World Athletics Championships: Why are Cubans competing?

If there’s one sport that’s going through its worst phase in Cuba, it’s athletics. Despite the brilliance of the West Indians and the superhuman efforts to keep the competition fierce, the island’s “fields and athletics” suffered from chronic food shortages and a lack of tools and technology.

While the collision is inevitable — seeing a trend in athletes under the mandate of former Hammer Ipsi Moreno of the National Athletics Board — America’s Eugene’s World Cup version of the Cubans is the lid of the knob.

In the 2022 event, the island’s athletes rank 29th by country with just 15 units and, for the first time, no medals. Not surprisingly, the worst performance in Athletics history was signed at the field, with the delegation losing two numbers to escapes: one established and the other on the rise.

During that event, Olympic discus throw medalist Yaimé Pérez “left the Cuban Commonwealth” and settled in the United States, where she now competes. Up-and-coming javelin thrower Yiselena Ballar Rojas previously fled the Miami airport and “disappeared” in the “City of the Sun” as soon as she set foot on the ground.

As usual, the Cuban authorities catalog The incident was a “serious breach of discipline” and a “reprehensible attitude of breach of commitment”. What officials have never revealed is how reprehensible the conditions athletes are training in when there is a shortage of everything, even moderate quality shoes.

The defection happened again when the 2023 World Cup kicked off in Budapest, Hungary.Hammering Yasmani Fernandez before the game give up The delegation stopped briefly in the French capital. Fernandez therefore kept the number of players registered for World Cup events at 20. However, the number of athletes registered is better than the 14 athletes who entered the last US competition. Things can only get better.

On August 21, 2023, Cuban triple jumpers Lázaro Martinez and Christian Napoles won the silver and bronze medals respectively.Martinez arrives in Budapest after injury Central America San Salvador 2023 And Naples has just returned to the national team after breaking up with former commissioner Moreno.

“I was injured (…) and I wasn’t able to prepare adequately for the most important race of the year. Despite this, I was able to finish the race today and be on the podium. I’ve been able to achieve it (…) , we have a long tradition of triple jump in our country, we are a school”, explain At the end of the game, world runner-up Martinez was crowned champion.

Naples, who have been away from fierce competition for several months, also expressed their appreciation for their efforts: “It is too beautiful and unbelievable. I have worked hard for this medal for a long time. The gap with Lazaro is only one centimeter, but I am satisfied with the bronze medal .

Another Cuban, Portuguese Pedro Pablo Pichardo, was absent for the game. His appearance may ruin the double between Martinez and Naples.

But the reality is that with these two medals (I write this before the women’s triple final, which featured Cubans), Cuba has made up for their current athletics profile and has improved compared to Eugene. Until August 25, 2023, he ranks 20th in the national medal table, a position that is even an achievement in his current state.

But it’s worth asking, why do Cuban athletes compete? The cash prizes at the World Athletics Championships are so lucrative that they will push anyone to “do their best” in order to reach at least one final.

According to the Argentine magazine database, gold prizes over 63,000 euros; silver over 31,000 euros; and bronze metal just over 20,000 euros. But it’s no secret that Cuban athletes don’t see that much money a lot of the time.

Yahoo Sports reporter Fernando Muñoz rebuke In 2021, cash rewards for Cubans “will never be given to them”. “The money goes to an account that is officially converted into Cuban pesos so they can make electronic purchases,” he added.

The federation then billed itself as “generous,” offering monthly stipends to athletes, usually $150 to $300 a month, depending on the color of the medal. A ridiculous number, it “parses” in the middle Systemic crisis on the island.

No doubt a cash prize like the Athletics World Cup is an incentive for anyone, but for Cubans it may or may not make it into their account (if they have one). It’s not the first time elite athletes have complained about not getting “this or more” in prize money.

High self-esteem prompted the Cuban athlete to squander his best sporting years in a federation that offered little in return.

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