Olympics: Mexican divers Espinosa, Orozco win silver

By Dialogo
August 01, 2012

LONDON – Paola Espinosa will always remember her 26th birthday.

The native of La Paz teamed with 15-year-old Alejandra Orozco to win the silver medal in the 10-meter synchronized diving event on July 31, making Espinosa the first Mexican woman to win two Olympic medals after earning bronze in the event in Beijing in 2008.

“I really think that this was the best gift that Alejandra could have given me,” Espinosa said. “This was the best birthday present ever.”

China’s Chen Ruolin and Wang Hao earned gold with 368.40 points, easily ahead of Espinosa’s and Orozco’s 343.32 and Canada’s Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion, took the bronze with 337.62 points.

Espinosa and Orozco, who was making her Olympic debut, vaulted from seventh to second with a precision inward 3.5 somersault dive in the third round that netted them 84.48 points and closed out with a 75.24 for a back 3.5 somersault and 81.60 for a back 2.5 somersault with 1.5 twists.

“This was a great competition for us,” Espinosa told reporters. “We’re very happy with the results. Our expectation for the day was to be among the medalists, and we made it.”

The duo’s silver medal marked the 12th Olympic diving medal won by Mexico, which has won 57 medals – 12 gold, 20 silver and 25 bronze all-time – across all Olympic competitions.

Espinosa and Orozco’s victory came a day after countrymen Germán Sánchez and Iván García won their country’s first Olympic medal in men’s synchronized diving in the 10-meter competition, which also was Mexico’s first medal of the London Games.

“Mexico is a country with a lot of diving talent and now the trainers are working together more to help that talent bear fruit,” Espinosa, who won the world championship on the 10-meter platform in 2009, told reporters. “This is the most complete team that Mexico has had for years in the Olympics and with a different mentality – that we want to win.”