She just burst into senior competitions. Barely a month later, Cuban heptathlete Adriana Rodriguez (born on July 12, 1999) increased the 5832 points picked in Santiago de Cuba to 6297 at “Copa Cuba” (Cuba Cup), which left her just 7 points below the minimum mark to attend Doha World Championship.
I witnessed her reaction. Jogging, waiting for the final announcement of the technical secretary, going through her time in 800 meters, which could have earned her that desired mark, if it were below 2:20 minutes. She sat down on the grass to decompress her loads and took in her mark with a smile, knowingly that she has a long way ahead and exudes talent through her pores.
Yet without recovering completely, before icing and with the taste of a string that included 13.32 seconds in 100 meter-hurdles (1077 points); 1.73 meters in high jump (891 points); 12.92 meters in shot put (722 points); 23.54 seconds in 200 meters (1025 points); 7.02 meters in long jump (1179) that could have become a national record if there had been the legal tailwind; 35.73 in javelin (586) and 2:20.74 minutes in 800 meters (813), she agreed to talk to CubaSí:
How do you evaluate this heptathlon here at Cuba Cup?
“I am very happy. I did not do it well in Santiago. I was physically and mentally fit, but things did not work out. This mark does not surprise me, because I had trained hard to surpass my previous personal best of 6094”.
Let’s focus on the events in which you have greatest potential….
“I am a fast athlete and that gives me great advantages in jumps and speed races, events that contribute more points in the scoring table. I try to get the most out of it, because if you do not come out well in them, the final score will not be favorable at all”.
How much does training with Gabino Arzola and along with Leonel and Yorgelis mean to you?
“When you train every day with world-renowned athletes, from the elite, expectations arouse. That helps me progress personally and always allows me to have very high goals in sight. In addition to the encouragement they convey to me, their experiences in competitive scenarios of all kinds, advices and technical adjustments. Sharing every training session is a happy thing.
Gabino is an excellent coach, I trust all his instructions 100 percent”.
Events of your preference?
“Several. 100 meter-hurdles, 200 meters and long jump. I am aware that I must work hard in javelin, shot put and high jump, because despite having conditions, I am not performing at a high level in the latter”.
Close to 20 years and with outstanding results: What may the remaining period of the Olympic cycle and the upcoming one bring you?
“It’s too early to predict that far ahead. I feel very motivated after this mark, wishing to train harder every day. I think this mark will be nothing compared to what may come in the future. Preparation is and will always be the key to continue giving surprises”.
Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / CubaSi Translation Staff