While football and cycling have hogged the limelight, there’ve been plenty of other successes in Colombian sport this year
Caterine Ibarguen continued to shine, recording both a personal best and the best triple jump of the last 6 years at the IAAF Diamond League in Monaco. She remains unbeaten in the past 20 competitions.
Cali successfully hosted the South American Youth Championships at the end of November. Brazil topped the medal table, followed by Colombia with 7 Gold, 8 Silver and 6 Bronze medals. Cali will go on to host the 2015 IAAF World Youth Championships in July 2015.
Colombia’s women boxers are gaining recognition on the international stage. Having taken a gold medal in the South American Games in March, Ingrid Valencia went on to beat Mexico’s Sulem Urbina in the Flyweight class (51 kg) final at the Central American & Caribbean Games in Veracruz, Mexico.
Colombian-born, Norwegian national, welterweight boxer Cecilia Brækhus successfully defended her position as World Champion in spite of fighting with a broken right foot. In September, she became the first woman to hold all World Championship titles in her weight division. The so called ‘first lady’ of boxing was adopted aged two by Norwegian parents.
Colombia’s poster girl, Mariana Pajon took gold in the 2014 BMX World Championships main race in Rotterdam at the end of July, and dedicated her win to Yepes. She added a bronze medal in the time trial to that behind Dutch Laura Smulders. In the men’s races, Olympic bronze medalist Carlos Oquendo couldn’t play a leading role and ended outside the medals.
The Colombian Cricket team put in a strong performance at the tri-nations Amazon Cup with victories over Brazil and Peru as part of the sport’s recent revival in the country.
Held on October 4 and 5 at the Bogota Sports Club ground, Los Cafeteros played their first international matches since 2010 and got off to a flyer with a seven-run victory over Peru in their opening Twenty20 game.
Cali-born diver Orlando Duque took gold in the first FINA High Diving World Cup held in Kazan, Russia from August 8 to 10.
Bogota-born Juan Pablo Montoya returned to IndyCar racing after 14 years. He finished the season in fourth place overall with one win under his belt.
June saw the the first all-Colombian podium in IndyCar history, Carlos Huertas, Juan Pablo Montoya and Carlos Munoz took all three top spots in the IndyCar Grand Prix in Houston.
The Colombian glory run continued the following week when they took first and third places in the Pocono Indycar 500 in Philadelphia.
South American games
Central American and Caribbean Games
Youth Olympic Games
Colombian golfer Camilo Villegas finished his 2014 season in top form. In August, ‘spiderman’ won the PGA tour event, Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, North Carolina. With the win he ended his four year title drought and qualified himself amongst the best golfer in the Fedex cup season final and earned himself an invitation to the Masters cup 2015.
Colombian judo fighter Yuri Alvear Orejuela won her third World Championship title in Chelyabinsk, Russia. The judo fighter from Jamundi, just outside of Cali, Valle del Cauca, took the gold in the middleweight category.
Colombian Motorcyclist Yonny Hernandez finished 15th in the general classification of the prestigious MotoGP. A year best 7th place in the Grand Prix of Malaysia was the highlight in his steady year. With his performances, the racer from Medellin got himself a renewed contract at Pramac Racing, keeping his Ducati for the 2015 season.
Miguel Angel Rodriguez maintained his position as the top South American players with a gold medal at the Central American & Caribbean Games in Mexico at the end of November. He finished the season 12th in the world ranking.
Bogota hosted the Claro Open ATP tennis tournament in July. Australian Bernard Tomic took the victory in his first tournament on hard court since his return from double hip surgery.
September: Colombia missed out on promotion to the Davis Cup World Group, after being beaten by Canada in a best of five tie. Colombia will have a second chance in March 2015 when they travel to Uruguay to compete in the Americas Zone.
Santiago Giraldo celebrated his 100th win on the ATP World Tour in the quarter-finals of the Royal Guard Open Chile in Vina del Mar. In his best ever year he reached his career high number 28 on the ATP world ranking in September. He also reached the finals in the Barcelona Open in April, but was beaten by Japan’s Kei Nishikori.
Colombian women’s team were knocked out in the group stages of the World Team Table Tennis Championships, securing a victory against Wales but losses against their other competitors.
Colombia finished the year at the top of division B of the South American Rugby Championships. This year’s three day match was hosted in Apartadó, Colombia. The home team beat Venezuela 27-10, Peru 36-6 and Ecuador 112-0.
The Colombian inline skaters picked up the world championship title with a huge lead. In Rosario, Argentina, coach Elias Del Valle’s team took the crown with a total of 41 medals. (20 gold, 14 Silver, 7 Bronze) before second ranked side France with 18 medals and Taiwan with 7. With Pedro Causil and Jenny Serrano as squad leaders they dominated the event picking up most of the silverware.
Three Colombians finished the year in the top ten World Taekwondo Federation rankings. Duvan Avella ranked fourth in the 54kg group. He won gold medals in the Santo Domingo Open, the Argentina Open and the Mexico Open this year. Sandra Vanegas Valderrama finished in eighth place in the 73kg category, while Katherine Dumar Portacio is in ninth place in the 67kg group.
Colombian Women came fifth overall in the 2014 World Weightlifting Championships held in November in Kazakhstan. Yenny Álvarez took the bronze snatch medal in the women’s 58 kg category. 19 year old Luis Javier Mosquera, still competing in the junior championships surprised the world with a bronze snatch medal in the 62 kg mens category.
By Freek Huigen