Mexico claimed its first medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games on Monday, thanks to Ivan Garcia and German Sanchez, who won silver in the 10-meter synchronized diving.
The following day their female counterparts Paola Espinosa and Alejandra Orozco doubled Mexico’s medal tally by winning silver in the same event.
Both medals represent a local triumph as well as a national one, as Garcia, Sanchez and Orozco all hail from Guadalajara
“German Sanchez and Ivan Martinez, proud Jalisco divers. The first medal for Mexico with a Tapatio flavor. Congratulations!” said former Guadalajara Mayor and Governor-elect Aristoteles Sandoval.
Achieving a score of 468.90, the Tapatio pair were beaten by China’s golden duo Cao Yuan and Zhang Yanquuan on 486.78, but still finished five points ahead of the United States’ David Boudia and Nichola McCrony, who came claimed bronze with 463.47
While Mexico is renowned for its female divers, Garcia, 18, and Sanchez, 20, are the country’s first male divers on an Olympic podium since the Sydney 2000 summer games. The pair won gold at last year’s Pan American Games in Guadalajara, as did Espinosa, who marked her 26th birthday on Tuesday with the second Olympic medal of her career.
“Mexico is a country with a lot of diving talent and now the trainers are working together more to help that talent bear fruit,” Espinosa said afterwards. Having now appeared in three Olympic Games, also claiming bronze in Beijing 2008, Espinosa is the first Mexican women to ever win two Olympic medals.
“Paola has always been my idol and she has always motivated me. Someday, I want to be just like her, so this opportunity to become her successor makes me very happy,” said her partner Orozco. Aged 15, Orozco is the the youngest Mexican athlete to ever win an Olympic medal.
With 343.32 points, Espinosa and Orozco finished 25 behind China, who again came first with 368.4 points.
Mexico added two more medals to its tally on Thursday, winning silver and bronze in the women’s individual archery.
Aida Roman tied 5-5 with South Korea’s Ki Bo Bae in the final, but had to settle for silver after losing the ensuing shoot-out. Mariana Avita beat the United States’ Khatuna Lorig in the third-place match to claim the bronze medal.
Roman, 24, from Mexico City, and Avita, 18, from Monterrey, won gold together in the team event at the 2011 Pan American Games.