QCOSTARICA – World Athletics (formerly the International Athletics Federation) published a list of 10 athletes set to make national sporting history at the Tokyo Olympics, which begin on July 23.
In the prestigious world list, the name of Costa Rica’s Andrea Vargas stands out, who won the gold medal at the Pan American Games in Lima 2019 and fifth place in the World Cup in Doha 2019.
While many events will naturally be dominated by the powerhouses, there are several disciplines where medals could be won by athletes from nations that have not yet made much of an impact on the Olympic stage.
One of them could be Andrea, to make history for herself and Costa Rica in Tokyo next month.
This is what World Athletics had to say about Andrea, who will be competing for the 100m hurdles.
Long before the Covid-19 pandemic struck, Andrea Vargas had adapted her surroundings to create a training environment to allow her to thrive.
“The Costa Rican sprint hurdler, who trains on a cement track near her home with homemade hurdles, came to the fore in 2018, setting a national record of 12.90. Her career then gathered pace in 2019 as she won Pan American gold, becoming her nation’s first woman to win an athletics medal at those Games, and then set national records in each round of the World Championships in Doha, culminating with a fifth-place finish in 12.64.
“Should Vargas replicate that finish in Tokyo, or indeed simply reach the final, it would represent the best ever Olympic result by a Costa Rican athlete. And she will be joined at the Games by her younger sister Noelia, who has qualified in the 20km race walk.
Currently, the 25-year-old Puriscaleña is in Costa Rica to compete this weekend in the Central American Athletics Championship, at the National Stadium, in La Sabana.
This regional event will be her last official competition before the Olympic Games in Japan.
Andrea, Noelia and her mother, Dixiana Mena Torres, will leave for Japan a week before the inauguration, to train and adapt to Japan thanks to the Panam Sports organization.
Panam Sports included the Vargas sisters in a special program, where various athletes will be training and carrying out their routine before the games begin.
The other nine athletes listed are:
- Lonah Chemtai Salpeter, marathon – Israel
- Neeraj Chopra, javelin – India
- Joseph Fahnbulleh, 200m – Liberia
- Kimberly Garcia, 20km race walk – Peru
- Thea LaFond, triple jump – Dominica
- Kyron McMaster, 400m hurdles – British Virgin Islands
- Alex Rose, discus – Samoa
- Amel Tuka, 800m – Bosnia & Herzegovina
- Hugues Fabrice Zango, triple jump – Burkina Faso