For the first time ever, United World Wrestling (UWW) will host an Under 23 Wrestling World Championship, an important bridge between the youth and adult categories which will help younger athletes gain experience in international competitions.
Cuba will participate in the event, set to take place November 21-26 in Bydgoszcz, Poland, with a team of nine athletes, six male and three female in the Greco-Roman and freestyle competitions.
Representing the island in the classic event will be Luis Alberto Orta (59kg) and Daniel Gregorich (85kg), both from Havana, with 98kg national champion, Reinier Díaz, from Sancti Spíritus completing the line-up, led by coach Leonel Pérez.
Competing in the freestyle competition will be 2017 Pan American bronze medalist Reineri Andreu (57 kg), also from Sancti Spíritus; 2015 continental youth champion Lázaro Hernández (86) from Camagüey; and another athlete from Sancti Spíritus, Cristian Solenzal (65), all under the instruction of coach Jesús Hernández.
Meanwhile, Cuba’s women’s team will feature two silver medalists from this year’s World Youth Championships held last August, in Tampere, Finland: Lianna de la Caridad Montero (55) and Yudaris Sánchez (69); accompanied by Mabelkis Capote (75) and coach Alexis Estrabao.
The inclusion of an Under 23 World Championship competition in the UWW calendar comes after the success of a similar competition held in Europe, in 2016, which saw the participation of over 400 wrestlers from 34 nations; and given the desire of many national federations to give their younger athletes a chance to compete in a high-level tournament.
“We want to meet the needs of our athletes and federations, which have requested a competition to support the development of their young wrestlers,” stated UWW President, Nenad Lalovic of Serbia; who concluded, stating: “We thank the Polish Wrestling Federation for its leadership and hope for an excellent World Championship in November.
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