The Chilean Olympic Committee (COCH) has announced its largest ever team of athletes for the Guadalajara 2011 Pan American Games set to take place this October.
Among the 308 Chileans who have been selected to represent their country in Mexico are three current world champions: archer, Denisse van Lamoen; triathlete, Bárbara Riveros; and sailor, Alberto González.
The national team also includes several medal-winning athletes, including water skier Rodrigo “Toti” Miranda, who received a bronze medal at the 2007 Pan American Games in Brazil, along with speed skaters María José Moya, who won a silver medal at the world championships in Korea earlier this year and Emanuelle Silva, who picked up gold in the world junior championships.
Other athletes heading into the Games with strong chances of bringing home medals are swimmer, Kristel Köbrich; gymnast, Tomás González; weightlifter, Cristián Escalante, dual Olympic gold medal winning tennis player, Nicolás Massú, and three-time Pan American karate champion, David Dubó.
This year’s 308-strong team (made up of 132 women and 176 men) is much larger than the team selected for the 2007 Pan American Games, which consisted of just 226 athletes. The Chilean athletes will represent their country in 32 sports, with the South American nation fielding teams in squash, rugby, Basque pelota and racquetball for the first time.
COCH President, Neven Ilic, said he was confident that this year’s team would improve on the six gold medals won in Brazil four years ago, when Chile finished 10th out of the 42 competing nations on the overall medal tally.
“We have fully met the athletes’ expectations for ideal preparation, which is much more than we were able to do in previous years,” he told La Tercera.
The Guadalajara 2011 Pan American Games begin on October 14.