Yorgelis Rodríguez: Searching for the Gold Medal in Tokyo

Always ready to speak, with a smile that certainly shows a positive attitude before sports and life, always ready to hear advice and seeking perfection in the seven disciplines that make up the heptathlon.  

That is Yorgelis Rodríguez (January 25th, 1995) who had a dreamt year, one out many of perseverance in the elite since she won the medal in Pan American Games of Toronto 2015 with personal record of 6 332 points.  

Her huge progression since year 2012 until today shows that her register in the seven events reached 5 994. Next, her ongoing rhythm started in 2013 - 6 186 points; 2014 - 6 231 points; 2015 - 6 332; in 2016 reached 6 481 in the main event of the year: the Olympic Games of Rio de Janeiro.  

This has been another constant issue in her sport career, because in the World Championship of London 2017 she reached her top of 6 594; and in this 2018, against the elite of this sport in Glottis, a competition classified as compulsory within the year calendar of combined sports she got 6 742. This amount of points won her the third position in the World ranking, behind the Belgian Nafissatou Thiam (6 816) and the British Katarina Johnson-Thompson (6 759).  

During a talk at the awarding gala of best sportsmen of the year in Cuba, distinction that put her among the best ten athletes, she said:  

“I am very happy especially for all the achievement this year. That is the outcome of the sacrifice and effort for an entire year next to my coach, and the physiotherapist. I believe that the main objectives were fulfilled, like the medal in the Central American and Caribbean Games of Barranquilla (6 436 points), and increase my registers in some competitions, as well as the global score in Gotzis.  

That will be the same frame of mind I’ll take the training starting January, thinking of the Pan-American Games of Lima and the World Championship, besides keep growing to face Tokyo 2020. It’s an honor to be for the first time among the ten best Cuban sportsmen and I hope this is only the beginning in the path of recognitions."

You said that there are where you can still improve or polish a bit more. As for the training, which are those events and what specific work do they do?

"Right now I am focused in the physical side, it’s essential and one of the elements that helps me on the second part of the competition to polish my techniques. It’s still early, but reaching the individual competitions with the best possible physical shape is very positive."

What are the events in which you feel more confident?

"Those will be jumping events. The long and high jump, although the long jump is a test where I can still improve more. On top of those the 800 meters flat. One of the things that makes me improve toward the end, to bring forth extra strength in this test despite the exhaustion, it’s when I am under pressure or fighting for a place in the podium or a record and that motivates me to give my everything."


 

Do you plan to go beyond the 6 800 points in 2019?

“It’s one of my first objectives. To improve the 6 742 points and go beyond the 6 800. It’s a mark that practically puts to discuss medals in any competition at the highest level."

Without such effort, how do you visualize Lima?

I am focused and motivated. The back-to-back medals I won in Toronto are reason enough. I don't think of the problems, despite I’ll be facing high-level competitors, perhaps not world elite, but in that case I will compete against my registers, making me my own rival, pushing myself to the limits."

Yorgelis has the same spirit that her coach Gabino Arzola taught her equal Leonel Suárez: working capacity, seriousness and being a professional during trainings, strong mind and permanently seeking growth regarding the registers and frame of mind, in the end the results always support every minute

Cuba and Colombia Winners in the Sports Survey of Prensa Latina

Cuban Juan Miguel Echevarría, Colombian Caterine Ibargüen, and boxing team Domadores de Cuba rose today as the winners of the 55th edition of the Prensa Latina Poll.

In a bitter sting for the award, Echevarría reached 36 votes and exceeded by seven the great star of world soccer, the Argentine Lionel Messi.

The 20-year-old jumper conquered this season the title of indoor orb in Birmingham, England; the Ostrava World Challenge; and the International Meetings of Bad Langensalza and Guadalajara.

Also, the leader of the ranking of the world dominated the stop of the League of the Diamond of Stockholm and reached silver in the one of Rome, in addition to prevailing in the appointment of Karlsruhe and to take the silver medal in the International Meeting of Metz, France.

Among the achievements of the season stands out the impressive record of 8.83 meters which, despite having been in favor of wind (+2.1 - legal up to + 2.0-), showed the world the real possibilities of breaking the world record of the specialty of 8.95, held by the American Mike Powell since 1991.

Olympic champion in Rio de Janeiro-2016, Ibargüen dominated the survey this year with 59 votes and reached five laureates, after those obtained in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Thus, the South American athlete surpassed in the historical ranking the legendary Cuban runner Ana Fidelia Quirot (1989, 1991, 1995, 1997) and won the eleventh prize for her country in the category of Best athlete if we count both sexes, and the seventh among females.

This season, the representative of the coffee nation won triple and long jump titles in the Continental Cup, the Diamond League and the Central American and Caribbean Games of Barranquilla-2018.

Catherine left for the books the most outstanding mark of the year, 14.96 meters that equaled the best sixth jump of her career and was the longest since that allowed her to savor the Olympic glory in Rio de Janeiro-2016.

