Cuba ranked Fourth in Budapest Judo Grand Prix

Cuba ended fourth in the Budapest Grand Prix 2018, in Hungary, with harvest of one gold and a bronze medal.

According to the website of the contest, the crown went to Idalis Ortiz (+78 kg), who defeated Belarusian Maryna Slutskaya in the final, thus achieving her fourth win in the event.

Ortiz´s previous victims were Ukrainian Galyna Tarasova, Dutch Tessie Savelkouls and Tunisian Nihel Cheikh Rouhou, the latter in semifinals.

Cuba´s third seat was reached by man Ivan Silva (90), who beat Spanish Nikoloz Sherazadishvili in one of the bronze-medal bouts.

American Matthew Koch, Japanese Yusuke Kobayashi and Estonian Klen Kristofer, in that order, were previously defeated by Silva.
Woman Kaliema Antomarchi (78) was the only other judoka who earned points to Cuba when ranking fifth.

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The rest of the members of the Cuban side, men Osniel Solis (66), Magdiel Estrada (73), Asley Gonzalez (90) and Andy Granda (+100), and women Melisa Hurtado (52), Maylin del Toro (63) and Onix Cortes (70), didn't reach the top-eight in their respective divisions, so none of them granted points to their squad.

Japan won the tournament with nine gold and four silver medals, followed by Hungary (2-0-2), Russia (1-1-1), Cuba (1-0-1) and Brazil (1-0-0).

This contest was attended by 573 judokas - 343 men and 230 women - from 86 nations, and was a good test ahead of the 37th World Championship, to be held in Baku, Azerbaijan, from next August 27 to September 2.

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Cuban Female Judokas Win Gold

Cuban judoka Idalis Ortiz won today the gold medal of women's +78 kg competition in judo at the 23rd Central American and Caribbean Games.

The London 2012 Olympic Champion won in the final match by decision of the judges over her Puerto Rican rival Melissa Mojica. Mariannys Hernandez, from Venezuela, and Gabriella Wood, from Trinidad and Tobago, reached the bronze medals.

Cuban Kaliema Antomarchi also won today the gold medal of 78 kg division beating Venezuelan Karen Leon, silver medalist, by Ippon.

Mexican Debanhi Ochoa and Dominican Eiraima Silvestre won the bronze medals.

Cuba tops the judo's medals in Barranquilla-2018 with six gold metals, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic accumulate three each, and the group of countries with titles is closed by Panama (2), Mexico and Guatemala (1).

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Win Cuba Pan-American Judo Cup in Lima, Peru

Cuba won the Pan American Judo Cup (nine gold, four silver and three bronze medals). The contest distributed points for the ranking with a view to the continental games of 2019 in the Peruvian capital.

The Cuban men's and women's national teams finished the day of Friday in front of the table of positions by countries, with four gold medals, two silver and two tans, booty to which added this Saturday five gold metals, two silver and one bronze.

The organizers of the Pan American Confederation informed the Cuban News Agency (ACN) that Brazil (2-0) -2) ranked second, followed by the Dominican Republic (1-3-1), Mexico (1-2-3), Venezuela (0-2-4), Colombia (0-2-1), Ecuador (0 -1-2) and Argentina (0-0-4).

Asley Gonz lez

Next come Peru (0-0-3), Chile (0-0-2) and Canada (0-0-2), in that order, to complete the 11 nations that managed to get on the podium.



Without giving details of the fighting, stands out in relation to the Cubans, the bronze of Idalis Ortiz, in more than 78 kilograms, and the victory of Asley González before Iván Silva, in the final of the 90 kilos.

