- May 30, 2020 -
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Aliet Arzola Lima

Aliet Arzola Lima

Journalist, sports analyst, both in the Cuban and international sphere. Interested in keeping track of the island’s athletes and coaches, regardless of where they are.

Despite the tough defeat in the Vancouver Pre-Olympic, Cuban men's volleyball has what it takes to stay afloat and compete at a higher level in the coming years. Photo: Getty Images.

What’s in store for Cuban volleyball after missing Tokyo 2020?

Cuba will probably have a champion in men's volleyball at the Tokyo Olympics. Osmany Juantorena (Italy), Wilfredo León (Poland) or Yoandy Leal (Brazil) can easily climb to the top of the summer podium in the Japanese capital under the flags they now defend. They, somehow, will be a kind of comfort for volleyball fans on the island, who have seen how the national team has been left out of the Olympics, after falling dramatically in the qualifying tournament in Vancouver, Canada. It will take a long time and no one will forget the setback before the hosts in the Pacific Coliseum, a cold and distant enclosure where the Olympic dreams were buried of a nation with seven summer appearances, including that of Montreal 1976, when they won the bronze medal. But beyond our record, this setback cannot be seen as an isolated incident. After all, Cuban volleyball has spent a whole decade trying to get back on their feet, seeking to reinvent itself after many unfortunate events. The almost full exit of the generation that won the world runner-up in 2010, or the case of rape in Finland that brought six players to justice shortly before the Rio 2016 Olympic...

Cubans Robertlandy Simón (l), Osmany Juantorena (c) and Yoandy Leal (r) celebrate one of the most important titles in world volleyball, while the country's sports authorities completely ignore such a major victory. Photo: Getty Images

The images prohibited for Cuban sports

Hours after INDER, Cuba’s governing sports body, promoted Ariel Saínz as the new vice president of the institution, Cuban players Robertlandy Simón, Osmany Juantorena and Yoandy Leal were crowned champions of the World Club Volleyball Championship with the Italian squad Lube Civitanova.  For years, Saínz had served as the president of the Cuban Volleyball Federation, a post from where he closed the doors to athletes who, like Simón, Leal and Juantorena, decided to test themselves in the most diverse international scenarios.  In some drawer or filed in a mailbox must be the requests of Juantorena or Leal, who ended up accepting the proposals of Italy and Brazil, respectively, so that their shining star would not disappear at the team level. Also under lock and key must be Simon's willingness to again wear the national shirt, after having rejected proposals from several countries. And what’s most serious, Ariel Saínz must keep in his mind all the times in which he could have been interested in bringing back Wilfredo León, Fernando Sánchez and company, and didn’t move a finger, he preferred to wait for who knows what miracle. Juantorena has won five titles in World Club Championships. Photo:...

The world observed in awe Mijaín López’ third consecutive Olympic gold medal in Rio 2016; now the expectation is growing for his coming challenge in Tokyo 2020. Photo: Ricardo López Hevia.

Mijaín López: “My strategy is to train like hell”

"The kids think I’m like a dad, that’s why I have to come to teach them a little," says Mijaín López, half-jokingly, half-seriously, when he’s been training only for a few minutes. With a smile on his face, but drenched in sweat after showing only a sample of his exceptional Greco, this athlete from Pinar del Río puts order in the Cerro Pelado, headquarters of Cuban wrestling in Havana. Mijaín arrives mid-morning at the gym. He enters silently, although his presence is immediately noted, perhaps because of the magnetism that surrounds this century’s best wrestler in the world, and one of the historical leaders of this sport. He wears a dark blue tight suit with the flag at chest level, gray pants made of thick fabric and a pair of flip flops. In his hands he has his work shoes, which he puts on in a matter of two minutes to get on the mattress and start sweating. The action begins against Oscar Pino, after some stretching and a brief warm-up. Mijaín puts pressure on him, shakes him, corrects the positions of his hands, head and legs while wrestling in the center of the circle. "I’ve been coming every day...

Photo: Wilfredo Hernández Pérez.

What’s left of Lima: was Cuba a disappointment in the Pan American Games?