But his merit lies not only in having destroyed his favorite triple specialty, but also in extending hegemony to length, a modality in which he had already ventured into the past without great results.

In that test he faced the cream of the planet, including Olympic and world champions, and in addition to raising his personal level to 6.93, he dominated most of the jousts where he competed.

Due to the excellent performance obtained this season, Ibargüen was exalted with the condition of Athlete of the Year of the International Association of Athletics Federations, for the first time in his career.

The traditional survey began in 1964 with the election of the best athlete in Latin America and the Caribbean, and from 1980 it was decided to include the Best Team of the Year.

In 1988, the men's and women's awards began separately.

A total of 116 media outlets from 25 countries in the Americas, Europe and Asia issued their criteria in the Prensa Latina Sports Survey, which closed its 55th edition today.

  • Published in Cuba

South Korea Plans to Approach DPRK for Hosting 2032 Summer Olympics

The Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism of South Korea, Do Jong-hwan, declared here today that his country plans to run jointly with the Democratic People''s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to host the 2032 Olympics.

According to the official, this initiative is likely to be put forward at the summit to be held this month by the leaders of both countries and the aim is to contribute to lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Do even said that at this Wednesday's meeting in Tokyo with his counterparts from Japan and China he would propose the attendance of a unified Korean delegation to the 2020 Games to be held in the Japanese capital.

DPRK and South Korea marched in a single block under the Unification Flag and formed a women's hockey team during the PyeongChang-2018 Winter Olympics.

This was one of the agreements reached by their governments in early January to coordinate the North's attendance at the event, which was called the Peace Olympics for bringing Seoul and Pyongyang closer together.

Then, the two nations paraded again in the same way at the opening ceremony of the recent 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.

  • Published in Sports

Cuban Jumper Vidal to the Final of the IAAF World U-20 Championships

Cuban Maykel Vidal qualified here today for the final of the men's long jump corresponding to the IAAF World U-20 Championships.

Vidal, the U-18 world champion last year in Nairobi, Kenya, recorded a jump of 7.42 meters in his third attempt to be included among the 12 athletes who will go tomorrow Wednesday in search of a medal.

The Cuban was below his usual performance, he was the last among all the classified despite showing an 8.12m jump as a personal best, the best among all competitors.

His compatriot Lester Lescay, second of the U-18 orb in Nairobi 2017, was not on his best day either and the 7.36m reached in the second jump was not enough for him to be included in the finalist squad.

The classification was dominated by the Japanese Yuki Hashioka with 7.92 m and the Jamaican Wayne Pinnock with 7.76m.

On this first day of the IAAF World U-20 Championships, the medals in the 5000 meters for women, the shot put for men and 10,000 meters for men will be discussed.

  • Published in Sports

Cooperation of the Croatian and Cuban Olympic Committee

Croatian and Cuban Olympic Committee signed on October 12, 2016, the Memorandum on Cooperation between the Croatian and the Cuban Olympic Committee, involving the exchange of knowledge and experience particularly in the field of sports medicine and coaching profession.

The one particularly interested in cooperation in this area is the Croatian Baseball Federation, whose president Osvaldo Vavra announced more intensive cooperation in the development of baseball, which is included in the program of the Olympic Games 2020.

The Memorandum was signed by the President of the Croatian Olympic Committee Zlatko Mateša and Ambassador of the Republic of Cuba, Juan Antonio Fernández, in the presence of Elio Rodríguez Perdomo, Director for Europe and Canada at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba, President of the Croatian Baseball Federation Osvaldo Vavra, Proxy of Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Jasna Derviš and Head of the Croatian Olympic Committee’s Department for International Cooperation Ljiljana Ujlaki Šubić.

  • Published in Sports

Cuban Jumper Confirms His Quality with 8.40-Meter Record

Cuban long-jumper Juan Miguel Echevarría proved that his 8.40-meter jump at the World Indoor Athletic Championships on Friday was not a fluke.

The 19-year-old athlete set the record in the outdoor season at the Rafael Fortún stadium in this central Cuban and ratified his excellent physical fitness after competing in the British city of Birmingham, where he won the gold medal with an 8.46-meter jump.

However, his coach Daniel Osorio, who took over his training a few months ago, noted that Echevarria's results are not a surprise.

'He has an ideal physique, I had seen him years ago, when he was still in Camagüey, and I followed his evolution closely,' he told Prensa Latina.

'Last year, he made very good jumps, over eight meters, so I predicted that at some point he would explode,' the coach of the national team noted.

After concluding his career in the junior category with a discreet performance at the World Championships in London last summer, Echevarria went on under Osorio's supervision in the senior category and his training focused on the psychological aspect.

  • Published in Sports

Cuba: Women's Judo Team Reaches Top Competition

“Our aim is for the whole team to qualify for next year’s regional competition,” said Felix Portuondo, head coach of the women's team.

