Cuba’s main track and field arsenal is in its jumpers, especially the triple jump
“Cubans have had lots of success in the triple jump lately, surprising everyone,” said Brazilian coach Nelio Moura, who has trained several world triple jump champions including Brazilians Maureen Maggy and Irving Saladino.
According to the local media, Moura has carefully observed the training of Cuban triple jumpers, especially Yargelis Savigne.
Cuba’s main track and field arsenal is in its jumpers, especially the triple jump, with seven men who have recorded jumps greater than 17 meters. This outstanding group is led by Alexis Copello, with a personal best of 17.69 meters and Yoandri Betanzos who jumped 17.65m at the Third ALBA Games.
David Giralt, fourth at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games has a jump of 17.62 meters; Yordanis Durañona, 17.28m; Héctor Dayron Fuentes, 17.15m; Osniel Tosca 17.12 m; and finally Osviel Hernandez, with 17.09 m.
In the women’s category, Yargelis Savigne started this season with a jump of 14.7 meters, Mabel Gay began with 14.50m, and Yarianna Martínez jumped 14.34m.
Other young female athletes with good results are world youth champion Daylenis Alcántara, 14.25m, and Yosleydis Ribalta with 13.94m. Daylenis is currently training to participate in the Central American and Caribbean Championship to be held July 3 to 5 in Havana.
In the ranks of young men is Ernesto Revé with a personal best of 16.41, the longest triple jump recorded in the under 18 category. Revé will participate at the IAAF World Youth Championships to be held from July 8 to 12 in Italy.
Cuba’s success is due in large part to its training staff like coach Sigfredo Banderas who promises good results from his athletes, Alexis Copello, Yordanis Durañona, Osniel Tosca and Héctor Dayron Fuentes, during the 12th World Championship to be held August 15-23 in Berlin.
Milán Matos is one of the master trainers for the long jump. Milan was the coach of Ivan Pedroso and now coaches Yargelis Savigne, along with Mabel Gay and Arianna Martinez.
Before the 1959 Triumph of the Revolution jumping events were almost unheard of in Cuba, but results started pouring in soon after. Why?
No one better to answer this question than Fernando Zerquera, head of jumping events with the National Track and Field Commission.
“Work and more work. Effort, discipline, and perseverance. The contribution of specialists from several countries of the socialist camp in the 1970s and 1980s was very important. At that time, high-level figures emerged like Pedro Pérez Dueñas, our first world record holder with a jump of 17.40 meters at the Pan American Games in Cali, Colombia,” says Zerquera, who also teaches at the Comandante Manuel Fajardo Higher Institute of Physical Education.
Cuba is also excelling in the high jump with Víctor Moya recuperating from a delicate operation, after being injured during the Central American and Caribbean Track and Field Championships held in Cali, Colombia, in July 2008.
Female high jumper Lesyani Mayor has jumped over 1.89 meters, and is the hopeful to take over the baton from Ioamnet Quintero and Silvia Costa.