Hegemony in Central American and the Caribbean of the Cuban Discus
Cubans keep their hegemony in Central American and the Caribbean, because they only lost the gold medal in the Games of San Salvador-2002, where Cuba didn't attend for the lack of security for its delegation.
But in the continental event they were defeated in the Games of Winnipeg-1999 and Santo Domingo-2003, after eight crowns in a row starting from Cali-1971, event where the legendary Carmen Romero began her trilogy of Pan-American medals.
In the aforementioned Canadian city they didn't even climb onto the podium, dominated by the Brazilian Elisangela Adriano, while in the Dominican capital the veteran North American Aretha Hill-Thurmond, escorted by the Cuban Ana Elys Fernandez and Yania Ferrales. The latter even edged with the mark of 67 meters in several seasons and advance to finals in World Championships and the Olympic Games of Athens-2004, but she didn't win any medal.
In the Central American and the Caribbean Games of Cartagena de Indias-2006, Ferrales won the gold, perhaps her more important success, even before Barrios who began to rise.
In Rio-2007, Barrios recovered the Pan-American gold medal for Cuba, after sending the discus up to 61,72 m, one centimeter ahead of Ferrales and both surpassing the Brazilian Adriano in her own turf.
Barrios opened the season with a good mark of 63,24 m, but was not enough to win the impetuous Collado who went beyond the 63,86 m and transformed into her number one rival at home, because Ferrales announced her retirement when she is not yet 32 years old.
Once the international tour had begun through Brazil, Collado who hardly achieved 60 meters in 2008 and less than 57 in 2007, improved herself with a throw of 64,10 m, a register only surpassed so far in the year by the Chinese Aimin Song (64,83 m).
If Barrios and Collado qualitative ascent is worthy of praise, of 25 and 24 years, respectively, it's more stimulating the fact that the former juvenile Yuneimi Soria (she will turn 21 years next November) has already achieved this season the personal register of 60,04 m.
Cuba especially counts with the first two to win medals in the World Championship of Berlin next August and in the Annual World Final of Salonica, scheduled for the month following.
As main opponents remain several veterans like the German Franka Dietzsch (41 years old), the Romanian Nicoleta Grasu (38), the Russian Natalya Sadova (37), the Czech Vera Pospisilova-Cechlova (31) and the Chinese Song (31).
Grasu has recently defeated Collado and Barrios last weekend in the Grand Prix of Rio de Janeiro.
Three North Americans should be added: the Olympic medal winner in Beijing-2008 Stephanie Brown-Trafton (she turned 29 years last December), Suzanne Powell (33) and Becky Breisch (26).