Colombians skate to golden double

Colombian roller speed skaters Gabriela Isabel Rueda Rueda and Jhony Andrés Angulo Reina cruised to respective gold medals in the women’s and men’s combined events at the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 on Monday 8 October.

Picture by IOC

Rueda and Angulo led their competitions after the previous day’s 1,000m sprints and 5,000 elimination races, and did what they had to do to claim gold in the 500m sprints. All the races were held at the specially designed Paseo de la Costa Roller in the suburb of Vicente López, which now bids farewell to Buenos Aires 2018.

Their golds took Colombia’s medal count for the YOG to three, following Gabriela Bolle Carrillo’s bronze in the women’s mixed BMX competition on Sunday.

Taking silver and bronze behind Rueda were Honorine Barrault of France and Italy’s Giorgia Valanzano respectively, while Italy’s Vincenzo Maiorca collected the silver and Merijn Scheperkamp of the Netherlands the bronze in the men’s competition.

“I’m very happy to have won a gold for my country,” said Gabriela, proudly sporting the medal around her neck. “It’s a dream to help grow this sport and raise excitement levels so that roller speed skating can take its place on the Olympic Summer Games programme.”

“I’d like to thank God for giving me the strength to get where I am today, and my family, my coach, and all the Colombian people who have supported me,” she added. “The Games will always be an unforgettable experience for me.”

The Games will always be an unforgettable experience for me. Gabriela Isabel Rueda Rueda Colombia - Gabriela Isabel Rueda Rueda Colombia

Reflecting on his success, Jhony said: “We’ve been preparing really hard for the Olympics since the world championships. I had a lot of support from my compatriots when I was competing and it was very exciting.

“We’ve got two reasons to celebrate because Gaby and I have both won golds for our country. It’s the first time it’s happened and it’s an achievement that will go down in history.”