He’s made a massive splash internationally this year, and now Mexican diver Yahel Castillo is reaping the rewards…
The 24-year-old Guadalajara native has been selected to receive Mexico’s National Sports Award—the highest honor the country bestows on its athletes— in the amateur sports category.
It’s major recognition for rising diving star’s stellar performance in the last year.
Castillo and his teammate Julián Sánchez won a bronze medal in the Men’s 3m Synchronized Springboard at the 2011 World Aquatics Championships held in Shanghai, China in mid-July. The strong showing qualified him to compete at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
But Castillo wasn’t done with his medal-winning ways…
During last month’s 2011 Pan American Games, he sat atop the medal stand twice. Castillo won the gold in the Men’s 3M Springboard, as well as the gold in Men’s 3m Synchronized Springboard with Sánchez.
It’s a meteoric rise for Castillo, who placed seventh in the Men’s 3M Springboard in his debut competition at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
Castillo will share the National Sports Award in the amateur category with Yadira Lira, the 38-year-old karate star who won a gold medal at the World Karate Championships last year.
Meanwhile, Boston Red Sox player Adrian Gonzalez, who won the Gold Glove and Silver Bat awards this season, was recognized in the professional sports category.
Other honorees include marathon runner Maria de los Angeles Ortiz Hernandez in the Paralympic sports category, Polish-Mexican race-walking trainer Jerzy Hausleber for his “sports legacy” and Olympic medalist Daniel Aceves for his work in the development and sponsorship of sports.
The honorees will receive a medal, a certificate signed by Mexican President Felipe Calderón and cash prize during a special ceremony later this month.