Author Archive for Ilia Charon


From Guantanamo to the world, forever, Driulys González

Driulis GonzalezA few days before the beginning of the World Judo Championships in Russia, we remember the Guantanamo Driulys González Morales, the best judoka of the 20th century in America, including her results like her three world titles.

With just 16 years of age this legendary athlete reached the national team and for more than twenty years she remained on the tatami with multiple wins in the national and international arena.

If speaking of world championships the name of Driulis Gonzalez is indispensable, with gold medals in Chiba 1995, Birmingham 1999 and Rio de Janeiro 2007, while winning silver in Osaka 1997 and 2003 and bronze in Hamilton 1993 as well as el Cairo, 2005.

She was only 19 years in 1992 and was already in the list of the 57 kg athletes to partake at the Olympic tournament in Barcelona.

That same year the judoka participated for the first time in international competitions so thinking of a medal was a chimera. However, the girl from Guantanamo, the easternmost of the Cuban provinces, was dodging obstacles and did not stop until wining a place on the podium at the 25th Olympic Games.

Her bronze medal then surprised the world of the tatami, but she was not surprised: “I never lost confidence, I knew I could,” she said on her return to the country.”

That was the prelude to what would be a real feat, and an impressive guarantee in the history of Cuban and universal judo.

Rodriguez Morales of the world elite is the winner of the gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, silver at Sydney 2000 and bronze in Barcelona 1992 and Athens 2004.

In 1995 the Guantanamo athlete became world champion and the best athlete in Cuba, an award he shared with stellar runner Ana Fidelia Quirot proclaimed.

Then 1996 came, the year of the centenary of the Games, with venue in the U.S. city of Atlanta. Just two months before the event, he suffered a serious neck injury during her training, a situation which not only threatened her presence in the great meeting, but also compromised the use of her legs.

She kept training with a collar around her neck, and doing nothing with her legs she continued to prepare under the watchful eyes of her doctors.

The crucial moment came. She was warned not to overdo in each fight, be very careful in every move. Her coaches were confident that her level would enable to spare her efforts and so she did so as to return to Cuba with the gold medal as a reward for her value.

Many actions are to enliven the upcoming World Judo Tournament in Russia, where Cuba will be represented by important figures including the Guantanamo World Champion Maria Celia Laborde, the 2012 London Olympic Champion Idalys Ortiz, Dayaris Mestre, Yanet Bermoy and Yalennis Castillo, a generation of stars that have written pages in the Cuban sports history.




Fourteen year old Melissa Vargas, the future of the Cuban volleyball

The fourteen year old Melissa Vargas is now the best player of the Cuban volleyball and represents the future of the sport in the country.  The youngest and tallest in the team has performed with the best service at the Pan American Coup, with the best attacks at the NORCECA Tournament, and was the new talent at the Chinese tournament.

Melissa Vargas

Melissa Vargas

Melissa Vargas

Melisa Vargas

Melissa Vargas



Note by the Cuban Baseball Federation concerning case of Alfredo Despaigne

Alfredo DespaigneIn recent days several media have echoed a report published on the web site about a fraud related to Cuban baseball player Alfredo Despaigne, member of the Campeche Pirates team that partakes in the Mexican Baseball League (LMB).

According to the digital site, the outfielder’s registration in the tournament was made using a fake passport of Dominican origin, a fact that flagrantly violates the ethical principles of the Cuban Baseball Federation (BPF), an organization that has propitiated and is concerned with the contracting process of Cuban players in foreign leagues as part of the new remuneration policy to athletes and coaches.

The Cuban Baseball Federation explains that they have no responsibility with the alleged violation of the regulations of the registration process of players in the Mexican League.

This was recognized in the note released on May 15 by the management board of the Pirates of Campeche, which states in its second paragraph that “The Cuban Sports Institutions especially the Baseball Federation are absolutely unrelated to the facts that media in Dominican Republic have published in relation to Cuban player.”

The statement released by the Mexican team also says that “The Campeche Pirates Club shall begin a thorough investigation of the facts spread by the media and a complaint will be presented to prove the alleged commission of an offense of forgery against the person or persons responsible.”

The note adds that the club “will respect the decisions to be taken by Mexican League on the facts” and that Alfredo Despaigne will “continue to play for the Piratas de Campeche as he has ben doing since joining the current season.”

The FCB will closely monitor the development and results of the investigations carried out on the subject and will inform any decision taken in this respect.

Taken from: Cubasí

Translation: Ilia Charon


Arlenis Sierra, the router of America

Arlenis SierraArlenis Sierra was the head of a road Pan American event for the second time. Three years ago she got the title in Guadalajara 2011. Now, she won the Pan American Road Cycling Championship, held this weekend in Puebla, México.

The contest gathered the best 43 routers in America in dispute of the first 13 places to qualify for the continental event in Toronto 2015.

On the finish line four cyclists registered the same record (2: 16: 52); however, Sierra finished off the American Megan Gournier, Colombian Laura Mercal Lozano and Brazilian Flavia Maria de Mlivara; with which she won not only the second tittle in the American continent, but also added another medal in a year also marked by her win at the San Luis Tour in Argentina.

