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Mexico's Olympic diver retires after winning silver

08-01-2012 08:07 BJT Special Report:2012 London Olympic Games |

LONDON, July 31 (Xinhua) -- After winning a silver medal in women's 10-meter synchronized diving, Mexico's reigning queen of the diving board Paola Espinosa said Tuesday she was passing on her crown to partner Alejandra Orozco so she could continue her legacy.

London 2012 will be her last Olympic Games, Espinosa, 26, told Xinhua, adding the talented Orozco, 15, was her clear successor.

"I have always said she is very talented, that she should succeed me as (Mexico's lead) diver. I always tell her she is the best and I know she will be," said Espinosa.

She said she was very excited to have won the silver medal at the games, and added "I am happy I won the medal with my great friend Alejandra."

Espinosa has become something of a historic figure for Mexico as the only Mexican woman ever to win two medals in diving. She won her first at Beijing 2008, with diving partner Tatiana Ortiz.

Orozco, in turn, on Tuesday became the youngest Mexican athlete ever to win an Olympic medal.

"Paola has always been my idol and she has always motivated me. Someday, I want to be just like her, so this opportunity to become her successor makes me very happy," said Orozco.

The Mexican diving duo began competing together at the end of 2011 and this year they began to reap the results of their teamwork, winning a silver medal at the FINA Diving Series in Beijing and Tijuana, Mexico, in the 10-meter platform.

Orozco had already won a gold medal at the Pan-American Youth Championships in Colombia, competing individually in the 10-meter category.

Espinosa became famous in 2009, when she defeated the seemingly unbeatable Chinese divers in the 10-meter competition, breaking their 15-year winning streak.

She also holds six Pan-American gold medals won in Rio de Janeiro 2007 and Guadalajara, Mexico, in 2011.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon congratulated Espinosa and Orozco via Twitter Tuesday, writing "congratulations to both Paola and Alejandra for their silver medal in the 10-meter synchronized diving competition."

When he was told it was also Paola's birthday Tuesday, he tweeted again, saying "double congratulations to Paola Espinosa."

The diving medal is only the second medal for Mexico so far in these games. On Monday, Mexico's men's divers German Sanchez and Ivan Garcia won silver in the 10-meter synchronized diving competition.

Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

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