Sergio Paneque

Sergio Paneque

ECHEVARRIA’S MOMENTUM CONTINUES: 8.66M IN OSTRAVA

Battling unseasonably chilly conditions, Juan Miguel Echevarria followed up on his breakthrough performance in Stockholm with a commanding performance at the 57th edition of the Golden Spike, an IAAF World Challenge Meeting, in Ostrava, Czech Republic on Wednesday (13).

The 19-year-old emerged as one of the meeting’s primary attractions after his wind-assisted 8.83m leap in the Swedish capital, and he lived up admirably to the expectations heaped upon him over the ensuing three days.

He immediately dispensed with the 8.35m meeting record set by Cuban great Ivan Pedroso almost 20 years ago to the day, opening the competition with an 8.40m (-1.0m/s) leap. He improved to 8.54m (0.3m/s) in the second round and to 8.66m (1.0m/s) in the third, a leap landing him equal 10th among jumpers all time.

He passed on his fourth jump, hit 8.54m again in round five before ending the night, and the meeting, with a dazzlingly long foul. The crowd cheered, and he bowed, a post-meet ritual we may be getting used to.

“All my attempts were very consistent and seeing all the people cheering for us made me really happy, their support and interest in the long jump is great,” said the young Cuban, whose previous lifetime wind-legal best was 8.53m set late last month in Rome. What’s next?

“Being the world leader is strange to me because I’m still so young. I think I have a lot more ahead of me. People are already asking about breaking the world record. I can’t say if that can happen this year or in the coming ones, but I believe it is possible though.”

World champion Luvo Manyonga was second at 8.31m and his South African compatriot Ruswahl Samaai third with 8.15m.

BARSHIM INVITES PRESSURE, AND PREVAILS

Meanwhile, as a chill descended rapidly on Mestsky Stadium, the host venue of the IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018 in September, the high jump rivalry between Qatari Mutaz Barshim and Danil Lysenko offered another dramatic chapter.

Mutaz Barshim after his 2.38m clearance in Ostrava (Pavel Lebeda/organisers)Mutaz Barshim after his 2.38m clearance in Ostrava (Pavel Lebeda/organisers) © Copyright
 

Lysenko, competing as an authorised neutral athlete, took command after a first attempt clearance at 2.34m, a meeting record and season’s best for the 21-year-old world indoor champion. Barshim missed, passed to 2.36m, and missed again. Lysenko went clear on his second try, forcing Barshim up against a wall as the bar was raised to 2.38m with just one jump left.

After a miss by Lysenko, Barshim prepped by first quietening the raucous crowd behind him, then leading them in a slow, steady clap. As the tempo increased and fuelled by the make-or-break pressure, Barshim confidently bounded across the apron, lifted powerfully and sailed clear, punching at the darkening skies through the misty rain for added effect as he bounced off the landing pit. 

“I needed time to wake up,” said Barshim, the world leader at 2.40m. “I was down to one jump, and it was either win or lose. My coach said to jump 2.36m but I felt that I needed more pressure so went for 2.38m. And that woke me up.”

3000M WORLD LEAD FOR BAREGA

The highlight on the track came in the Zatopek memorial 3000m where 18-year-old Ethiopian Selemon Barega won his third race of the season in as many appearances.

In style and fashion similar to his world-leading 5000m run in Stockholm last Sunday, Barega again out-sprinted Birhanu Balew of Bahrain en route to a 7:37.53 personal best. Balew was a couple steps behind in 7:38.25 with Ethiopian Haile Tilahun third in 7:38.55. The first six across the line all clocked lifetime bests.

Elsewhere on the middle distance programme, Norah Jeruto took a clear victory in a largely solo effort in the women’s 3000m steeplechase in 9:11.33, clipping more than six seconds from the meeting record set by Milcah Chemos five years ago. Ugandan Peruth Chemutai was second in 9:16.89, an improvement of more than six seconds for the rising 18-year-old talent.

Selemon Barega en route to a 3000m world lead in Ostrava ( Pavel Lebeda/organisers)Selemon Barega en route to a 3000m world lead in Ostrava ( Pavel Lebeda/organisers) © Copyright
 

Likewise in the 1500m where Gudaf Tsegay, running alone over the final lap, won convincingly in 4:02.45 to collect her second straight victory over the distance this season and for the second consecutive year in Ostrava. Sarah McDonald of Great Britain was second in 4:04.41 and Czech Simona Vrzalova third in 4:04.80, lifetime bests for both.

The focus in the women’s 800m was on world 1500m record-holder Genzebe Dibaba but the Ethiopian was never really in the chase. Instead, victory went to Moroccan Rababe Arafi, who broke from the field with 220 metres remaining to finish unchallenged in 1:59.20. Noelie Yarigo of Benin was second in 2:00.85 with Dibaba a distant fourth in 2:01.51.

