Yipsi, the Lady of the Hammer Throwing

With her birthday on such notorious date as November 19th, Day of Physical Culture and Sports in Cuba, Yipsi Moreno was meant to shine in athletic sports.


In Agramonte town, in the central-eastern province of Camagüey, she took her first steps in 1981, although it wasn’t until 15 years later that her name began to sound nationwide, when she broke the domestic record on her specialty after a throw of 64.54 meters in 1999.


In that same season she did not stop until she obtained the youth world record with 66.34 meters, which reaffirmed her as the greatest promise on the specialty, besides winning the second place in Winnipeg 1999 Pan American Games, with a record of 63.03.


In Sydney 2000, with only 19 years old, she ended fourth, and a year later she would climb for the first time to the top of the podium in a top-level competition, when in the world championship of Edmonton she surpassed the Russian Olga Kuzenkova by only four centimeters (70.65 by 70.61). It was the birth of a star in the sky of athletics.

In 2003 her specialty was a walk in the park and won again the World Championship in Paris, where she shattered all the hopes of the local Manuela Montebrun.


Earlier she won at the Pan American Games of Santo Domingo, despite the harsh rivalry of the Trinitarian Candice Scott. That year she raised the bar to 75.14 meters as her best achievement.


Although on paper she was favorite to win the clear gold medal in the Olympic Games of Athens 2004, she finished runner-up, unprecedented in the history of that discipline in Cuba, and the bronze medal went to the neck of her compatriot Yunaika Crawford.


In April that same year, she had thrown 75.18 meters in Savona, Italy, and the world record was expected to be broken before her foreseeable drive.

However, only two valid shots doomed her to second place on the awards podium of Athens, behind Kuzenkova, who probably made the best competition of her life (75.05) and snatched the golden dream from Yipsi (73.36 ).


She also won a silver medal in the World Championship of Helsinki 2005, with a record of 73.08, under 75.10 of the veteran Russian hammer thrower. Anyway in her heart there was nothing but happiness, because she was coming out of a serious of injuries and with a lot of training time lost in physical recovery plans.


However, in the world final of hammer throwing, with venue at the Hungarian city of Szombathely, Yipsi surpassed all her competitors. Her 74.75 score left behind no less than the last two Olympic champions: Poland's Kamila Skolimowska (Sydney 2000), and Kuzenkova (Athens 2004).

On top of that, she sent off the podium the world record holder, the Russian Tatiana Lysenko (77.06 meters on July 15th that year), fourth now at the Magyar event.


2007 saw her break the continental barrier in the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, reaching 75.20 meters, well away from the remaining medalists, her colleague Arasay Thondike (68.70) and Argentina's Jennifer Dahlgren (68.32).


In the World Cup that year she finished just two centimeters behind the gold medal, with 74.74 meters against 74.76 of the German Betty Heidler, the comeback took place the following year, in the Beijing Olympic Games.


In the competition she finished second, with 75.20 meters, behind the Belarusian Aksana Miankova, but years later it was found that the European athlete had competed under the effect of drugs, and the gold medal went to her in 2016, a bit late, but it was hers. Two years earlier she had officially retired after winning the Central American and the Caribbean Games of Veracruz 2014, leaving a score for these competitions of (71,35).


She currently works as National Commissioner of Athletics, and she is also a Member of the State Council, but nobody forgets the Lady of the Hammer Throwing.

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