It’s Erislandy’s Time

It’s Erislandy’s Time
Fecha de publicación: 
24 February 2024
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If I’m honest, I did not think Lázaro Álvarez would lose the chance of being included in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in the first world qualifying tournament that will take place in March 4-11 in Italy.

The inestimable weight of experience tipped the balance in his favor, and it even seemed to me that the technical group agreed with that criterion, but the philosophy of the Cuban Boxing School is precisely that no one has a position for sure and the one showing best performances will go to international events.

The three-time world champion faced health problems and did not enter the ring in the 60 edition of the Playa Girón National Tournament last month, and there his great rival, the current world runner-up Erislandy Álvarez, was crowned.

During 2023, they alternated ownership in the 63.5 kilogram division, the one with the greatest domestic struggle to define our representative in the pre-Olympic.

Erislandy started 2023 very well with his silver at the World Championships in Tashkent, but failed at the Central American and Caribbean Games in San Salvador, and Lazarito looked immense before the Pan American Games, but was also left off the podium there.

However, in the professional field they come from different realities, since the young man from Cienfuegos recently added his third success, against one of the most demanding rivals Cubans have faced so far, while the man from Pinar del Río closed 2023 down, because then after losing in Santiago he also lost to Russian Albert Batyrgaziev, and lost the chance to be the first Cuban with a professional world belt in his possession.

Erislandy knows that he now holds all the cards and he cannot let the opportunity slip by, because if he fails it will be difficult for him to go to the second pre-Olympic.

He has to show that usual drive and dominate each opponent on the rink to win his presence in Paris, reserved for the four best in each category.

He means that his goal in Busto Arzizio is to reach at least the semi-finals, to stand out among the 300 men and 200 women who will compete in Italy.

Regarding the rivals, it’s still unknown who will take part in the competition, because each country evaluates its men until the last minute, and it may even be the case that someone gives up a place due to a severe injury and appears in a weight in which they already had the quota won.

In the case of Erislandy, I think he won’t have bigger problems to access semi-finals due to his quality, but the draw defines a lot, because a difficult rival in the first presentations can get them off the road early.

It's his time and he knows it, so he has to give his all on the rink to fulfill his dream of being in Paris, something perhaps unthinkable 12 months ago.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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