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María de Valdés, world silver in open water and ticket to Paris

MADRID, 3 Feb.

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María de Valdés, world silver in open water and ticket to Paris

MADRID, 3 Feb. (EUROPA PRESS) -

The Spanish swimmer María de Valdés won the silver medal this Saturday in the 10 kilometer open water event at the World Championships, which are being held in Doha, a result that allows her to guarantee her presence in the Olympic Games. Paris 2024, where Ángela Martínez, thirteenth, will also be there.

The 25-year-old from Malaga, who won silver in the 5 kilometers at the 2022 European Championship, completed a spectacular race in which she played for sprint gold with the great favorite, the Dutch Sharon van Rouwendaal, Olympic champion in Rio 2016 and runner-up in Tokyo 2020. .

Finally, Van Rouwendaal stopped the clock at 1:57:26.80, one tenth ahead of the Spanish (1:57:26.90), while the Portuguese Angelica André completed the World Cup podium (1:57:28.20).

With this result, De Valdés emulates the feat of Yurema Requena, until now the only Spaniard who had won a medal in an open water World Cup; The one from Vila-Real won the bronze medal at the 2008 Seville Open Water World Championships, also in the 10 km event.

"I still can't believe it, I'm very excited. I want to dedicate it to my father, who died three months ago; to my entire family, who is supporting me from Spain; to my coach, Jesús, who couldn't be here; and to all the staff in Spain, who are supporting me in these circumstances," commented an emotional De Valdés.

Regarding the race, he acknowledged that it was "very complicated because of the tide." "I knew how to do it as best as possible. I tried to be with the best in all the laps, I didn't want them to get away from me. I knew it was the opportunity I had and I didn't let it slip away," she said. "I had in mind that it was a race in which 13 places were at stake and I wanted to always be in the 'Top 10' so that that place would not escape me. You had to be in the race, because the moment you dropped There were not going to be opportunities to be at the top again. I am very happy about this," she stressed.

Furthermore, the one from Fuengirola was enthusiastic about being able to be in Paris. "I can't ask for more. I have to believe it, because I'm still in a cloud, it's a dream come true," she confessed. "I wanted to get rid of that thorn that I had stuck there, I have had to wait three years to be able to get it out," she said about her absence due to injury in Tokyo 2020.

"I'm very happy for my teammate Ángela, she deserves it. It's something that the Spanish team deserved," he said about the other Spaniard in this Saturday's event in Doha, Ángela Martínez from Elche, who finished thirteenth (1:57: 36.60) and also got his ticket for the Games.

"It has been a very strange race because they all started very fast, thank goodness they have been 'killing'. I have remained calm, I am very happy for having kept a cool mind, I have not given up at any time," Martínez explained.

Regarding his Olympic classification, he acknowledged that "it is a dream." "And even more so with everything I've been through these weeks, when I've been sick in Sierra Nevada and couldn't train. It's a lesson that this is not how it starts, but how it ends," she said. "I dedicate it to Ricardo, who was the one who encouraged me to swim in open water, and to my coach, Xavi," she said.

Finally, he highlighted the work of his compatriot and the medal for the Spanish delegation, the first in Doha 2024. "María has done great, she deserves it very much, more than anyone. I am very happy for her," he concluded.