Maduro hails Venezuela’s best-ever Olympic results

Caracas, Aug 1 (EFE).- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Sunday hailed the “best” Olympic results the country’s athletes have ever achieved, having garnered a gold and three silver medals so far in the Tokyo 2020 Games.

“We, as Venezuela, as a country, have obtained the best results in the entire Olympic history of Venezuelan athleticism and sports, thanks to the young people and the trainers,” Maduro said in remarks broadcast by state-run VTV television.

The president said that “it’s key to improve and expand the spread of sports … improve the talent-search system for all sports when (children) are eight, nine years old … and to create the conditions to bring in the world’s best trainers and professionals.”

Maduro said that he will soon “launch the Olympic roadmap plan” with an eye toward the Paris 2024 Games to strengthen the country’s sports performance and to train Venezuelan athletes.

The Venezuelan leader rejected what he called a campaign on the social networks to “demean” the Venezuelan delegation to the Tokyo Olympics, saying that “There is a campaign on the social networks against the Venezuelan delegation, a campaign to demean the moral force of our Olympic delegation.”

“They will not be able to do it with Julio Mayora or with us,” said Maduro, referring to the criticism received by that Venezuelan athlete after dedicating his silver medal in the 73 kg men’s weight-lifting category to the late President Hugo Chavez, who governed from 1999-2013.

On Sunday, Yulimar Rojas, by setting a world record in the triple jump, became the first Venezuelan woman in history to win an Olympic medal.

Venezuela has 44 athletes competing at the Tokyo Olympics and, besides Mayora’s silver and Rojas’ gold, Keydomar Vallenilla won a silver in the 96 kg men’s weight-lifting event, as did Daniel Dhers in Men’s BMX freestyle cycling.

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