Lima 2019: Canoeing and Shooting shake hands. Gold Medals in First Person

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

Cuba Hangs Pan Am Hopes on Boxing

Five men’s and two women’s gold medal matches are on the schedule for Thursday evening. All five of the men’s matches feature a Cuban. Success in the ring this evening and again tomorrow, when four more boxers are battling in men’s finals, will boost the country’s medal tally significantly.

Cuba currently sits 7th on the medals table, with five gold medals and a total of 22. The host country Peru is in 8th, with four gold medals among its total of 11. The United States leads with 78 total medals, 33 of them gold. Mexico is a distant runner-up with 49, including 14 gold.

Four other sports will also be handing out medals on Thursday.

Track cycling has finals in men’s and women’s team sprint as well as the omnium men points race.

In diving, it’s the finals of the women’s 3m synchronized springboard and the men’s 1m springboard.

Shooting awards medals in two events: women’s 10m air rifle and men’s 25m rapid fire pistol.

Finally, it’s the bronze medal and gold medal games in men’s softball. The United States and Mexico began play at 10am in Lima. The loser of this game takes the bronze medal, with the winner moving on to face Argentina in the gold medal game in the afternoon.

There was no daily press briefing on Thursday with Lima 2019 spokesman Carlos Manuel Lazarte. He has spent much of his time the past few days answering questions about problems with the transportation system for the Games, especially for the media.

On Wednesday, he announced that some changes had been made and promised an improvement in the system.

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Canada earns Olympic berth in artistic swimming with duet gold in Lima

Jacqueline Simoneau and Claudia Holzner won the gold medal in the duet artistic swimming competition Wednesday at the Pan American Games, and earned Canada a spot at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in the process.

Simoneau, of Chambly, Que., and Holzner, of Calgary, finished first with a total score of 180.0343 points. Mexico was second with 174.3661 points, and the United States third with 170.6698 points.

Simoneau and Holzner returned to the pool later Wednesday as part of Canada’s nine-swimmer squad in team competition, with another Olympic berth on the line.

Canada swept the two events at the 2015 Toronto Pan Am Games, with Simoneau and Karine Thomas earning duet gold and Holzner joining for the team event.

The sport was renamed from synchronized swimming to artistic swimming in 2017.

Later Wednesday, gymnast Ellie Black of Halifax looked to add to her record Pan Am medal haul. Black, Canada’s most decorated Pan Am gymnast with nine medals, will compete in the beam and floor competitions at the Villa El Salvador Sports Center.

EQUESTRIAN

Tina Irwin of Stouffville, Ont., riding Laurencio, took silver in individual dressage with a score of 77.780. Sarah Lockman of the U.S. won gold with 78.980. Irwin was part of Canada’s squad that won gold in the team dressage event on Monday and earned a berth at the 2020 Games.

“I was thrilled with the team gold but now to be on the podium individually is fantastic,” Irwin said. “It was definitely my goal, I was coming to win a medal. I was hoping for, gold but that’s okay. My horse was amazing, the whole competition.”

BADMINTON

Michelle Li of Markham, Ont., advanced to the women’s semifinals with a 2-0 (21-9, 26-24) win over Mexico’s Haramara Gaitan. Toronto’s Brian Yang of defeated Osleni Gurrero of Cuba 2-1 (21-10, 15-21, 21-13) to advance to the men’s semifinals.

Toronto’s Rachel Honderich and Kristen Tsai of Surrey, B.C., won their women’s doubles quarterfinal 2-0 (21-3, 21-3) over a team from Peru. Tsai then teamed with Nyl Yakura of Pickering, Ont., for a 2-0 (21-10, 21-14) win over a Cuban tandem on a mixed doubles quarterfinal.

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Defeat against Colombia in baseball debut

Cuba lost 1-6 against Colombia in the first day of baseball of the XVIII Pan American Games Lima 2019.