In this regard, Dr. Uvelino Moreno, doctor of the Cuban male staff, added to the ACN details that highlight that Gonzalez beat Silva for three Shidos (penalties)

Also that Ortiz fell in his first fight against the Puerto Rican Melissa Mojica, in Regla de Oro, a stage that extended the lawsuit to nine minutes and 57 seconds, when Artemiseña received a third Shido, and for the bronze it defeated the Venezuelan Mariannys Hernández

The other four Cuban champions this Saturday were Kaliema Antomarchi (78), Jorge Martínez (81), José Armenteros (100) and Andy Granda (+100), and the other silver medal corresponded to Onix Cortés (70), surpassed in the final by the Brazilian Ellen Santana.

Cuba also reached titles with Osniel Solís (66), Magdiel Estrada (73), Melissa Hurtado (48) and Maylin del Toro (63), but Friday, in a day in which they deserved p can Roberto Almenares (60) and Nahomi Acosta (52), and bronze, Yandry Torres (60) and Anaili Dorvigni (57).

In addition to adding points for the ranking for Lima 2019, the disciples of Julio Alderete (m) and Félix Portuondo (f) competed as part of the preparation for the Central American and Caribbean Games of Barranquilla 2018, a multi-sport event that will take place from July 19 to August 3.

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Six Cuban Judokas to attend Major Tournament in Germany

Six Cubans appear among the 546 judokas from 72 countries that will compete in the Grand Slam of Dusseldorf, Germany, scheduled for next February 23 to 25.

Kaliema Antomarchi (78 kg), Budapest 2017 world bronze medalist, stands out among the trio of Cuban women attending this event, second stop of the 2018 IJF World Tour.

Antomarchi currently appears 12th in the world ranking and will have major rivals in that contest, as Dutch Guusje Steenhuis, leader of the global list, along with Frenchwomen Audrey Tcheumeo (4th) and Madeleine Malonga (7th), Brazilian Mayra Aguiar (5th), Japanese Ruika Sato (14th), among others.
Melissa Hurtado (48 kg) and Maylin del Toro (63) are the other Cuban women registered in the German tournament, which will award 1,000 points to the winners of each division.

Meanwhile, the list of three men is headed by Jose Armenteros (100 kg), world runner-up in the edition of Chelyabinsk 2014, Russia, who now returns after recovering from an elbow injury.
Armenteros ranks 13th in his division and will also have tough opponents such as Georgian Varlam Liparteliani, second in world ranking.

Jorge Martinez (81 kg) and Andy Granda (+100) complete the Cuban men´s squad to this event.

The Dusseldorf 2018 Grand Slam will also be attended by other aces such as the multi- world and Olympic champion Frenchman Teddy Riner, as well as other Budapest 2017 world monarchs such as women Ai Shishime and Chizuru Arai, both from Japan, and French Clarisse Agbegnenou, among others.

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Ronaldo Veitía Keeps Making History in the Cuban Judo

Professor Ronaldo Veitía Valdivié, Master in Sciences and Eighth Dan, keeps making history despite his official retirement from high-yield Judo in 2016, this time with his book Estela Rodríguez Villanueva, the ebony of Cuban female judo.

A just recognition to Estela, 50 years old, born in the municipality of Palma Soriano, Santiago de Cuba province, and example for new generations, not just of sport.

The heavyweight from Santiago de Cuba has won Olympic silver medals in Barcelona 1992 and Atlanta 1996, in + 72 kg –at present + 78 -, and gold, silver and bronze in the open division in the World Championships of Belgrade 1989, Barcelona 1991 and Chiba 1995, respectively.

She also shows gold medals in the Pan-American Games of Havana 1991 (+72 and open), a silver medal (open) and another bronze medal (+72) in Indianapolis 1987, and so many others in continental championships and Central American and the Caribbean Games.

She is no doubt, a glory of Cuban judo that cannot fall into oblivion, Veitía highlighted in the recent presentation of the book, at the Training Center Cerro Pelado, of the capital.

Although he is no longer who trains or coaches on and outside judo mats the Cuban women team, as he did for 30 years, Veiti or the teacher, at present 70 years old - October 22nd, 1947 -, walks one of his new facets, writing what his pupils achieved.

