In the macho world of Cuban baseball, Yanet Moreno has always played with the boys.
As a child, she was the only girl to play street baseball in her neighborhood. The boys would fight to get her on their team, and her father feared she would become a tomboy.
Today, at 39, she is the only woman in the world umpiring top-flight professional baseball. She is in her 11th season in the National Series, Cuba’s premier baseball league, and says she is ready for the international stage.
“One always dreams of more, eh? I want a little bit more,” Moreno said, naming the Central American Games, Pan-American Games and the World Baseball Classic as tournaments she wants to work.
Though there are few female umpires working in men's baseball around the world, she is no longer considered an oddity in Cuban baseball and fan reaction has diminished. She projects a steely calm on the field, her gaze covered with sunglasses.
For instance, Venezuelan Maité Bullones has umpired in her country’s minor leagues and is set this week to become the 1st woman to work an international men's tournament at a 21-and-under Baseball World Cup in Taiwan, but she has still not worked in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League.
In the US, no woman has ever broken into Major League Baseball, and no woman has umpired in the US Minor Leagues since 2008.
The Cuban swimmer Lorenzo Pérez won the ticket to the Toronto 2015 Para-pan American Games in the 400 meter freestyle category S6 (paraplegic) during the Mexico Open swimming for the disabled.
Perez got on 2nd place at 50 meters at London 2012 with 5:41.57 minutes, valid for the world ranking record and the Canadian continental competition next year. Despite having obtained the classification, the pupil of Ernesto Garrido stayed away the record set in Boca del Rio 2012, where he made a time of 5:22.54.
For the 2nd day, the swimmer will participate in the qualifying round of hectometer that will be held in the Riviera Maya pool in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo state, where 200 athletes from 10 countries are involved.
Precisely at that distance, Perez won the bronze medal in the London metropolis with 1:08.01 minutes, a result that if repeated, would put him in 1st place in the world ranking, led by Australian Mathew Haanappel with 1:08.67.
Cuban weightlifters Jordanis Espinosa and Adriel La O, division of 77 kg., will debut on Tuesday at the World Weightlifting Championships, in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
The most promising young figures of the Caribbean island will compete in Group C in order to accumulate as many points as possible for the Olympic qualifiers in Rio de Janeiro 2016, tickets that will be defined next year in Houston, Texas.
Although with modest personal records, Jorge Luis Barcelán, national commissioner of discipline in Cuba, said the official site of this world event classifies them as exceptional promising figures, close to top world contestants competing in Group A, Albanian Daniel Godelli (372 kg), the Chinese Guoshun Zhong (365), the Belorussian Petr Asayonak (363) and North Korean Kim Kwang Song (360).
Meanwhile, Cuban rookie Victor Quiñones will initiate his activities in the 94 kg. division, Group D, on Thursday, along with Venezuelan José Pirela Darwin.
Putin Attends Japanese Martial Arts Demonstrations
Russian President Vladimir Putin recently visited the Luzhniki Olympic Complex Stadium, in Moscow, where a varied Japanese martial arts from Nippon Budokan House were held to celebrate another year of Russian-Japanese exchanges in martial art traditions, held under sponsorship of the Russian Ministry of Sports and the capital's local executive offices.
Putin went to the Olympic complex with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who visited Moscow, together with a delegation of Japanese martial artists. Putin delighted with interest a sumo match demonstrated by local students and performances of Araki ryu kenpo, aikido and kendo --Japanese bamboo fencing saber-- the latter, old branch of martial arts that has gained popularity in Russia today; however, the most compelling demonstration proved to be the ancient art of samurai.
Putin favorably commented on the activity with the head of the Japanese Government, the head of the Japanese delegation, Masahiko Komura and two Russians athletes who were sitting beside him: boxer Fyodor Yemelianenko and judoka Alexander Mijailin.
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko and Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin also attended the Fair, among other officials and personalities.
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- Cuba supports projects to address climate change across Caribbean region
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- RHC's Caribbean Outlook Show
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