Cuban Judo: Iván Silva’s 2019

Iván Silva is a very ambitious young man. He is focused, but above all, he is well aware he must continue to improve his performance in the judo’s 90 kg division if he wants to win a medal in Tokyo 2020.

Born in Matanzas on January 8, 1996, and forged after rough combats against Asley González, he is looking now to become an elite judoka after winning the silver medal in the 2018 World Championship.

A propos of his 2019 season, Julio Alderete’s pupil (36 W- 12 L), talked to CubaSí:

“After my gold medal in the Pan American Games Lima 2019, I had just one week to train for the World Championship. My goal was to win a medal, but I could not meet my goal due to some setbacks. Hence, I ended seventh.

Afterwards, I managed to be runner-up in the Grand Slam held in Brazil, my best result in the second stage of my competitive roadmap of the season. The rest of the season, I always lost in the second round.

I personally believe that I was tired, and the training plan was focused on winning that gold medal in Lima. Indeed, there are now strong opponents in my division. For instance, several world champions lost in Qingdao’s (Master) first round,” detailed the already qualified for Tokyo 2020 according to his world ranking (3th- 4.423 points).

Broaden his technical repertoire…

“You must always look for improvements in your combat planning. The workload contributes to personal development. I even train with colleagues of a higher division (100 kg). That is where I am right now. It is not old-fashioned at all, but nonetheless we make the necessary adjustments to broaden my repertoire. This season I have felt more confident as I learned hip, leg, and uchi-mata techniques. Besides, I have learned how to handle my combats better.

In today’s judo, and combat sports in general, you must have an ace up your sleeves. A lot of evaluation of opponents is carried out these days. They watch all my combats on video. Hence, it is paramount to have set some strategies that may help to win a fight in the end.

The 90 kg is a very balanced division. How is Silva dealing with such reality?

“It is something I bear in mind. I can even face a strong opponent in the first round of any tournament who may well be a world medalist. So every international tournament is now a challenge.”

Are you pleased with your 2019 season?

“I am not pleased as I can always perform better. I am actually an ambitious man. A staff of trainers, physicians, colleagues, all of us have worked hard this year. Regarding the emotional aspect, I stay always positive aiming at major goals, but I rather stay focused on winning a medal.”

What are the prospects of judo in general?

“I think the first goal is, for every Cuban judoka, to qualify for the Olympics. Once they are in, the goal is even clearer: to advance in the competition as far as possible to win a medal. The training is being quite hard. In Rio 2016, Cuba’s men judo won no medals and that is the challenge we must target.

The 2020 season should kick off with the traditional European tour as we look to strengthening and rising positions (in the world ranking). Before, I would like to wish all the best to the Cuban people and ask them to trust Cuban judo. We always go out there to do our best,” pointed out the judoka who from 2013 to date, according to, boasts a 68.5% winning percentage in all international competitions.

With a strong mind like an ippon, let’s trust he will accomplish his goal.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff

Stars of Today in Cuban Sports: Iván Silva

I reached the men’s Judo gym at Cerro Pelado and Iván Felipe Silva Morales (90 kg, born January 8th, 1996) moved like a panther on the mat. Doing randori with a peer of a superior division and he seemed not to get tired at all: projections, change to defense, continued work in Ne-waza after beginning technical moves in the Tachi-waza…

In year 2018 with the World subtitle of Azerbaijan he marked his definitive establishment in the elite of the 90 kg, after a start and a successful pass through the 81 kg, the Judoka from Camaguey agreed to talk with CubaSí after almost three hours of training:

What has changed or how beneficial has been Iván Silva's transition from the 81 to the 90 kg?

“The change was mainly because I was having a hard time to work on the 81 kg for reasons associated to my stage of physical growth. Year 2017 was my first year in the 90 kg and I cannot consider it bad. I won on the first category and the Pan-American Championship.

In 2018 I finished well my adaptation to the new division. I won again the national championship and the reincorporation of Asley González it spurred ne to train harder and raise the levels of training. The randori with him were world class. That contact helped me a lot, not just in America, but also to enter the high world level.

