RÍO DE JANEIRO.— After the conclusion of the Olympic competitions it’s time to review the results obtained in the last two weeks when sports made headlines.
The Cuban delegation saved the best for last winning three titles before the closing day achieving the same number of titles as four years ago and below in the total of medals.
The collective performance of Cuban sports in Rio failed to meet expectations. So, an analysis has to be made about what was seen in the Olympic facilities.
In addition to the aforementioned titles, the Cuban athletes had two silver and four bronze medals totalizing 11, three less than in London.
In important sports like judo and athletics –although rowing and canoe-kayak could be included in the same bracket- the deficit is more remarkable. Out of a simple mathematical analysis, it is hard to accept that a group of 43 members obtained just a bronze medal, but the shortage of medals is not the most worrying issue.
Four athletes had the best chances and all plans went down when triple jumper Pedro Pablo Pichardo did not recover from his ailments in time and after the discus thrower Yaimé Pérez, who was impressive in the qualifying round, said good bye with three fouls in the finals.
Only the World champion Denia Caballero stands out with her third place, although pole vaulter Yarisley Silva deserves some credit for all she had to go through before taking part in the games. The most questionable is that the rest of the team did not achieve their best results in these games.
We also wanted more from the Cuban judo, but sometimes the program was unfortunate with early matchup against the favorite opponents, and our top figures failed to reach the final stages. Fortunately Idalis Ortiz could achieve her third Olympic medal, although it was not the dreamed gold, at least she staved off a disastrous performance.
In contrast, boxing notably improved its performance as compared with 2012 London, where four medals were got, with only two gold. Now the boxing team’s improved winning six with three titles through Julio César La Cruz, Arlen López and Robeisy Ramírez, the latter is the only one repeating.
The Greco-Roman wrestling, which had a poor performance at the continental level, passed the test with flying colors. Apart from the third gold medal whereupon Mijaín López went down in history. The current World champion Ismael Borrero extended his reign to the Olympics, while Yasmani Lugo surprised with a silver medal which shored up the Cuban win in this sport.
In spite of being inexperienced at the top level the men’s beach volleyball couple made up by Sergio González and Nivaldo Díaz reached an unprecedented fifth position.
Also commendable was the 28th position achieved by cyclist Arlenis Sierra in the women’s road event, something similar would have happened to gymnast Manrique Larduet if he competed in a better shape.
The young archer Adrián Puentes will always have this competition in mind, since he achieved his personal best, and the first Cuban weightlifter woman Marina de la Caridad Rodríguez set a national record.
The rest of the delegation was as good as expected, except for Alba: even some like shooter Leuris Pupo, although he could not repeat the title achieved four years ago in London, he can be satisfied with his qualification for the finals of a very competitive sport.
From now on, the analysis should focus on the errors and good decisions to improve the preparation for the next Olympic participation in 2020 Tokyo.
Translated by ESTI