Hottest female Olympian: Leryn Franco doesn’t expect to medal in javelin in London
LONDON – Paraguayan javelin thrower Leryn Franco has admitted she has far more chance of holding on to her title as “hottest female Olympian” than leaving London with a medal.
Franco was trailing only Michael Phelps, at the 2008 Beijing Games and was voted the most attractive Olympian by several men’s magazines. She obtained just a 51st place finish in Beijing. Even with improving her performances over the last four years, she is still not anticipated to finish in the top 20.
“My situation is different from most of the other javelin throwers,” Franco said. “I am not just an athlete. I have to be honest with my career is really in the media.
“If people open a magazine, they can see me there. Modeling and fashion is my job, too. It takes up much of my time and enables me to make money. It is flattering to me that people find me good-looking and enjoy seeing me wearing good fashion items.”
Franco took part in Friday’s Opening Ceremony and will not contend until Aug. 7, the fifth day of track and field events. She threw a personal best of 55.65 meters at an event in Buenos Aires last year, but that is nearly 17 meters less than that of the world record.
Franco gained a bit of attention in the United States last year when she was featured in Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit edition and has a profitable endorsement contract with Nike. In 2006, she stood second in a national beauty contest, Miss Universo Paraguay. She briefly dated world No.2 tennis player Novak Djokovic, but the duo split when their particular work and travel schedules made a relationship impossible.
“I am not expecting a medal,” Franco said. “The competition is very strong and there are athletes who are stronger than me. But I treat it seriously and I want to do my personal best. For me the best reward is just to be here. Getting to the Olympics is like a medal for me.”
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