Rababe Arafi after her 800m win in Ostrava (Pavel Lebeda/organisers)Rababe Arafi after her 800m win in Ostrava (Pavel Lebeda/organisers) © Copyright

WALSH TAKES ANOTHER SHOT PUT SHOWDOWN 

Back on the infield, another meeting record came courtesy of world champion Tom Walsh in the men’s shot put which witnessed yet another thrower join the 22-metre club. That was Poland's European silver medallist Michal Haratyk, who hit a national record of 22.08m in round three. His lead, however, didn’t last long as Walsh responded with a 22.16m effort in the same round to secure the win.

Ryan Crouser struggled, reaching 21.43m in his only measured throw of the night, good enough for fourth and breaking his streak of 22-metre competitions.

Jakub Vadlejch made the best of the uncooperative conditions to win the javelin with an 88.36m best from the second round. Olympic champion Thomas Rohler performed admirably as well, finishing second with an 87.28m effort from round four.

SPRINT WINS FOR HAROUN, GATLIN, BROWN AND SCHIPPERS

The best sprint performance came in the men’s 400m where Abdalelah Haroun beat the cold and a solid field in 44.63, nearly a second clear of 2012 Olympic silver medallist Luguelin Santos, who clocked 45.43.

World champion Justin Gatlin dominated the 100m, taking a decisive win in 10.03, a season’s best for the 36-year-old. Akani Simbine of South Africa was a distant second in 10.13, 0.02 ahead of Mike Rodgers of the US.

Over the half lap, Canadian Aaron Brown ended world champion Ramil Guliyev’s brief win streak, winning in 20.05 ahead of Jereem Richards and Guliyev who each clocked 20.09.

The evening-capping 200m was a skirmish nearly to end between world champion Dafne Schippers and Murielle Ahoure. The latter held a slight lead midway through the final straight before the Dutchwoman pulled away for the win, 22.52 to 22.60.

Elsewhere, Pascal Martinot-Lagarde of France won the 110m hurdles in 13.45, just ahead of Brazil’s Gabriel Constantino, who clocked 13.48.

Pole Pawel Wojciechowski secured his first win of the outdoor season after a second-attempt clearance at 5.65m. After world champion Sam Kendricks bowed out at the same height, Wojciechowski went on to clear 5.75m before topping out at 5.86m.

The meeting ended with a farewell tribute to 2003 world champion Kim Collins, who at 42 will retire at the end of the season. Earlier in the event, the popular sprinter won a special section of the 100m contested by sprinters above the age of 30, clocking 10.41.

  • Published in Sports

Elito Reve: “I will die in Havana”

Elito Reve, one of the most important icons of the Cuban popular music, answered some questions for CubaSi with humbleness and grace.

He began playing the claves and then the piano in the orchestra. He still follows the path paved by his father Elio Reve as the leading musician of El Charangon. Here some of the answers of El Charangon’s director who after 60 years remains in the public’s preference.

Let’s begin with some history…

Orquesta Reve was founded in 1956 in Havana. My father came from Guantanamo and brought Changui —musical genre original from Guantanamo— with him. We are descendent from a French man who fell in love with a Cuban slave; thus, there you have the origin of my surname Reve, which means dream. Six generations of Cubans have danced with La Reve. Outstanding musicians like Juan Formell, Cesar Pupi Pedroso, Juan Carlos Alfonso, Yumuri, Vicente Rojas, and young singer-songwriter Emilio Frias “El Nino,” have been part of the orchestra.

How do you feel when you are regarded as a school for other stars in the Cuban musical arena?

We have been lucky to enjoy musicians such as Chucho Valdes, Ibrahim Ferrer, Enrique Alvarez…Being in the preference of the public has not been an easy goal after 61 years. We have created music since my father’s day. I have tried to continue the path. Several CDs have come to light since. Our work is reflected in all those generations that have danced with the orchestra. Our band still has its signature.

How much continuity and renewal can we see in La Reve?

Look, being in the elite is the hardest thing. There are orchestras that get a hit because they are made of good artists, singers, and they have talent. But being there in the public’s preference all the time is not easy at all. My father and I have achieved it. The orchestra still has good national and international preference despite new emerging genres.

I set a full drum work in the orchestra as I wanted to enrich the percussion work of the band. I initiated the use of a bass. A woman works with the orchestra as a singer for the first time. It is a strong band but you need to give a different show every day. I have made some changes for the sake of the group. We have made changui better, different, full of spirit; nonetheless, the musical concept of the orchestra remains the same…”

La Reve and Los Van Van joined forces and performed live at the Sports City in Havana to pay a special tribute. What can you tell us?

It was my idea. I talked to Samuelito and said: look, Elio Reve and Juan Formell have played an essential role in the musical history of our nation. And we must give this Cuban people and the world a live concert…It was named Dos leyendas juntas. The live concert DVD will be launched soon.

What can you tell us about your recently launched CD…?

“Yo me muero en La Habana” is a BIS MUSIC CD. Yomil y el Dani featured one song with us, with the special arrangement of Dagoberto Gonzalez Jr. and Cucurucho Valdes. It is a very beautiful album. It is online already. The song La cuchara has a video and will be premiere in the upcoming days.”

