Havana saw a weekend of competition for Cuban athletics, with track and field events once again taking center stage, as Yaimé Pérez set a new personal best of 68.86 meters.
Of all the events taking place at Havana’s Pan American Stadium, the discus was the most eagerly awaited, which saw the 24 year old athlete from Santiago de Cuba, continental sliver medalist and World Champion Denia Caballero (67.53m), and stellar discus thrower Yarelis Barrios compete for the top spot.
Pérez came back from a shaky start, incurring a foul in her first attempt, to then secure throws of 62.71-65.72-62.69-65.90 and the gold medal wining 68.86 meters. Three strong attempts (65.61-65.49 and 67.53m) by Denia kept Pérez under pressure from the outset, with both athletes giving solid performances during an important competition in their current training period which will end with the Cuba Cup, in March. Meanwhile Yarelis (59.17m) finished in third. Other noteworthy results include those achieved by triple-jumpers Liadagmis Povea and Leslie Caesa, and long-jumper Juan Miguel Hechevarría. Povea leaped over 14 meters on all of her six attempts, with a best of 14.33 meters
The young Caesa made a leap of 17.15 meters, while Hechevarría leapt 8.15m, a distance previously reached by his teammate Maykel Massó, who on this occasion finished in second with 7.34 meters.
Although not among the top scorers, other important results include those obtained by discus thrower Jorge Fernández (63.31m) and hammer thrower Roberto Janet (75.86m), the latter demonstrating great technique and consistency with a fault-free performance and all throws landing over 74 meters.
Shot putter Yaniuvis López made a throw of 18.06 meters, still far-off that of the world elite, while 20 year old hurdler Roger Iribarne won the 110 meters in 13.84 seconds.
Yoandys Lescay finished first in the 200 meter sprint with a time of 21.34 seconds, although his strongest discipline is the 400 meters, while long jumper Irisdaymi Herrera made a leap of 6.37 meters, also below the top results of this season.
To round off, we list the world rankings of some of Cuba’s strongest events: Leading the male and female triple jump are Alexis Copello (16.99m) and Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas (14.69m) respectively; Dimitri Bascou of France heads the men’s 110 meter hurdles after triumphing with a time of 7.41 seconds in Berlin on February 13, during the ISATF internationalindoorathletics competition, where Cuba’s Yordan O'Farrill (7.72 seconds) failed to make it past the preliminary stages.
Current female indoor pole vault world record holder Jennifer Suhr leads the disciple with a leap of 5.03 meters, while Shawnacy Barber of Canada tops the men’s division with 6.00 meters. Marquis Dendy of the U.S. dominates the long jump with a leap of 8.38 meters.