RIO OLYMPICS

In Rio, Team Spain resurges thanks to a super-Thursday

Medal tally now stand at 10, with good prospects to increase count in final days of Olympics

Saúl Craviotto and Cristian Toro celebrate their win.
Saúl Craviotto and Cristian Toro celebrate their win.ORLANDO BARRIA / EFE

In what has been dubbed Super-Thursday, Team Spain added three medals to its Olympic tally in Rio yesterday, taking gold, bronze and silver, bringing the total to 10. At the same time the women’s basketball team made it through to Saturday’s semi-finals, while Carolina Marín progressed to this afternoon’s badminton finals.

With a total so far of five gold, two silver, and three bronze, Spain now ranks 15th on the table. The wins have lifted the mood of Spain’s athletes, raising hopes that the weekend will bring further medals.

Spain’s canoeing federation has been praised for managing a reduced budget of €8 million at a time of crisis

A hot Thursday morning saw Carolina Marín walk out on to the badminton court, where the air conditioning had been turned off to prevent the blasts of frigid air from interfering with the flight of the shuttlecock. The 23-year-old easily beat her Chinese rival Li Xuerui, who won gold in London four years ago, and is now tipped as a certainty to win on Saturday. In any event, Marín will have earned the distinction of being only the third European in the history of the Olympics to play in a badminton final.

Spain has enjoyed a successful run in canoeing, kicking off with Maialen Chourraut, who won Spain’s second gold in the 1,000-meters kayaking slalom last week. On Tuesday, Marcus Cooper Walz took gold in the 1,000 meters sprint. On Thursday, the duo of Saul Craviatto and Cristian Toro took the top prize in the 200-meter sprint. Hopes are high the duo will repeat their performance in the 400-meter sprint.

Spain’s canoeing federation has been praised for managing a reduced budget of €8 million at a time of crisis, channeling 85% of its money into high-performance training.

For the first time, Spain’s female basketball team has made it through to an Olympic final, while the men’s side, led by Pau Gasol, plays the US today.

Finally, Spain took two medals in taekwondo: silver for Eva Calvo, and bronze for Joel González.

English version by Nick Lyne.

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