This constitutes the fifth book of his fruitful career as an author, the Estela book was preceded by The Female Judo, Best team of the World; Driulis González, the Legend of Judo; Cuban Stars, The Bounty of Women Judo and Cuban School of Female Judo.

The next launching of another book is close, nothing but his autobiography: Ronaldo Veitía, Ippon of Stories, and in writing, La Lupe of Tatamis, about Yurisleidis Lupetey, and Thoughts Beyond Sports.

But amid his love for keystrokes, he finds time and shows passion for his unquestionable quality as coach, which he shares with the training of the new generations of his native land Santa María del Rosario, in the municipality of Cotorro, the Project Spring.

Veitia once told the Cuban News Agency that he considered springtime as the most beautiful and flowered season of the year. Who can deny that children comprise these two qualities.

He also said that “I am always in debt with children, because they are who taught me the most in my professional career. If I had not worked with boys and girls I wouldn’t have had the beautiful vision of life and pedagogy with which I have worked many years at the Initiation School of Sports (EIDE for its acronym in Spanish) Martires de Barbados.”

Life proved him right, since coaching the women team Las Marianas, as he prefers to name them, he accumulated five golden medals, 10 silver medals and 10 bronze medals in the Olympic Games.

It is abundant the medals in world competitions senior (16-14-27), junior (8-0-6), by teams (1-3-3), university championships (6-4-8) and cadets (1-0-0). On top of that we must include the medals won in continental championships (95-19-17) and Pan-American Games (41-5-10), in that order, and many others in Central American and the Caribbean Games (91-12-12).

We must add that from 1988 up to 2015, many of his pupils occupied positions among the best sportsmen of the year, with positions among the best 10 athletes.

Cubasi Translation Staff / Amilkal Labañino Valdés

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World Judo Open Championship: Idalys returns forged in bronze

After more than a year absent from tatamis, Cuban Idalys Ortiz returned to her old ways at the recently held World Judo Open Championship in Marrakech, Morocco, by winning the bronze medal among 18 competitors.

In my opinion, Idalys Ortiz is a judo crack. The outstanding super heavyweight from Artemisa ratified her class and after more than a year absent from tatamis returned to her old ways at the World Judo Open Championship in Marrakech, Morocco, by picking bronze among 18 judokas.

That was not the only joy for Cuba, because with four athletes among representatives from 28 nations, Alex García, of Matanzas, emulated Idalys among the men, after beating his teammate Andy Granda in the bronze medal match.

Nearly 7270 kilometers (4525 miles) separate Marrakech from Havana, but a large number of Cubans were aware of the performance of our main ace on the tatamis.

I mean that Idalys has had an enviable service record since she joined the world elite in the 2007 season, by winning the crown just on January 1st at the World Judo Open Championship in Qingdao, China.

Since then, the exceptional athlete, who says she bases her matches on tactics, with strength, speed and explosiveness little common for her division as added values, has increased her technical repertoire over the years, as well as her showcases.

She has climbed 80 awarding podiums in more than 90 competitions, with 11 Olympic victories and only 2 defeats. She’s worthy of respect and if this weren’t enough, she owns a favorable 73.1 percentage in tournaments officially registered on the specialized website www.judoinside.com derived from 179 wins and 66 losses.

On Moroccan lands, she headed her division with 2 wins. In semifinals, she lost to Japanese Sarah Asahina, (both show a bilateral 1-1 win/loss balance), and then she redeemed herself vs. French Romane Dicko in the bronze medal match.

It’s worth saying that Asahina (4050 points) and Bosnian Larisa Ceric (3284), gold and silver medalists, respectively, are solidly placed on top positions of the world ranking of the +78kg division, scenario in which Idalys, despite her impasse of more than a year, ranks 21st with 1300 points, hence, none of her elite opponents has afforded to forget her.

