Belgrade World Cup and Cuba Cup: Athletic Views with a Cool Head

Belgrade World Cup and Cuba Cup: Athletic Views with a Cool Head
Fecha de publicación: 
25 March 2022
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There are still warm aftermaths of the recently finished World Athletics Indoor Championship in Belgrade. How not to if some of the results fall into the realm of the unsuspected. Yes, I am referring to the limitless, galactic and whatever adjective can be placed on the Venezuelan triple jumper Yulimar Rojas and the Swedish pole vaulter Mondo Duplantis.

And it is that their respective records of 15.74 and 6.20 meters seem from another dimension. Imagine that the prodigal disciple of the legendary Iván Pedroso went one meter further from the Ukrainian Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk (14.74). One meter in a triple jump final! Something totally unlikely, as well as the fact that any jump in her sequence could have won the medal (15.19-X-15.04-X-15.36-15.74).

Yulimar is a huge mix of physique, power, technique that has been refined with each new competition... feline ambition. That is why the questioning with her, beyond gold medals as her favorites, lies the question whether she will be able to reach or exceed the stratospheric barrier of 16 meters. With the flexibility she runs, takes off on the board, alternates jumps and devours the sand in the tank… the question is reasonable.

Here the constant Liadagmis Povea deserves a line. Because of the fact that in addition to repeating her fifth place in Tokyo in an event with strong competitors, and continuing the power of the Cuban triple jump school, patented by the gold and silver medals of Lázaro Martínez (17.64) and Pedro Pablo Pichardo (17.46) among men, had another stable sequence, solid over 14 meters, (14.16-14.37-14.22-14.43-14.45-14.15). Unquestionably being our best exponent among women.

Mondo has also won his stardom. His 6.19 meters were still smoking when the Swedish prodigy, knowing he was the titleholder with 6.05 meters, went looking for the clouds once again. And... the 6.20 meters, in his third attempt and with the complicity of the rod make us think that he was born at a space station, toying with "weightlessness". Imagine that his sequence did not have any fouls until those theoretically unattainable 6.20 meters and he even gave up the heights 5.90 and 6.00 meters. Well the 22-year-old Swedish boy with his childish face will surely make history.

Ethiopia and the Long-distance Runs

The World Cup event in Belgrade left many messages. The first and one of the most notorious is the fact that Ethiopia, with only long-distance runners (4-3-2), beat the United States (3-7-9) in the final table of medals. Where was the gap? Speed events. Incredibly, the Americans lost in the 60-meter race and in 400 in both sexes. On top of that they didn’t win any medal in the 4x400 events.

The vie for hegemony in the speed area, apparently is no longer exclusively with the Jamaicans (1-0-2), who this time only celebrated the gold medal of their women 4x400 (3 :28.40); but on the next level we must put the name of Marcel Jacobs (ITA-6.41 seconds) who established the European top and annual leading record. Of course, in photo finish ahead of the reappeared Christian Coleman.

Trinidadian Jereem Richards (45.00) also played the role of “dream snatcher” in the 400 and double lap in indoor circuits, a time that became a record for the championship and for his country, in addition to being valid to win by an inch to the American Trevor Bassitt (45.05-personal record); and the long and very tough team from Belgium (3:06.52 campaign leaders).

Meanwhile, among women, the Swiss Mujinga Kambundji (6.96 seconds) made a time that put her fourth in history, in a list led by the Russian Irina Privalova (6.92). in addition to "destroying" the American Mikiah Brisco’s, personal best of 6.99. The Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Uibo is not so surprising. Apparently the 400 meters in any competition must count on her, and now she won again (50.31), to incidentally dilute the golden dreams of the solid Dutch Femke Bol (50.57).

And if we are talking about dreams snatched from Americans, we must mention the nightmare in which the Brazilian shotput athlete Darlan Romani (22.53 meters) became, for Ryan, the not so unstoppable “cowboy” Crouser (22.44). The Brazilian practically worked a miracle, and with a sequence that included shots of (21.74-21.79-22.53-21.31-X-22.18) he won the gold medal, with a record for the championship included to Crouser (22.44-21.55-21.86-22.32-X-21.93). What a head to head competition! Here too the extremely dangerous New Zealander Tomas Walsh (22.31-bronze and top for Oceania) deserves a note.

Come backs were trendy at the Stark Arena in Belgrade, and the Ethiopian Samuel Tefera, who since Tokyo and even earlier, had a Norwegian thorn named Jakob Ingebrigtsen in the side. In a highly tactical race, the African gave the Nordic a head start, to open the "nitro" on the last lap and defeat him with record for these competitions of 3:32.77. His rival finished second Nothing, that the irreverent beardless man was second with a time of (3:33.02).

Features for the Records

With the presence of 612 athletes from 129 countries, the Belgrade World Cup, in addition to gathering approximately 20,000 spectators in the three days of competition, according to World Athletics estimates, left several issues for the books.

Three absolute world records were set by Yulimar Rojas (VEN-triple jump with 15.74m); Grant Holloway (USA-60m hurdles, 7.29 seconds); and Mondo Duplantis (SWE-pole vault 6.20m). To which were added seven primacies for the World Indoor Championships; 17 primacies for a certain geographic area, and 72 national records. Very favorable environment after four years without holding this competition.

Twenty countries won medals, and in terms of brutality, Holloway extended his unbeatable chain of consecutive races to 56, this time equaling his universal record of 7.29 seconds in the semifinals. Ethiopia took over the medal table by country for the first time in this type of event and if it’s the first time, South Korea and Trinidad and Tobago were proclaimed world champions for the first time in indoor track (Woo Sanghyeok in men's high jump (2.34 meters), and Jereem Richards in the men's 400-meter sprint).

As well as Uganda and South Korea itself winning their first indoor world medals (Halimah Nakaayi with bronze in the women's 800m and Woo Sanghyeok with gold in the men's high jump).

The Good Stuff at Home

But if most of the athletic eyes were looking towards the Stark Arena in Belgrade, here at home the Cuba Cup, which could well not have coincided with the World Cup, raised interest, with some notable records, despite the fact that the domestic rivalry in terms of effort, it doesn’t behave the same in all events.

Thus the sprinter Shainer Reginfo took his personal bests in 100 and 200 meters to 10.11 and 20.54 seconds respectively. This little boy, without that traditional sprinter's physique, surprises with his explosiveness and progressive speed.

Also hopeful were Leonardo Castillo's 46.39 in 400, practically two seconds ahead of José Luis Gaspar (48.26); and the 18.28 meters of the hurdle racer Juan Carley Vázquez, personal record and another step, in terms of progression. Progress, perseverance, and patience, adjectives that fit perfectly in the winner Yasmani Fernández hammer thrower with 73.92 meters and who days ago took his personal record to 75.30 meters, ending thirteenth in the annual list. In order to be a finalist in a great event, you have to throw near the 80 meters.

That was among men, because among women the 1:58.60 minutes of Rose Mary Almanza stood out in the 800 m; as well as the 13.06 seconds of the short hurdler Greisy Robles; Davisleydi Velasco's 14.22 meters in the triple jump; and the 64.02 of Yaimé Pérez, in disc throwing.

Thus, my friends, we are surprised by the epilogue of this athletic long-distance race, between times, records, and results.

You can access everything that happened at the World Cup in Belgrade through the following links:

Meanwhile, those at home, thanks to Cuban Athletics Federation statistic man, Alfredo Sanchez, and our good colleague Raúl Rodríguez, we leave some statistics below.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff


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