It’s almost a case of déjà vu as Mexico’s Paola Espinosa and Alejandra Orozco earn Mexico the country’s second silver medal in diving in two days, after Iván Garcia and Germán Sánchez claimed a similar diving silver on Monday.
Espinosa and her 15-year-old partner put on an impressive display to finish in second place in the Women’s Diving: Synchronized 10m Platform final at the 2012 Olympic Games on Tuesday, July 31—Espinosa’s 26thbirthday.
China’s Chen Ruolin and Wang Hao—the favorites this year—took home the gold with 368.40 points. Espinosa and Orozco scored 343.32 points to earn the silver; and Canada’s Roseline Filion and Meaghan Benfeito won the bronze with 337.62 points.
With her medal-winning performance, Espinosa enters Mexico’s history books as the first woman to win medals at two Olympics. She earned a bronze medal in the same event at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing with her partner Tatiana Ortiz.
“It’s a great gift”, said Espinosa of winning a second medal with her new partner Orozco, the youngest athlete to represent Mexico at the 2012 Olympic Games. “It was a great competition for us. We’re very happy with this result and the truth is that we did it very well, we dove very well. Our expectations today were to be on the medal podium and that’s how it was.”
At the start of the competition, the British duo of Sarah Barrow and Tonia Couch surprised the audience with their first two dives and remained behind the Chinese with Espinosa and Orozco ranked seventh.
But in the third round the Mexican divers performed an excellent dive that gave them the maximum qualification (84.48 points) and moved them into second place.
“I realized (of the possibility to win the silver) from the first free dive, that we were already in second,” said Espinosa. “And I felt that we could [medal] because we‘ve trained very well, very strong. I believe Alejandra and I have made a great duo. We communicate very well.”
The Mexican divers remained consistent in the last two dives and ended up with a solid point difference between them and the third place team. Following their fifth and final dive, Espinosa and Orozco hugged tightly knowing they’d done enough to medal.
“It was simply about going dive by dive, laboring as we have done for a long time,” said Orozco, who thanked her partner for the constant “support” and “motivation” she gave her.
Espinosa, competing in her third Olympics after her debut at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, hasn’t ruled out participating at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio of Janeiro.
“If God wants and my body and my mind, now that I am older, permit me, I will continue working for the next Games and be in the fight.”