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz//CubaSi Translation Staff

British choreographer Lea Anderson will work with Contemporary Dance of Cuba

The company Danza Contemporánea de Cuba -DCC-, is working on a new project together with the British artistic director Lea Anderson.

Through social networks, the Cuban dance group expressed their enthusiasm for receiving the renowned choreographer with

According to the announcement, the artist will begin her work as part of the Cuban-British creative islands project, devised by DCC with the British Council Caribbean to promote and promote the passion for dance and artistic work of both nations

Founder of the renowned companies The Featherstonehaughs and The Cholmondeleys, Anderson is one of the most renowned and transgressive creators of the European country, which has n his list of more than 100 choreographies.

In his work he maintains an aesthetic line and a choreographic language that distinguish him in his presentations, always accompanied by live music and novel costume, stage and lighting designs.

His career has taken her to several international stages, from the most alternative places to renowned festivals such as Glastonbury.

She has also made presentations for television and film, and her work is study material in different levels of dance education in the United Kingdom.

  • Published in Culture

Canadians Nusbaum and Plantinga reach semifinals defeating Cuba

Canadians Aaron Nusbaum and Mike Plantinga upset top seeded Karell Peña and Dasiel Quesada of Cuba with a 2-0 (21-15, 21-15) victory to reach the men’s semifinals of the first stage of the 2018 NORCECA Beach Volleyball Circuit in Aguascalientes, Mexico.

Mike Plantinga’s high blocks and Aaron Nusbaum’s effective defense took the Cuban pair by surprise, limiting their performance to a lower standard than usual.

Another surprise was Josué Gaxiola/José Angel Cardenas of Mexico advancing into semifinals with a steady performance while beating Canada-B of Fiodar Kazhamiaka/ Sergey Grabovsky 2-0 (21-15, 21-18) in quarterfinals. Gaxiola has earned one silver and two bronze NORCECA medals and Cardenas is a NORCECA newcomer; together they finished fifth last year at the FIVB U-21 World Championship.

United States-A of William Reid Priddy and Troy Field had to use all their energy to beat resilient Rubén Mora/Dany López of Nicaragua coming from behind 2-1 (25-27, 21-15, 15-11). Mora and López had a spectacular performance while Priddy and Field seemed to enjoy the challenge.

Eric Zaun and Edwin Ratledge of United States-B won their quarterfinal match with no problems  to young Dominicans Jamel Alessandre/Victor Castillo by 2-0 (21-15, 21-15).

Plantinga/Nusbaum (CAN) will meet Gaxiola/Cardenas (MEX) in semfinals. The other semifinal features Priddy/Field against fellow countrymen Zaun/Ratledge.

Men’s semifinal matches are scheduled for 10:30 am (local time) and the gold medal match at 5:30 pm.

Men Results Saturday:

Pool-Play: Pool A: Karell Peña/ Dasiel Quesada (CUB) d Jamel Alessandre/Victor Castillo (DOM) 2-0 (21-13, 21-11); Pool B: Eric Zaun/Edwin Ratledge (USA-B) d Aaron Nusbaum/ Mike Plantinga (CAN-A) 2-1 (21-91, 15-21, 18-16); Pool C: Fiodar Kazhamiaka/ Sergey Grabovsky (CAN-B) d Luis García/Erick Garrido (GUA) 2-0 (21-19, 21-18); William Reid Priddy/Troy Field (USA-A) d Germán Osuna/Leonel Garza (MEX-B) 2-0 (21-15, 21-11); Pool D: Josue Gaxiola/José Angel Cardenas (MEX-A) d Rubén Mora/Dany López (NCA) 2-0 (21-15, 21-14); Yasutaka Sanay/Franky Hernández (MEX-C) d Jesse Parham/Casey Santamaria (CAY) 2-0 (21-9, 21-13); Loser’s Play-Off: Germán Osuna/Leonel Garza (MEX-B) d Yasutaka Sanay/Franky Hernández (MEX-C) 2-0 (18-21, 21-19, 16-14);  Luis García/Erick Garrido (GUA) d Jesse Parham/Casey Santamaria (CAY)  2-0 (21-7, 21-10); QF1: Aaron Nusbaum/ Mike Plantinga (CAN-A) d Karell Peña/ Dasiel Quesada (CUB) 2-0 (21-15, 21-15); QF2: Josue Gaxiola/José Angel Cardenas (MEX-A) d Fiodar Kazhamiaka/ Sergey Grabovsky (CAN-B) 2-0 (21-15, 21-18); QF3: William Reid Priddy/Troy Field (USA-A) d Rubén Mora/Dany López (NCA) 2-1 (25-27, 21-15, 15-11); QF4: Eric Zaun/Edwin Ratledge (USA-B) d  Jamel Alessandre/Victor Castillo (DOM) 2-0 (21-15, 21-15).

  • Published in Sports
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