When the curtains of the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games went down and I saw Cuba in a strange fourth place―it had ranked second or first since 1971―with only 36 gold medals, I thought I was living a passing nightmare, one of those dreams that don’t let you sleep for a night and then you erase from your memory. But days, months, years went by and, far from burying the old ghosts, new doubts appeared. Rio 2016 didn’t convince and was, in the end, one of the Olympic events with the least amount of disciplines with medals for Cuba; in Barranquilla, the regional leadership was lost after decades of uncontested dominance.... With those precedents so close, I think it’s impossible to be amazed by the recent performance of the Cuban delegation in the Lima Pan American Games, where they won the least amount of titles (33) since Cali 1971 (30) and for the first time in 56 years weren’t in the four leading-edge places in the Games. Photo: José Tito Meriño. Although it’s difficult to digest such a decrease, it’s currently crazy to expect more from the Cuban sports movement, plunged into its worst crisis since...

Cuban soccer team’s training for the 2019 Gold Cup. Behind, coach Raúl Mederos. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez.

Cuban soccer: Raúl Mederos’ hands are tied

"Three? Four? Five? Who gives more?" This is how the bets stood on how many goals Mexico would score in its game against Cuba in the 2019 Gold Cup, which opened this Saturday at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. Without a visa for captain Yordan Santa Cruz, without any of the legionnaires who play in diverse professional leagues, and after a terrible preparation that included defeats against lower category teams, the island’s squad couldn’t have a worse outlook. Coach Raúl Mederos is aware of this. He knows that he has an inexperienced team, with thousands of tactical gaps and inaccessible talent, and he also knows that he can’t do much to change it: his hands are tied. The team: do what I say and not what I do Mederos was given the team as a hot potato some time ago, when mentions about it had to do almost exclusively with defeats and massive flight of players in international tournaments. The coach somehow changed that. The victories in the League of Nations, the classification at the highest level of that tournament for the Gold Cup, and there was also the debate on the possible convocation of Cubans established in other...

Although the Agreement between Cuba and the Little League still stands, the island’s authorities have not given any clues about the creation of the Little Cuban League, which would allow the expansion of the practice of baseball. Photo: Taken from WNYC.

Cuba-Little League: the agreement still stands

The cancellation of the Agreement between Cuba and MLB captured media attention and for many it meant the return to a gloomy period for Cuban baseball. But after that blow, contrary to what one might think, there is still a light at the end of the tunnel in terms of balls and strikes on the island.... We’re talking about the Memorandum of Understanding between the Cuban Baseball Federation and Little League Baseball, a pact focused on the growth of the children's movement (children between four and 12 years old) through more than 150 local development programs, including the renovation of playing fields, delivery of equipment and support for tournament-related trips. Signed in Havana last March with the presence of Stephen D. Keener, president of the Little League, the agreement placed Cuba in an ideal situation to rescue the precarious base of the national sport, in the shadows for years due to the almost total absence of resources and the marked neglect of local areas. The base of Cuban baseball needs an important injection of implements and resources to improve local playing fields. Photo: Taken from Eawaz. "I’ve been able to see first-hand the passion for baseball...

Dusty Pixel Photography / Getty.

Agreement with MLB cancelled, the anxiety returns

"The Cuban players and their families had reason for hope from this deal; that has now been extinguished." Although these words by James Williams, president of Engage Cuba, sound somewhat tragic, they perfectly summarize the bleak outlook Cuban baseball and its relations with the United States will face once the Trump administration cancels the agreement with MLB. The days of generalized anxiety will return, for the players, for their families, for the Cuban Federation, for the MLB and for the fans, the heart of the game, who will be witnesses, once again, of the forced breaking of a host of athletes with their country Nobody wins with this cancellation, except the lobbyists who, just on December 19, 2018, began their pressure to terminate the agreement from its foundations. They started getting involved in political interests, because it’s hard to believe that the hardline group (Mario Díaz-Balart, Marco Rubio, John Bolton, etc.) has any real interest in baseball and the destinies of the Cuban players. In this case, they clung to fragile points of the agreement, such as the fact that it had been negotiated, in principle, under the Obama administration, whose guidelines are now being questioned and rolled back by...

Can-Am Baseball League Hires More Cuban Players

Three Cuban players will join the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball (Can-Am League) -an independent baseball league in Canada-, benefiting from a new government policy that now allows Cuban players to sign contracts with professional teams outside the country. Yunieski Gourriel broke the ice last year, when he went to play for Québec Les Capitales. Now, Santiago de Cuba’s outfielder Alexei Bell, Holguin’s shortstop Yordan Manduley and Sancti Spiritus’ pitcher Ismel Jimenez will be joining him. These players’ goal there is to help Québec Les Capitals win the title they lost last year, when the Rockland Boulders became Division Champions. The four Cubans are all seasoned players, with at least a decade of action in the national series. Additionally, three of them -Bell, Manduley and Jimenez- have repeatedly made Cuba’s national team, and have taken part in important international competitions, where they have captivated scouts and executives of professional teams from other countries. "We’ve been to Cuba several times, and we’ve also followed the careers of these players in the national team. We’re very pleased with the quality of their game, and with their personal qualities; they are good people," said Patrick Scalabrini, Les Capitales head coach, whose squad...

