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Olympic Games Tokyo 2021: Why is Spain a world power in team sports?

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Olympic Games Tokyo 2021: Why is Spain a world power in team sports?

Only Australia, the United States and host Japan appear at the Tokyo Games with more teams. Spain will be present in nine of the 16 possible tournaments

Men’s basketball team, in a recent game.February

That ‘I’m Spanish, what do you want me to win?’ It was the proud motto of a country that looked sportingly on its shoulder with the successes of its run around 2010. Nadal, Fernando Alonso, football and basketball teams, motorcycle pilots and even cyclists expand today. That unimaginable power is no longer there, but what makes Spain unique remains its legitimacy. Not that we are unbeatable together, but when it comes to competing as a team, we are the elite of the world. The striking paradox of one society became polarized in many other aspects.

The Spanish team games in Tokyo are already filled with pride. “Except Japan (the hosts), as in London and Rio, we are among the three countries with the most classified teams. But the others are the United States and Australia, with incomparable difficulty that qualifying in Europe. The second more The European country with the teams is France, with six. You have to give it an extraordinary value”, highlights Alexander White, which evokes “delusion, desire, commitment and genius” because you belong to the group’s identity.

Spain competes in nine of the 16 sports considered as a team. International Olympic Committeel As the President of the CoE points out, apart from Japan, only Australia and the United States, with 10 and 11 respectively, overtake us. As it was five years ago in RO 2016, which was certainly the top other than Barcelona 92. And it’s not just there. It is aspirational. In both basketball, handball, water polo and hockey, where Spain appears in both the women’s and men’s as well as the men’s football team luis de la fuente They can be considered among the favorite groups of medalists, each with its own circumstances. That is, none of them is a circle.

rugby and volleyball

To put this into perspective, in one of the great ‘plays’ of this cycle’s qualifiers, only both teams of Rugby 7 have lost their places since RO (recovered to compensate by men’s handball and football). I went). Neither does red waving in volleyball, neither they nor they. A feature where, despite the number of licenses (it is one of the most practiced sports in Spain, with over 90,000 federations in 2020), there is hardly a national Olympic pedigree. The other absentee is women’s football, Spain has been sidelined since Atlanta entered the Olympic program in 1996. Despite playing the 2019 World Cup, the defeat in the second round stopped George Wilda Get a continental ticket that went to Great Britain, Holland and Sweden.

The excellent tradition of Spanish clubs is one of the great explanations of this phenomenon. But nothing will last without the spirit of solidarity that contradicts so many tensions in other areas of Spanish society. Even in individual games where the collective factor can come into play, Spain claimed what no one else could. Will be looking for five in cycling alejandro valverde. In triathlon, no one doubts that depending on the event, Xavier Gamez New I could see mario mole or Fernando Alarza placeholder image, or vice versa. Many more examples.

We have to start with the baskets, the untainted double in 2016. Bronze them in three consecutive series (silver in Beijing and London), joining that second place with the scent of the Los Angeles 84 legend. Make them silver to the perfection of the era Lucas Mondello, where he conquered the Moon: since 2013, in addition to the Olympics, seven consecutive medals, including three continental gold or one world silver. Spanish basketball will take place for the fifth time in Tokyo, one of only six countries with dual representation (along with the United States, Australia, France, Nigeria and Japan), for the fifth time that men and women have matched.

Handball goes to Japan for revenge. their’s jordi ribera, who replaced Manolo Cadenas after a historic absence at Roe, won the last two continental gold (2018 and 2020) and the most recent world bronze medals in Egypt in January. Guerrera still remembers the brutality of saying goodbye to Row, losing a seven-goal lead in the final minutes of the match against France. They came from that bronze in London. Then, in December 2019, he touched glory by losing the World Cup final against Netherlands with controversy. Although in the European past things were not so good.

