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Sport News Roundup March 26

Baseball

Villa Clara showed its lineage of current monarch of Cuban baseball, and by the of hand Ismel Jimenez, overcame 8-2 to Holguin in the final challenge of the regular Season for the last playoff spot.

Jimenez showed his quality by striking out 8 and allowing just 4 hits and 1 dirty run in 6 and a half episodes for his 10th victory.

The Villa Clara's Los Naranjas guaranteed the success with decisive offensive of Andy Sarduy with 1 double and 3 RBIs, seconded by first baseman Yeniet Perez, 4-3, including 1 solo homer and 3 runs scored, before defeated Yaisel Sierra's pitching.

Thus, Villa Clara anchored in the 4th seat of the Tables with 50 and 37, and will face Matanzas (57-30) in the semifinals from this Thursday 27th as visitors, while Industriales (51-36) will bump into Pinar del Rio (52-35) at the Capitán San Luis Stadium in Pinar del Rio from Friday 28th; all bilateral caps will cover 7 games to win 4 of them.

On the subject, Villa Clara's manager, Ramón Moré, was unhappy with the start date of the semifinals of the 53rd National Baseball Series, because of his team hasn't had the proper time to rest and recover.

Boxing

The first match in the quarter-finals of the World Series of Boxing (WSB in English) between Los Domadores of Cuba and the USA Knockouts team has been postponed to April 11th, U.S. organizers said today.

The match, which was originally scheduled for this Friday 28th at the Hard Rock Café and Casino in Hollywood, in Florida, Miami, will not be held on that date, although US officials have not communicated any reasons so far.

Sources from the Cuban Boxing Federation confirmed having received notice yesterday, and detailed explanations are expected in coming hours, although political pressure from the right-wing elements settled down in Florida is being mentioned by some media as the possible reason.

The change affects the Cuban team, which for its excellent performance in the preliminaries had earned the right to host the 2nd match at home, and now will be forced to host the first one rather than the second one, on April 4th.

Nevertheless, Los Domadores are still the favorites to advance to the semifinals, where they would face the winner between Russia and the Ukraine Otamans.

In the initial match in Havana the following weight divisions will compete: 52, 60, 69, 81 and 91 (kilos), with the novelty of seeing Emilio Correa (75), silver medalist in Beijing, substituting the double world champion Julio Cesar La Cruz in the 81 kilo category, while in Miami the divisions are: 49, 56, 64, 75 and 91.

Badminton
Some 80 competitors from 13 countries and regions, including Cuba, are set to compete at the 15th Giraldilla International Badminton Tournament starting this Wednesday in Havana, local sport officials said.

Cuba's badminton commissioner, Alexis Ramirez, said this year the event, which will run until March 30th at the Sports City Coliseum, has International Series status.

According to Ramirez, that means the competition grants 2,500 points to each of the winners in their categories (women's and men's individuals and pairs, as well as mixed doubles), 2,130 points to the runners-up and 1,750 points to third and fourth finishers.

Cuba's 18-member team features Osleni Guerrero, who will act as defending champ, is ranked 1st in the Americas and 54th worldwide in 2013.

Among the visiting players to watch is Guatemala's Kevin Cordon, who beat Guerrero in the finals of the 2011 Pan-American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, to win the title, along with the U.S.-born Bjorn Seguin and Italy's Gioavani Greco.

Chess
After winning for the 2nd consecutive time and climbed up to the 15th place, Cuban GM Maritza Arribas will face the leader of the Continental Chess Tournament for Ladies organized in Argentina, which grants one ticket to the World Cup.

Arribas (2313 Elo) defeated the Chilean FM Damaris Abarca (2023) to reach 3.5 units and will now have the hardest obstacle of local and IM Carolina Luján (2375), owner of 4.5 points, who is escorted by her fellow Micaela Gómez (1938) with 4 wins and a draw, according to the specialized site www.chess-results.com.

The 2nd seat is occupied by the Peruvian Ann Chumpitaz MI (2189), also with 4 points but completed with a draw while facing the host and GM Claudia Amura (2305), owner of the 4th step with 3.5.

Edited by Juan Leandro
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