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Panama Pins Hopes on Eight Olympic Athletes

This post is part of our special coverage London 2012 Olympics 

Panama is getting ready to take part in the Olympics in London with eight athletes who will compete in athletics, boxing, judo, swimming and taekwondo. Their representation is minimal but even so, it has generated expectation among Panamanians who, above all, have put their faith in Irving Saladino, current Olympic long-junp champion. The website En la jugada 507 [es] (In the Game 507) comments:

El abanderado de Panamá es el Kanguro Irving Saladino, primer panameño en conseguir una presea dorada para nuestro país en unas olimpiadas, la misma fue en Beijing 2008. Esperando que cuatro años después de este histórico momento pueda repetir esta hazaña.

The Panamanian flag-bearer is the Kangaroo, Irving Saladino, first Panamanian to win a gold medal for our country in the Olympics games, in Beijing 2008. Hopefully four years after this historic moment he will be able to do it again.

Twitter users have also showed their support for the Panamanian athletes. Manuel Fuentes (@Manuel_P20) [es], for example, seems optimistic and he hopes that the eight athletes can come home with some medals, even though Panama has only ever won three.

Fans of Irving Saladino at the Beijing olympics in 2008. Photo by Flickr user Steven Yuen-Pak Liu, inder a Creative Commons licence (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

@Manuel_P20: 8 Panameños en las Olimpiadas Dios quiera y traigan 8 medallas para #Panama apoyarlos con todo #VamosPanama

@Manuel_P20 [es]: 8 Panamanians in the Olympics. God willing they will take 8 medals for #Panama support them all the way #VamosPanama

Others seem disappointed by the small number of athletes representing Panama, as Twitter user Dretti (@An_Dreetti) [€s] comments:

@An_Dreetti: Eso de que Panamá solo llevará 7 atletas a las olimpiadas me desepciona, me averguenza y me entristese… [Sic] Inviertan porque plata sí hay

@An_Dreetti: [es] This about Panama only taking 7 athletes to the Olympics disappoints me, shames me and saddens me… [Sic] Invest because there is money

The athletes themselves have also commented on social networking sites. For example, Carolena Carstens (@CarolenaPanama) [es], who at 16 is the youngest athlete to compete in Taekwondo, showed her love for Panama on Twitter:

@CarolenaPanama: Amo a Panamá

@CarolenaPanama [es]: I love Panama

The Olympic long-jump champion Irving Saladino (@irvingsaladino) [es] also commented:

@irvingsalad.ino: Gracias a todos, hay que seguir trabajando y corrigiendo detalles, solo tranquilidad y humildad ante todo para que las cosas salgan bien

@irvingsalad.ino [es]: Thank you to everyone, I have to keep working and correcting the details, just calmness and humility for a good outcome

These are the athletes who will compete for Panama and their respective disciplines: Alonso Edwards – 200 metres, Irving Saladino – Long-jump, Andrea Ferris – 800 metres, Juan Huertas – Boxing, Omar Simmonds – Judo,  Edgar Crespo – Swimming , Diego Castillo – Swimming,  Carolina Carsten -Taekwondo.

This post is part of our special coverage London 2012 Olympics 

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