Since 1956 the men’s hockey team has not abandoned its appointment with the Games in Melbourne, where it won four medals, three silver and one bronze. And the women’s, gold at Barcelona’s 92, was absent only in 2012. National water polo is also a pure tradition, with 18 participations (ahead of only Hungary and Italy) and two medals. They, who entered the Olympic program in Sydney 2000, an unforgettable silver in London, burst with prolegmeno of the next World Cup. They come with 2020 European gold as collateral.

And finally football, so rare in sports. Spain, who was not in Rio, looks with optimism for a tournament that left her with great joy (Barcelona 92 ​​gold, Antwerp 1920 and Sydney 2000 silver) and tears like London 2012.

men’s basketball team

Sergio Scariolo, the 2019 world champion, starts in all pools of favorites despite the tough starting group with Japan, Argentina and Luka Doncic’s Slovenia. Mirotic’s only notable resignation was the appearance of Pau Gasol in his fifth games or the dissolution of Osman Garuba – a special tournament for the existence of the classics of the previous era. The preparation left excellent sanity and good news: Juancho Hernágomez, the original piece, could be there despite the shoulder injury that was taking him away. The USA team, led by Kevin Durant – despite doubts in preparation – Australia and France appear to be great rivals to avoid the quarter-final crossing.

women’s basketball team

Despite the mole at the recent EuroBasket – finished in the quarter-finals and without a place for the next World Cup – the selection has recovered its vigor and enthusiasm, especially with the return of Alba Torrens and Tamara Abalde. , who missed the previous Valencia appointment. for his coronavirus infection. Face a tough group with Korea, Serbia and Canada.

men’s handball team

Spain’s quest for its fourth Olympic medal after the 1996, 2000 and 2008 bronze medals. With a rough road to begin with – Norway, France, Germany, Brazil and Argentina as the group rivals – and the farewell fragrance of a historic generation. Ral Entreros will say goodbye and probably Viran Moros, Sarmiento and Gayden Guardiola too.

women’s handball team

Carlos Vivar is placed right in Tokyo, as the current runner-up in the world at the Games. A solid group reinforced by Shandy Barbosa, around the solvency of veteran Silvia Navarro, made a timely recovery from a serious knee injury in November. And with Captain Carmen Mart’s journey into the extreme after overcoming covid.

men’s soccer team

This Thursday, the team at Luis de la Fuente selected powerful names who aspire to do everything in Tokyo. With a good background of the previous Eurocups, in which six Olympians participated (Pedri, Unai Simón, Pau Torres, Erik Garca, Oyarzabal and Dani Olmo), and with an appetite for powerful names such as Asensio, Ceballos, Carlos Soler….

men’s hockey team

He comes to Tokyo to sack coach Fred Soyage as he deserves. Becoming the end point of a phase that began in 2014. Make way for the Argentinean Max Caldas. In the European of June, they could not progress beyond the group stage. That’s the goal in the Games now, looking forward to a great day at the quarterfinal crossing.

women’s hockey team

The women’s team has taken a leap in quality under the leadership of Adrian Locke, who has provided a new methodology since 2013 and formed a block supported by many young players. Just a month earlier, Red Stick took a valuable fourth place at the European Championship in Amsterdam. He is ranked seventh in the world ranking.

men’s water polo team

David Martin, the current world runner-up, arrived strong in the Olympic event following his latest successes and is looking to hang a third Olympic medal. With the new face of the nationalized Marten Femara and the power of a block in which the legends Lepez Pinedo and Felipe Perón stand out. It starts against two ‘coconuts’, Serbia and Croatia.

women’s water polo team

Miki Oka is all the wannabes in Tokyo. To its power, with only 10 teams, a mix of veterans and vigorous young women, the system itself adds up. And to dream heroes, from goalkeeper Laura Astor, sisters Anna and Clara Asper, boys Maika Garca and Paula Leighton and Pili Matar, to the experience and goals of Bea Ortiz or Roger Tarag.

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