Cuba in Santiago 2023, Much Better than Expected

Cuba in Santiago 2023, Much Better than Expected
Fecha de publicación: 
8 November 2023

Before the beginning of the Pan American Games in Santiago de Chile 2023, we said that the Cuban delegation had no pressure on them, because it was aware that we were no longer in a good shape, and we cannot compete for the podium in the medal board in this type of competition.

Well, it seems that the strategy of removing psychological burden and making predictions far from chauvinism worked, because the delegation ended up performing better than expected.

Previously, Cuban sports authorities made a forecast of achieving between 18 and 22 gold medals, and in the different sports venues 30 were achieved, and 69 medals in total. It’s worth saying that only 11 of the champions were predicted as gold medalists, and five of them were not even predicted to win bronze.

It's true that the 33 obtained four years ago were not reached, but that was practically impossible when you lose 187 athletes in less than two years, 33 of them were among the medal candidates in these Santiago Games.

On top of this we must add coaches, and it was seen how many of them strengthened the sporting potential of other nations in the Pan-American area.

Cuba participated in only 54.5% of the events (232 of 425 medal games, and 36 of the 60 disciplines), and thus it was practically impossible to dream of the results of the previous appointment.

The fifth place in the medal board is similar to what happened in Lima 2019, but is in correspondence with the current state of Cuban sport and the rise of other nations on the continent such as Mexico and Brazil, which preceded us along with the United States, and Canada.

The vie was with Colombia (which had its best performance in Pan American Games), and was defined by only one title; that's how complicated the panorama is to shine on our continent, and wrestling, judo, athletics and the surprising table tennis won excellent medals, with their titles and direct places to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Right next were boxing, canoeing, shooting, and cycling, and very poorly were team sports in general, to which we will dedicate a separate chapter.

We’ve been mentioning the individual players these days: the sprinter Yunisleidy de la Caridad García, the boxer Julio César la Cruz, the tennis players Jorge Moisés Campos, Daniela Fonseca and Andy Pereira, the judoka Idalis Ortiz and the middle distance runner Sahily Diago, whom we added the canoeist José Ramón Pelier and the weightlifter Arley Calderón, but recognition must go to all those who contributed their grain of sand in this difficult mission.

These days we will try to approach the different sports to make the final balance, because there are still disciplines that we haven’t addressed and they deserve their space.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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