Oars and Canoeing in 2017: Two Oarsmen Paved the Way

Ángel Fournier and Serguey Torres, in effective duo with Fernando Jorge Dayán, held on their shoulders, with remarkable yields, the oars and canoeing in 2017.

Besides being the same age, both really yearn to climb on the Olympic podium that has eluded them. With three appearances in the summer competitions, for many reasons winning a medal has been impossible so far.

Perseverance is Written with the Oars of Fournier

Specialists classify him as one of the strongest and stable rowers for over a half decade. The gods of Olympus have not touched him yet with their wand. Let’s remember that his first presence in important competitions was in Beijing 2008, when Fournier integrated the crew of sprint kayak four that finished sixth in the Final-B.

But within the soul of the idol from rested the desire of becoming a great single kayak oarsman. In fact, he had made his debut in a distant August 2005, when he finished sixth in the Pool A of the juvenile World Championship of Brandenburg, Germany. His timing then was of 7:40.950 minutes and the winner was the Serbian Milan Uznovic (7:13.550).

A lot of time has passed since then and Fournier, besides winning technical experience, strength balance and knowledge on the toughest rivals in each race, he has won three medals in World Championships and many others in World Cup circuits.

Year 2017 was not an exemption in that sense. Most of the season he vied against Neo-Zealander Robert Manson, (let’s remember a nightmare from that country named Mahe Drysdale), until at the world championship he showed all his weapons.

To arrive in Sarasota in the best possible shape, the pupil of Yoan de Paula started with a bronze medal in the World Championship of Rowing-machine that traditionally hosts the Agganis Arena of the American University of Boston. Fournier had already won the gold medal in that scenario, but his time of 5:49.00 minutes won over the Polish Bartosz Zablocki (5:45.600) and Pavel Shurmel (5:47.800).

Later he saw the twice backs in World Cups circuit to Manson: in the second segment of Poznan, Poland, Founier registered a respectable 6:38.670, but Manson won with 6:30.740 that classified as the best time in history. Later in Lucerne, history repeated itself. The margin this time was of 6:49.080 by 6:52.940 favorable to the New Zealander.

The redemption for Fournier came in northern waters, in the world competition of Sarasota. There he was head to head with the Czech Ondrej Synek who was won a lead in the last 500 meters. The outcome? Synek (6:40.640) golden, Fournier (6:43.490) silver, and Manson (6:52.480) fifth after being exploited after covering the first thousand meters.

Times, privilege positions, third medal in World Championships, solid arguments of our first "Master and Commander."


Serguey and Fernando Jorge Dayán: Following the steps of the "hairy" ones

If anyone doubted the binomial Serguey Torres-Fernando Jorge Dayán, surely this year have completely discarded them.

It’s maybe too soon to level them with Ibrahim Rojas and Ledys Frank Balceiro, our hairy sportsmen, but they have begun the cycle with outstanding yields and aspirations.

Their time 3:30.960 minutes won a gold medal in the World Cup of Montemor-or-Velho, Portugal, according to Torres from the journal Juventud Rebelde, they were only a second behind the 3:29.60 which is their personal record, attained in La Coronela, besides far greater than the 3:48.133 they timed when crossing the finish line in the lagoon Rodrigo de Freitas of Rio de Janeiro last year in the Olympic Games.

There they began to chain success after success, because in 1000 meters they came first than the Ukrainian Dmytro Ianchuk and Hangups Mishchuk (3:33.580), third in the Olympic Games; and the Spanish Mohssine Moutahir-Gonzalo Martin (3:34.205). They also ended first and second in the C-1 at 5 000 meters, with times of 22:36.920 minutes (Torres), and 23:14.040 (Dayán), while Rui Lacerna (23:40.440) won the bronze medal.

That was just the beginning. They fought hard against Germany, Serguey and Fernando joined efforts to finish second in the C-2 1000 meters. They stopped the watch in 3:31.955, hardly a bit behind the Germans Peter Kretschmer and Yul Oeltze (3:31.613).

I have seen the video of that race several times and in my opinion Serguey and Fernando were overconfident and stopped rowing a few meters ahead of the goal line, unaware that the German team was coming in hard to pass their prow with a slight advantage.

Torres competing single won another silver medal in C-1 5000 meters. His 23:37.312 was close to the outstanding German Sebastian Brendel (23:34.796 in the C-1 1000) but that wasn’t enough to defeat him.

Anyway Serguey who stretched his wins to in World Championships to four silver medals and three bronze medals, gave another hint of perseverance to opponents and skepticals, and sets his canoe next to Fernando Jorge Dayán toward Tokyo 2020. He is undoubtedly our second Master and Commander.

Cubasi Translation Staff / Amilkal Labañino Valdés

  • Published in Sports

Americans to kayak from Havana to Key West

Ten Americans plan to attempt the daunting journey across the Florida Straight in kayaks - covering 113 miles (180 kilometers) from Havana to Key West in just 30 hours.

The team, led by Joe Jacobi, who won the gold medal in slalom canoeing in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, and kayaker David Smith, hopes to set out from Havana's Marina Hemingway on Friday at around noon and arrive on the coast of Florida's Key West just over a day later.

At a news conference at the marina on Thursday Smith said the 10 kayakers who will cross the straight in 5 two-man kayaks hope their adventure will help bring Cuba and the United States closer together just as the nations have improved relations.

"Really, the motivation for us was beyond just doing some kind of athletic feat. We were looking for a way that we could connect with people, especially the Cuban people, it's been 60 years since our countries have had normal relations and we felt that this was a perfect opportunity especially since things are changing so quickly to be a part of this, a part of this change," Smith said.

Diplomatic ties between the former Cold War adversaries were restored this year with a détente announced in December between Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro culminating in the raising of the American flag at the American embassy in Havana in August for the first time in 54 years.

"It is so clear to me, after just being together here in Cuba for one week that I think we are all four of us at this table and all of us in this room we're planting new seeds that are going to enrich the relationship between the United States and Cuba in ways we can't even imagine," added Jacobi.

The team of kayakers have been in Cuba for a week and plan to remain in their kayaks the entire 30 hour trek across the straight.

  • Published in Sports
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