After being 28 years old last September 27, Idalys retakes her route, carrying the winning star on her shoulders and with her grabbings set from the distance on Tokyo 2020, where she might add another medal to her medal harvest from that 2008 Beijing Games bronze.

As regards their state of mind and amidst a renewal process of our female team, the presence of Idalys, along with the possible comebacks of Dayaris Mestre, Maricet Espinosa and Yanet Bermoy in the future, as well as the inclusion of Kaliema Antomarchi in the 78kg division elite, is substantially important and encouraging.

Almost nobody remembers Alex from the 2010 International Judoguis Golden Championship, when he escorted Oreidis Despaigne in the 100kg division, or his participation in the Youth Olympic Games that same year in Singapore, event where he stayed at the medal threshold with a fifth place.

Today, García (1856 points) ranks 14th in the world ranking of the +100kg division and is one of the main trump cards of our men’s team. He had a stony performance in Marrakech, because after surrendering vs. Japanese Kokoro Kageura (1200 points / #24) in the leadership match of the group, he had beat both Russian Alexander Mikhaylin and his teammate Andy Granda in repechage.

Speed is one of the major resources of Alex García. Maturity in the study of his rivals and security in his actions also complement his explosiveness. He does speed trials on the track (30-40 meters) with Prof. José Ibáñez to increase this last component, which he combines with jumps in circles on one foot. They are very positive for oguchi-ari and contribute to keep both balance in the equilibrium axis and correct combat positions.

He always dedicates time to acrobatics at the end of his training sessions.

By the way, from 2009 to the present day, Alex, fifth on Brazilian soil, exhibits a positive balance of 47 wins and 40 losses at top level competitions.

That’s the reality of our judo super heavyweights. Idalys, who seems she has not been absent over a year and returns to her old ways; and Alex, who is still grabbing a place in the elite. Let’s wait to see what the rest of the Olympic cycle holds in store for them.

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / Cubasi Translation Staff

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Continuing the achievements of yesteryear

Women’s judo is one of the most successful disciplines in the history of Cuban sports. From Estela Rodríguez, Driulis González, Amarilys Savón, Sibelis Veranes, Legna Verdecia, Daima Beltrán to Idalys Ortiz, judo has produced a healthy supply of stellar athletes, who have elevated the country’s name in competitions across the world.

Today, a young team is looking to continue the achievements of yesteryear and make its own mark on the sport.

The recently concluded Judo World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, marked the first stop on the road toward the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Although the bronze medal won by Kaliema Antomarchi from Santiago de Cuba in the 78 kilograms division fell short of expectations, it does signify hope for the future of the sport.

Granma International visited the Cerro Pelado National Training Center, where we spoke with Félix Portuondo, technical coach of Cuba’s national judo team, about the latest World Championships and upcoming challenges.

“A greater economic incentive than in past competitions meant that this was a World Championship attended by the top figures in almost all divisions.”

“As well as modest, Cuba’s performance in the Women’s Judo Competition in Budapest can be considered positive. Kaliema took home her first world championship medal, a great result for her.

She faced the best judokas in her division, bar double Olympic champion Kayla Harrison from the United States. Her group included Mami Umeki and Ruika Sato from Japan; and Hungary’s Abigel Erdelyi-Joo, ranked sixth in the world. Kaliema faced a tough line-up with two fights going into the Golden Score period.

“The bronze medal fight against Sato was one of the most important of her career. Before, Antomarchi never would have been able to score even a shido against Ruika but, in the moment of truth, beat her by waza-ari.”

How did the rest of the athletes perform?

At just 18 years of age, Melissa Hurtado (48kg), defeated local competitor Eva Csernoviczki - London 2012 bronze medalist - in her opening fight.

They had already faced each other in the lead up to the Budapest championships, in a fight Csernoviczki won. Despite this, the experience served as an opportunity to analyze her and draw-up a strategy which proved to be successful in the end.

