Lima 2019: Cuba hit the target at last

Lima 2019 marked the first time that shooting Para sport was part of the Parapan American Games. Brazil and USA had shared all the gold medals until the last day when Yenigladys Suarez put Cuba on the top of the podium.

The shooter won the gold medal in the women’s 10m air pistol SH1 with 227.4 points in 24 shots during the competition held on Tuesday at the Las Palmas Shooting Range in the Peruvian capital.

The gold was the second medal for the Cuban shooter, after her bronze in the mixed 25m sport pistol SH1 on Sunday.

Brazil's Debora Rodríguez took silver with a score of 226.1 in the same number of shots. Colombian Maria Restrepo finished with the bronze medal with a score of 203.6 in 22 shots.

In the other event of the last day of the shooting at Lima 2019, USA’s Stetson Bardfield won gold in the mixed 10m air rifle prone SH2.


“It is totally amazing. It is my first international medal and I’m very happy,” the shooter said. “My biggest goal is to get a gold medal in Tokyo 2020, of course. I've been training for a long time and I really love this sport.”

Bardfield reached a score of 252.1 in 24 shots, followed by his compatriot McKenna Dahl who took silver with 251.4 points in the same number of shots.

It was Dahl's second medal in Peru following her gold in the mixed 10m air rifle stand SH2 on Saturday.

Brazil’s Bruno Kiefer finished with the bronze medal with a score of 230.3 in 22 shots. It was Kiefer’s second bronze in Lima.

The USA topped the shooting Para sport medals table with five gold medals, one silver and three bronze. Brazil was second with two golds, five silver and three bronze.

Cuba finished third with a gold, a silver and a bronze. Hosts Peru ended in fourth place with one silver medal. Colombia was fifth with one bronze.

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Cuban Performance in Parapan American Games

By the morning of this Tuesday, August 27, the Cuban delegation in the Lima 2019 Special Pan-Am Games sums a total of 16 medals, divided into 7 Gold, 2 Silver and 7 Bronze, and shares the 6th place in the medal leader-board with Chile.

This Monday, in Track and Field, the Cuban athletes collected a Gold medal, one Silver and 2 Bronze medals, but it was not enough neither to improve nor to maintain the 5th place they closed Sunday with.

The Gold medal was Omara Durand‘s, in the 100 m Dash, the Silver one was obtained by Leonardo Diaz in Discus Throw, while the two Bronze medals were both obtained in the Long Jump, but in different categories, by Raciel Gonzalez and Lazaro Rodriguez.

Brazil tops the medal leader-board with 39 Gold, 39 Silver and 40 Bronze medals, followed by United States (31-22-25), Mexico (26-23-19), Argentina (11-17-22), Colombia (11-13-18), and Chile and Cuba (7-2-7).

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Mijaín López: The Fifth and the Olympus for a Gladiator without Bounds

Mijaín López has a unique physique and his fifth title in Pan-American Games, reign that began in Santo Domingo 2003 and certainly constitutes an intermediate step toward the sport Olympus of Tokyo.

When talking about sport legends worldwide you need to tell his history with golden edges. Mijaín López doesn't have absolutely anything to prove, but the motivation that holds his fourth Olympic medal keeps him extremely focused at his 37 years of age.

Mijaín López has a unique physique and his fifth title in Pan-American Games, reign that began in Santo Domingo 2003 and certainly constitutes an intermediate step toward the sport Olympus of Tokyo.

In fact, going through the competition with three convincing wins, scoring 21 points and again allowing no points against, makes us feel confident to attain his objective. On top of that the body weight; a relentless opponent weren’t a difficult obstacle for him.

His match in the semi-finals against the Chilean of Cuban origin Yasmany Acosta, his teammate on the mats for nine years and bronze medal winner in the World Championship seem the most difficult.

Mijaín took the initiative of the match, unfazed against the attacks of Acosta, knowing him perfectly… he was able to take him to the four-points position, and raising a defense against his “pincers” and his lethal sways, it’s practically impossible.

His match for the gold medal was an easy win against Venezuelan Moses Pérez for technical superiority of 9-0.