The coffee growers scored three runs in the bottom of the third inning through three undisputed ones, including home runs by Cristian Correa and Efraín Contreras.

They added another in the seventh chapter when a hit, pair of tickets and a fielders choice of the Cuban defense were combined. The remaining two arrived in the eighth thanks to four hits.

The only annotation of Cuba occurred in the sixth episode with a ticket to Yordan Manduley, hit by Stayler Hernández and error of the central patrolman that led to the advance to the rubber of the holguin torpedo.

The Cuban offensive only connected five hits with the biggest highlight for Raúl González, who hit 4-2. The remaining hits went to the account of Hernández, Yordanis Samón and César Prieto.

The coffee opener José Calero took the victory with a quality opening. He worked 6.1 innings with a career, four hits, four strikeouts and a ticket.

Relievers Ronald Ramírez, Luis Yandis, Jaider Rocha and Horacio Acosta were impeccable in their performances.

Lázaro Blanco carried the loss, just walking for 2.1 innings with three runs allowed. Vladimir García was very good in 3.2 performance chapters in which he only endured undisputed pair.

Pedro Álvarez, Frank Luis Medina and Wilson Paredes took out a couple of outs respectively, with a race to the spiritist's account, and another for the Pinar del Rio.

Cuba will play a defining match against Canada on Tuesday to stay alive in Pan American baseball.

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Shooting leads Cuba’s performance at the start of the Pan American Games

Sports shooting is the most prominent sport for Cuba in the first days of the Lima 2019 Pan American Games. The gold and the bronze won on Saturday by shooters Laina Pérez and Sheyla González, this Sunday were added to another title and a silver medal, in addition to two Olympic classifications.

The gold went to Jorge Grau in the air gun at 10 meters, the same modality in which his compatriot Pérez had won the previous day. To climb to the top and get the ticket to Tokyo 2020, the Cuban shooter defeated American Nickolaus Mowrer (silver) and Brazilian Julio Souza (bronze).

For her part, the experienced Eglys de la Cruz won a disputed silver medal in the rifle at 50 meters from three positions, which secured her ticket to the next Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. She was only surpassed by the American Sarah Beard, while leaving third place for the also American Virginia Thrasher.

Cuban Dianelys Pérez finished fourth.

With this subtitle, De la Cruz became the most awarded shooter in the history of the Pan American Games, with four golds, an equal number of silver medals and a bronze, for an all-time record of nine medals.

The Cuban quartet of the men’s K-4, composed of Fidel Vargas, Reinier Carrera, Reinier Mora and Robert Benítez, also won a meritorious second place, leaving Argentine in first place at the podium and Mexico the third place.

Meanwhile, the female quartet in this specialty could not match the men and finished seventh, in an event dominated by Canada, Mexico and Argentina, in that order.

Another outstanding performance was that of pentathlon athlete Lester Ders, who was one step away from the podium, but won the ticket to Tokyo.

His partner José Ricardo Figueroa finished sixth.

In boxing, the Cuban team had a perfect day, as the three men who climbed into the ring were victorious. Yosbany Vietía defeated Colombian Yilmar Ricardo 3-0 in the 52 kg; Roniel Iglesias (69 kg) did the same against Costa Rican Jimmy Omar Brenes; and at the close Erislandy Savón (91 kg) also defeated Canadian Bryan Colwell.

In this way, the three boxers secured the bronze medal and will seek to improve the color in the semifinals.

On the other hand, taekwondo did not do justice to itself and its two representatives this Sunday, Yamicel Núñez (57 kg) and Rogelio López (68 kg), were defeated with bulky markers in their first bouts and could not advance to the fight for the podium.

In collective sports, Cuban beach volleyball celebrated the going on to the semifinals of Leyla Martínez and Maylén Delís, better in two sets than the Costa Rican couple. The other side of the coin was the male pair of Sergio González and Luis Enrique Pérez, defeated in two sets by the Chilean couple and thus unable to dispute the medals.

