On Sunday, Latin American athletes Monica Rodriguez, Francisca Mardones, Leinier Savon, and Leonardo Diaz won gold and silver medals at the Tokyo Paralympics.
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The 32-year-old Mexican sprint Rodriguez and her guide Kevin Aguilar won the gold medal in the 1,500-meter competition for the T11 visually impaired category and imposed a world record of 4 min 37 sec and 40 hundredths.
"I have run safe, determined, and strong. My last workouts were pretty good, so I visualized myself achieving victory," Rodriguez stated and explained she lost vision for having suffered retinoblastoma cancer, which affected her retina.
Chilean athlete Mardones also set a world record with an 8.33 shot in the women’s F54 category, making her the first Chilean woman to win a Paralympic gold medal. Mardones, who lost leg mobility after falling into a cliff in Puerto Rico during the scourge of hurricane Lenny in 1999, stated that this achievement is a dream come true.
Cuban long jumper Savon won the first medal for his country’s delegation at the Tokyo Paralympics after settling for second place in the long jump competition of the T12 category, in which athletes with visual disabilities compete. Savon, who was double champion at the 2016 Rio Paralympics, jumped 7.16 meters, with which the imposed a new record in the Americas.
Cuban discus thrower Diaz, who made his best performance of the season with a 43.36-meter throw, won the silver medal in the F-56 category competition, in which athletes with limited mobility competed.
So far, Chile has accumulated two gold medals and two silver medals at the Tokyo Paralympics. Mexico has obtained three gold medals, one silver medal, and five bronze medals.