Cuba has 58 athletes across nine sports who have qualified for the XXI Olympic Games to be held in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro from August 5 to 21.

At a meeting in Havana with sports press writers, head of the Cuban Institute of High Performance in Sport (INDER in Spanish), Jose A. Miranda, said that the figure of 42 men and 16 women at the end of January could increase over the coming months, following the planned participation of a further 145 Cuban athletes in various qualifying competitions.

Cuba has 58 athletes across nine sports who have qualified for the XXI Olympic Games to be held in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro from August 5 to 21.The sports manager said that to date it is athletics, with men qualified in 11 disciplines and women in 10, and men’s volleyball with 12,that top the list.

The remainder is made up of boxing, Greco-Roman wrestling, rowing, the modern pentathlon, shooting, artistic gymnastics and sailing. He indicated that “it is possible that Cuba will be represented at the summer Games in a total of 23 sports”.

The Cuban pre-selection, with an average age of 25 years, presently comprises 268 athletes, of whom 146 are men and 122 are women.

Miranda explained that Cuba will not be present in 138 of the 306 competitions that are expected to be found in the Brazilian program but the island hopes to rank amongst the top twenty places and improve on its London-2012 performance.

The INDER high performance chief emphasized that forecast parameters for this stage of preparation were being complied with and that the 39 athletes with serious podium potential were being closely followed.

This will be the second time that the Olympic Games have been held in Latin America, having been disputed in Mexico in 1968.

At the last Games held in London-2012, Cuba finished 16th outof 204 participating nations, having been awarded 5 gold, 3 silver and 6 bronze medals, summing up its outstanding performance for Latin American and the Caribbean.

Cuba’s best ever Olympic performance was in Moscow-1988, with a historic fourth place overall and a total of 8 gold, 7 silver and 5 bronze medals.

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