Minnie Minoso is and will always be “Mr. White Sox”

When checking Internet on Sunday March 1st and in matters of seconds the news reaches me: Saturnino Orestes Armas Miñoso Arrieta or simply Minnie Minoso, died in Chicago at the age of 92 years. Immediately, I search and find an interview the ESPN journalist, Christina Karl, made him very recently, in which she addresses the career of the Cuban, his inception in baseball and his chances for the Hall of Fame. Since the beginning, readers can perceive that Miñoso was a jovial guy, a player who lived by and for the show, who never gave up despite breaking into a hostile environment where racial barriers put up against the wall men like him. "The most important thing in my life? Fans. The pleasure of give them a smile. Sometimes they may say something bad, and if you do not like it, would you let that to bother you? No, I just smile. It's what I used to do when I played. I never thought I would do so many things for the team. I only wanted to play and do my best for the fans, my family and the country where I came from, open the door for someone else,...

Tony Clark, chief executive of the Association of Major League Players, said talks are under way to play exhibition games in Cuba. / Photo: MLBPA

MLB-Cuba: the courtship goes on

Since December 17, I have heard several times they are already discussing the possibility that Major League franchises travel to Cuba, with the aim of completing their spring training or perform exhibition games in the archipelago. Some even ventured to predict that this year the powerful organizations set up their camp on Cuban soil, an issue that ultimately fell through, although the idea is still alive and can charge much strength in the not too distant future. This was made clear by Tony Clark, executive director of the Players Association Major League Baseball, who addressed the issue in depth on Saturday after annual union meeting with the Cleveland Indians, led by Terry Francona . Clark, retired with 15 years of experience in the MLB, admitted that there were talks this offseason about the possibility of having spring training games in Cuba, but very little time and no one knew for sure what the resumption of relations between the two countries could mean. "We were not able to put the pieces in play," admitted the manager, adding that it is perfectly conceivable holding a spring training game in Cuba, although it is difficult to predict how long it takes. Francona, also...

Moncada: outcome and destination Boston

Neither Yankees or Dodgers. The Cuban prospect of 19 years Yoan Manuel Moncada will land on the Red Sox, after reaching an agreement with the franchise in New England for a figure close to $ 31.5 million, although on Monday night the franchise had not confirmed the "bomb". Yes, because the arrival of talented player from Cienfuegos to the Red Sox has sparked uproar in the major leagues (MLB), who lives these days the start of spring training in Florida and Arizona. The news reverberated particularly in New York, by the considerable setback for the Yankees representing the loss of a young star, intended to breathe life into a nearly deserted farm system. The mythical Bronx Bombers, top winners in American professional baseball, was in several private sessions with the switch-hitting infielder, but eventually Moncada decided to go to Boston, where will have the company of fellow Rusney Castillo and also a remarkable Latina colony, led by David Ortiz, Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez. To a lesser extent, the Dodgers also felt the decision, although they still have under their power a star prospect as Corey Seager. However, after extensive studies on the Cuban by Mike Brito, one of his...

Felix Perez and Hassan Pena with Alexander Malleta and Yadiel Hernández, members of the Vegueros in the Caribbean Series.

Caribbean Series: Cubans on the opposite side

After all, Vegueros of Pinar del Río was crowned at the 57th Caribbean Series San Juan, Puerto Rico, where the Cuban team did not show a good face in the qualifying round, but then managed to win the two decisive games in the event. In addition to the members of Pinar del Rio squad, other Cuban competed in the tournament of the Island of Enchantment. Exactly three Cuban natives jumped on the field of the Hiram Bithorn stadium, though without wearing the four letter jersey. We are talking about outfielder Felix Perez and pitchers Hassan Pena and Jorge Alberto Martínez, the first two defending the colors of the Caribs of Anzoategui, and the last with the Cangrejeros de Santurce of Puerto Rico, positions they earned with their excellent performance during winter season. Of these, only Martinez has not crossed directly with Vegueros, as the Puerto Rican manager tasked him to pitch the fourth game and not the third, as many had thought, facing the Cuban batters in the qualifying round. And the right-hander did not disappoint in his mission with an acceptable job (only one allowed hit in six innings with seven strikeouts) against the Dominican Gigantes del Cibao in...

