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Santiago, Chile – The Puerto Rican Arelis Medina won today, Saturday, Puerto Rico’s first medal in the Pan American Games Santiago 2023, a bronze, by tying for third place in the individual poomsae modality, which is a taekwondo event.
And later, his compatriot Luis Gabriel Colonalso won a bronze medal, being the second for the Puerto Rican delegation in this edition of the Pan American Games.
“I’m so excited. I am happy with the result. I’m left with a regret that I didn’t make it to the final, but nothing. I thank God, my family and those who have helped me financially.”Medina said.
Medina tied for third place with Mexican Kim Lee after losing to Maria Higueros, from the Independent Athletes delegation, in the semifinals.
The result of matches of the semifinal was 7,590 to 7,390 in favor of Higueros, who is originally from Guatemala, whose Olympic committee is suspended.
Medina won his matches in the quarterfinals against the Peruvian Gabriela Castillo. The judges scored a 7.490 on the Puerto Rican’s routine, while Castillo received a 7.230.
The Puerto Rican was fourth place in the Lima 2019 Pan American Games and bronze medalist at the Barranquilla 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games.
Colon’s bronze, meanwhile, is special because it is an individual modality, contrary to the mixed one, in which he won bronze in the Lima 2019 Games edition.
“The team medal, as it was in Lima 2019, is very different. Individually the pressure falls all on me. I have full responsibility for my performance. Just as there is more pressure, winning an individual medal has a very special space within me”Columbus said.
Colon can add another medal this Sunday, when he is registered to compete in the mixed poomsae event with fellow medalist Medina.
“I am sure that Luis Gabriel and Arelis are going to give a very good demonstration,” said coach Gilbert Serrano.
The Columbus medal was won by tying for third place with the Peruvian Hugo del Castillo. Colon and Del Castillo lost their semifinal matches and both were recipients of the bronze without contesting another matches.
Prior to the semifinal, Colon did his part by winning the matches of the quarterfinals against the host of Chile, Jonathan Farias. The winning scores were 7,410 to 7,360.
“I’m super happy. I did the job I had to do. I came with the mentality of achieving a medal and, thank God, it was achieved. For me that is what is important. It was a year of much preparation and sacrifices. But in the end it was all worth it,” Colon said.
This Saturday, the taekwondo calendar also has the fights of Puerto Ricans Victoria Stambaugh, Luis de Jesus and Edrick Morales on the calendar. They are all events that distribute medals this Saturday.