The Baltimore Orioles will become the 1st US big league team to play in baseball-crazed Cuba since a diplomatic thaw, playing Havana's national team, a Cuban official recently said in Havana, following last December 17th when US President Barack Obama and Cuba's Raul Castro announced an historic change of course after more than 5 decades of Cold War bad blood.
“A clash with the Orioles is planned,'' the director of Cuba's National Institute of Sports, Antonio Becali said, quoted by Radio Habana Cuba.
The Orioles will play ''this year against our national team but the date has not been set yet... The Orioles first string is not expected since they will be busy with their regular season, but Cuba's national team is still looking forward to the clash,'' the Cuban official said.
The teams played each other once before in 1999, first in Havana, where the Orioles won 3-2; however, the Cubans turned it around and won on the road in a 12-6 romp at Baltimore's Camden Yards.
The Cuban judoka Asley González showed his recovery from surgery by winning the bronze medal in the 90 kilograms, in the closing day of the World Masters Championship of the city of Rabat, Morocco.
According to the website of the event, Gonzalez, London 2012 Olympic silver medalist and world champion in Rio de Janeiro 2013, won the bronze medal by defeating French Alexander Iddir by Wazari.
In 2014, Iddir won the gold medal in the Grand Prix of Tashkent and bronze medals in that of Astana and the European Championship in Montpellier.
Before this event, Gonzalez finished 2nd in the continental championship in Edmonton, Canada.
The other 2 Cubans in action were Idalis Ortiz in +78 kilos, and Jose Armenteros (100), but they could not reach the podium.
Ortiz, with 1 win and 2 defeats, lost by Ippon with Tunisia's Rouhou Nihel, while Armenteros was beat in his debut by Czech Likas Krpalek.
Meanwhile, Dayaris Mestre (48), with 1 win, 1 and 2 losses, finished 7th after being beaten by ippon against the Turkish Dilara Lokmanhekim.
Thus, with only 4 judokas, Cuba ranked 22nd in the tournament, led by Japan, with 3 gold, 3 silver and 6 bronze medals, escorted by Russia (2-1-1) and Mongolia (2-0-2), in that order.
The World Masters Championship was attended by 223 judokas --112 men and 109 women-- from 51 countries, including many of the 15 best placed in the world ranking in each division who received invitations from the organizers.
Winning in the last round allowed Cuban GM Yuniesky Quesada to achieve 1 of the 4 tickets for the World Chess Cup granted in the Continental tournament of Montevideo, Uruguay.
Yuniesky, who had an unstable start, said goodbye with victory over Ecuadorian Carlos Matamoros and was 1 of the 2 players with a total of 8.5 of 11 possible points and reached the direct berth.
Argentinian Sandro Mareco was the other one who earned the ticket from among more than 150 participants after drawing with his compatriot Diego Flores, while the 2 remaining seats will be on dispute between 7 players who finished with 8 points through rapid games, according to www.chess-results.com.
The Cuban Yuri Gonzalez is one of those included in that group and if achieving the ticket the Caribbean island would have 6 representatives to the great event of September in Baku.
In addition to Yuniesky, Cuba has already confirmed the inclusion of Leinier Dominguez by his position in the world ranking and Isam Ortiz by his results at the 2014 Continental contest while GMs Lazaro Bruzon and Ermes Espinosa reached their qualifying after winning the 2.3 Zonal tournaments.
U.S. Fishermen Attend Havana's Hemingway Tournament
The Commodore of the Hemingway International Yacht Club, Jose Miguel Diaz, told the local press that the first group of U.S. competitors to participate in the 65th edition of the Ernest Hemingway International Marlin Fishing Tournament are already competing on the island that with the traditional Captains Meeting, in the capital's Marina Residential.
Participants include John and Patrick Hemingway, grandsons of the famed U.S. Nobel Prize Literature winner with his novel The Old Man and the Sea, written in Cuba in 1954.
In previous statements, the Cuban Commodore asserted that they have received dozens of letters from around the world to participate in the tournament and especially from members of the U.S. nautical community, adding that, allowed by their government, the number of participants exceeded the one registered in 1979 (80 boats) and 1999 (50).
Therefore, the illusions and dreams of U.S. writer Ernest Hemingway are relived on occasion of the 65th edition of the Marlin Fishing Tournament named after him, and one of the oldest of its kind in Latin America.
Magic, mystery and sportsmanship are part of the very well-known figure to all Cubans, novelist Ernest Hemingway, who already belongs to the cultural and touristic panorama of Cuba.
It is all about a very close link, whose places and friends, legends and meetings can motivate more than one movie script; for instance, one of his phrases: ...like that, I am an ordinary Cuban..., are icons inspiring painters, writers and artists of different expressions, but above all for different generations of Cubans.
The image of adventurer, fishing aficionado and other ingredients join this celebrity to Cubans and even in the seaside eastern town of Cojimar one can appreciate a bust made from old anchors put together by his fishermen friends.
Such mysteries make him present in the largest of the Antilles and as a distinctive mark there is a figure of natural size in one of his preferred Havana bars, the Floridita.
It is like facing the writer, as he had never died and his presence laughed heartily to passers-by while inviting friends to one of his favorite drinks, the Daiquiri, which is always by the side of the so-called Bronze God of American literature and pictures at that same place surrounded by friends.
Hemingway is always present, his spirit is floating in the air of that bar, full of people from all parts of the world, to honor him permanently... and over any other appreciation, the sea and fishing bring on this occasion over 100 fishermen from 8 countries who will go out to fish marlins in the 65th edition of the tournament.
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