Cuban track and field in Santiago, prediction that fell short

Cuban track and field in Santiago, prediction that fell short
Fecha de publicación: 
20 October 2023
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Personally, the prediction aired by the Cuban authorities regarding the Cuban track and field team that will compete in the Pan American Games to be held in Santiago de Chile fell short.

40 athletes make up the final roster, 23 women and 17 men, numbers pretty similar to those of Lima four years ago. Official talks foresee only one gold medal. In Peru, the Cuban team earned five gold medals, two silver medals, and three bronze medals.

This time, the Cuban athletes will compete in 29 of the 49 events called, with jumping as the main asset. But it seems to me our track and field team may actually outperform that one gold medal especially when, as usual, the United States, Canada, and Jamaica announced B-teams.

For example, triple jumpers Lazaro Martínez and Christian Nápoles —silver and bronze medalists in the most recent IAAF World Championship held in Budapest—, show stable performances above the 17-meters mark. And they are both aiming for the gold medal.

As of women, Leyanis Pérez, bronze medalist in the universal competition, and the also stellar Liadagmis Povea, must take advantage of the absence of the great Yulimar Rojas and Jamaican Shanieka Ricketts, both announcing the closing of their season after the Diamond League finals. The Cuban jumpers enjoyed excellent performance throughout the whole season so they are favorites to win the gold medal.

As he is a highly competitive athlete, I cannot rule out high jumper Luis Enrique Zayas, 4th place in Budapest and winner four years ago in Lima. Injuries have slowed his development, but he has performed well in clutch times. Thus, Santiago may not be the exception.

Changes are remote for Silinda Morales (discus throw), Alejandro Parada (long jump), Roxana Gómez (400 meters) and Rose Mary Almanza (800 meters), in addition to the 4x100 and 4x400 meter relays for women, as well as the 4x400 meter mix relay.

I am aware that this season has been busy for our athletes, committed to achieving good results in various competitions. But I still believe that the prediction of the Technical Commission of the sport on our island is quite conservative. I do agree with the medal total, but I think we can do much better.

In any case, let’s wait and see what may happen between October 29th and November 4th at the Julio Martínez National Stadium.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff

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