Two Gold Medals in Rapid-fire in San Salvador 2023

Two Gold Medals in Rapid-fire in San Salvador 2023
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7 July 2023
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Two golden "shots" won Cuba this Monday at the range of Jorge "El Mágico" González National Stadium, venue of the shooting sport event of the XXIV Central American and Caribbean Games.

The 25-meter rapid fire pistol team, with Leuris Pupo, Jorge Álvarez, and Jorge Grau, contributed one of the most anticipated medals of the delegation, thanks to shots of 551, 571, and 562 points, respectively, which completed a total of 1684.

Following were the teams from Guatemala (1,600) and Puerto Rico (1,579), who could not get to the top of the podium despite the fact that this Sunday Pupo suffered a setback with his pistol and lost a complete series of shots. In another competitive context, something like that would have been end...

Álvarez commanded the individual classification with 571 points; Grau finished third with 562 and Pupo sixth with 551, closing the list for a final where everything starts from scratch.

However, this Monday was not Pupo’s day either, undoubtedly "stressed" by everything that happened on the previous date. Two series of two points and one of one doomed him to low score of 22, behind the duo of Álvarez and Grau, who presented themselves in better shape and won 28 and 25 points.

It happened again that one country won the first three places in the event, although this time it was clarified during the competition that only the occupants of the first two places would be awarded. Third place went to Mexican Fidencio González, who finished fourth with 17 points.

And if we are talking about dejavus, during the award ceremony Fidencio handed over his medal to Leuris, in a beautiful and transcendent act that incidentally confirms the need to urgently review the regulations in force at the event.

This reporter defends the idea that a country should never wins the podium, since the Games are a competition between nations and the greatest distribution of medals possible benefits them.

However, it’s not logical to let an athlete enter a final and then withdraw a medal won in a fair competition. It could work to regulate access to those decisive stages.

Cuban shooters accumulate 16 medals in these Games, divided into five gold, six silver, and five bronze. Just one competitive day remains.

WORDS OF CHAMPIONS

«In the final stage I was working well the technical part, but the shots did not hit the bull’s eye. They were close though, but not bull’s eye. That showed some indecision and I focused on not despairing and controlling anxiety. Then it started to work better," Álvarez said to the press.

“I won when only the three Cubans were left in the competition. From then on I just focused on finishing the competition. I am very happy every time that only Cubans remain in a final stage, because the gold medal goes to Cuba. It doesn't matter whose chest...", added the Pan American champion in Lima 2019.

The champion expressed his praise to Pupo, whom he qualified as the best shooter in Cuba of all times, and Grau, whom he considers very complete athlete.

Pupo told JIT that the competition was very complicated for him due to the problem he suffered with the pistol, something that had not happened to him since the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara. He celebrated the medals of his teammates in the individual competition and affirmed that his priority is set on Paris 2024 Olympic Games, going through the Pan American Games at the end of this year.

Grau was satisfied with what has been achieved so far, with the effort done to compete here, but he regretted the lack of training that always comes to light in major competitions.

Meinardo Torres, coach of this modality, highlighted the unity of his students and the way in which they collaborate, no matter who wins. He set the next goal at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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