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Historic! Andrea Vargas places fifth at World Championships

October 6, 2019

Costa Rica got its best performance at a World Athletics Championship on Sunday thanks to Andrea Vargas, who finished fifth in the 100-meter hurdles.

Vargas also beat thrice in two days her national record in that competition, finishing with a better time on each attempt.

In the final, she finished in 12.64 seconds, improving by a hundredth of a second the 12.65 that she had achieved in the semifinal.

On Saturday, in the first round of the 100-meter hurdles of Doha 2019, Vargas had set a Costa Rican record with her time of 12.68 seconds.

She had qualified for the World Championships in Qatar with a record of 12.75, so in total she has managed to improve by 11 hundredths.

“I didn’t know if I could reach the final. But from the heat, I knew I could improve my time. I still have to make many corrections. Everything was good, and I tried to do my best for Costa Rica,” said the 23-year-old hurdler.

“I tried to see it as a normal competition, just do my best. Reaching the final, I knew it was very hard, but nothing is lost with trying. The first approach was to move to the semifinals, then in the semifinal to go with everything to see if you could be in the final. I made it. I am very excited to have been in the final.”

Vargas participated in the final shortly after the semifinal, a new test for her.

“I didn’t have the experience of how to recover after a semifinal for the final. I just tried to do a little warm up and do my best,” she said.

“I want to thank all of Costa Rica. I know they are supporting me from there, everyone is very attentive. Thank you very much and we continue for more.”

A historic result for Costa Rica

Until Sunday, Costa Rica didn’t know what it was to be a finalist in an Outdoor World Athletics Championship.

The closest it had been was with Nery Brenes, a four-time semifinalist in the 400 meters.

Brenes did bring Costa Ricans glory in a World Indoor Athletics Championships, when he was proclaimed champion of the 400 meters in Istanbul in 2012.

In Sunday’s 100-meter hurdles in Qatar, the champion was the United States’ Nia Ali (12.34), on a podium in which her country-mate Kendra Harrison was silver (12.46) and the Jamaican Danielle Williams bronze (12.47).

Andrea Vargas is the great hope of Costa Rican athletics, especially after her Pan-American title in August in Lima.

Until her participation this weekend, at the close of the World Athletics Championships, the country’s passage through Doha 2019 had been relatively quiet.

Andrea’s sister, Noelia, finished 36th in the 20-kilometer race walk, and Gabriela Traña placed 40th in marathon. Both could take satisfaction with having been able to finish two of the most demanding tests — especially complicated by the temperatures and humidity in the capital of Qatar.

The only male representative for Costa Rica, Roberto Sawyers, was eliminated in the qualifying round of the hammer throw.

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