#LATINASTHINKBIG AT THE 2016 RIO OLYMPICS

Caterine Ibargüen of Colombia can jump — especially three times in a row. Ibargüen lept 15.17 meters (49’9.25) to win the gold medal in the triple jump on Sunday night in Rio, improving on her silver medal from London.

Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela won the silver with a jump of 14.98 meters and Kazakhstan’s Olga Rypakova finished third with a leap of 14.74 meters.

Rypakova won the event at the 2012 Olympic Games in London with a leap of 14.98 meters, beating out Ibargüen, who leapt 14.80 meters. Ibargüen won the world title in 2015 in Beijing with a leap of 14.90 meters. She didn’t quite match her personal best of 15.31 meters, but it was good enough for gold on Sunday.

Ibargüen jumped 15.03 meters in the second round, but improved upon it with a 15.17-meter leap in the fourth round. She never looked back, as no other jumper was able to clear the 15-meter mark. By Liam Boylan-Pett  | Source: sbnation.com 

Olympic gold-medal history was crafted for Puerto Rico by a 22-year-old tennis player, who was born in San Juan and moved to Miami as an infant.

Monica Puig, who had never been past the fourth round of a Grand Slam tournament, won the first-ever gold medal for Puerto Rico, defeating Angelique Kerber of Germany, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, in the women’s singles final. Puerto Rico, a territory of the U.S., has fielded teams in the Summer Olympics since 1948, and this was the first medal, of any variety, for a woman representing Puerto Rico.

There was joy and disbelief for Puig. She dissolved in tears with her shoulders shaking as she knelt on the court, taking in the moment after a tense two-hour, nine-minute match.

Puig took out the No. 2-ranked Kerber with a barrage of hard-hitting groundstrokes and displayed a deft touch when required. She won it on her fourth match point when Kerber, who won the Australian Open in January, pushed a groundstroke just wide.

It was a nervy final game for both players. Kerber squandered six break points and Puig had three match points in it and watched one vanish when Kerber hit a net-cord winner. By Lisa Dillman | Source: LATimes.com

From the favela to the top of the podium, Rafaela Silva earned Brazil’s first gold medal of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Silva, the country’s first female world champion in judo, won the 57-kilogram division of the Japanese martial art on Monday as the crowd chanted “Rafa” and waved the green and yellow Brazilian flags.

The 24-year-old Silva beat Sumiya Dorjsuren of Mongolia after two days of disappointment on the mat for Brazil.

She also settled an old Olympic score. At the 2012 London Games, Silva was disqualified for an illegal leg grab during a fight against Hedvig Karakas of Hungary. This time, it was Silva who advanced from their quarterfinal match.

Silva, who is from Brazil’s largest favela and trained at a judo dojo founded by former Olympic bronze medalist Flavio Canto, was in top form for much of the day. Her first match lasted only 46 seconds.

“Everybody here knows Rafaela’s history,” said Eduardo Colli, a Brazilian fan watching the final in the stands. “This is more than just a medal, it’s a victory for poor people. It’s hope for all of them.”

The women’s bronze medals went to Kaori Matsumoto of Japan — the defending Olympic champion — and Telma Monteiro of Portugal.

With its strong martial arts culture — including many shared techniques between Brazilian jiu jitsu, mixed martial arts and judo — Brazil had been expected to do well early in the judo competition.

But defending Olympic champion Sarah Menezes narrowly lost out on a bronze on Saturday in the 48-kilogram category, and so did Erika Miranda at 52 kilograms on Sunday. By Markus Schreiber / Associated Press | Source: LATimes

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