Cuba defeated Dominican Republic 3-1 (22-25, 25-18, 25-13, 25-23) on the final day of the NORCECA Women’s Final Four Cup as both teams secured the available berths for the World Cup in Japan, the first Olympic qualifying event.
With 2 triumphs in the tournament and a total 10 points, the Dominicans qualified for the event in Japan after winning the 1st set. From then on, the Cubans increased their attacks aware of only winning the 3 following sets they could clinch the remaining ticket for a better point-ratio quotient than Puerto Rico, 3-0 winners of the first match over Canada.
Cuban Melissa Vargas was the top-scorer (20), followed by Alena Rojas and Sulian Matienzo, 13 apiece while Marianne Fersola was the only one with a double-digit tally (10) for the visiting team.
An excited Roberto García, local coach, expressed that “today we only expected to win. My girls needed it, I think. They respect the Dominicans for their results, but they battled for the success and their qualification to the World Cup,” while Dominicans' coach, Brasilian Marcos Kwiek, admitted that “Cuba played a good game in a hard-fought match.”
Cuban Jose Armenteros and Ivan Silva achieved gold and silver medals respectively in the 2nd and final day of Judo Open held in Havana.
Armenteros, silver in the world of Chelyabinsk-2014, won by Ippon in 3 of the 4 matches he played this Sunday in the 100 kilos.
The other Cuban competing this Sunday, Alex Garcia in +100, finished 5th after winning 2 matches, losing another and yield in the fight for the bronze medal by ippon against Czech Michal Horak.
On Saturday, Magdiel Estrada won silver in the 73 kg and his compatriot Carlos Tondique was bronze in the 66 kg and Yandry Torres finished 5th rung of the 60 kg.
Thus Cuba ended in 3rd place in the overall medals with 1 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze and 2 fifth places behind France (4-1-3) and Germany (3-3-4).
For men Cubans were 2nd behind the French, who added 3 gold medals. In total, 276 competitors in the tournament, 182 men and 94 women participated, representing 34 countries.
The Caribbean, to whom Asley González (90 kg) will join now, will compete next weekend in the Grand Prix in Budapest, Hungary.
The Cuban triple jumper Pedro Pablo Pichardo won the gold medal in the 4th stop of the Athletics Diamond League, based in Rome, Italy during the weekend.
Pichardo scored 17.96 meters in the men's triple jump event, to thereby win his 2nd title in the strongest athletic contest, after the win he achieved in Doha, Qatar, in late May.
He was escorted on the podium by his compatriots Alexis Copello (17.15), who right is not part of the Cuban national pre-selection; and Ernesto Revé (16.89).
So far this season, Pichardo leads this event with 18.08 m --3rd best record in history, result reached at the closing date of the Barrientos Memorial-Cuba Cup, which hosted the Panamericano Stadium in Havana.
He has shown a huge stability as he won the event on Qatari soil with 18.06 meters, so he has surpassed 18 meters twice this season.
In historical records, the Cuban athlete, junior world monarch in Barcelona 2012 and universal runner up in Moscow 2013, is only surpassed by the British world record holder Jonathan Edwards (18.29) and American Kenny Harrison (18.09).
Also, the Cuban Yaimé Perez won the bronze medal with 65.30 meters and her teammate Denia Caballero (61.25) finished 9th in the women's discus throw event.
The Croat Olympic champion Sandra Perkovic (67.92) earned the crown; while Australian Dani Samuels (65.47) was the silver medalist. Likewise, the also Cuban Yordan O'Farrill finished 4th in the men's 110 meter hurdles event with time of 13.42 seconds.
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