MLB-Cuba: life goes on as before

After December 17, the statements of Barack Obama and Raul Castro, many looked hopefully into the future and noted the possibility that the Cuban players would play in the majors without renouncing their country of origin, as part of the restoration of relations diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba. However, the truth is that elapsed little over a month the picture has not changed much, except for the fact that the Cuban players will now enjoy greater facilities for free agency, but also must give up all ties to their nation if they want to comply with the recent legislation. It makes clear that the Cubans will not request an official permit US government to sign contracts with organizations in the big leagues, only a sworn statement confirming their permanent residence outside of Cuba. This greatly simplifies the previous process, in which the Cuban players, besides establishing residence in a third country, had to obtain a license from the Office of Foreign Assets (OFAC) of the Department of the Treasury to negotiate as free agents with any MLB franchise, avoiding entering the draft, where they would never perceive lucrative contracts. The good news for the 30 clubs in the...

Juan Manuel Ascope traveled from Argentina to become the first Ironman Havana / Photo: Adriana Rodríguez Vives

Havana learns of triathlon

The Havana people, Cubans, we still know little of triathlon. It is not in our blood, simply. Blunt truth that can change over the years, when its athletes who fill more and more the Cuban territory to delight us with an unsurpassed waste of energy. If that finally happens and the Ibero-American Triathlon Championships in Havana is not merely a test, then the Cubans will fulfill the wishes, for example, of Marcel Zamora, a Spanish that competed for more than four hours and when he crossed the goal he left us a message of attention. "The Cuban people must turn in a little more, especially in the half marathon and the marathon, which is the hardest part, support motivates people and gives a different flavor to the tournament. I imagine that the cold has left many at home, but in other years I hope it to be different, "said the Iberian, victor in the middle distance as expected for his tremendous international awards. Yes, because although Havana and Cuba are not associated too much to what is worth and brightest of triathlon, the call of the island sparked interest in many corners of the planet to the point that 30...

The faces of San Juan

The rumor grew till it became a reality and finally in the Caribbean Series San Juan, Puerto Rico, will be the Cuba team with some Pinar del Rio players, monarchs of the last national baseball tournament. Not as dramatic as one might think, after all, Pinar del Rio, Granma, Santiago, Las Tunas or any player that travels to Puerto Rican soil, would have the mission of defending Cuba as a whole and not a particular territory. In addition, the need for strengthening with the most proven players in the nation was evident since already Villa Clara, the representative a year ago in Margarita Island, Venezuela, experienced what a handful of professionals can do, regardless of rank and status in the professional baseball. Therefore, Pinar del Río fans should not feel anxious, those who do not share the idea of undermining their squad with faces that did nothing for the championship, especially if we consider that the entire winner team in the last National Series will have the opportunity to compete next August at the Challenger in Canada, to be held in Prince George. In the end, there will be 12 members of that squad traveling to San Juan, who will...

Contracts abroad steal the show

The Cuban National Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation (INDER by its Spanish acronym) opened its doors to the press of the nation in order to present its new faces, with Dr. Antonio Becali as its head, and also to announce the recruitment of six local athletes in foreign leagues. There were feints and intentions of establishing a dialogue about the national sport, the prospects for the Pan American Games in Toronto next July, but when just talk ing about the issue of recruitments the attention shifted completely and for nearly two hours the exchange was intense, valid to clear many doubts. To begin, Arnaldo Batista, INDER financial vice-president, who is also in charge of everything related to contracts, revealed that Frederich Cepeda, Yulieski Gurriel, Alfredo Despaigne and Hector Mendoza will have a second season of adventure in the Japanese professional baseball, presumably with the same clubs that requested their services last year. To them we must add Lourdes Yunielkis Gurriel, who is expected to play with the Yokohama DeNA Baystars, the same club that hired his brother Yulieski the previous year, although it is speculated the latter could move to a stronger franchise given his prior performance. "They...

