Costa Rica’s Laurens Molina wins Los Angeles Marathon
After nearly two decades of trying, Costa Rican athlete Laurens Molina reached his mountaintop by winning the wheelchair division of Sunday’s Los Angeles Marathon in the United States.
Molina’s time of 1 hour 37 minutes and 21 seconds produces the Costa Rican’s best ever result at the annual marathon after consecutive top-three finishes in 2015 and 2016. The wheelchair-bound athlete has been competing in the Los Angeles Marathon since 1999, coming in at 44th in that first try.
Following the five-kilometer mark, Molina led the entire way in a dominating performance. Molina told the Costa Rican Olympic Committee that he felt confident after getting off to a fast start and then taking over the race lead around the sixth kilometer.
“That start was really good and I knew I had enough strength and coming on the six-kilometer mark I knew I could take advantage of a small slope there to overtake my opponent,” he said. “I know every kilometer of this marathon and after that point I really started to take off.”
Molina finished the 42-kilometer (26-mile) race with a fairly comfortable lead, as his next closest competitor finished a full three minutes behind the Costa Rican.
Fellow Tico José Jiménez finished fourth in the wheelchair race with a time of 1 hour 46 minutes 55 seconds.
In 2014, Costa Rica created the Paralympic Federation to help support athletes like Molina and Jiménez in their quest to compete in international competitions.
Molina was born with bilateral above-knee congenital limb loss, which left him without leg bones beyond his knees. He has previously competed in the Paralympic Games and the Pan American Games as a wheelchair racer.
“Work hard for what you want, never stop dreaming even if the odds aren’t in your favor,” Molina wrote in Spanish on his Facebook page Sunday morning following his first place finish. “Victory comes to those who never stop believing that they could always achieve it.”
You may be interested
EuroMillions Jackpot Alert! Someone from Costa Rica could win a record €210 Million jackpot this Friday!The Lotter - February 25, 2021
EuroMillions Superdraw’s €210 million jackpot is the lottery’s biggest ever, and it could be won in Friday’s draw! There is…
UN commends Costa Rica for decarbonization effortsAlejandro Zúñiga - February 25, 2021
António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, on Thursday commended Costa Rica for its ongoing decarbonization efforts. Thursday marked the…
Government updates Costa Rica decarbonization effortsThe Tico Times - February 24, 2021
The Costa Rican government on Wednesday updated the progress of the country's decarbonization efforts. The Presidency says 90.7% of the…