Just watching him walk on the mats leads to an overdose of respect, his opponents must think the same, even the hardest, like some of those that he will face in his second crusade through the German Bundesliga, a truly demanding and advantageous scenario for his training aiming at the Olympic Games in Japan.

Before that he will seek his classification in the World Championship next September (14-22) in Nur-Sultan,Kazakhstan. If he wins there, it would be his sixth World medal; he will certainly aim for the medal together with the classification for the Olympics that will be reserved for the first six of each division in Kazakhstan.

Mijaín was accompanied by other free style wrestlers on the podium Yusneylys Guzmán (silver in 50 kgs) and Lienna de la Caridad Montero (bronze-53 kg).

From Lima to Havana: Exhaustive Analysis and Encouraging Future

The 18th Pan American Games Lima 2019 are all in the past. They were a resounding success, full of extreme competitiveness, deeds, tears, and glory; a marvelous host city in every single sense.

Le crème de la crème of sports in America competed in Lima. More than one hundred Olympic champions attended the sports event. Hundreds of world championship medalists…new talents, etc…Nobody wanted to miss Lima 2019.

Cuba was there amid such brilliance. This time, the delegation ended fifth (33-27-38). The total of gold medals was not so low since the Pan American Games held in Cali in 1971 —where we ended in second place.

The truth is the sports arena in now quite different to that of the last years of the 20th century when Cuba, after reigning the Pan American Games held in Havana in 1991, experienced its glory days behind the United States.

From Santo Domingo 2003 (72-41-39) to date, the tendency in performance and results —not only in gold medals— has dropped: Rio de Janeiro 2007 (59-35-41), Guadalajara 2011 (58-35-43), and Toronto 2015 (36-27-34).

Many variables have influenced this performance and we are going to mention some. But before, let’s see what occurred in Lima 2019.

The goal was to outperform Toronto 2015 and consequently, to improve that fourth place. Now, the U.S., Brazil, Mexico, and Canada ended ahead of us this time. To achieve these goals, we had had to earn 38 titles, five more than the actual result.

At first sight, many will dive into some sports disciplines that underachieved such as taekwondo, weightlifting, artistic gymnastics, cycling, baseball, wrestling, and judo despite its five gold medals.

And that is a reality.

For example, track and field achieved 18 gold medals in Guadalajara 2011. Meanwhile, Toronto 2015 and Lima 2019 just contributed with 5 gold medals.

There is one irrefutable reason. Sports have become a very lucrative activity. And consequently, the amount of money invested in its development by every nation is increasingly higher, especially in infrastructure, state-of-the-art technology, coach hiring, counseling or highly skilled personnel, as well as the talent drain.

Having this picture into account, Cuba has tried hard to maintain its sports power status that once boasted. But it is like going against the tide as we have lost the opportunity to develop quality training camps that we used to carry out especially with the former Soviet Union and other former socialist countries.

Hence, Cuba has challenged the economic shortage to maintain one of the Revolution’s greatest achievement. And such sustainability relies heavily on an evolutionary pyramid that starts on the early stage of sports fundamentals clinging on the ideals of Sports for All, the increasingly vanishing of sports facilities, special areas to practice, meticulous recruitment processes, mountain Olympiads…to name a few.

As a self-preservation method, our nation has turned to a strategy that follows the will of the country, not only to make profits in the exports of goods and services, but also with the goal of cooperating and contributing with the development of third world countries as a strong expression of solidarity of the Cuban people.

That is why it was easy to see some outstanding athletes like Yulimar Rojas, Aline Ferreira, and Albaro Rudesindo being trained by Cuban coaches.

We are referring to sports disciplines such as track and field, judo, wrestling, boxing, taekwondo, weightlifting…

We witnessed a new generation of talented athletes in Lima.

Adriana Rodríguez, Vanessa Godínez, Reinieris Andreu, Luis Enrique Zayas, Yusneylys Guzmán, Luis Manuel Lauret. Eliani Cámara, Gretel Mendoza, Alejandro y Huber, Elisbeth Gámez, Osvel Caballero, Mahyvianet Borges…all of them managed to crown endless days of hard training, sacrifice, to win their medals. Even better, the future looks bright right now.

