The 22nd Central American and Caribbean Games will be held in Veracruz, from November 14 to 30, and a large Cuban delegation travels with the aim of reigning. Wrestling is one of the sports called to provide a good amount of titles.
Only a few hours remain for the main challenge of the Cuban sports in 2014 to start. The sight lies in the Mexican city of Veracruz , where over five hundred athletes born in this country are gradually going in pursuit of recovering what was traditionally theirs.
Finishing first seems much harder this time than before, so forecasting this time is a random topic. Because of this, no one talks about the total amount of titles, but about sport s, with their respective objectives, which can catapult Cuba to the top, after the absence four years ago in Mayaguez , Puerto Rico.
Without doubt, the disciplines of athletics, shooting, rowing, archery and combat sports stand out in the search for that common goal. Among the latter, it is inevitably to highlight judo, taekwondo, boxing and wrestling, in its two styles.
Oncuba was precisely fortunate to access Julio Mendieta, freestyle head coach of the national pre-selection of the ancient competition , who has under his tutelage five wrestlers who think in no other thing than the climbing to the top of the awards podium, and are aware of the importance of their individual contributions.
“The technical staff decided to make a first group, and then choose from there those who were in better physical and sportsmanlike shape. This also helped to the excellent preparation executed because our objectives were reached without any difficulty. This means we have been problem-free throughout the training cycle. “
The group eventually makes up a luxury team, which increases its cache when considering the level of the region, even though nations like Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Puerto Rico have had a qualitative rise in the last Central American cycle. And even Puerto Ricans can undaunted shout to the winds the fact of having in Franklyn Gomez (65 kilograms ) a world runner up.
However, Alejandro “Calabaza” Valdes (65); the three-time world medallist and third in London Olympics, Livan Lopez (74); the double world runner up, Reineris “the gymnast” Salas (86); the world fifth place in 2014, Javier Cortina (97), and the future of the 125 kilograms division, Eduardo Mesa, should provide no less than four titles to the national harvest, according to Mendota’s objective.
As of this writing, and with the exception of Mesa, the remaining free-style wrestlers are in a training base on Dominican soil, looking to polish all technical and tactical details to address the challenge of the upcoming edition of the oldest regional games.
Guantanamo’s Yowlis Bowne, the surprise man of this modality in the country this season, does not appear in the squad despite winning the bronze medal in Guadalajara’11 Pan American Games and having finished third as rookie in an universal tournament few months ago in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
The logical explanation is given by the instructor: “The changes implemented by the International Federation in terms of rules, but specifically on the changes of divisions, two of them were left off the calendar for multisport tournament (61 and 70 kilograms). Bowne fights in the 61 kilograms and due to the new rules apart him from the competition. However, I have many hopes on him heading to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, in a couple of years, as he could be used in the lower division (57 kg). “
Bowne also left us his impressions, and said that he has not stopped training to maintain optimal athletic shape, and help his teammates in the enlistment mattress and he added he is fully confident that the plans will be achieved.
The results achieved in the world contest dictate the magnificent momentum lived by the Cuban wrestling today. A silver medal, two bronzes, a fifth place and qualification for the World Cup, with only four competitors, was an outstanding balance, which raises self-esteem now that a presumably lower height obstacle arises.
Mijaín and the rest of the troop
The Olympic champion and five times world champion, Mijail Lopez, searches in Veracruz his first Central Caribbean medal.
The fact that the Central Caribbean gold medal is the only one that resists to Mijail Lopez (130 kilograms) of all the titles the international governing body puts in dispute, is information not very easy to digest. The lack of contenders in his division in Cartagena de Indias ’06 and the absence of Cuba at Mayaguez are the only elements that objectively can be conjugated to an outcome that should have a happy ending in late November, as the sport begins on the 24th of this month.
The “Giant of Herradura” packed his bags full of commitment, as he is the standard bearer of the Cuban delegation, as it happened in London ’12, and when questioned he highlighted the good preparation maintained during the running course, the incentive that gives the rise in ten kilos of his division –the previous one was of 120 kg-, and having the opportunity of combining all the crowns of his specialty.
He also made clear that he will be on Brazil looking for his third Olympic title, and added he is not afraid about the youth of any of his rivals, including the Ottoman Riza Kayaalp, whom he has beaten convincingly in their last two confrontations.
The Greco-Roman style squad is completed with Ismael Borrero (59), Miguel Martinez (66), Alexei Bell (75), the experienced and global medalist Pablo Shorey (85) and the junior world participant Yasmani Lugo (98).
This modality does not have at this minute the glamour it previously showed, for example, in the last decade of the last century, with names like Filiberto Azcuy, Juan Luis Marén or Lazaro Rivas, all of them were at the time within the universal elite. However, although to a lesser extent, there is no doubt that they will return with more than one title, not counting of course Mijaín, because this is almost a certainty.
The women look you’re their site
Women only intervene in the wrestling freestyle, and it was in such an event, but eight years ago, where the Cuban women debuted in the international arena, so it is easy to notice that it is a young discipline in our sports landscape. There, as true gladiators, they had a good performance. Two crowns, a silver and two bronze medals was the overall balance of this initial presentation.
Now the picture is very different, as they have developed themselves at nearly the speed of light, and health is very good, as stated by the Pan American champion Katerine Videaux, who will be our representative in the 63 kg.
“The six girls hope to have a great result. We are working on tactics, the physique is the best we have and we are ready for a good performance, “Videaux said.
The also continental queen Lisset Echevarria (75) heads the women, along with Candida de Armas (69), Yacqueline Stornell (58) and the novices Yusnelis Guzman (48) and Idirmis Acea (53), whom will have a very weary difficult task as the level of the area in this genre is healthy. Three scepters will be welcomed by two elements: first, because it would improve the performance of the previous contest; second, because with no international matchups they would be able to demonstrate again that they walk with firm and steady steps in search of glory.
In Cartagena de Indias’06, wrestling in general terms provided 12 crowns, three silver and two bronze medals, which was a grateful contribution to obtain the first place by countries in that edition of the Central American and Caribbean Games. That cluster of medals placed Cuba on top of the sport, something that happens in the overall standings and overwhelmingly .
Cuba holds 155 gold, 19 silver and 11 third places, far above Venezuela (32-63-62) and Mexico (31-56-39). So the table is set, and the most common thing that can happen is that we get close enough to the performance of the previous competition and therefore we will increase distance even more in the event’s history.