By Zack Marzouk/ Santiago Times Staff
Chile at the Rio Olympics 2016
The Olympic Games are nearly upon us so we thought it would be useful to see who Chile have selected. Unfortunately Chile did not win any medals at the London 2012 Olympics but with the amount of talent they are entering this year anything is up for grabs. Here is the list of the 42 strong Chilean Olympic team who will represent their country this year:
Erika Olivera is 40 years old and is a marathon runner for Chile and has 5 children. She has also been selected to be the Flag Bearer for Chile at the Rio Olympics. She has won the marathon Gold medal in the Pan American Games in 1999 in Winnipeg as well as in the 1994 Valencia South American Games in both the 3000 and 10000m. She already has competed in 4 other Olympic Games: Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and London 2012. She holds the Chilean National record for the 5000m, 10000m, half marathon and Marathon and finished 64th in the Women’s marathon at the Olympic Games in London. Look out for her in the Women’s marathon on Sunday August 14th.
Isidora Jiménez, 22 years old, will take part in running in the 100m, 200m, 4×100 and 4×400. She has achieved 14 national records and classified for the Olympics last year at the Pan-American Games in Toronto. Jimenéz will compete in the Women’s 200m on Monday August 15th.
Romero is a 36 years old marathon runner for Chile who will be competing in her second Olympics. At London 2012 she finished 69th in the women’s marathon with a time of 2:37:47. The women’s marathon takes place on Sunday August the 14th where it will be interesting to see how she performs.
Edward Araya is 30 years old and will compete in the 50km walk event at this Olympics on Friday August 19th. He has a personal best of 4:00:31 for the 50km walk which is a Chilean record. He has taken part in the Pan American Games, South American Games and the Pan American Race Walking Cup. He was also the first Chilean athlete to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games.
Racewalking is different from running as one foot must be in contact with the ground at all times which is assessed by race judges.
Yerko Araya is 30 years old and is the twin brother to Edward who is also competing in the Olympic Games. He came 41st in the 20km walk at the Olympic Games in London with a time of 1:25:27 and has taken part in the South American Championships, The World Race Walking Cup and the Pan American Race Walking Cup. He competes in the Men’s 20km walk on Friday August 12th.
Aravena is a 26 year old long distance runner who will be taking part in the marathon at this year’s Olympics. He won the International Marathon of Temuco which enabled him to qualify for the Games with a time of 2:16:19. The men’s marathon will take place on Sunday August 21st and Aravena will be running in his first Olympic Games.
Daniel Estrada will be joining Aravena in the men’s marathon on the 21st August. He only qualified because his friend, Aravena, advised him to compete in the International Marathon of Temuco where he finished with a time of 2:17:29.
Yañez will also be competing alongside Aravena and Estrada in the men’s marathon. He qualified in the same event as they did with a time of 2:17:34. His aim for the marathon is to finish as fast as possible with a better time than what he achieved in the Marathon of Temuco. It is the first Olympics for all three of them.
Natlia Duco is aged 27 and is a women’s shot putter for Chile. She has competed in a number of tournaments including the Ibero-American championships and South American Games in which she has won gold in both. She finished 9th place at the Olympic Games in London 2012 with a personal best of 18.80m and recently won the International Throwing Meeting in Leira, Portugal with a throw of 18.19m which was a new record for the tournament. She will compete on Friday August 12th in the Women’s shot put.
Karen Gallardo Pinto
Karen Gallardo Pinto is 32 years old and specializes in disc throwing. She obtained a gold medal in the South American Games in Buenos Aires in 2006 and has also taken part in the Ibero American Championships. She achieved a throw of 61.1m last year which enabled her to qualify for the Olympic Games in Rio. Gallardo will take part in the Women’s discus throw on Tuesday August 16th.
- Rodriguez Aguilar
Jose Rodriguez Aguilar is a 22 year old Chilean cyclist who will be competing in his first Olympic Games. He came first in U23 Pan American Championships in Tachira Venezuela this year. He will be competing in the Men’s road race on Saturday August 6th.
Paola Muñoz is 30 years old and will represent Chile in cycling at the Olympics. Unfortunately she did not finish the Women’s road race in the 2012 London Olympics but she was the first Chilean woman to compete in the Tour of Italy. Muñoz will take part in the Women’s road race on Sunday August 7th.
Carlos Lobos Muñoz
Carlos Lobos Muñoz is 35 years old and will represent Chile in horse-riding at the Olympics. His father instructed him in horse-riding since he was 4 years old. It will be his first Olympic Games which he is excited for. The Organizing Committee for Rio have implemented rules that horses arriving in Rio must arrive by air and not by land and that they may only arrive a week and a half before the event and must leave once they have competed. These rules have been implemented due to fears of the zika virus. His will compete in an individual event on Saturday August 6th.
Tomás González is a 30 year old Chilean gymnast and will compete in the mens individual all around, pommel horse, vault, horizontal bar, parallel bars, floor exercise and rings on the 6th of August. He finished 4th in the Floor and Vault finals in the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Simona Castro Lazo
Simona Castro is a 27 year old Chilean gymnast and will compete in the women’s uneven bars, women’s beam, women’s vault, women’s floor exercise and the women’s individual all-around on the 7th of August. She finished in 43rd place in the all-around in London 2012 and has won gold on the balance beam in the 2014 South American Games since then.
Felipe Aguilar is a 41 year old professional golfer who became professional in 1999. He has won the gold medal at the 2014 South American Games and silver at the 2015 Pan American Games. He will be playing in the Men’s individual Golf on August the 11th.