The Pan American Games Lima 2019 resulted in a disappointed event. It is true all of our athletes did their best. However, some did not perform well in the clutch time.

Let’s avoid at all costs our nation enters into an extended decline. Other events await.

Let’s do everything humanly possible. Tokyo 2020 is right around the corner

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz/CubaSi Translation Staff

Cuban President Celebrates Judokas' Gold Medals in Lima 2019

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel on Sunday celebrated the excellent performances of Cuban judokas Idalys Ortiz and Andy Granda, who became champions in their respective divisions at the Lima 2019 18th Pan American Games.

The third title in a row at the Pan American Games for Idalys Ortiz, an inspiring Cuban woman, who smiles while winning, and wins while smiling, the president wrote on his Twitter account.

On Sunday, Ortiz won her third consecutive Pan American title in the +78 kg division, ratifying herself as one of the world's best judokas.

For his part, Andy Granda defeated Venezuelan judoka Pedro Pineda by ippon in the +100 kg division.

Cuba finished in fifth place on the overall medal table, a deed highlighted by Diaz-Canel on Twitter.

Cuban judokas won five gold medals that went to Maylin del Toro (63 kg), Magdiel Estrada (73 kg), Ivan Silva (90 kg), Idalys Ortiz and Granda.

The Cuban delegation won a total of 33 gold, 27 silver and 38 bronze medals, totaling 98 medals, at the 18th Pan American Games held in Lima, Peru.

  • Published in Cuba

Idalys Ortiz proclaims three-time Pan American champion

The Cuban Idalys Ortiz met the forecasts and won the Pan American crown for the third consecutive time in the +78 kilograms, now in Lima 2019, to be ratified as one of the best judocas in the entire planet.

The three-time Olympic medalist, including a gold in London 2012, solved his final fight easily by ippon against the Puerto Rican Melissa Mujica.

Ortiz, also a world multi-champion, added title 32 for the Cuban delegation in Lima, which will close its competitive action with the gold lawsuit in the 100 kilograms (m) of its representative Andy Granda against the Venezuelan Pedro Pineda.

The Brazilian Beatriz Souza and the Peruvian Yuliana Bolívar remained with the bronze medals in this division, after defeating the Nicaraguan Izayana Marenco and the American Nina Cutro-Kelly, respectively.

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Yarisley: A Giant Woman in Love with the Sky

Villa Videna embraced Cuba, sports dignity, greatness, and glamour. Yarisley Silva (4.75m) and heptathlonist Adriana Rodríguez (6 113 points) exalted the name of Cuba in the stadium as they became the queens of day 3 in Pan American athletics.

Their performances were different. But the truth is both made fans jump for joy by taking us to our limits Thursday afternoon.

We shall always trust Yarisley in major events. No matter if her season performance had been poor all year long. She had not jumped higher than 4.70m this season. Besides, the scheduled training had been shortened…and was seemingly not enough.

But naming Yarisley Silva —at least to those who love track and field— is synonym of emotional abundance. Such deed in Lima had all of these ingredients.

Her body was not quite ready. She could not warm up well. All these, paired with the cool weather in Lima, somehow affected her readiness. Hence, she started off her competition with 4.25m.

Such decision evolved into fatigue and a higher number of attempts. If that were not enough, we almost suffer a heart attack when she jumped 4.35m in her third attempt.

From then on, she was almost perfect. She bet on the great skill she had in 2015. She easily jumped 4.45-4.55-4.65m. Some of her most important rivals in the area —Canada’s Alysha Newman (4.55m) and Venezuelan Robelys Peinado (4.55m)— found trouble in this height.

There were only two left. She and the American Kathryn Nageotte (4.70m, sixth in 2019 world ranking this season). Nageotte jumped 4.70m while Yarisley failed to jump in her first two attempts. Therefore, she risked everything and decided to take on the 4.75m in her last attempt. And she did it!

Her sports career has been now crowned with a winning jump, another caress to the sky; with her open arms to heaven.

The flag, the lap of honor, and the eternal gratitude to those who trusted her all the time.

Thanks Yarisley for some many years of sacrifice. Thanks for all those glorious moments you have given us.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz/CubaSi Translation Staff

Imboden and Berry stage podium protests at Lima 2019 to call for change in United States

Olympic bronze medallist fencer Race Imboden knelt during the American national anthem after winning gold in the men’s team foil, with a second protest then staged by hammer thrower Gwen Berry here at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games.

