With three representatives and its sights set on the medal table, the Cuban gymnastics team will attend the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games in Brazil, from August 5 to 21.
Cuba will be represented by Manrique Larduet, who won a place during the World Championships in Glasgow-2015, Scotland, and Marcia Vidiaux and Randy Lerú, who made it during the Pre-Olympic Games in the Brazilian city.
Larduet undoubtedly seems to be Cuba’s trump card, after he won silver in the all around category and bronze in horizontal bar during the last world championships, the best performance ever shown by a Cuban gymnast in world competitions.
Born in the Santiago de Cuba province, the 19-year-old gymnast showed great maturity and versatility in Glasgow, thus placing him among the favorites for the upcoming Olympics. The specialized magazine Gimnasia Latina recognized Larduet as the best gymnast of the American continent in 2015.
The Cuban gave an excellent performance throughout 2015. The three gold medals and two silvers he won in the Anadia World Cup in Portugal ensured Cuba’s return to those tournaments after eleven years of absence.
During the Toronto Pan-American Games, Larduet won the gold title in pommel horse, the silver in All Around and the bronze in rings.
That performance earned him the title of best Cuban athlete of the year together with boxer Julio César La Cruz, winner of the Toronto games and three times world champion in Doha-2015.
So far in 2016 he has ratified his ranking and was the runner-up in parallel bars during the Doha World Cup, in spite of an injury of his right foot.
Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci, winner of nine Olympic medals between the Montreal games-1976 and the Moscow games-1980, already praised Larduet’s potential during a visit to the National School of Gymnastics in Havana.
“I saw you competing in Glasgow and was very impressed by your performance. It was difficult what you did. I hope you are very proud of the results. If you stay in good health you will be a great star,” Comaneci told the world runner-up.
These praises do not distract him from his hard training and he continues to be focused on the Rio games: his greatest challenge this year 2016.
Meanwhile, the Cuban gymnasts Vidiaux and Lerú are still growing and will go to the Olympics with less demanding goals, mostly with the objective of gaining experience for future events.Share on FB Share on TT