An exact description of an intense competitive year, which you finished with excellent balance in international tournaments with 23 wins 7 lost.

“It was a year in the rising. I was confident as I competed. After the national championship and Pan-American Games of the sport we went to Barranquilla. There I won the individual competition as well as the teams from there we went to Europe. There I improved a lot, I took advantage of the randoris with athletes from Hungary and the rest of Europeans athletes who participated at the training grounds, which was key in my later result at the World Championship.”

Main strengths and elements that you should improve?

“My main strength is the physical side, not just muscle, but endurance, reaching the end of the combat with good capacity. I have won many fights towards the end or in golden rule and right there, even more than techniques sometimes, prevails the will and the drive.

I should increase the variety of my technical repertoire, add some things to my arsenal, focusing mainly in the legs like the Uchi-mata, Ouchi…”

When did you begin in judo?

“I was seven in my hometown Colon. I was off for a while because my first coach left for Venezuela. I practiced baseball encouraged by my cousins back then, but then I returned to judo until today.”

One or several coaches who have influence or decisive in your sport career?

“To mention a single name would be unfair. Alain and Justo Noda, José Jhonson, Danny Porte. At EIDE school Yanosky Gómez and Dayannis Manmo worked a lot with me. Many have helped me, besides my family which is unconditional and supports me even to the tiniest thing.”

What importance do you give to the fact of training daily with Asley González?

“It’s been essential. Professor Justo and now Julio Alderete always tells us that we don’t have to look for champions abroad, the fact of having them right here in the same mat, is very advantageous. I have always tried to learn the best, not only from him, but from all those who have contributed with my training and growth.”

Perspectives looking at Tokyo 2020 knowingly that the World Championship grants a thousand points to the champion?

“I cannot rely on that, I will come out to win my fight as if it were an Olympic final. Being fourth in the world ranking (4 355) and third in the Olympic one (1 455) it doesn't mean I should not keep working hard daily. I will go with everything to the World Championship, the points are essential for the classification and possible fights in the toss.”

Iván Silva certainly has had a brilliant career since his debut with Bronze in the II Olympic Games of Youth in Nanjing 2014. The same result came in World Juvenile Championship of Abu-Dabi 2015. Only in year 2013 he finished with an unfavorable balance regarding wins and lost (4-5).

The specialized website puts his global balance since then with 90 wins and 46 lost, success has been his goal.

The Paris Grand Slam will mark the beginning in this 2019. Silva way ahead has his judo outfit very tight and his mind is focused in one objective: the Olympic podium of Tokyo 2020.

  • Published in Sports

Cuban Silva earns Silver Medal in Judo World Championships

Cuban Ivan Silva won the silver medal today in the individual event of the 2018 Judo World Championships Seniors held in Baku, Azerbaijan, after losing in the final of the 90 kilograms division to Spanish Nikoloz Sherazadishvili.

The Georgian –born athlete and number third in the universal ranking needed the golden score to beat Silva and thus became the first Spanish man to win the world title in judo.

The bronze medals went to Japanese Kenta Nagasawa and French Axel Clerget, the latter was Silva´s victim in semifinals.

This is, so far, Silva´s best performance in the international arena, while the also Cuban Asley Gonzalez, London 2012 Olympic silver medalist and 2013 world monarch, ranked seventh when losing to German Eduard Trippel (5th) in the repechage.

Cuba´s other best performance so far in this major tournament is the 5th seat achieved by Maylin Del Toro in the women´s 63 kg division.

Women Kaliema Antomarchi (78) and Idalis Ortiz (+78) and man Andy Granda (+100) will debut for Cuba today and tomorrow while the team mixed event will be on Thursday.

After these results, the Caribbean island ranks eighth in the standings, with a silver medal, a fifth and a seventh place.

Japan appears on top of the medal table with five gold, five silver and three bronze medals, followed by France (1-1-2), South Korea and Iran (1-0-1) and Ukraine and Spain (1-0-0 each).

  • Published in Sports
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