The women's judo team of Cuba has reached the Barranquilla 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games, which is scheduled to take place from Oct. 28-29.

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“Our aim is for the whole team to qualify for next year’s regional competition,” said Felix Portuondo, head coach of the women's team. He stressed that Cuba's main contender in the tournament will be Mexico, according to Granma.

“Yanisleidys Ponciano from Havana will be competing in the 44kg division, a tough athlete with a strong chance of making it to the final. World Championship medal winner Melissa Hurtado will represent Cuba in the 48kg. Her main rival will be Pan American Games silver medalist Edna Carrillo of Mexico."

Portuondo conceded that Hurtado appeared “a lot stronger” during her training sessions in Budapest.

Also participating in the competition will be Yurisleidi Hernandez. Portuondo commented that Mexican judoka Luz Olvera, a gold recipient in the Cancun's Grand Prix and silver at the Pan-Am Championships, will be her main rival. Despite stiff competition posed by Olvera, Portuondo exalted Hernandez's high-level of discipline and training routine, saying that such qualities are a winning combination.

Anailys Dorvigni, yet another member of Cuba's women judoka team who participated in Budapest, will take to the tatami in the Dominican Republic. She's scheduled to fight against Germany's Miryam Roper who is ranked fourth in the world.

“Maylin del Toro is competing in the 63kg, and it shouldn’t be too difficult for her to win gold,” Portuondo said.

However, he concluded that Olga Masferrer, from Holguin, “will face stiff competition in the 70kg."

"This is the hardest weight group to predict, and will feature Colombia’s Yuri Alvear - bronze medal winner in Budapest and ranked second in the world; Elvismar Rodríguez of Venezuela, number three in the global ranking; and Maria Perez of Puerto Rico, current World silver medalist.”

  • Published in Sports

Barranquilla 2018: The Power of Cuba Grows Difficult

Cuba will try to keep the Center-Caribbean hegemony that holds since Panama 1970 in Barranquilla 2018, the path is very complicated and the drive of countries like the host country Colombia and Mexico.

Almost after four years since Veracruz 2014 is the most recent experience. Many will remember that the struggle in the medals board between Cuba and the host country was neck-to-neck, defined with a spectacular closing by the athletics (23-15-8) that launched Cuba to the top of the medals board retaining the condition of kings in the global board (123-66-65). Mexico (115-106-111), Colombia (70-75-78) and Venezuela (56-79-110) came next. Mexicans fixed a chronogram, including a few sports like squash to their advantage, which doesn’t mean they have had boost in quality in the last years in several sports. Therefore the open struggle with Cubans.

Is no secret the fact that sports have experienced a sudden development after the Olympic Games of Barcelona 1992. Several variables have helped: limitless merchandizing, meteoric ascent of sport shows as the stage of a very profitable industry in the rising, nationalization of sportsmen and talent drain for more profitable horizons…

The point is our athletes are not immune to all that. I recall the fencer Taimí Chappé and the handball player Rolando Urios, two examples that began the drain in the early 90’s of the last century.

Back to the Center-American and the Caribbean Games, also keeping in mind the shortage of resources to sustain a sport infrastructure. Comparable to that of first-world countries, the idea here is to claw to what has been conquered until now, even when the qualitative panorama is not as promising as 25 years ago.

Many nations in the area and others around the world have understood that sports and its growth are fertile grounds for development, while it reflects on social life. It’s exactly for that reason they have poured so much interest and budget into this activity even at unsuspected levels.

Colombia is a good example. In the last decade has experienced breakthroughs in both sport infrastructure and facilities, as results, majorly supported by the knowledge of other countries. Weightlifting, athletics, judo, cycling, are among the sports with greater progress, and keeping in the horizon the Games of Barranquilla August 3-19, 2018, with an estimated attendance 5 854 athletes will struggle in 36 sports representing 37 countries.

We are talking about the condition of Colombians as host country to register in all sports in competition, even those where they are not strong. Just as Mexicans did four years ago. Of course from my perspective right now Mexico is still a contestant to beware more than Venezuela.

Mathematically the more medals are distributed among those Center-Caribbean nations, next to Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and many other solo sportsmen from other countries, fewer will be the medals Cuban will win.

In Veracruz 19 countries won at least one gold medal and maybe after 11 months that same figure or more win a gold medal in Barranquilla.

What we have tried to explain in this column is that every new edition of world or multiple events regardless its reach it will contain a greater degree of complexity for our teams. Barranquilla will be a test of considerable rigor, with the pressure of Colombians and Mexicans as tough rivals. Let’s trust we can keep the first position on the medal board, with athletics, judo, boxing, wrestling, rowing, canoeing, weightlifting, cycling, artistic gymnastics, again as main events.

All doubts will be cleared in less than six months and reality will be known, as part of the current Olympic cycle that will end in the Olympic games of Tokyo 2020.

Amilkal Labañino Valdés / Cubasi Translation Staff

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