News from Cuba | Thursday, 26 July 2012
A delegation of Cuban 110 athletes arrived in Britain in July to compete in the 2012 London Olympic games.
Cuba will compete in 14 of the 26 disciplines featured at the summer sporting event, including track and field, boxing, diving, wrestling, weightlifting, swimming, shooting and table tennis.
For its size and economic capability, Cuba has historically outperformed many other nations with larger economies and populations, winning to date a total of 194 medals, mostly gold (67 gold- 64 silver-63 bronze), in the 18 Olympics it has participated in. Its best past performances have been at Moscow 1980 (8-7-5), where it ranked fourth worldwide in the medals count, and Barcelona 1992 (11-06-14), where it ranked fifth. Its worst performance in four decades was at Beijing.
Cuban boxing, which has won 32 Olympic titles throughout its history, is hoping to compensate for its middling performance at Beijing, where for the first time in four decades it failed to secure a gold medal, though it did obtain four silver and four bronze.
Eight Cuban boxers are competing at the games, including world champions Julio Cesar La Cruz (81 kg) and Lazaro Alvarez (56 kg). According to three-time Olympian and six-time world champion Felix Savon, the boxing squad could win four or five gold medals.
Cuban judo, winner of six medals in China (0-3-3), is another of the island's strengths. The nine-member squad includes several female Olympic medalists, such as the talented Asley Gonzalez, who has defeated all the world's best in the 90-kg division. Among the principal London Olympic hopefuls are Dayron Robles, from Guantánamo, competing in the 110-meter hurdles; Greco-Roman wrestler Mijaín López, from Pinar del Río; World Champion light heavyweight boxer Julio César La Cruz, from Camagüey, as well as stellar hammer thrower Yipsi Moreno, World Champion in Edmonton ‘01 and Paris ‘03, silver medalist in Athens ‘04 and Beijing ‘08.
Yarelys Barrios, discus thrower from Pinar del Río, Olympic runner-up in Beijing ‘08, as well as in the 2007 and 2009 World Championships, and a bronze medal winner in 2011, is also hoping to fulfill her dream of a gold medal in London.