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Cuban Olympic team aims for two medals

3 Jun 2016 09:15


The Cuban selection was announced but no surprises. The only historic surprise is that there was no one selected in the category U52kg, a category where Cuba won the Olympic title in 2000 and silver in 2012 by Yanet Bermoy. Over the last three Olympic Games Yurisleidys Lupetey qualified for the category U57kg, also this weight division is absent in the Cuban selection.

Still the judoka selected have medal chances. U48kg Dayaris Mestre 48 was number five at the 2014 World Championships and ninth at the 2012 Olympics. U63kg Maricet Espinosa wasn’t able to reach a high position at her last two World Championships, in 2011 she was fifth. Yalennis Castillo is tremendously experienced competing at World Championships since 2007 and she won silver at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Olympic Champion Idalys Ortiz is still in a great shape given her Masters victory where she gave her statement, how she defeated Ma Sisi. Although it was more a statement to Yu Song, the qualified Chinese number one of the world. Their last battle was at the Masters in 2013 when Yu won. Now Ortiz is in a better shape.

In the men’s division Magdiel Estrada fought at the last three World Championships, without a result. He won the PanAm Open in Buenos Aires and took bronze at the PanAm Championships. Ivan Felipe Silva Morales made a tremendous progression U81kg. He won the Grand Prix in Almaty and bronze at the Grand Slam in Baku. He is just 20 years and had a great future U81kg. He can upset a few guys in Rio. Asley Gonzalez is the World Champion of 2013. Gifted with a great technique. Gonzalez was finallist of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. He won silver at the Panam Games in 2015 and he won the Grand Prix Havana in 2016. However we didn’t see him in action much, so his performance will be a surprise for everyone, good or bad. Jose Armenteros won silver at the World Championships in 2014. Last weekend at the masters he was fifth. In April he won the Pan American title, so can say he is the best Pan American fighter, and so he is in the ranking, although unseeded for Rio. The Cuban heavyweight is Alex Garcia. The bronze medallist of the Panam Championships. This year he won bronze on home soil at the Grand Prix. He didn’t win any IJF World Tour medal outside of his country, but who knows. He is the successor of Oscar Brayson who competed at the last two Olympics and who won bronze in Beijing and world silver in 2009.

The Cuban are aiming for two medals: a golden prolongation for Ortiz and any other medal for Gonzalez would be a great achievement.

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Related judoka and events

Related Judo Photos

  • Idalys Ortiz (CUB) - IJF World Masters Guadalajara (2016, MEX) - © JudoHeroes
  • Asley Gonzalez (CUB) - Grand Slam Paris (2016, FRA) - © Emmeric Le Person
  • Ivan Felipe Silva Morales (CUB) - Grand Prix Almaty (2016, KAZ) - © IJF Gabriela Sabau, International Judo Federation

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