Cuba aims to be among the top 20 of the medal table

Mijaín López is a candidate to win his fourth gold medal at the Olympic Games. Photo: Gutierrez Gomez, Osvaldo

The impact of the crisis due to the coronavirus and the economic blockade on training plans “has made it necessary to prepare methodological variants and order issues in disciplines whose classification system is by ranking, since their events cannot be held,” sports authorities pointed out about Cuban preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, which will take place between July 23 and August 8, and for whose participation the sanitary protocols of the host stadiums have been important challenges.

The vice president of Inder, Ariel Sainz Rodríguez, highlighted the commitment of the national Olympic preselection with the people and thanked the joint work of the Health personnel and the athletes themselves, to rigorously comply with the sanitary protocols designed to guarantee that they arrive healthy in Tokyo.

According to Sainz Rodríguez, «the objective of our delegation in Tokyo will be to achieve a dignified performance. We are prepared for that and we consider that we have a small delegation, but that, finally, it will be able to become effective, as soon as we fulfill the established purposes.

In this regard, in the television space Round Table, José A. Miranda Carreras, general director of High Performance of Inder, confirmed that so far Cuba has 56 insured athletes in 11 sports, and it is hoped to bring a delegation of around 70 to Tokyo or 74 athletes, the third smallest since the triumph of the Revolution.

Among those classified are 18 in athletics, seven in boxing, five in boating and shooting sports. It is also expected the closing of the rankings in disciplines such as judo and weightlifting, and other options in the field and track, beach volleyball and swimming.

According to Miranda Carreras, Cuba will participate between 78 and 85 tests, out of a total of 339 called.

Gisleydi Sosa Cabrera, director of International Relations at Inder, said that most of the Cuban teams have fulfilled their critical path, despite the setbacks caused by the pandemic.

On the other hand, Omar Venegas, vice president of the institution, explained that “all the athletes in the Olympic preselection have been guaranteed the material and logistical resources for their preparation. For this, the country allocated 43.4 million pesos that were also used to manage the preparation both in Cuba and abroad.

He announced that “the Puma brand will guarantee the delegation’s wardrobe, including the specialized clothing necessary for the different sports. In turn, Inder undertook the repair and maintenance of student residence facilities and buildings for boxing, table tennis and weightlifting athletes.

The High Performance director stressed that the greatest options for medals for Cuba will be in the second week of the Games, although in the initial week the first successes could come through Rafael Alba (taekwondo) and Idalys Ortiz (judo).

Crucial moment will be on August 2, when the finals of the fight, the discus throw and the long jump, and then boxing will be played.

«Our delegation is prepared, safe and committed. We have not given up the goal of keeping Cuba among the top 20 countries on the medal table. However, we tell our athletes that, regardless of the result, enjoy the games, “said Miranda Carreras.

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