medal in London, Xinhua reported.
“Thank you Mariana Pajon for this medal,” Santos wrote in his official Twitter account.
He said the achievement raised the status of Colombian women “and fills us with patriotic pride”.
The 20-year-old Pajon, from Medellin, capital of Antioquia province, dominated the race from start to finish, through three classification trials.
In a telephone call to Pajon later, Santos said it was his birthday and he was happy “to receive the medal with all my heart… as are all Colombians”.
Pajon’s gold medal is Colombia’s first at London 2012, and only the second in the country’s Olympic history. Colombian weightlifter Maria Isabel Urrutia won the gold in the women’s 75 kg at the Sydney Games in 2000.
Pajon dedicated her medal “to all Colombia” and said their support and “energy was felt on the track”.
Santos celebrated again soon after, when Carlos Mario Oquendo won bronze in the men’s BMX, raising the nation’s medal count to eight.
“BRONZE for Carlos Mario Oquendo,” Santos tweeted. “Thank you for the effort to make Colombia proud.”
Oquendo, also from Antioquia, finished third behind Beijing 2008 title holder Maris Strombergs from Lithuania, and world title holder Sam Willoughby of Australia.
London 2012 is turning out to be Colombia’s best Olympics ever, garnering one gold, three silver and four bronze medals, in cycling, weightlifting, judo, taekwondo, the triple jump, wrestling and BMX.
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Tags: 2012 olympics, beijing 2008, bicycle motocross, bmx bicycle, bronze medals, colombian president, colombian women, colombians, gold medal, london 2012 olympics, maria isabel urrutia, medal count, olympic history, oquendo, patriotic pride, president juan, strombergs, sydney games, weightlifter, xinhua