Cuba has already confirmed 387 athletes for the Pan American Games in Toronto and could complete a delegation of about 480, said Jose Antonio Miranda, director of the high-performance department at the National Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation (INDER).
Speaking to Radio Rebelde, Antonio Miranda pointed out that the bulk of Cuba’s outstanding contributions is focused on track and field, currently standing at 121 athletes with almost 80 more expected.
He added that the already-confirmed athletes number 194 women and 194 men, and highlighted the sense of commitment that carries the day in the Cuban team’s preparation for the Games from July 10 to 26.
Antonio Miranda Cuba’s first-place rank in the Central American Games in Veracruz in 2014, pointing out that it has become an incentive for the Cuban team to adjust and prepare itself for the demands of the Toronto games.
He acknowledged Brazil’s progress as it prepares to host the upcoming Olympic Games and the drive of the host, Canada call for maximum efforts, especially in track and field itself, boxing, wrestling, rowing, shooting, wrestling and judo.
Asked about other aspects of the situation, Antonio Miranda mentioned the increased government and corporate support for teams in other countries competing, and the presence of Cuban, European and Asian experts contributing to keeping the ranks of athletes in top shape.
He also emphasized that similar efforts outlined in Cuba rest upon the strong foundation of the Institute of Sports Medicine and other entities in the sector, ensuring athletes the necessary support.
Antonio Miranda announced meetings aimed at boosting the comprehensive training of athletes, coaches and professionals with experts in different fields, along with visits to student, labour and defence institutions.
Meetings held under the name “Assets of Dignity” heightened the significance of the work, with athletes from each sport recognizing and affirming their commitments ahead of what will prove to be a test of their concentration, performance, discipline and patriotism.
“The challenge is to do things right all the time, because each performance will have its own worth,” said Miranda, highlighting the importance of holding on to Cuba’s second-place rank in a confrontation in which the island is not participating in at least 133 medal events.
“Our goal is reflected in the motto that we defend,” he said about the athletes’ conviction to “Let Us Make Our Homeland Proud.”
Photo: Yarisley Silva (pole vault)
Author: Monica Ramirez