Imboden had already claimed a bronze medal in the individual men’s foil event, before topping the podium in the team competition alongside Gerek Meinhardt and Nick Itkin.

The 26-year-old, the world number two, then knelt as the American national anthem was played during the medal ceremony.

The act is seen as a civil rights protest, started by American football player Colin Kaepernick in 2016.

Kaepernick had knelt to highlight police brutality and racism.

The stance has become more commonly referred to as "taking a knee".

Imboden, a men’s foil team bronze medal from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and world champion, posted on Twitter to explain his decision to take the knee after the event. 

"We must call for change," he said.

"This week I am honored to represent Team USA at the Pan Am Games, taking home gold and bronze.

"My pride however has been cut short by the multiple shortcomings of the country I hold so dear to my heart.

"Racism, gun control, mistreatment of immigrants, and a president who spreads hate are at the top of a long list.

"I chose to sacrifice my moment today at the top of the podium to call attention to issues that I believe need to be addressed.

"I encourage others to please use your platforms for empowerment and change."

The US has suffered from three mass shootings in the past two weeks, with American President Donald Trump receiving criticism for his response to the tragedies.  

Less than 24 hours after Imoden's protest, a second was then staged by Berry, following her victory in the women's hammer throw competition.

Berry was seen raising her right fist at the conclusion of her medal ceremony.

It mirrored the act of Olympic sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the Mexico 1968 Olympic Games, where the duo won gold and bronze medals in the 200 metre race.

The act was a civil rights protest against racial discrimination.

The Australian Olympic Committee last year awarded a posthumous Order of Merit to Peter Norman, who stood in solidarity with the black American athletes on the podium.

After Carlos had left his gloves at the Olympic Village, it was Norman, who came from a Salvation Army background, who suggested that the pair share Smith's to carry out a salute that Smith later clarified had been for human rights and not black power.

Both Imdoen and Berry are in breach of Panam Sports rules under a section on "advertisements and publicity during the development of the Pan American Games.

Hammer thrower Gwendolyn Berry staged a separate protest after receiving her gold medal ©Getty Images
Hammer thrower Gwendolyn Berry staged a separate protest after receiving her gold medal ©Getty Images

The rules state "No kind of demonstration or propaganda of any kind is allowed at the venues of the Games or at other sites or areas considered part of the Games."

The consequences of breaches in the relevant section state: "Any violation of the provisions of the present Section shall result in disqualification or withdrawal of the accreditation of the person or delegation concerned. 

"The Panam Sports Executive Board may take further measures and/or impose further sanctions against the NOC or Pan American Sport Confederation and/or International Federation that are responsible of such 29 violation. 

"The decisions taken by the Panam Sports Executive Board regarding this matter shall be final."

Panam Sports declined to comment when contacted by insidethegames.

United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) have said their leadership are reviewing the consequences that may result from the political protests.

“Every athlete competing at the 2019 Pan American Games commits to terms of eligibility, including to refrain from demonstrations that are political in nature," USOPC spokesman Mark Jones told insidethegames in a statement.

“In this case, Race didn’t adhere to the commitment he made to the organising committee and the USOPC.

“We respect his rights to express his viewpoints, but we are disappointed that he chose not to honour his commitment.

 “Our leadership are reviewing what consequences may result.”

Imboden and Berry are not the first to express anti-Trump sentiment during the Games here.

American nine-times Olympic medallist and former men’s 100 metre world record holder Carl Lewis criticised the President during a press conference.

"We have a president who is racist and a misogynist, who doesn’t value anybody but himself," he said. 

The issue has not been exclusive to Lima 2019, however, with women's football player Megan Rapinoe confirming that she would not visit the White House if the US were triumphant at the FIFA Women's World Cup, which they went on to win last month. 

During the tournament, she refused to sing the national anthem in protest at a decision by US Soccer to ban players from kneeling during the anthem.

Her actions drew a response from Trump, who accused Rapinoe of "disrespect" in a series of tweets.

  • Published in Sports
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