Yordan O´Farril: Not making a lot of noise, but ready to Rio 2016

Yordan O’Farril is not a renowned athlete yet and life has placed him at a crossroad.

On one hand, he has been the first track and field athlete to get his ticket to Rio de Janeiro 2016. On the other hand, he knows this competition will indicate if he can continue the legacy of his predecessors Anier Garcia and Dayron Robles.

He ran the 110 m hurdles in 13.40s at the International Meeting held in Guadeloupe behind American Aleec Harris (13.18s) and French Wilhem Belocian (13.30s), junior world record holder thanks to his 12.99 in Eugene, Oregon.

With 6’0 and 73 kg, O’Farril stunned specialists at the IAAF World Junior Championship held in Barcelona in 2012 with his 13.18s race.

He personally took revenge of his result at the I Youth Olympic Games held in Singapore 2010, where he ended fifth after being labeled as the favorite to win the competition.

Main virtues: Good technique he has improved (see his 13.19s in Prague, Czech Republic, June 2014). He is strong in the second half of the race. This feature has been common trait of Cuban hurdlers. He has good technique while facing hurdles and he is constantly trying to get it better.

Handicaps: the start reaction and the pace until the first hurdle. He confessed he has improved, but he still needs long way to go. He also needs to gain some weight in order to display more physical power.

Cubasi Translation Staff

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Lazaro Martinez honoured to uphold a Cuban tradition in Eugene

Heir of a successful tradition in the triple jump, Lazaro Martinez left his mark on Hayward Field and won a much-awaited gold medal for Cuba on the final day of the IAAF World Junior Championships, Oregon 2014 on Sunday (27).

Martinez, who stands 1.92m tall, broke the triple jump championship record twice in the final, first with his opening 17.08m, four centimetres farther than his countryman Yoelbi Quesada’s mark set in 1992. He then improved it 17.13m in the following round.

“I was aiming for six jumps and the world junior record (which is 17.50m and stood to the former East German Volker Mai since 1985), but I felt a minor discomfort in my right ankle on my second jump and passed two rounds to recover," said Martinez. "This is a win for all the team. I am very proud to bring the gold medal to Cuba after four silver medals in Eugene."

Billed as the clear favourite after his world youth best of 17.24m earlier in the season, his 2014 best was almost a metre better than the next man on the list but Martinez still treated the competition like any other.

“I came to this competition with the mindset that anyone could challenge me. I don’t take anything for granted.

“I am honored to keep the (Cuban) tradition alive in the triple jump," he added. "We have a young generation of young jumpers who already shone internationally such as (world championships medallists Ernesto) Reve and Pedro Pablo Pichardo. I am humbled to have my name alongside great Cuban jumpers who preceded me."

Martinez joined past Cuban male champions in this event: Yoelbi Quesada in 1992, Rene Hernandez in 1996, David Girat in 2002 and Pedro Pablo Pichardo in 2012.

A native of Guantanamo, Cuba’s easternmost province, Martinez practised a variety of sports, including basketball and judo up to when he was 10. His mother, former 400m runner Isabel Contreras, encouraged him to take up athletics a year later and connected him to a friend and coach.

“Initially I did not like athletics,” he said. “But I did a test with the coach and she told me I had the potential to enter the provincial sports school.”

After an initial success on the track and especially in the jumps, he started to specialise in the jumps in 2010 under the watch of coach Manuel Guilarte. In his first season, he improved to 14.64m and then to 15.38m, a national age-14 best. He also cleared 1.97m in the high jump. Those results opened the doors to the national junior team.

“Even if I had success in athletics, I did not like it much," he said. "It was coach Guilarte who instilled in me the love for the sport. To me, he is the best coach in the world."

When he joined the national junior team in Havana, he started training under the guidance of coach Marcos Juvenal and continued to show rapid progress. 

A world youth leader with 16.53m heading into last year’s IAAF World Youth Championships, he lived up to the expectations in Donetsk by winning with a personal best of 16.63m.

Hard work through the winter paid off again and in massive proportions early in 2014.

In his season opener, he landed at 17.24m to become the first youth athlete ever to break the 17-metre mark. In the process, he joined 22 other Cubans in surpassing that barrier.

A consistency around 16.80m-17.10m paved the way for his first IAAF Diamond League invitations in Shanghai, Rome and Oslo.

And he did not disappoint. He finished second in the Chinese city and third in the Italian capital, only beaten by world and Olympic medallists Will Claye and Christian Taylor.

“It is a privilege to compete with the world’s best," he said. "Imagine, I was watching them on TV in the Olympics and the World Championships in 2012 and 2013 and now competing with them. It is an incredible experience. I have nothing to lose and it inspires me to achieve better results."

