Judo World Championship: Cuba performed the best it could

Judo World Championship: Cuba performed the best it could
Fecha de publicación: 
19 May 2023
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Few days ago, we said that it would be tough for Cuba to replicate the results achieved in the Judo World Cup held in Tashkent 2022.

That 8th place in the final standing looked certainly like a dream. And real facts, Doha 2023 proved me right.

Anyway, we believed it was feasible to get any medal, and we were actually close thanks to Ivan Felipe Silva, who managed to fight for the bronze medal in the 90 kg division.

However, the silver medalist in Baku 2018 could not win the combat for the bronze medal as he was tired after getting into demanding combats where he had to win in extra time, the same happened in the bronze medal contest against Japanese super star Sanshiro Murao.

Nothing to rebuke on him, as he was trying to throwing techniques all the time, but finally, he was too tired to do so. But he did his best.

The greatest hopes for a medal then fell on the shoulders of world champion in 2022 in the 100 kg division, Andy Granda, 3rd in the world ranking this year.

Granda performed very well in his first combats, but ultimately lost to Russian Inal Tasoev. After the repechage, he faced old mate Brazilian Rafael Silva, with whom he has managed to beat sometimes. This time, he lost to him, but his overall performance deserved some credit.

Maylín del Toro (63 kg) and Idalys Ortiz (+78 kg) were the great hopes among women, thanks to their experience. But Maylín had to face the best judoka in her division, French Clarisse Agbegnenou, who returned from a maternity process and did not have the ranking points she actually boasts. Consequently, she was placed in the draw randomly. Bad luck for us, but it was also a contest where the Cuban also did her best.

Under normal conditions, we would say Idalys would go for the gold medal. But this season, Idalys has been seriously affected by injuries and she had debts with her training.

Well, she could not manage to reach the mat. She hurt her elbow in training. With all wisdom, the medical staff decided not to risk her at all. Very important competitions loom ahead for Cuban sports. The bad thing is that she could not earn valuable points in the world ranking, which paves the way to guarantee a spot in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Anyway, she will quest for them in the coming months when she gets back to her best shape.

Of our other judokas, Magdiel Estrada (73 kg) fell again early in a major contest. He is a judoka with great physical and technical conditions, but his is a very difficult division.

Arnaes Odelín (57 kg) and rookies Idelannis Gómez (70 kg) and Liester Cardona (100 kg) was defeated early. But they continue to be promising figures and will surely show it soon in the Central American and Caribbean Games to be held in San Salvador as well as the Pan American Games in Chile.

Cuba also participated in the team competition, but the draw determined that the 90-kilogram divisions were among the summoned divisions and Iván Felipe Silva had still not recovered from the effort made that day, so he lost two combats — his division and that of +90 kg.

It was certainly a tough tournament for our national team. But we cannot ignore facts. Cuba performed the best it could.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff

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