With a few qualifying events still remaining, by the month of May, 86 Cuban athletes had qualified for the Rio de Janeiro-2016 Olympic Games, scheduled to run between August 5 and 21, with a total of 10,500 athletes from 206 countries taking part.
The qualification of badminton player Osleni Guerrero brought the number of sports to be represented in the “City of Marvels” to 14, the same as in London-2012.
According to comments made to The Havana Reporter by José Antonio Miranda, chief of High Performance at the Cuban Sporting Institute (Inder in Spanish), that number might rise after some further qualifying events.
According to the official, some athletes who have already qualified will participate in these events to fill possible quotas alongside others who have yet to secure their tickets.
Miranda said that in the disciplines already assured representation at the Games, 21 further possibilities still exist; 21 in athletics, 6 in canoeing, 3 in cycling and one each in both boxing and the modern pentathlon.
He outlined that sports that had not yet guaranteed participation in the forthcoming Games, the first to be held in South America, were facing into the final furlong in May and June.
Amongst the athletes seeking a place on the Cuban Olympic roll for the first time, Miranda mentioned the possibility of four in swimming, 12 in women’s basketball, 2 in weightlifting, 10 in judo, 2 in archery, 1 in the triathlon and 4 in beach volleyball.
The high ranking Inder representative stated that the objective of the Cuban team was to finish amongst the top twenty teams on the nation‘s medals table and said that on the basis of studies of the last 6 Games, this would require a total of five or six gold medals.
He confirmed the view that this goal was within the reach of team Cuba.
He stressed that the Rio Games would be a tough event at which the “44 medals that had been won by Cuba in competitions and world championship events since the end of 2015 would reckon”.
He finished by saying that Inder had lent very detailed personal attention to 52 of the 86 participating athletes, amongst whom are those with the highest possibility of making the podium in Brazil.
In the London-2012 Olympic Games, Cuba was represented by 110 athletes in 14 sporting disciplines.
The Island won 14 medals during the Games in Britain, 5 of which were gold (three more than in Beijing-2008), three were silver and six were bronze. Cuba was placed 15th on the final medals table.
Cuba’s 5 monarchs were Leuris Pupo (shooting), Idalys Ortiz (judo) Mijaín López, for a second time (wrestling) and both Roniel Iglesias and Robeisy Ramírez (boxing).
Yanet Bermoy and Asley Gonzalez in judo and pole-vaulter Yarisley Silva took silver medals while boxers Yasniel Toledo and Lázaro Álvarez, Leonel Suárez in the decathalon, Robelis Despaigne in taekwando, wiightlifter Iván Cámbar and the gladiator Liván López all won bronze.
Cuba had finished in 28th place in the Beijing-2008 games with 2 gold, 11 silver and 11 bronze medals.Share on FB Share on TT