Published On: Fri, Aug 19th, 2016

Nadal relieved to win gold after injury-riddled year

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Rafael Nadal was overcome with emotion as he dropped to the ground and buried his head into his arms in the moments after securing the men’s doubles gold medal with Marc Lopez.

The two Spaniards, who have been friends since they were boys, bested Florin Mergea and Horia Tecau of Romania 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, to secure Spain’s third gold medal of the Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Once gold was secured, an emotional Nadal fell to the ground and later described the joy he felt to win alongside his best friend, as well as the struggle he faced heading into the Olympics after months of battling to overcome a wrist injury.

“An amazing experience,” Nadal told reporters. “Especially doing it with one of my best friends, Marc, is something unforgettable for me, for both of us. To win a gold medal today after two and a half months with no practice, no preparation at all, just working in the gym, was something not easy doing.”

Nadal, who won the top individual prize at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, will look to add another medal to his collection in the singles competition, but will have to get past Argentina’s Juan Martín del Potro on Saturday in order to have a chance at winning his third Olympic gold medal.

All photos courtesy Action Images.

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