However, she lost all focus during her second bout against Melanie Clement of France. We thought that Clement would fight to the right, but she switched her positioning completely. Melissa had to change her strategy on the mat and lost concentration, she didn’t even listen to our instruction and was given a Hansoku make and disqualified.

Maylin del Toro (63kg), an athlete who arrived to the European city in the best form we’d ever seen her in, thanks to her hard work and strong self-confidence, also had problems focusing. I thought she would be the team’s other medal winner. However, she was unable to show this level in her first fight against Junxia Yang of China, losing by ippon.

Anailys Dorvigny was our representative in the 57kg, although we also have another experienced athlete in this division, Aliuska Ojeda.

Anailys is a brave judoka who gives it her all during training and competitions, but has a lot of technical deficiencies which are costly when competing at the highest level. She didn’t make it past the second fight after losing to Chen-Ling  Lien from Taipei. Ojeda and Dorvigny are both athletes with great drive and determination, but who just fall short.

Lastly, we also brought along an inexperienced athlete in the 78+ kg division, 20-year old, Eliannis Aguilar. Her nerves and desire to win got the better of her. She was too impulsive and didn’t follow the strategy we had devised for her.

During her opening fight she overused the shoulder technique which was supposed to be a surprise element. In order to throw her opponent Gulzhan Issanova of Kazakhstan and shorter than Aguilar, she needed to be taken by surprise. She didn’t follow the plan and lost by three shiods.

So, the psychological aspect and concentration were the main problem?

Our athletes need more opportunities to compete at a high level in order to gain confidence. There need to be more competitions and its up to us coaches to instill confidence in our judokas.

Although I’ve only been leading this team for months, there is a strong drive and good rapport between the girls and the technical team.

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Ronaldo Veitia and his "Journey to the Seed" (Photos)

Like Marcial, the leading character of “Viaje a la Semilla” (Journey to the Seed), by Alejo Carpentier, Hilarión Ronaldo Vetía Valdivié, nearly aged 70 (Oct. 21, 1947), takes over the double role of main figure and author of what was and remains as his life, judo.

Fortunately to many, especially children, the story does not begin from his death now, quite the opposite, because he increasingly lives to the rhythm of this martial art, and his fans, relatives and friends wish him long life in and out of tatami mats, and he knows so and commits himself.

The true thing is that “The Professor” returns to his home town, Santa María del Rosario (he still lives there), in El Cotorro, where he left and did not stop through a lot of dedication, sacrifice and example until reaching “Cerro Pelado” High Performance Training Center, to become the head coach of the national women’s judo team, which he directed for 30 years and completed 50 years of work.

He exhibits 25 Olympic medals, including 6 golds, and 57 world medals, with 16 golds, as well as many others won by his disciples, the well-known Marianas of General Veitia, at Pan American and Central American Games. He does not forget them not even for a minute and at present takes over El Proyecto Social Comunitario “Primavera” (Social Community Project “Spring”), with children from that Havanan municipality, among them, his granddaughter Lorena de la Caridad Pérez Veitía.

alt The Professor does not miss the opportunity to offer direct instructions.

The Master in Social Sciences, black belt and 8th dan welcomes the journalist and the photographer from the Cuban News Agency (ACN) with great pride and desire to work for the new generations in order to exchange on his “Journey to the Seed”.

-Was it a debt you had with judo, with children?

I always owe children, because they are the ones who taught me the most in my professional career. If I hadn’t worked with boys and girls I wouldn’t have had such a beautiful vision of life and the pedagogy which I was working with for many years at “Mártires de Barbados” School of Sports Initiation (EIDE).

-Are you still learning after so many successes at top level and so many years of work?

You always learn every day of life, and more so when you teach.

-What do you enjoy most from the project and what is the most difficult?

What I enjoy most is the joy that we can transmit to those kids and young people who develop and learn not only in terms of sports, but also in their educational formation, so they can be better citizens.

-Health, quality of life, first step towards high performance?