Martinez has become accustomed to receiving a lot of praise for his talent and potential.

“I am aware of that, but I could not have achieved anything it if were not for my hard work in training. Triple jump is a very intensive event, it requires a lot of preparation to become a good jumper.”

There is more to come before 2014 wraps up. He now has his eyes set on the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing next month and then back to Europe for more IAAF Diamond League outings.

Outside the track, Lazaro is in all other respects an ordinary Cuban teenager. In his free time, he enjoys listening to Cuban reggaeton and US singers such as Usher and Beyonce. He finished high school with good marks and plans to take a program to become Physical Education teacher.

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Two Bronze medals in Bislett Games (+Results)


Results Wednesday from the Bislett Games, the fifth Diamond League meet of the season, at Bislett Stadium:

100_1, Myriam Soumare, France, 11.18. 2, Lekeisha Lawson, United States, 11.24. 3, Muna Lee, United States, 11.37. 4, Ezinne Okparaebo, Norway, 11.40. 5, Asha Philip, Britain, 11.41. 6, Jodie Williams, Britain, 11.44. 7, Aleen Bailey, Jamaica, 11.44. 8, Katerina Cechova, Czech Republic, 11.66.

200_1, Allyson Felix, United States, 22.73. 2, Jodie Williams, Britain, 22.97. 3, Myriam Soumare, France, 22.98. 4, Jeneba Tarmoh, United States, 22.98. 5, Murielle Ahoure, Ivory Coast, 22.99. 6, Ivet Lalova, Bulgaria, 23.20. 7, Barbara Pierre, United States, 23.67. 8, Irene Ekelund, Sweden, 23.74.

400_1, Novlene Williams-Mills, Jamaica, 50.06. 2, Natasha Hastings, United States, 50.60. 3, Amantle Montsho, Botswana, 51.05. 4, Libania Grenot, Italy, 51.79. 5, Patricia Hall, Jamaica, 52.00. 6, Marie Gayot, France, 52.30. 7, Emily Diamond, Britain, 52.58. 8, Line Kloster, Norway, 53.62.

400 Hurdles_1, Kaliese Spencer, Jamaica, 54.94. 2, Kemi Adekoya, Bahrain, 54.96. 3, Eilidh Child, Britain, 55.33. 4, Tiffany Williams, United States, 55.61. 5, Shevon Stoddart, Jamaica, 56.71. 6, Hanna Titimets, Ukraine, 56.89.

7, Natalya Antyukh, Russia, 58.06. Kori Carter, United States, DNS.

800_1, Eunice Jepkoech Sum, Kenya, 1 minute, 59.02 seconds. 2, Ajee Wilson, United States, 1:59.68. 3, Jessica Judd, Britain, 1:59.77. 4, Janeth Jepkosgei, Kenya, 2:00.20. 5, Angelika Cichocka, Poland, 2:00.43. 6, Molly Beckwith, United States, 2:00.79. 7, Agatha Jeruto, Kenya, 2:00.95. 8, Melissa Bishop, Canada, 2:01.06.

High Jump_1, Mariya Kuchina, Russia, 1.98. 2, Blanka Vlasic, Croatia, 1.98. 3, Ana Simic, Croatia, 1.95. 4 (tie), Tonje Angelsen, Norway, Anna Chicherova, Russia, Irina Gordeyeva, Russia, 1.90. 7, Justyna Kasprzycka, Poland, 1.90. 8, Kamila Licwinko, Poland, 1.90. 9, Levern Spencer, Saint Lucia, 1.85.

Long Jump_1, Tianna Bartoletta, United States, 7.02. 2, Shara Proctor, Britain, 6.78. 3, Funmi Jimoh, United States, 6.71. 4, Darya Klishina, Russia, 6.67. 5, Ivana Spanovic, Serbia, 6.67. 6, Olga Kucherenko, Russia, 6.51. 7, Erica Jarder, Sweden, 6.44. 8, Sosthene Moguenara, Germany, 6.37. 9, Janay Deloach Soukup, United States, 6.19.

Discus_1, Sandra Perkovic, Croatia, 67.17 meters. 2, Gia Lewis-Smallwood, United States, 65.77. 3, Denia Caballero, Cuba, 64.89. 4, Yaime Perez, Cuba, 63.21. 5, Melina Robert-Michon, France, 63.08. 6, Nadine Mueller, Germany, 62.73. 7, Zinaida Sendriute, Lithuania, 61.91. 8, Zaneta Glanc, Poland, 59.31. 9, Grete Etholm, Norway, 51.71.

