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

WORLD LEADS FOR THIAM AND WARNER IN GOTZIS

Nafissatou Thiam claimed her second title in the heptathlon and Damian Warner his fourth in the decathlon at the Hypo Meeting IAAF Combined Events Challenge fixture in Gotzis, Austria, on Sunday (27).

Thiam tallied a world-leading 6806 to successfully defend her title at Moesle Stadium while Warner collected 8795, also a world-leading performance, to break his own Canadian record.

Thiam began strong on day two with a 6.62m leap in the long jump, improving her personal best by six centimetres and missing the Belgian record by a scant one centimetre. That upped her total to 5158 for a 126-point lead over Erica Bougard of the US, who also improved her personal best to 6.62m to remain in second with 5032 ahead of Cuba’s Yorgelis Rodriguez, who reached 6.56m for 4983. World bronze medallist Anouk Vetter leaped 6.25m to up her score to 4763.

That put Thiam’s tally 75 points ahead of last year’s, well on course to challenge Carolina Kluft’s European record. But those ambitions were halted in the javelin where, hampered by the winds, she could only manage a best of 47.20m, more than 12 metres short of her 59.32m effort in 2017. That put her at 5964 points and effectively out of the record chase.

Rodriguez threw a season’s best with 48.65m to overtake Bougard for second with 5817 to the American’s 5737. Alina Shukh, the European U20 champion, won the event with 52.46m ahead of Vetter’s 51.27m.

Thiam concluded a successful weekend with a 2:18.62 run in the 800m for a 6806 performance, the third best of her career. Her two days in Gotzis was highlighted by a world heptathlon best of 2.01m.

Rodriguez ran 2:12.73 to take the runner-up spot with 6742, a Cuban record. Bougard won the two-lap event in 2:08.42 to smash her heptathlon career best with 6725. Dutchwoman Vetter was fourth with 6428 ahead of Austria’s Verena Preiner (6308 PB) and another Belgian, Hanne Maudens who scored 6252.

“It was a great weekend. I set a lot of PBs and I did not expect to score many of them,” Thiam said.

“In the javelin there was a lot of wind and I changed my run-up, but I am not sad at all about missing the chance to break the European record. This competition was a step on the way towards the European Championships. I am looking forward to Berlin. This weekend I wanted to assess where I am at this point of the season.”

WARNER THREATENS 8800

Warner, the overnight leader, picked up where he left off by winning the 110m hurdles in 13.56, a season’s best, to increase his lead to 329 points over German Kai Kazmirek, whose 14.42 was also a season’s best. German Rico Freimuth clocked 13.96 to move up from 11th to sixth. His compatriot Matthias Brugger improved his ranking from fifth to third after clocking 14.24.

Warner produced another season’s best with 47.32m in the discus to increase his lead to 402 points. Kazmirek, the world bronze medallist, threw 43.76m to remain in second, just four points over Freimuth who finished second in this event with 48.58m over Grenada’s Lindon Victor who threw 48.82m. Sadly Freimuth pulled out of the competition before the start of the pole vault.

Damian Warner on the way to another Canadian decathlon record in Gotzis (Jean Pierre Durand)Damian Warner on the way to another Canadian decathlon record in Gotzis (Jean Pierre Durand) © Copyright

That event was led by Maicel Uibo of Estonia and Zach Ziemek of the US, who both topped 5.30m. That moved Uibo from fifth into second, while Warner topped 4.80m. Brugger moved up to third thanks to a 5.20m clearance. Ziemek followed in fourth place.

Warner improved his total to 8028 after the penultimate event, reaching 61.94m in the javelin, 275 points up on Uibo who threw 61.75m. European U20 champion Nicklas Kaul was the best of the day, reaching 68.78m to climb into eighth place overall with 7470.

Warner crowned his successful weekend with a 4:26.59 run in the 1500m, finishing behind Brugger (4:23:93) and Dutchman Pieter Braun (4:24.29), to become the fourth four-time Gotzis winner after Carolina Kluft, Roman Sebrle and Sabine Braun.

“It means a lot to win this meeting for the fourth time,” said a delighted Warner. “I was solid across the board, especially in the long jump, the discus and in the hurdles. We were very lucky with the weather. I will now go back home to assess the rest of the season.”

The Canadian star beat Uibo, who set a career best with 8514, and Braun, who improved his personal best to 8343. Uibo received strong support from a big group of Estonian fans who made the long journey to Austria.

“I did not make any particular highlights, but the key was to be consistent across all events,” Uibo said.

  • Published in Sports

Cuban Rodríguez to Defend Title in World Junior Championship

Cuban heptathlonist Yorgelis Rodríguez will defend her world champion title obtained in Barcelona-2012, when she makes her debut in this year”s contest, in the U.S. city of Eugene, Oregon. Rodríguez will lead the group of four Cuban athletes who will compete Tuesday in the first day of the 15th World Junior Championship, which will be held until July 27 in the city of the US state of Oregon.

The current monarch of the specialty will be involved in the first four tests of the seven scheduled: 100 hurdle metres, high jump, pole vault and 200 flat meters.

If she wins, Rodríguez would equal the performance by Cuban female javelin thrower Osleidis Menéndez, who won the world champion title in Sydney-1996 and Annecy-1998-, remembered the website of Cuban radio station Radio Havana Cuba.

Besides her, on the opening day, other Cuban athletes will compete, such as the case of Santiago Alonso (decathlon), Roger Iribarne (110 m hurdles) and Sahily Diago (800 meters), these last in preliminaries.

In total Cuba will compete with 18 athletes, which will seek to improve the outcome of two years ago in Spain, when three gold and one bronze medals were achieved.

Through the history of these events, Cuba archived 23 medals of gold, 25 silver and 19 bronze.

  • Published in Sports
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