The art of controlling a soccer ball with any part of the body entails technical skill and juggling, training and tenacity, confidence and courage. This is a typical skill that many gifted soccer players have, but if the show takes place in a swimming pool where the person is floating and hitting the ball with their head, then we may call it a miracle.
This is precisely the case for Cuban Jhoen Lefont, a former polo player nicknamed ‘The Dolphin’ who broke his own Guinness World Record of consecutive ball touches with head while treading water on February 27 with 1,513 consecutive hits.
The event took place at the swimming pool at Havana’s Meliá Cohíba Hotel, where the young athlete broke the 1,503 hits record he had set on August 10, 2013.
The judges accredited by the International Swimming Federation and other experts attending the event announced the official number of hits after checking the videos from the two cameras installed for that purpose: one at water level and the other underwater.
In 2012, also at the Cohíba Hotel, the 27-year-old Cuban had recorded 1,203 hits, which earned him a Guinness World Record nomination that placed him among the best Cuban athletes of special sports.
Two years earlier, in February 2010, he had made his first ball control performance at the Habana Libre Hotel by making 534 hits. In November of that same year, he surpassed the one thousand hits for the first time by setting 1,010 at the Meliá Cayo Coco Hotel in the group of small keys north of the central province of Ciego de Ávila.
His other great accomplishment took place in April 2013 at Havana’s Hemingway International Nautical Club, where he swam 200 meters with a soccer ball on his forehead for seven minutes 24 seconds and 60 hundredths.
For this year 2016, Lefont aspires to set records in new world modalities: number of ball hits in 30 seconds when in motion and he also hopes to beat his record of 99 hits while carrying more than 15 kilograms of weight.
The Guinness Book of World Records is a reference book published annually which lists world records.
Lefont began practicing ball control at the age of 12, and channeled his vocation after his polo coach Jorge del Valle put him in contact with Douglas Hernández, a pioneer of ball control in Cuba, together with his brother Erik Hernández.Share on FB Share on TT