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Tough finish for Tico Olympians

Here’s a look at the results of the Tico delegation in the London Summer Olympic Games. Two athletes remain, both scheduled to race Sunday morning. 

Laura Meza

100 Meter Butterfly

Finish: Eliminated in qualifying heat

One of two Costa Ricans to contend on the first day of the Games and the youngest athlete representing the country, Meza failed to keep up with the competition. She not only placed last in her qualifying heat, but Meza’s time put her last out of all participants in the 100-meter butterfly.  

Meza left the Olympics seething about her weak performance. The 21-year-old promised to give a better show at the Central American Games in 2013, to be hosted in San José. “I am very angry with the result, but I can’t throw up my arms and give up,” Meza said. “I am 21 and have the world ahead of me.”

Mario Montoya

200 Meter Freestyle 

Finish: Eliminated in qualifying heat

The 22-year-old Montoya participated in the Beijing Games in 2008 as a teen. Four years later, he returned to the Olympics, but his swim time wasn’t strong enough to advance him beyond the first round.

Andrey Amador

Men’s Road Race

Finish: 35th

The cyclist showcased notable performances throughout the year, including winning a stage of the Tour de Italy in the lead- up to the Olympics. In London, Amador, 25, finished in the middle of the pack in the men’s road race during the first day of competition. 

Osman Murillo

Judo, 73 Kg

Finish: Eliminated in preliminary round

In his first Summer Games, 23-year-old Murillo fell in the first fight against Egyptian Hauseen Afizh.

Gabriela Traña

Women’s Marathon

Finish: 91st

Traña arrived as Costa Rica’s oldest participant and received the honor of bearing the flag at opening ceremonies. The 32-year-old once won the famous Walt Disney World Marathon, and she also raced in Beijing. At her final Olympic event, she placed 91st out of 107 finishers.

Nery Brenes

400 Meter Sprint

Finish: Eliminated in qualifying heat

Perhaps the pressure heaped on him by media and supporters was too much. Or maybe an ankle injury he suffered in Colombia while training last month hobbled him. Nonetheless, Brenes’ showing at his second Olympics was a clear disappointment. The 26-year-old Limonense made the semifinals of his event in 2008, finishing 10th overall. Many believed the world champion indoor runner could outdo that performance in London. Instead he finished fourth in his qualifying heat, 0.04 of a second short of a spot in the semifinals.

Sharolyn Scott

400 Meter Hurdles

Finish: Eliminated in qualifying heat

Like Brenes, the 28-year-old Scott grew up in Limón and struggled to receive support from the Costa Rican Olympic Committee. She broke a Central American record while racing in Germany to qualify for the Olympics last May. In London, Scott finished 6th in the qualifying heat. 

Leo Chacón


Finish: 48th

Chacón’s recovery from a crash early on in the cycling portion of the triathlon transformed the 28-year-old into a hero for Costa Rican fans. Bruised, battered and bleeding, Chacón still reached the finish line ahead of six other finishers.

Heiner Oviedo

Taekwondo, 58 kg

Finish: Eliminated in qualifying round

At 23, Oviedo has a bright future ahead after a strong string of performances leading up to his Summer Games qualification. However, in his first Olympic match, Oviedo faced a dangerous challenger in European champion Alexey Denisenko.   The Russian vanquished Oviedo and later won bronze.

César Lizano

Men’s Marathon

Finish: 65th

Lizano, running on the final day of the Summer Games, was no match for the speedy Africans on the course. Ugandan Stephen Kiprotich won the country’s first medal in 40 years. Two Kenyan runners finished second and third.

Paolo Montoya

Cycling – Mountain Bike

Finish: 36th

The last Costa Rican athlete to race in the Olympics, Montoya finished 12 minutes and 12 seconds off the leader Jaroslav Kulhavy, from the Czech Republic.

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