With just 42 days to go until the Olympic Games kick off, we take a look at the stars of the Spanish Olympic team as they make their final preparations before journeying to London to partake in the pinnacle of major sporting competitions world over.
Born November 3rd 1984, Saul Craviotto is a Spanish sprint canoer who has been racing since 2000. Craviotto has a strong track-record and has high hopes for the Olympic competition this summer. He won a gold medal in the K-2 500m at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. He also won four medals at the ICF Sprint World Championships walking away with two golds and a two silvers (K-2 200 m: 2009, 2010).
Winning the polka-dot jersey at the 2011 Tour de France confirmed Sanchez’s name in the record books, and was perhaps his greatest achievement since winning gold in Beijing 2008. He has also been the victor of many shorter races and has been placed in one-day races throughout his career. We’ll be keeping an eye out in August for Samuel Sanchez in the men’s road race.
Born in Switzerland before his parents returned to Spain a few months later, Francisco Gomez has dreamt of becoming a world-class athlete set since a young age. He tried his first triathlon at the age of 15 and won the world under-23 title soon after, competing internationally for the first time in 2003. This determined Spaniard overcame a heart condition to becometwo-time world champion (2008 and 2010) and twice European gold medalist. As he continues to top the world rankings he is widely considered to be the main threat to British tri-athletes at the London Olympics. After finishing just outside the medals at the last Olympics, Gomez has his sights set on a podium place this year. Watch this space.
With both her parents and brother all having been windsurfing world champions it seems inevitable that Blanca Manchon would follow suit – becoming highly successful in her own right. Starting out aged just nine Manchon has gone on to become world champion in every age group in which she has competed. Her career highlights include winning the women’s World Sailor of the Year award in 2010, having been nominated for the third time. She also took World Cup and championship victory in 2010. We will be sure to keep track of this young windsurfer closely throughout the games.
At the age on 26 Javier Illana is now considered to be an established diver. He has won numerous medals at the European Championships. He finished 5th in the 1m diving event and 9th in the 3m event at the Shanghai World Championships, so now all he is missing now is an Olympic crown. If he achieves this during the London 2012 games, he will be the first Spaniard to do so.
With the count down to the opening ceremony well and truly underway, we simply can’t wait for the events to get started. Are any of you lucky enough to be going to the Games this year?