Cuba's First Vice-President Miguel Diaz-Canel saw off the first group of athletes that will compete in the Pan-American Games to be held in the Canadian city of Toronto, July 10th-26th.
Diaz-Canel went to the Terminal 5 at the Jose Marti International Airport to meet with the 240-strong people delegation that includes athletes, coaches, judges and officials from the National Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation (INDER).
Olga Lidia Tapia, member of the Secretariat of the Cuban Central Committee of the Communist Party, encouraged athletes to give their best in each competition and return to the Homeland as winners, where they will be received with the love and respect they deserve.
She congratulated them for the opportunity to represent their country. Lisandra Carrillo, 1 of the 500 meter kayak 4 crew, told local ACN news agency that they all are ready to contribute with the first medals to the Cuban delegation next July 11th, but they still lack some experience at this level; despite that, she added, they will give their best to beat their toughest rival, host Canada.
Cuba attends these games with 461 athletes with the commitment to ratify the 2nd position by countries at continental level, a feat not achieved since Cali 1971, with the exception of Havana 1991, when Cuba toppled the United States from the top.
Cuba suffered costly 1-3 defeat to Colombia in the final round of preliminaries of Group P, 3rd level, at the Volleyball Grand Prix, despite having in its ranks the top scorer of the match, young Melissa Vargas, who accumulated 31 points, in Trujillo, Peru. Previously, Cuba had lost to the host Peru 3-0.
The Gala Opening of the Summer Circus Festival, Circuba 2015, will be next Thursday 9th, at 9 pm, at the Avellaneda Hall of the National Theater and not at the Karl Marx, as initially planned.
The Cuba baseball team lost a friendly cap against their hosts, top US college selection, falling 11 runs for 1, on the 4th of the 5 clashes scheduled between both staffs.
Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez slotted in the winning spot-kick after Argentina's Gonzalo Higuain fired over and Ever Banega was denied by Claudio Bravo. Higuain had earlier missed from close range after 90 minutes of few chances. Then Sanchez came closest in extra time for Chile, who scored all 4 of their penalties in the shootout.
Where Chile held their nerve, Argentina wilted in the shootout at the end of a performance that fell well short of the heights they reached in their 6-1 semi-final win over Paraguay.
The Albiceleste team are without a major trophy in the last 22 years since winning the 1993 Copa America held in Ecuador; thus, Chile made history with its victory which brought an end to almost a century of competing in the Copa America without claiming a title.
They were 1 of 4 teams who played in the very first tournament in 1916 in Argentina but the best they had done until this year was runner-up, which they have achieved on 4 occasions (1955, 1956, 1979 and 1987).
Thus, Chile won their first Copa America after 173 games played in this competition, dating back to the first tournament in 1916.
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