The Albufera Medio Mundo (Albufera Middle World Lagoon), 130 miles away from Lima, will surely remember the strength and power of Cuban canoeists for a long time. They have risen again as the kings of the C-2 1,000m competition. Fernando Jorge Dayan, 20, will not be forgotten either; nor the generational shift in kayaking and canoeing.
The perfect example of the aforementioned fact is the canoeing tandem of Mayvihanet Borges, 21, and young Katherin Nuevo, 16. Both debuted in this Pan American Games and won the gold medal with 1:56:661 in the C-2 500 meters.
Mayvihanet had already proven her potential along with Liliana Naranjo in the World Cup held in Poznan where they ended fifth in the A-final 1:57:797.
A clear sign of such deed is that both girls lowered by one second the time achieved in Poland. This time Chilean Maria Maillard-Karen Roco (1:59:158) were the runner-ups whereas Canada’s tandem got the bronze medal (2:02:216).
“We feel great right there. Since we returned from Poznan, and even before, I was alternating between Liliana and Katherin. I achieved a much better coupling with Katherin, especially in the frequency and the rhythm of paddling. We were actually waiting for this opportunity to prove we can do it.
“The strategy was to paddling hard since the very beginning and crossing the first 250m in first place. And it worked. The Chilean couple got tired and they were our main rivals,” stated Mayvihanet, born in Camaguey.
Fernando Jorge: Runner-up and with very precise ambitions
He earned the gold and silver medals in his first Pan American Games. He is only 20 and he is already a worldwide prospect in canoeing.
Hence, he was not happy with the last face-to-face against multiple World Championship medalist Brazilian Isaquias Quiroz. He ended runner-up with 3:48:574.
“This was a regatta to the death. I did my best. I think I did pretty well despite not winning the gold medal. We competed in the World Cup and I was fifth there. He ended seventh.
“This time, the beginning of the competition was even. I followed the strategy addressed by my coach. I must remain by his side almost all the way and then try to win in the end. However, he hold the lines and maintained his rhythm up.
“That is why I say I am not completely happy. I felt in a good shape. I was not tired even though I had competed twice already. He was just better than me. The goal is now the World Championship and earned the Olympic ticket there, which is only guaranteed to the finalists.
“I want to thank the support and presence of my family here, the greatest of motivations. The support of the Cuban people, essential to any member of the Cuban delegation,” added the canoeist, runner-up in the World Championship and multiple medalist in World Cups.
Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz/CubaSi Translation Staff