Julio Acosta, who was born in Cuba but has Chilean nationality, will be representing Chile in the men’s 62kg weightlifting category. He won the bronze medal at the 2016 Pan American Weightlifting championships in Cartagena Colombia. You can see him in action on Monday 8th August.
María Fernanda Valdés
María Fernanda Valdés is a 24 year old Chilean weightlifter. She competed in the London 2012 Olympics in the 75kg event where she finished 9th. She will be competing again in the 75kg event on Friday August the 12th.
Thomas Briceño is a 22 year old Chilean who competes in judo and is also a student of civil engineering at the University of Santiago in Chile. He won bronze at the Euro Open in Sofia 2015 and in 2016 won bronze medal again at the Pan American Championships. He will compete in the U90kg event on Wednesday August 10th.
Kristel Köbrich is a 30 year old Chilean swimmer who will be competing in the women’s 800m and 400m on the 11th and 7th of August. She was the country’s flagbearer at the 2004 Olympics and also participated in the 2008 and 2012 games. She also holds the South American record for the 1500m freestyle.
Felipe Tapia is a 21 year old swimmer for Chile specializing in the 1500m. He has the same coach as Kristal Kobrich, Daniel Garimaldi, and achieved a time of 15 minutes and 45 seconds to qualify for the Olympic Games. He competes in the Men’s 1500m freestyle on Friday August the 12th.
Bernardo Guerrero and Felipe Cardenas
Bernardo Guerrero is 30 years old and Felipe Cárdenas is 25 and will represent Chile in the men’s lightweight double sculls. Their target is to be in the top 12 in the race and both will compete on Sunday the 7th of August.
Josefa Vila and Melita Abraham
These two are both 19 years old and will share a scull in the women’s lightweight double sculls. Previously Melita Abraham had competed with her sister Antonia Abraham but decided to change partner to have someone of a similar build and weight such as Josefa Vila. They will compete in the women’s lightweight double sculls on Sunday August the 7th.
Ignacio Morales is 21 years old and will represent his country in Taekwondo. He won gold at the South American Games in 2014 and qualified for the Olympic Games after achieving second place in the Pan American Qualification Tournament in Mexico. He will take part in the Men’s 68kg on Thursday August 18th.
Julio Peralta and Hans Podlipnik
After Julio Peralta had to appeal to the International Tennis Federation to be present in Rio it was confirmed that he will play alongside his tennis partner Hans Podlipnik in doubles tennis. Peralta is ranked 63rd and Podlipnik 61st in ATP doubles and together they are nicknamed ‘H-Pod’. The men’s doubles begins on Saturday August the 6th where you can look out for this duo.
Francisca Crovetto is a 26 year old skeet shooter and captain for Team Chile. She came 8th in the London 2012 Olympics and has won the Bronze medal at the Pan American Games in Toronto 2015 since then. She also has studied Molecular Biology at the University of Chile and competes on Friday August 12th.
Ricardo Soto is the youngest Chilean in history at the Olympic Games as he is only 16 years old. He will represent Chile in archery at the competition and competes on Friday August 5th. The archer joins a list of 64 competitors who are taking part in archery this Olympic Games with Soto being the youngest.
Riveros is Chile’s only Triathlon runner and has competed in the 2012 and 2008 Olympics where she finished 16th and 25th. In 2015 she was chosen as the best Sportsperson of the year in Chile and won the Ironman of Pucón in 2015 and 2016. Riveros will be competing in Rio on Saturday the 20th of August in the Women’s Individual Triathlon event.
Matias de Solar
Solar will be competing in the Men’s laser (dinghy) on Monday August 8th in his 4th Olympic Games. He is 40 years old, but started sailing and racing at age 6, and has won a Bronze Medal in the South American Games and a Bronze and Solver medal in the Pan American games. He came 32nd in London 2012, 25th in Beijing 2008 and 23rd in Athens.
Begona Gumucio and Arantza Gumucio
These two sisters will be going to their first Olympic Games of their career after qualifying in the Sailing World Cup in Miami. They sail together in the Women’s 49er FX (skiff) event on Friday August 12th. Their target is to be in the top 15 and gain experience for the next Olympic Games where they hope to be better and win a medal.
Benjamin Grez and Cristóbal Grez
Team Grez and Team Gumucio are very similar as they are both a team made up of siblings and compete in the same event. The Grez brothers will take part in the Men’s 49er (skiff) event on Friday August 12th in their second Olympic Games after finishing last in a fleet of 27 boats at London 2012.
Nadja Horwitz and Sofia Middleton
Horowitz and Middleton are 20 and 23 years old and are participating in their first Olympics. They finished 9th in the 470 World Cup in Miami 2016 and have their eyes on winning a medal. They compete in the Women’s 470 dinghy on Wednesday August the 10th.
Francisco Ducasse and Andres Ducasse
This pair are also Chilean siblings who will compete in a sailing event at the Olympics. Andres is 19 and Francisco is 23 and have decided to team up due to their build as well as being siblings. They lived and trained with Middleton and Horwitz in Buenos Aires last year as they had few races to compete in. It’s their first Olympics where they compete in the Men’s 470 (dinghy) on Wednesday August the 10th.
Esteban Grimalt and Marco Grimalt
It’s the first time that a pair of Chilean beach volleyball players will participate in the Olympics. The Grimalt brothers managed to beat Venezuela in the Continental Cup in order to qualify for the Rio Olympics. This is their first Olympic Games and they are in Pool E where they play against the Netherlands on Sunday August the 7th, Russia on Wednesday August the 10th and Poland on Thursday August the 11th.