Another Cuban with a ticket to Toronto was Marlies Majias, seventh, and the multichampion Yumari Gonazalez was behind, 24th and Yeima Torres was not able to conclude the race.

Men´s performance in the route: Arnold Alcolea ranked 21 and lost all possibilities. Yenier López did not finish a competition, featured by falls, groups’ fragmentations and escapes in a 10- km circuit, which had to be toured 16 times.

The small Cuban delegation did not qualified for the time trial, which gave only 6 places for 2015 Veracruz Pan American Games.


Cuban Domadores hit Russia and qualified to the final

Roniel Iglesias, London 2012 Olympic ChampionThe Cuban Domadores gave last night a sample of their strength and quality by crashing their Russian opponent at the Havana Sports City and became the first qualified to the final at the Fourth World Series of Boxing.

Both teams reached the second round of their semifinal with a score of 3-2, but the Cuban hosts were optimistic. In six home presentations including the play off against the U.S. Knockouts they showed to be undefeated, winning other five fights, with only two lost against the Azerbaijan Baku Fires.

Hence the Russians needed to win the initial fight ion order to at least try to break that dynamic. But it was in vain.

With Misha Aloian, far from his best form after surgery, they had to use in the 52 kg the left hander Ovik Ogannisian, bronze medalist at the last European Championship, but with much less competition. The Cuban Leodán Núñez took his chance to get a vote majority (50-45, 49-46 y 50-45), although he left the ring bleeding the day of its debut.

A result that presaged the inevitable Cuban victory, a mere matter of time, as the two times world champion Lazaro Alvarez (56 kg) had no difficulty in imposing in this category, to get his sixth victory of the event against the national champion Konstantin Bogomazov ( 50-45 , 48-47 and 49-46 ).

And the Olympic champion Roniel Iglesias (69 kg ) gave judgment against another London 2012 medalist , the bronze winner Zamkovoi Andrei, who endured Iglesias´ as much as he could, but could not overcome in any round his extraordinary fighting style (49-46 , 50-45 and 50-45) .

Julio Cesar la Cruz (81) and Jose Angel Larduet ( +91 ) gave other wins to the Cuban fans against Aleksander Khotyantsev (for triple 50-45 ) and Magomed Omarov (48-47, 48-47 and 47-48.

So Domadores go to discuss the title during the last weekend of the current month and today they will finally know their rivals.

The Baku Fires receive the Kazakh Astana Arlans in Cuba Olympic Complex, seeking to define other semifinal (2-3), with the fights Elvin Mamishzada vs. Iliyas Suleimenov (52 kg) Albert Selimov vs. Samat Bashenov ( 60) Yauheni Ramashkevich vs. Manat Omerzakov (69), reinforcing the Belarus team appear Mikhail Dauhaliavets vs. Croatian Hrvoje Sep (81) and Haji Murtuzaliyev vs. The big Filip Hrgovic ( +91 ) plus Teymur Mammadov and Adilbek Niyazymbetov (81 ) in case a tiebreaker is needed.



Guantanamo in postseason of Women´s Basketball

baloncesto pelotaThe way to postseason in the Cuban Basketball League for women is shorter and Guantanamo  has already a place among the four teams to go for a medal in which Pinar del Rio, Santiago de Cuba and Havana will participate.

They went to postseason after two wins against Villa Clara and their following triumph against Artemisa were added to the other victories to sum 17, a good sign showing the team´s improvement after the setbacks of last seasons. This result was part of the hard work done by the trainers’ staff, which changed the poor image left.

Osmel Planas Castillo, director of the team, says the work focused on defense, the emphasis on the free throws and their different types, has been very effective for the team´s cohesion and good performance.



Ivan Oñate: a bronze at Dominican Boxing Cup

The Guantanamo Ivan Oñate, 60 kg, got one of the six bronze medals won by the Cuban team at the 30th International Boxing Coup held in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic.

The several times national champion got 13 points against his rival the local Newman Almonte, who got 6 and the London 2012 Olympic champion Roniel Iglesias defeated the also Dominican Raúl Sánchez in the 69 kg,.

Luis Ramírez, another local fighter in the 81 kg, was victim of the world champion Julio César La Cruz, who performed his first combat as well as Yasiel Despaigne (75), winner against the Venezuelan Rafael González.

Likewise, Yosvany Veitía (49) and Yasniel Toledo (64) defeated the Puerto Rican José de La Rosa y José Manuel Román.

With these results, the Cuban team remains undefeated without the debut of the Guantanamo heavy weight and World Youth Champion Erislandy Savón (91), who will fight against the Puerto Rican Kevin Núñez.

More than 100 men and women participate in the event, which concludes tomorrow and host athletes from Cuba, United States, Brazil, Canada, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Peru, Honduras, Caiman Island, Guatemala, Aruba, Haiti, Chile and Dominican Republic.