And in men’s softball, the Cubans defeated the Mexican team 12-10. The island players scored eight races in two innings and now add a victory and a setback, the latter against the powerful United States. This Monday they will have another hard stumbling block when facing the Argentina world champion.

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Cuba announces baseball team to Pan American Games

The Cuban National Baseball Directorate announced the 24-player list, including eight "legionaries" who play in foreign leagues, that will attend the coming 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.

The team managed by Rey Vicente Anglada is made up by catchers Yosvani Alarcon (Las Tunas), Alfredo Fadraga (Ciego de Avila) and Yunior Ibarra (Sancti Spiritus).

Anglada and his coaching staff chose as infielders Yordan Manduley (Quebec Capitales of the Can-Am League), Jorge Alomá (Artemisa), Cesar Prieto (Cienfuegos), Raul Gonzalez (Ciego de Avila), Yordanis Samon (Industriales) and Carlos Benitez (Granma).

Meanwhile, the outfielders will be Yurisbel Gracial (Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks of Japan´s NPB), Roel Santos (Tabasco Olmecas of Mexico), Stayler Hernandez (Quebec Capitales of Can-Am), Yunieski Larduet (Las Tunas) and Yoelkis Guibert (Santiago de Cuba).

Finally, the pitchers are Lazaro Blanco (Granma), Freddy Asiel Alvarez (Villa Clara), Frank Luis Medina (Pinar del Rio), Pedro Alvarez (Sancti Spiritus), Vladimir Garcia (Quebec Capitales of Can-Am), Livan Moinelo (L) (Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks-NPB), Raidel Martinez (Chunichi Dragons of NPB ), Yoanni Yera (L) (Kitchener Panthers of the Intercounty League of Canada), Yudiel Rodríguez (L) (Las Tunas) and Wilson Paredes (Holguin).

Anglada told the press that the seven players who join the national team have had excellent performances with their respective teams in foreign leagues and can strengthen not only the poor offensive production for the squad in the warm-up matches, but also pitching.

The Cuban seasoned manager, who won the Rio 2007 Pan-Am Games, also confirmed Lazaro Blanco as the first starting pitcher against Colombia, and left-hander Yoanni Yera as starter versus Canada in the second match, while Freddy Asiel Alvarez will be the third one.

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Jamaica Confirms the Two Fastest Women in the World for Lima 2019

With only 27 days left until the start of the continent’s biggest sports festival, Panam Sports has incredible news to share for all lovers of sport, especially fans of Athletics.

The Olympic Committee of Jamaica presented the official nomination of the athletes who will participate in the Lima 2019 Pan American Games. The incredible list of athletes not only features Team Panam Sports Ambassador Briana Williams, but also two of the greatest sprinters in history: Elaine Thompson and Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce.

The two athletes are currently #1 and #2 in the IAAF World Rankings for the 100 meters, both with times of 10.73 seconds that were achieved last weekend at the Jamaica National Championships.

Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce is an athlete who is well-versed in bringing joy to the island of Jamaica. At the Beijing 2008 Summer Games, she became the Olympic Champion at just 21-years old before repeating as Olympic Champion at London 2012. In London, she also added two Olympic silvers in the 200 meter and 4×100 meter relay. Combined with a remarkable seven World Championships, Fraser Pryce has one of the best athletics resumes in the world.

Thompson, on the other hand, is the newest queen of Olympic sprinting. At the Rio 2016 Games, she won golds in both the 100 and 200 meters.

These two super stars will compete at Lima 2019 between August 6 and 10 on the brand new track located in the VIDENA, the home for some of the most exciting and inspiring sports action at the Pan Am Games.

With these two Olympic Champions, the rising star of Briana Williams, the recent confirmation of Justin Gatlin by Team USA, the outstanding rivalry between Triple Jumpers Caterine Ibarguen of Colombia and the Team Panam Sports Ambassador Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela, among others, the Athletics competition at Lima 2019 will undoubtedly be a world-class event not to be missed!

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