Chile made history at this year’s Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico by taking home its largest-ever medal haul.
The 43 medals won by the talented Chilean squad surpassed the 22 won in the Santo Domingo games of 2003, the previous record for the professional era – and even beat the 41 brought home from Buenos Aires in 1951, Chile’s former all-time best result.
The fact that the 2011 games had double the number of counties competing than in 1951 makes the achievement even more notable.
The 43 medals won by Chile’s 304-athlete squad put the Andean nation at ninth on the overall medal table and fifth in South America, behind Brazil (130 medals), Colombia (79), Argentina (71) and Venezuela (70).
Two gold medals put Chile at 13th in the table of golds, with wins from Kristel Köbrich in the 800m freestyle swimming and Alberto González in the Lightning Class Sailing.
Young stars who stood out in this year’s games included 18-year-old Esteban Bustos, who won bronze in the modern pentathlon and qualified for the London 2012 Olympics, and María Fernanda Valdés (19) and Francisca Crovetto (21), who won silvers in the weightlifting and skeet shooting, respectively.
Also qualifying for London 2012 were sprinter Cristián Reyes, finalist in the 200 meters, and pentathlete Gonzalo Barroilhet.