Cuba hopes to take 80 athletes to Tokyo

Havana - Cuba aspires to take at least 80 athletes to the 32nd Olympic Games in Tokyo, after the event was rescheduled for the summer of 2021 due to the new Coronavirus pandemic, explained Ariel Saínz, Vice President of the Cuban Institute of Sports.

Saínz described that it is likely that the number of registered Cuban competitors will exceed 100, taking into consideration that baseball and beach volleyball could potentially make the cut as well.

A total of 41 Cuban athletes have qualified so far, in eight sports: 14 in track and field, 12 in wrestling, five in shooting, four in canoeing, two in pentathlon and gymnastics each, and one in cycling and taekwondo, respectively.

That number, the official noted, is likely to increase once the judo ranking table is announced and the Olympic qualifying competitions in boxing and wrestling are completed. Cuba's wrestling is expected to add another three names to the list of competitors.

Efforts are being made to guarantee the best sanitary conditions for the return of athletes to their training. It is also the intention that they can retake the calendar of their competitions abroad as conditions allow, Saíz added.

The interruption of all sport activities in Cuba due to COVID-19 stopped the rhythm of training within many sport disciplines in which competitors that had qualified already.

However, all Cuban athletes looked for training alternatives in their homes to stay physically fit, and are now focused on getting back to the top of their game.

The remaining Olympic qualifying competitions are scheduled from February to June 2021, thus giving athletes some time to train harder in hopes of accomplishing their goals.

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