Paralympic worse for Spain since 1980
The national delegation closes the appointment of Rio with 31 medals, 11 fewer than four years ago in London
Spain closes its participation in the Paralympic Games in Rio with a bitter taste.Collected nine gold medals, one more than four years ago, they have approached the delegation to the international top ten. From Madrid it started with the aim of maintaining the level of London, where he finished in seventeenth place, and has been achieved. After Elena Congost gold and silver medals of Abderrahman Ait and Alberto Suarez on the final day of competition, the national team has finished eleventh Paralympics this appointment. However, total harvested metals have fallen in 11 medals 42-31 passing.
“Medals are increasingly expensive. More and more demanding and more difficult to achieve a result here. Before, competitiveness was smaller and had two or three strong opponents, but now have eight . That makes to achieve that success you have to work much more ,” explains Xavi Torres, a former Paralympic swimmer and current member of the coaching staff of the swimming federation.
The reality is that since 1992 Spain has lost medals edition after edition. In the Barcelona Games the best number reached 107 metals . Both Atlanta and Sydney only managed one less. And in Athens he began a steep decline that has continued over the years. He turned from Greece with 71 medals in Beijing with 57, London 42 and Rio will be made with 31.
Multiple factors influencing this, however, three stand out above the rest. First, as has happened with the ADO Olympic program, the Paralympians have been severely reduced ADOP helps plan . “I have two girls and a woman and if not pulled something here know I’m going to go very wrong. I do not have enough support and although reventase wanted to go for the medal , “said Abderrahman Ait after finishing second in the marathon. In the last cycle, the ADOP plan had 13.6 million, a quarter of what accumulated ADO.
But there are other circumstances to consider. First, the number of countries competing. Twelve nations participated for the first time in this Paralympics appointment and others, such as Uzbekistan, have been the surprise going on four years of the 72nd position with a silver, at the 15th with eight gold medals and the same metals Spain . And there ‘s just more countries with which compete, their level is also higher. As Torres explains, “Spain had a larger than corresponding us as a country on the issue of Barcelona 92 Paralympic level especially growth. We grew more than others at that time and now, 20 years later, we are not at a level equivalent to what is the Olympic sport. ”
The last of the causes is the lack of renewal in the delegation . The average age of the athletes who have traveled to Rio stands at 32.8 years, with the oldest representation of the whole story. In addition, the average of those who came to be medalists in previous appointments rises to 34.8 years. In federations like cycling, with an average of 35 years, only Alfonso Cabello low of 24 in athletics while only 20% do. In swimming is where the highest input promising young as Nuria Marques, Oscar Salguero or Maria Delgado. “The objective in the medium and long term is to work in the quarries. Work on modernization and increase the critical mass of athletes who adapted sport,” noted Alberto Jofre, director of the Spanish Paralympic Committee.
As for the overall balance, China is leaving Rio with one in five golds and nearly half of the medals at stake (238 of 528) ,Bolstering leadership that keeps from Athens. Britain , the birthplace of paralimpismo, finished in second place ahead of Ukraine , after two cycles in fourth place, manages placed in the top 3. A podium has not reached the United States , as happened to him in London. The US delegation is still reflecting the large distances between the level of their Olympians and Paralympians.