All that. The first step towards High Performance is to detect the great child promises and look for them, because the wood that is used to make a violin sounds from the forest, and our pedagogical work should bring out beautiful music for talents.

-Do you still dream of your Marianas or have the little ones occupied their places?

Every love has its space in the heart. If you have several children and love them all, each with his/her characteristics, you love them equally. Prior to the Marianas I had children and young people, and they have loved me very much and I have loved them too. I’ve never forgotten anyone, nor have they forgotten me.

-What do the Marianas say about the project, do they help you?

My Marianas have permeated my life, and they know that invigorates me. They wish me the best with their good backbone, because good disciples never forget you, the indebted ones, those who were able to taking over my daring dreams, were able to ennoble them for the good of our Homeland, the people and their followers, who admire them a lot and not only love them, but praise them for their courage and duality of having made them cry for joy from their results in and out tatami mats.    

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Like every day, the biginning with the important training session.   

Some have come and made the kids I direct very happy when seeing their medals. They are delighted for being able to meet and share with Olympic and world champions. Undoubtedly, that provides the Project and that youth with an extraordinary fresh air.

-Did it come to remain?

Of course, it existed since I was directing the national women’s team, when I used to participate voluntarily in this “Antonio Maceo” judo hall. Now, I have more time and fully involved along with my son René, who is a professor too.

The Project has a very important activity, because it is in a passing through community and helps withdraw the children from idle activities together with our prophylactic work aiding parents and people of good faith. We take into account that well-directed sport is an antidote to overcome vice.

I feel satisfied because we have many parents and grandparents who are doing an extraordinary job to achieve the main aim: the education of those who have come to us to know this sport, which is a martial art and conveys a lot of discipline.

I have a phrase that reads: "You cannot do a good act without having an excellent company" and those are our parents and grandparents, engaged with me in this dream, which we will make come true, because it came to remain. Good luck!

Executive, grandmother and judokas give their opinions…

Carlos enrique álvarez garcía, executive secretary of the project and grandfather: highlights the joy in the rescued judo room, explaining that the facility was practically abandoned when they decided to take over the project, which brings together children - currently around 50 - from 5-16 years in five categories, joined by juniors too.

They are very enthusiastic; comply with the discipline required and the regulation, signed by all parents, grandparents, in short, by all the relatives of the children.

But the most important thing about this Project or dream - he highlighted - is that the community has found and loves everything we do, with the efforts of families and students.

Maria Luisa Bernal, better known as the Super Grandmother because, as I was told and checked, she is in everything, he says: "My job is to help in everything they need, in whatever I can. It is a dream that is already becoming a reality, very beautiful, because the children learn, discipline themselves, have the possibility to make their dreams come true, and this is very close to me, because my 12-year-old granddaughter and sixth grader is one from them".

altNo one wanted to miss the collective photo.

Idalis Torres Cutiño (8 years old), third grader: "What I like the most is that it helps us all to be good, with the help of the teachers, guided by Vetía. I hope to be an Olympic champion. To participate in the project you have to be a good student, you have to carry both things together and well, study and sports, that's good. I learned very quickly the poetry that I offered to those present on Fidel, but with much love, because Fidel was very good and loved children a lot, a true guide".

Yasmani Enrique Veitisolo Sosa (17 years old), student and worker: "I joined the project because I am a judo lover, and in it I have the possibility to make my dream of being a good judoka come true. I would like to be an Olympic champion, get a good result and be useful to society. There is a very good atmosphere, we are a great family. I studied tenth grade at “Roberto Labrada” pre-university school and work in a private “guarapera” (sugarcane juicing business). Now I will enter the Faculty in August".

For the time being, Veitía is readying to make his new dream come true from Santa Maria del Rosario, where one again he sowed the seed that led him to glory in high performance, with the certainty that very soon this will yield the fruits he expects from his new little disciples, and convinced they will be great on and off the mat, like his Marianas.

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / CubaSi Translation Staff

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