Foto: Ricardo López Hevia

“We are all leaders”

Within hours the networks are flooded with congratulations and thanks to Cuban players for their brilliant performance in the Central American and Caribbean Games in Veracruz, Mexico, where they reached a memorable bronze metal. The vote was unanimous: the heartfelt medal of the regional multisport event came with goals and long runs a generation that invites optimism after so many years mired in soccer mediocrity with constant leaks and the disappointment of watching multiple talents, but without the bellows needed to win as members of the national team. Own members staged the sharing in social networks, space they filled shouting "We are all leaders!", launched by the midfielder Yordan Santa Cruz, the Cuban sensation in Veracruz, where many experts were stunned by its technical potential and superb physical deployment. Exclusive to OnCuba, Santa Cruz, from Cienfuegos, 21, said: "We had an unforgettable experience, and personally I feel very proud. The team showed that its main strength is unity, both inside and outside the court, we are a family, and right there is the idea that we are all leaders. " Likewise, he confessed his main aspiration is "to raise the level and defend my flag, based on commitment and hard...

Yasmany Tomás / Foto: Ricardo López Hevia.

Yasmany Tomas will take his power to Arizona

Finally it will not be in Philadelphia, or Miami, San Francisco , San Diego, Kansas, Seattle, Atlanta. Yasmany Tomas, one of the most coveted free agents of the market in Major League Baseball, will take his power to the hot desert of Arizona, where he will play with the Diamondbacks, franchise founded in 1998 . There was no record in the transaction, some experts had talked about $ 100 million, as many anticipated. The 24 years old Havana slugger signed for 68.5 million dollars over the next six seasons, with an option to finish the contract in the fourth year , an advantage that he could explode at the time to find a team with larger market. But these are just guesses, there is still plenty of time to get to that level, and Tomas will first have to prove his worth in the most demanding baseball of the planet if he wants to grope around free agency in advance, at the age of 28. So far, he has taken a wise way, just as announced in recent statements Jay Alou, his agent, who had already made it clear that his client would not be rushed and explore all options,...

Héctor Mendoza (extremo izquierdo), Frederich Cepeda (a su lado) y Leslie Anderson (extremo derecho), los cubanos de los Gigantes de Yomiuri.

Cubans in the Japanese radar

The Japanese professional baseball regular season is coming to an end, and most of the Cubans involved in it will finish their performance there because their teams will not advance to the postseason. For some of them that will mean returning to Cuba, where they will take a break before playing in the National Series, which begins on  September 21st . Others also come out of the Land of the Rising Sun, but for the United States or other Caribbean nations, to take a short holiday, and then train or play during the offseason. The ones that will have no respite are the managers of Japanese organizations, whose mission lies in the coming months to assess the current state of their squads and find the best options for strengthening them ahead of a new season. This search goes beyond Japanese borders, so it is not surprising to see the scouts scattered around the main baseball centers on the planet, hunting foreign talent, both inexperienced prospects and lesser figures as experienced ones who have seen them best days in the American Major Leagues. In the case of Cuba, scouts from the Yomiuri Giants, the Yokohama Baystars DENA, the Chiba Lotte Marines,...

The Cuban B-Boy Gannicus was eliminated in his first battle, but showed a lot of intensity in Brazil / Photo: Roberto Ruiz.

B-Boy Gannicus does not bite on the continental arena

Cuban B-Boy Gannicus traveled to Belém, Brazil, with a suitcase of dreams, ready to break for the first time in the demanding international scenarios of Red Bull BC One Cypher, spectacular competition of break dance which brought together the 16 best exponents of Latin America last weekend. In Igarapés Park, under the gaze of a thousand spectators, Gannicus deployed his arsenal of spins, footwork and boundless energy, but failed in the initial battle against the Venezuelan B-Boy Kaos, a native of Los Teques. With more experience and flight hours on universal tracks, Kaos dismantled Gannicus, who still lacks road to get to the highest level of the best B-Boys of the continent, which calls into question the decision of the judges in the Havana event (June, 2014), where other Cuban acrobats presented programs of greater complexity and were cleaner and full of spectacular in executions. However, the youngster from San Miguel del Padrón, where he began the practice of the discipline just nine years was a worthy representative of Cuba, for he showed personality on the court, despite its predictable inferiority he did not surrender until the verdict final. Back in the archipelago, Gannicus, who works in construction, will continue...

En reparación el estadio Latinoamericano / Foto: Adriana Rodríguez Vives

The Latino Stadium undergoes restoration works

The Latino Stadium under restoration/ Image: Adriana Rodríguez Vives Today, it would not be wise to walk into the Latino Stadium. For those who keep in mind the image of that colossal center in the municipality of Cerro with the impeccable green grass and blue grandstands, I would suggest them not to stop by there until the current restoration works are over, otherwise they may be shocked. Right now the stadiumhas nothing to do with the Latino. There is technical equipment everywhere, walls have been torn down, the fields are no longer green, and there are wholes everywhere. All that is the result of the current works carried out for the maintenance and restoration of that huge facility. For the next National Baseball Series, the Latino will have entirely new sanitary furniture; the inner diamond square will exhibit its Sunday best after total fitting-out and the bullpens will be in a different position, very similar to modern standards used in the Great Leagues stadiums. These are broadly the main changes that will be developed in this sanctuary of Cuban baseball, which will still have a huge gap in the left side of the roof because its deterioration is such that...

