Another two gold medals for Cuban athletics and luxury exhibition in the triple jump

Nine medals, including gold medals for Rose Mary Almanza and Mario Diaz, and a personal best for Leyanis Perez in a dream triple jump, with the crown going to queen Yulimar Rojas, made for a pleasant day for Cuban athletics in San Salvador-2023 on Wednesday.

Rose Mary Almanza has achieved in the same time the best time of her life. Photo: Prensa Latina
Rose Mary Almanza has achieved in the same time the best time of her life. Photo: Prensa Latina

Almanza (800m) did a great race by “commanding” from start to finish without wearing herself out, to take her third crown in the distance in regional events, after Veracruz-2014 and Barranquilla-2018.

World champion with the 4×400 relay in Silesia-2021, the Camagüeyan athlete clocked 2.01.75 and beat her compatriot Sahily Diago (2.02.81), for the first doubling of the island’s athletics in the Salvadoran event.

Cuba’s other title of the day went to young discus runner Díaz (62.57m), dethroning Colombian favorite Mauricio Ortega. Third was also Cuban Jorge Fernandez, with his third medal in the Central Caribbean, after the gold in Veracruz and the silver in Barranquilla.

The triple jump final took all the spotlight. And the protagonists of the show did not disappoint and gave the highest quality event of the Games, including all sports.

As expected, with only two of her six jumps valid, the title went to the extra-class Yulimar, winner of her first scepter at this level with 15.16 m, her best record of the year and mark of the games, improving the 14.92 of the Colombian Caterine Ibarguen in Barranquilla-2018.

Cuban Olympic finalists in Tokyo-2020 Leyanis Perez and Liadagmis Povea put the icing on the cake with splendid performances.

Leyanis (21 years old) took the silver medal in the 15 meters and improved twice her lifetime best to 14.98. For Ricardo Ponce’s student, it was the second subtitle after the long jump, where she also achieved the best of her career.

Povea repeated her bronze from five years ago, with a not inconsiderable 14.85, her season’s best.

Other outstanding performances of the island’s athletes came from Greysis Roble, silver in the 100m hurdles, and Yunisleidys García, runner-up in the 200m.

Roble continued to show progress by clocking 12.94 sec, just one hundredth of a second off her all-time record, in a race where she had the privilege of seconding Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho, gold with 12.61, and can boast of having beaten world finalist Andrea Vargas (Costa Rica).

Although in the men’s hammer there was hope for young Ronald Mencías, the 20-year-old did not perform up to his potential and finished fourth, in an event surprisingly won by Puerto Rico’s Jerome Vega (74.83).

The favorite Olympic finalist in Tokyo Diego del Real (Mexico) was second, while the bronze went to Cuba’s Miguel Zamora (72.63).

In another competition that can bring great joys to Cuban athletics, Adriana Rodriguez and Marys Patterson came out with high marks in the first four events of the heptathlon and are doing 1-2 with the last three events remaining on Thursday.

In addition to Adriana and Patterson, other serious candidates for the podium this day are Roxana Gómez (400m), Eduardo Nápoles (pole vault) and Sahily Diago (1500).

The list of those who will compete on the track of the Jorge “El Mágico” González stadium is completed by Lisneidy Veitía (400m), Daily Cooper, Daisnel Barbán and Hansel Abreu (1500m), Anisleidys Ochoa (10,000m), Layselis Jiménez (shot put), and the women’s 4×100 relay.

After the harvest of nine medals (2-4-3), Cuba climbed to second place in the athletics medal table (4-7-4), behind Puerto Rico, leader with (5-1-2). Next are Venezuela (4-0-0), Mexico (3-6-4) and Colombia (2-5-4).

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