Cuban Sotomayor happy after gaining the Sports Legend Award

The universal record holder in men´s high jump (2.45m), Cuban Javier Sotomayor, said he was happy with the Sports Legend Award to be granted to him today by the Spanish sports newspaper As.

In statements to Prensa Latina (PL), Sotomayor confessed to be surprised and proud with the designation, because three years ago he was in charge of delivering the prize to the also high jumper Ruth Beitia, from Spain.

The Barcelona 1992 Olympic champion remarked that the award constitutes recognition of his sporting results, especially because after so many years of retirement he is still present.

On the durability of his records, Sotomayor acknowledged that after the passage of time this becomes more relevant, because currently athletes have better conditions to overcome their performance, including the application of science and new technologies to training.

The outstanding Cuban athlete also owns the world indoor record with 2.43 meters, achieved in the Hungarian city of Budapest on March 4, 1989.

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Cuban baseball undergoes popular consultation

As of Monday, November 25, a popular consultation process will begin in Cuba in which the central theme will be Cuban baseball, as reported by the National Baseball Department in a note published by the JIT digital portal, with the purpose of seeking alternatives for the improvement of the national pastime.

The process, which will culminate on December 5, includes active and retired athletes, teachers, researchers, coaches, managers, activists, members of sports clubs and fans in general. As the note explains, the idea was announced on October 19 during the All-Star Game in Camagüey.

At that time, “in a meeting with the commissioners of all the provinces and the Special Municipality of Isla de la Juventud, we agreed on the characteristics of the basic document that will allow the exchanges to be carried out during a scheduled tour from east to west, between Monday, November 25 and Thursday, December 5,” the note says.

There will be several topics that will be discussed, among which everything related to the National Baseball Series, the hiring system, the work at the base and the academies, the situation of the sports facilities, the competitive system at all levels, the role of baseball glories and relations with the media, among other proposals.

“On Monday, November 25, the e-mail address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. will be activated,” says the note, which also explains that alternate communication routes will be established from each municipality to take the consultation to the largest possible number of places.

“We insist that, without claiming ‘magic solutions,’ and convinced that only work will lead us to a better baseball, the intention is to make the most of popular wisdom, in order to outline the most effective tools in the midst of our realities,” concludes the note of the National Baseball Department, published this November 22.

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Gold for Gabriel Rosillo in World Youth Championship

One of the new Cuban talents of Greco-Roman wrestling, Gabriel Rosillo, graps the Gold in the World Youth Championship in Tallinn (Estonia), winning in the final of the 97th division kg to German Patrick Neumaier.

In the fight for the Gold, he showed superiority over his rival and won 8-0. For the new phenomenon of the Cuban Greco-Roman wrestling, it was his fourth victory in a row in the tournament, just a few days after also being unbeaten at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.

In Tallinn, the 20-year-old from Santiago de Cuba overwhelmed all his rivals, to the point that he scored 36 points and only allowed one against. He successfully opened against the Chinese Houzhi Hao (8-0), then beat the Hungarian Alex Gergo (9-1) and in the semifinals the Turkish Beytullah Kayisdag (9-0).

Although he still has to compete in the adult World Cup (September in Kazakhstan), Rosillo has had a dream 2019 and is emerging as a strong candidate for the Rookie of the Year distinction in Cuban sports.

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From Lima to Havana: Exhaustive Analysis and Encouraging Future

The 18th Pan American Games Lima 2019 are all in the past. They were a resounding success, full of extreme competitiveness, deeds, tears, and glory; a marvelous host city in every single sense.

Le crème de la crème of sports in America competed in Lima. More than one hundred Olympic champions attended the sports event. Hundreds of world championship medalists…new talents, etc…Nobody wanted to miss Lima 2019.

Cuba was there amid such brilliance. This time, the delegation ended fifth (33-27-38). The total of gold medals was not so low since the Pan American Games held in Cali in 1971 —where we ended in second place.

