Alberto Ginés's gold medal has been one of the great surprises for the Spanish team at the Games. / EFE

Spanish medal count reaches double figures

Spain closes the second week of Olympic Games with 12 medals after a magical Thursday in which the team won two golds. The competition concludes this Sunday and more medals are still guaranteed for Spain

LAURENCE CRUMBIE

After a bad start, Spain seems to have taken flight in the second week of the Olympic Games.

They have managed to add another nine medals this week, bringing the total to 12 since the competition began. And there are more to come, as Spain has several podium positions guaranteed before the Games end on Sunday.

Azahara Muñoz out of medal contention after poor second round

First gold

Fatima Gálvez and Alberto Fernández delivered their country's first gold at these Olympics in dramatic fashion on Saturday 31 July, winning the mixed team trap shooting by a single point.

After hitting only six of ten targets in the first round, the pair bounced back to beat Alessandra Perilli and Gian Marco Berti of San Marino 41-40, with Fernández missing only one of his 25 shots throughout the course of the final. Despite narrowly missing out on victory, San Marino will be delighted to have won its first ever silver medal.

Carreño in tennis

To great surprise, Spain also took bronze in the men's singles tennis after Pablo Carreño defeated Serbian icon Novak Djokovic in straight sets.

The 20-time major champion made little effort to contain his frustration, as he threw his racket into the empty stands after missing out on a break point and broke another by hitting it against the poles of the net. Carreño fell to the ground upon victory, overwhelmed by his unexpected achievement.

Peleteiro and Zapata

Sunday also proved an emotional day for Spain. The Galician Ana Peleteiro set a new national record in triple jump (14.87) to secure a bronze medal in the Tokyo Olympic Stadium, while 28-year-old Rayderley (Ray) Zapata (left) claimed silver on the men's floor routine at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre.

The Spaniard's sensational performance earned him a score of 14.933 - the exact same as the gold medallist's, Artem Dolgopyat, but the Israeli took first place because his routine's degree of difficulty was 0.1 higher. Zapata sparked moving scenes on the podium by holding up a baby bib emblazoned with the name of his daughter, Olympia.

«I dedicate the medal to her, 100 per cent. She is two months old,» he said.

Sprint kayaking

Team Spain added three medals at the Olympic Games in Tokyo between Monday and Wednesday, bringing its count up to 10.

Emotions ran high on Tuesday as the Galician Teresa Portela claimed silver in the sprint kayaking event. Competing in her sixth Olympic Games, the 39-year-old had never previously won a medal and was over the moon with her achievement.

«Whoever persists, succeeds,» she said afterwards. «I have spent years fighting for this medal. Finally, I've won it.»

Joan Cardona

Also successful on the water on Tuesday was Joan Cardona Méndez, who took bronze in the Heavyweight One Person Dingy race, a sailing event won by Great Britain's Giles Scott. Méndez, 23, is the first person from Menorca, the Balearic Islands, to win a medal in an individual title at the Olympics, forging his own piece of history.

Sailing

Spain's other bronze medal this week was delivered by Jordi Xammar and Nicolás Rodríguez García-Paz in the Two Person Dingy sailing.

The pair were delighted as they stepped onto the podium and dedicated their achievement to «all those who have suffered considerably this year because of the pandemic».

Magic Thursday

This Thursday was a particularly good day for the Spanish team, who obtained two new medals and secured more that will be confirmed in the coming days.

The highlight was the feat of Alberto Ginés, now nicknamed Spider-Man of Cáceres. At just 18, he gave the Spanish delegation at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games the gold medal in the sports climbing discipline, being the first Spanish climber in history at an Olympic event.

Karate

But it was not the only gold obtained on Thursday. Spanish karate fighter Sandra Sánchez was also proclaimed champion in the kata competition at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, where karate debuts as an Olympic sport.

Sánchez strengthens her position as best in the world, gaining the 35th competition medal of her life, and the most important.

More to come

But there are still medals to win before the Games close on Sunday. Spain, for example, is guaranteed one in football. And it could be gold if they beat Brazil in the final this Saturday.

Although the colour remains to be determined, there is also a medal guaranteed in women's waterpolo. And serious possibilities in other sports.

Despite the bad start, Spain could still achieve its goal of getting close twenty medals in these Olympics.

And it will be possible despite the numerous accumulated disappointments over this week from competitors expected to make the podium: basketball, handball, golfer Jon Rahm, swimmer Mireia Belmonte ...