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Tico Olympian Field Now Totals 8 Athletes

June 27, 2008

Two more Costa Rican athletes qualified for the Summer Olympics in Beijing, expanding the Tico team to eight competitors.

Swimmer Marianela Quesada, who will participate in the 50-meter freestyle, and Gabriela Traña, a marathoner, qualified through wild card entries.

They will join Mario Montoya (200-meter freestyle), Nery Brenes (400-meter dash), Allan Segura (20-kilometer racewalk), Kristopher Moitland (taekwondo heavy-weight), Federico Ramírez (mountain biking) and Henry Raabe (road cycling) in the August games.

Most Costa Rican athletes qualified for the games through their performance at previous Olympic Games or tournaments.Wild card entries are based on recommendations made by individual sports federations to governing Olympic committees, explained Josabeth Azofeifa, spokeswoman for the National Olympic Committee (CON).

Raabe and Ramírez were also wild-card entries.

The CON estimated that 10 to 12 athletes would qualify for the Beijing Games, running Aug. 8-24.

Azofeifa said more athletes could still qualify in the remaining month.

The Costa Rican government promised to provide 70 million colones (about $136,000) to the team to pay for their training expenses in anticipation of the August games. CON should receive a response from the Comptroller General’s Office this week on the disbursement of funds, Azofeifa said.

 

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