HAVANA._ Some 299 Cuban athletes from 20 sports have already qualified for the Pan-American games to be hosted by the Canadian city of Toronto from July 10 to 26.
This figure is likely to increase as other athletes are still to compete in qualifying tournaments for other sports.
The vice president of the Cuban Sports Institute, Jorge Polo, has said that the forthcoming Pan Am games will be difficult for his country´s delegation, given the strong competition it is likely to face in its endeavor to retain second place on the overall medal table.
According to Polo, Canada will be the main rival as it is the host nation and will field a totally renovated delegation.
Polo recalled that at the Pan Am games hosted by the Mexican city of Guadalajara in 2011, Canada competed with a delegation that had been renovated by 60 percent. Then, the Canadians finished fifth on the medal table with 30 golds, 40 silvers and 49 bronzes.
He commented that Brazil will be another strong rival in Toronto, recalling that at the 2007 games in Rio de Janeiro, Cuba won only five gold medals more than the host nation, while in 2011 the difference in the number of titles won by the second and third countries was 10. Brazil will arrive in Toronto having won the 2014 South American Games with 110 gold, 69 silver and 79 bronze medals.
This is one of the credentials that the Brazilian delegation will bring to the forthcoming Pan Am Games, where they will also vie for second place, after the United States, on the medal table.
Except for the 1991 games, which Cuba won as host nation, the U.S. has always topped the medal table since 1955.
The games were first held in 1951, when host nation Argentina topped the medal table.Share on FB Share on TT