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Sport News Roundup April 26

Peter Crowley Starts to Cross Florida Strait in Kayak

US citizen Peter Crowley started today on a quest to cross the Florida Strait from the International Ernest Hemingway Nautical Club in Havana rowing on a kayak.

Crowley, 56 years old and visually impaired, is nonetheless enthusiastic about the challenge and thanked all those who came to this club west of Havana to see his departure.

The sportsman, who is accompanied by his son and a support boat, expressed to Prensa Latina news agency his satisfaction for being in Cuba and hopes his effort is seen as a message of peace, love and union between the peoples of Cuba and the United States.

Peter and his group were wearing T-shirts saying: "Stand up and try", in an effort to show the world there are always opportunities which we sometimes do not take.

Over the last years, the adventure of crossing the Florida Strait has become an objective for several sports people, especially for long-distance swimmers in open waters, a complex challenge which undoubtedly needs the blessing of Poseidon to safely cover the distance.

José Miguel Díaz Escrich, commodore of the Marine Hemingway, said the International Ernest Hemingway Nautical Club --founded in 1992-- has hosted these events more than once, feats very well liked over the world.

Cuba Invited to Central American and Caribbean Baseball Tournament

Cuba is one of seven countries invited by the Pan-American Baseball Confederation to participate in the tournament in the sport of XXII Central American and Caribbean Games in November in Veracruz, Mexico.

The digital edition of the Jit sports publication says that in addition to the Cubans, the teams of Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Panama, Nicaragua, U.S. Virgin Islands, and the host, will be in action from 15th to 20th that month at the Beto Ávila University Sport Palace.

Under the program announced by the organizers, the 8 staffs are in 2 groups of 4, and the winners of each will advance to the 3rd stage.

In the 2nd phase, the runners-up will cross with the 3rd places, in opposing parties to be defined by the leaders of sections, which will then discuss the title; finally, the losers of the 3rd stage will discuss the bronze medals.

The Dominican Republic, Mexico and Nicaragua won gold, silver and bronze, respectively, in the previous edition of Mayagüez 2010, which Cuba did not attend for security reasons for its delegation, like in San Salvador 2002, when Cuba beat Puerto Rico.

The last crown at this level achieved by the Cuban baseball team, multi champ in Central American and Caribbean Games, was in Cartagena de Indias 2006, where it was followed by the Dominicans and Venezuelans, in that order.

Chess

Ukrainian GM Vassily Ivanchuk will take part in the 49th edition of Capablanca In Memoriam, the most outstanding Cuban chess official tournament, from May 7th to 18th here in Havana.

Vassily Ivanchuk, owner of 2,753 ELO, will try to get his 7th title in the traditional Cuban chess event, after having been the champion in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

The visitor will have Cuban GM Leinier Dominguez, a man with 2,757 ELO points and best Latin American chess player and 2nd in the continent, as his most serious contender.

Ivanchuk has an impressive record of 28 victories, 31 ties and just 2 defeats in 6 participations at the Capablanca In Memoriam. His only 2 defeats, were at the hands of Kamil Miton (Poland) in 2006, and Cuban GM Lázaro Bruzón in 2011.

The list of outstanding chess players in the so-called Elite Group, is completed with other famous figures such as Hungarian GM Zoltan Almasi (2,693 ELO), Philippine Wesley So (2,738 ELO, who debuts at the tournament), Spanish Francisco Vallejo (2,693) and Cuban Lázaro Bruzón (2,670).

The tournament will include 2 competitive rounds at the halls of the Havana Riviera Hotel.

Softboll

The women's squad of Cuba softball will debut against the Czech Republic on the opening day of the XIV World Women's Softball Championship to be held in Harlem, The Netherlands, from August 15th to 24th.

The Cubans are in Group A along with the Czech Republic, New Zealand, Russia, China, Canada, Puerto Rico and the defending champion, Japan, while Australia, Botswana, China Taipei, the Dominican Republic, Great Britain, Italy, the United States and the host will cope with in Group B.

On the opening day, August 15th, will be held 8 games, and Cuba will debut at 3:45 pm. (local time); while schedule for the rest of Cuba is as follows:

August 16th, against New Zealand, the 17th will face Russia, the 18th will bump into Puerto Rico to close the knockout stage facing China, the 19th, Japan, the 20th and Canada, the 21st.

Cuba last participation in a world top happened in 2010 and ended on the 9th place with 3 wins and 4 losses.

For the first time ever, the World Women's Softball Championship will be held in Europe, that together with the Americas will have the largest staff with 10 teams, 5 for each region, Asia will have 3, Oceania 2 and Africa with only 1 .

Brazilian Cities to Organize Fan Fest During World Cup of Football

The 12 Brazilian host cities of the Brazil 2014 World Cup will organize parties for fans and tourists, French Jerome Valcke, secretary general of the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), reported.

Valcke confirmed the organization of the event during a visit to the boardwalk at Iracema Beach, the place chosen by the authorities of the city of Fortaleza to celebrate de 'FIFA Fan Fest'.

Valcke declined to clarify how they will fund the party in Recife city, one of the venues of the event and whose municipal authorities said there were lack of resources for assembling the infrastructure required by FIFA.

All parties will have giant screens, bars, restaurants, spaces dedicated to football, stage for bands and other attractions.

Authorities in Rio de Janeiro, who initially also alleged lack of resources, ended up negotiating agreements with private companies to finance the temporary infrastructure in Copacabana beach in exchange for spaces for advertisement.

Mr. Valcke recently visited Fortaleza city during a new tour of the host cities after inspecting stadiums in Sao Paulo, Curitiba and Cuiabá, which are still unfinished. The talent on show at the FIFA Fan Fest will not be limited to the football on the big screens.

The Host Cities will offer a selection of top quality entertainment, including some of Brazil's best musical talent such as Michel Telo, famous local band Aviões do Forró and Diego Nogueira and Péricles.
 
Edited by Juan Leandro
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