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World record holder and 2004 Olympic champion Osleidys Menendez leads a group of Cuban athletes that traveled on Wednesday to Guatemala for a training camp as part of their preparation for the Olympic Games of next year in Beijing, China.

Menendez, world champion in Helsinki two years ago and owner of the world record in women's javelin with 71.71 meters, did not participate in the 11th edition of the World Athletics Championships held in Osaka earlier this year due to an injury.

However, the 2007 Pan American champion is fully recovered now and she said she is ready to climb the top spot of the podium in Beijing next year and thus revalidate the title she won in Athens in 2004.

The group also includes 2004 Olympic gold medallist Yumileidi Cumba (shot put), 2007 world champion Yargelis Savigne (triple jump) and Yipsi Moreno (hammer throw), who took a silver medal in Osaka this year.

Also training in Guatemala will be 2005 800-meter world champion Zulia Calatayud as well as discus throwers Yania Ferrales and 2007 world bronze medallist Yarelis Barrios, hammer throwers Yunaika Crawford and Arasai Thondike, high jumper Victor Moya, as well as long jumpers Wilfredo Martonez and Hector Dayron.

Pan American champion Mariela Gonzalez (marathon), triple jumpers Mabel Gay, Ariadna Martinez, Yoandri Betanzos, Osniel Tosca, David Giralt, Yoelbis Quesada and Alexis Copello are also on the list.

Thus far, 32 Cuban athletes have attained the marks required by the
International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to
participate in the Beijing Olympic Games.

Three years ago in Athens, Cuban athletes won two Olympic titles, a silver and a bronze medal.


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