Dave Van Horn

Dave Van Horn: “Cubans have revolutionized the majors”

If you check his history, you might think that Dave Van Horn has not been a successful man in baseball. He played just three years in the minor leagues of the United States with branches of the Atlanta Braves, always moving in different scales of Class A. There he hit very little in his almost fleeting ephemeral passage, and after three seasons without pain or glory he focused on studies. Completed a master's degree from East Texas in 1992, and gave the first steps in his directing career in college. That´s a non impressive record of service when compared to the mythical figures of the northern professional baseball: the great sluggers, the indecipherable pitchers, managers of World Series winners. However, this man, born in Stanton, California, has made a bright path in training and many players agree to describe him as one of the most prestigious mentors of the nation in his category. To get an idea, in 24 seasons has garnered over a thousand wins and does not reach the 600 losses, with several forays in the World Series of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCCA) in command of Nebraska Cornhuskers and Arkansas Razorbacks, a team he runs since 2003....

Yaisel Sierra

Cuba boasts of good pitching

Like a breath the third edition of the baseball match between Cuba and the United States went flying after its resumption in 2012, now with a Cuban sweep that returns the US favor of last year on their land, where our selection, much better than the current, suffered much criticized battering. Bells have been tolling after the five victories in Matanzas and Pinar del Rio; although the stark reality is that we played against lesser team, facing the transition from college baseball to professional model that includes the change from aluminum bats to wooden ones. However, you can not devalue the performance of the Cubans, whose roster exhibited several of the most talented domestic players, which has a margin of uppercase growth, particularly if achieved clashes against rival of a certain level, experienced and mastering the fundamentals of the game. There are several players that we can include in this group: third baseman Luis Yander La O, catcher Luis Abel Castro, first baseman Ramón Lunar and slugger Guillermo Aviles, all with serious growth prospects, some for its tight defense capability OBP and speed on the bases, and others for their innate strength and powerful swing, and having still room for...


Unparalleled falls

11 years ago Gabriel Da Silva Diego was piloting his aircraft of the Brazilian Air Force as usual. It was a training flight, in which he was carrying paratroopers who would perform several practice exercises. "From time to time I had these missions, and I always saw them smiling, calmly before jumping, enjoying the moment, literally taunting the opponent," confesses to OnCuba, Diego, 35, a Brazilian who fell in love with the modality at that time. "I want to do that too," he thought, and since then he started jumping non-stop for over a decade. "I put all my money into this," said the Brazilian in perfect Spanish, who was crowned king of the XI Latin American Skydiving Championships in Varadero, north of Matanzas. At the resort´s Skydiving International Center, the South American showed his world class for about a week, when he wowed with his accuracy jump after jump, some with the highest level of precision sufficient to oust the Cuban squad. However, the female local representation succeeded in breaking the absolute reign of Brazilians, thanks to the leadership of Marisol Maldonado Castellanos, leading expert who has been jumping for 33 years but still suffers nerves before getting on...

Yoennis Céspedes

Cespedes wins Home run Derby, again!

Cuban Yoennis Cespedes won his second trophy in the Home Run Derby of the All-Star Game, historical fact since for more than a decade no hitter had repeated the crown. The commentators were impressed by the display of power by the Granma slugger, who boasted a compact and brutal swing, capable of sending the ball out of bounds over every fence, something the other contenders did not come close to emulating in a rainy night hampering the work of the sluggers. To start, the eyes of everyone were on huge American Giancarlo Stanton, new model of power in the majors, or Jose Bautista, probably the most consistent slugger in the last five years when has been healthy. Many also focused their hopes on the other Cuban, the Cienfuegos Yasiel Puig, a lover of show and pressure. But gradually all fell wayside and fell like a house of cards, diminished by the huge connections by Céspedes, who bombed the stands from all angles and in all possible ways, same with elevated high-rise Tiger Woods style, or fierce lines ready to destroy walls and drill fans gloves. From the first to abandon the struggle was Puig, desperate and uncoordinated in his first...

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