100_1, Richard Thompson, Trinidad and Tobago, 10.02. 2, Jimmy Vicaut, France, 10.04. 3, Adam Gemili, Britain, 10.11. 4, Kim Collins, St. Kitts and Nevis, 10.13. 5, Jaysuma Saidy Ndure, Norway, 10.19. 6, Simon Magakwe, South Africa, 10.28. 7, Richard Kilty, Britain, 10.29. 8, Daniel Talbot, Britain, 10.31.

110 Hurdles_1, Pascal Martinot-Lagarde, France, 13.12. 2, Andrew Riley, Jamaica, 13.36. 3, Sergey Shubenkov, Russia, 13.37. 4, William Sharman, Britain, 13.38. 5, Hansle Parchment, Jamaica, 13.39. 6, Jason Richardson, United States, 13.45. 7, Ryan Wilson, United States, 13.54. 8, Vladimir Vukicevic, Norway, 13.94.

Dream Mile_1, Ayanleh Souleiman, Djibouti, 3:49.49. 2, Nick Willis, New Zealand, 3:49.83. 3, Homiyu Tesfaye, Germany, 3:49.86. 4, Henrik Ingebrigtsen, Norway, 3:50.72. 5, Mahiedine Mekhissi Benabbad, France, 3:51.55. 6, Mekonnen Gebremedhin, Ethiopia, 3:51.59. 7, Ilham Tanui Ozbilen, Turkey, 3:51.71. 8, Matthew Centrowitz, United States, 3:52.23.

3,000 Steeplechase_1, Jairus Kipchoge Birech, Kenya, 8 minutes, 2.37 seconds. 2, Evan Jager, United States, 8:06.97. 3, Hillary Kipsang Yego, Kenya, 8:10.93. 4, Paul Kipsiele Koech, Kenya, 8:14.29. 5, Gilbert Kirui, Kenya, 8:15.32. 6, Brahim Taleb, Morocco, 8:15.48. 7, Daniel Huling, United States, 8:15.87. 8, Bernard Nganga, Kenya, 8:18.22.

5,000_1, Yenew Alamirew, Ethiopia, 13 minutes, 1 minute, 57 seconds. 2, Caleb Mwangangi Ndiku, Kenya, 13:02.15. 3, Galen Rupp, United States, 13:03.35. 4, Thomas Pkemei Longosiwa, Kenya, 13:04.68. 5, Edwin Cheruiyot Soi, Kenya, 13:08.36. 6, Isiah Kiplangat Koech, Kenya, 13:08.46. 7, Dejen Gebremeskel, Ethiopia, 13:09.73. 8, Cornelius Kangogo, Kenya, 13:13.03.

Pole Vault_1, Renaud Lavillenie, France, 5.77. 2, Malte Mohr, Germany, 5.70. 3, Konstantinos Filippidis, Greece, 5.60. 4, Thiago Braz, Brazil, 5.47. 5, Dmitriy Starodubtsev, Russia, 5.47. 6, Augusto Dutra, Brazil, 5.32. 6, Jan Kudlicka, Czech Republic, 5.32. 8, Lazaro Borges, Cuba, 5.32.

Triple Jump_1, Will Claye, United States, 17.41 meters. 2, Christian Taylor, United States, 17.15. 3, Ernesto Reve, Cuba, 16.96. 4, Lazaro Martinez, Cuba, 16.82. 5, Lyukman Adams, Russia, 16.73. 6, Omar Craddock, United States, 16.67. 7, Godfrey Khotso Mokoena, South Africa, 16.38. 8, Phillips Idowu, Britain, 16.30.

Shot Put_1, Joe Kovacs, United States, 21.14. 2, David Storl, Germany, 21.08. 3, Reese Hoffa, United States, 21.07. 4, German Lujan Lauro, Argentina, 20.60. 5, Tomasz Majewski, Poland, 20.22. 6, Ladislav Prasil, Czech Republic, 20.14. 7, Christian Cantwell, United States, 19.47. 8, Stian Andersen, Norway, 16.87. Asmir Kolasinac, Serbia, NM.

Javelin_1, Tero Pitkamaki, Finland, 84.18. 2, Julius Yego, Kenya, 84.17. 3, Vtezslav Vesely, Czech Republic, 83.53. 4, Antti Ruuskanen, Finland, 82.56. 5, Thomas Roehler, Germany, 81.41. 6, Kim Amb, Sweden, 80.78. 7, Ihab Abdelrahman El Sayed, Egypt, 80.06. 8, Ari Mannio, Finland, 78.45.

  • Published in Sports
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