OFFICIAL VOICE OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF CUBA CENTRAL COMMITTEE
Leuris Pupo, London 2012 gold medalist, is looking to retain his title at the 2016 Río Games. Photo: Ricardo López Hevia

A total of seven Cuban sports shooting athletes will undertake training abroad over the coming days, in preparation for the major competitions of this year.

Rafael Guerra, national commissioner of the sport, told ACN that Leuris Pupo, London 2012 Olympic 25 meter rapid fire pistol champion, is already training in the United States and will not return to Cuba until the end of March.

He also noted that Juan Miguel Rodríguez, bronze skeet shooting medalist at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, will travel to Guatemala on February 22, together with his coach, where they will remain until March 6.

He added that from May 1-20, a further five shooters will train in El Salvador, led by Eglys de la Cruz, 50m rifle three positions bronze medalist in Beijing 2008.

The group includes Dianelys Pérez, Reinier Estopiñán and Alexander Molerio, all rifle shooters; and Jorge Grau, 10 and 50 meter pistol.

Guerra highlighted the importance of these seven athletes continuing their training for the Olympic Games in Río de Janeiro, a sporting event for which they have already qualified.

Among the upcoming competitions in which they will compete, he mentioned the pre-Olympic test event in Río in April, a top level event where representatives of the island will measure their form.

We will not be there to qualify, as that goal has already been achieved, but to see the site, the facilities and electronic equipment, and check the conditions of the firing range, he added.

According to the official, the lack of access to ammunition is a continuing problem affecting the sport on the island, but traveling to camps abroad offers the opportunity of purchasing ammunition for ongoing training.