Colombia’s Jackeline Renteria has duplicated the bronze medal she had won in Beijing in 2008 in the 55kg freestyle wrestling category, defeating Ukraine’s Tatyana Lazareva.
Renteria did not make it to the event’s final round at the 2012 London Games because she lost a tight match to Canada’s Tonya Lynn Verbeek.
In a spectacular demonstration of physical power, the Colombian, who in 2008 won one of the only two Olympic medals her country’s athletes brought home from China, won all her fights in the last two periods after having started out losing the first period.
The fight for the bronze was no exception and in the first period of the match with Lazareva Renteria’s performance did not stand out and she lost 1-0.
In the second period, however, the 26-year-old Colombian took the offensive and, despite the fact that the score was 0-0 after two minutes, won the period in a tiebreaker by 3-0.
In the last period, Renteria fought intelligently and secured a 2-0 advantage just before time was up.
When the final buzzer sounded, dozens of her compatriots cheered in the stands while Renteria’s coach jumped onto the canvas to embrace her and offer her a Colombian flag, which she proudly wrapped around herself.
“In the first place, I want to give infinite thanks to God. He promised me a long time ago that he was going to give me titles and this year he has given them to me. And here I am, thanks to him, celebrating this medal,” said the second Colombian athlete in history - and the first woman from her country - to win two Olympic medals.
“It’s a joy for me to be the first woman to do it and I also hope to be the first to get three. The road goes on and I’m already looking to Rio de Janeiro,” she said, referring to the site of the 2016 Games.
Renteria’s bronze brings Colombia’s 2012 medal count to six.