Cuba in Veracruz

Elsa Ramos

The fact that Mexico has arranged the competition calendar and scenario to their winning intentions…it’s what host countries always do. This must be no surprise for Cuban athletes.

Cuban delegation in Veracruz 2014

The flame is already burning in Veracruz, despite the incident in which student protesters managed to extinguish the torch representing the Central American and Caribbean Games.

The symbolic imagery of those who follow the competitions will be lit as well until November 30th, when one of the games’ big questions will be answered: Will Cuba reconquer the crown?

Our country is back to these regional games after not participating in Mayagüez, an absence Mexico took good advantage of to become the winners. In Cartagena de Indias 2006, Mexicans kept the medal count in suspense until the end, when Cuba made a move and won the games with 138 titles (Mexicans won 107), although the general score was only 285 over 275.

The Cuban 543-competitors delegation is not as numerous as it was in previous times. Many of them lack the experience of international confrontations, and 85 per cent are debutant, not only because they’re young, but also because the island was off regional games for eight years.

The fact that Mexico has arranged the competition calendar and scenario to their winning intentions…it’s what host countries always do. This must be no surprise for Cuban athletes, who are used to fight tough battles.

Although Cuba is favored to win, our athletes will have to be very efficient, especially when fighting for the titles, since our country will only opt for 329 out of the 434 set of medals in dispute. We are particularly hopeful about combat sports like boxing, judo, and wrestling, while men’s volleyball and baseball seem to have no difficulties in winning the gold medal.

Competitors from Sancti Spiritus are expected to contribute in this respect, but not as much as they did in 2006, when 15 of the 23 local athletes won at least one medal. In that occasion our province was awarded 15 golden, 8 silver, and 6 bronze medals, including the three titles won in baseball. This time Sancti Spiritus is participating with 19 athletes.

 

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