The truth is the sports arena in now quite different to that of the last years of the 20th century when Cuba, after reigning the Pan American Games held in Havana in 1991, experienced its glory days behind the United States.

From Santo Domingo 2003 (72-41-39) to date, the tendency in performance and results —not only in gold medals— has dropped: Rio de Janeiro 2007 (59-35-41), Guadalajara 2011 (58-35-43), and Toronto 2015 (36-27-34).

Many variables have influenced this performance and we are going to mention some. But before, let’s see what occurred in Lima 2019.

The goal was to outperform Toronto 2015 and consequently, to improve that fourth place. Now, the U.S., Brazil, Mexico, and Canada ended ahead of us this time. To achieve these goals, we had had to earn 38 titles, five more than the actual result.

At first sight, many will dive into some sports disciplines that underachieved such as taekwondo, weightlifting, artistic gymnastics, cycling, baseball, wrestling, and judo despite its five gold medals.

And that is a reality.

For example, track and field achieved 18 gold medals in Guadalajara 2011. Meanwhile, Toronto 2015 and Lima 2019 just contributed with 5 gold medals.

There is one irrefutable reason. Sports have become a very lucrative activity. And consequently, the amount of money invested in its development by every nation is increasingly higher, especially in infrastructure, state-of-the-art technology, coach hiring, counseling or highly skilled personnel, as well as the talent drain.

Having this picture into account, Cuba has tried hard to maintain its sports power status that once boasted. But it is like going against the tide as we have lost the opportunity to develop quality training camps that we used to carry out especially with the former Soviet Union and other former socialist countries.

Hence, Cuba has challenged the economic shortage to maintain one of the Revolution’s greatest achievement. And such sustainability relies heavily on an evolutionary pyramid that starts on the early stage of sports fundamentals clinging on the ideals of Sports for All, the increasingly vanishing of sports facilities, special areas to practice, meticulous recruitment processes, mountain Olympiads…to name a few.

As a self-preservation method, our nation has turned to a strategy that follows the will of the country, not only to make profits in the exports of goods and services, but also with the goal of cooperating and contributing with the development of third world countries as a strong expression of solidarity of the Cuban people.

That is why it was easy to see some outstanding athletes like Yulimar Rojas, Aline Ferreira, and Albaro Rudesindo being trained by Cuban coaches.

We are referring to sports disciplines such as track and field, judo, wrestling, boxing, taekwondo, weightlifting…

We witnessed a new generation of talented athletes in Lima.

Adriana Rodríguez, Vanessa Godínez, Reinieris Andreu, Luis Enrique Zayas, Yusneylys Guzmán, Luis Manuel Lauret. Eliani Cámara, Gretel Mendoza, Alejandro y Huber, Elisbeth Gámez, Osvel Caballero, Mahyvianet Borges…all of them managed to crown endless days of hard training, sacrifice, to win their medals. Even better, the future looks bright right now.

The Pan American Games Lima 2019 resulted in a disappointed event. It is true all of our athletes did their best. However, some did not perform well in the clutch time.

Let’s avoid at all costs our nation enters into an extended decline. Other events await.

Let’s do everything humanly possible. Tokyo 2020 is right around the corner

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz/CubaSi Translation Staff

Cuban Stevens to attend his 5th World Archery Championships

With 25 years devoted to archery, Juan Carlos Stevens will attend his fifth World Championship of that sport, which will be hosted by Mexico from October 15 to 22, contest which will also be attended by three other Cubans.

During a practice session, Stevens told ACN that they are already in the precompetitive stage, in which they are implementing team and individual strategies for that major tournament.

On the possibility that Cuba will compete with a complete squad, something that has not happened since 1999, he assured that it is a very positive step to have the opportunity to share with two athletes of international level such as Adrian Puentes and Hugo Franco.

Stevens, 49, won seven crowns at Central American and Caribbean Games, in addition to silver and bronze medals in Rio 2007 and Guadalajara 2011 Pan-American Games, respectively, but his major achievement was the fifth seat he earned in Beijing 2008 Olympics.

  • Published in Sports
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