Cuban Sport, Punches and Responses

Cuban Sport, Punches and Responses
Fecha de publicación: 
5 January 2024
Imagen principal: 

Cuban sport was hit hard in 2023 by two phenomena that are intertwined, the economic crisis and the escape of talent.

The first prevented many disciplines from even holding their national championships (much less thinking about international events), and that negative impact influenced the loss of athletes, which exceeded a hundred in the last 12 months.

Despite all this, Cuba met its competitive objectives in the two important events of the atypical year: the Central American and Caribbean Games in San Salvador and the Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile.

Without the places of preponderance that we once had in both contests, Cuban sports performed in accordance with their current level and with the shape of their rivals, even with an outstanding note in the Chilean competition, where expectations were exceeded.

In particular, Cuban wrestling stood out, the sport that gave Cuba the most titles and joys in these last 12 months, and at all levels.

The world titles of the Greco-Roman wrestlers Luis Orta (67 kilograms) and Gabriel Rosillo (97), in addition to the bronze Oscar Pino (130) in the planetary competition organized by Belgrade were the most outstanding, but also in the two multi-sport competitions, medals were achieved in all divisions of the three modalities.

On Salvadoran soil our wrestlers were close to win everything, winning 15 gold and three bronze medals, and in Chile they also topped the medal table, with eight gold medals, five silver, and three third places.

Judo also had a good year, which although it did not win medals in the World Cup, was very important both in San Salvador and Santiago de Chile.

Nine gold medals, three silver medals and two bronze medals were the contribution in the regional competition, and six gold and one bronze in the continental competition, marked by desertions that occurred just a few days before the event.

As a multi-sport event, there were also the Games of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA), which Venezuela managed to rescue after several years without being held, and where a young delegation had worthy performances.

In addition, in the campaign several athletes secured their qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

In total, Cuba already has 20 places secured for Paris 2024, and the goal is to reach a figure between 70 and 90 classified, which is the main objective to be met next year.

Individually, canoeist Yarisleidis Cirilo and Greco-Roman style wrestler Luis Orta took the most praise.

Cirilo confirmed herself among the world elite of his discipline with her gold in the C-1 200 meters at the World Championships, which gave her qualification for Paris 2024, and Orta repeated his world champion crown, to which he added the medals in San Salvador and Chile, the French Grand Prix and the Poddubny League, all this despite changing categories (he rose from 60 to 67 kilograms).


The pending issue for Cuban sports in 2023 was team sports, which closed the year with its worst result in the Pan American Games: not a single medal.

The year began in a happy way with the presentations of Team Asere in the World Baseball Classic, but that place among the big four was later overshadowed by mediocre performances in the other events.

The men's volleyball team was the other one that provided some optimism, but in its main competition, the Nations League, it barely managed to stay in the top category, and they still haven’t won their qualification for Paris 2024, the only team that can seek that.

Foreign hiring policies have paid off in almost all disciplines, but still in Cuba many miss the performances that ours exhibit in other Leagues.

The beach volleyball players Noslen Díaz and José Luis Alayo stood out, with very good performances throughout almost the entire year, but also still pending to certify their pass to the upcoming games.

Paris 2024 is just around the corner, and it’s where we will really check if the strategy of prioritizing some sports and individuals bears the expected results.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

Add new comment

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.