Colombia is emerging as the country to beat in the medal standings of the World Roller Games Barcelona 2019, as was displayed by the performance of its athletes at Nanjing 2017 as part of the first edition of the world’s biggest roller and skateboarding event. During this first edition, the South American country topped the medal standings with 25 gold, 13 silver and 10 bronze medals to come out on top of both Italy and France.
Although the Italian team won the most medals at Nanjing, a total of 76, Colombia finished in first place thanks to the 25 gold medals won by its skaters. It won all first places except one in Speed, a discipline that Colombian skaters truly dominate.
Andrés Jiménez, Edwin Estrada, Johana Viveros, Gabriela Isabel Rueda, Fabiana Arias, Andrea Cañón, Geiny Pájaro and Kerstiak Sarmiento were all medallists at Nanjing 2017 and have been selected to take part in the WRG 2019. The Colombian team comprises 32 skaters, 16 in the senior category and another 16 in the junior category, and is once again starting as favourite in the Speed competition events according to its most recent international performances.
In fact, Colombia is arriving in Barcelona backed by its results in the Speed events at the World Championship in Heerde and Arnhem (Netherlands) in June 2018, in which it managed to rack up 20 gold, 15 silver and 9 bronze medals, without any other country coming close to this tally.
If Colombia cemented its success in Nanjing with the performance of its speed skaters, Italy owed it to the performance of its skaters in the Artistic competition events. The latter absolutely dominated this discipline by winning 36 of its 76 medals, with 11 gold, 12 silver and 13 bronze medals. The Italians also confirmed their international standing in this modality, alongside Spain, at the last European Show & Precision Championship in Reggio Emilia last May.
France, with 10 gold, 10 silver and 3 bronze medals, Germany (9-8-9), China (9-5-3) and Spain (5-10-7) were the next countries in the final medal standings at Nanjing 2017, in which up to 31 countries won at least one medal.
The excellent results obtained by the Spanish skaters, both at the first edition of the World Roller Games and at various world and European championships staged since then, bode well for a good performance from them in Barcelona. The fact that they are hosting the event adds extra motivation to display their talents during the tournament, which will run from 4 to 14 July in the Catalan capital and four other subvenue cities.
PHOTO: J. Monfort/WRG