HAVANA, Cuba, Dec 20 (ACN) Canoeing closed 2021 with outstanding performances at the Tokyo Olympic Games, the Copenhagen World Championships and the Junior Pan American Games in Cali, enough to rank among Cuba's best sports.
In Tokyo, Serguei Torres and Fernando Dayán Jorge won the gold medal in C2 1,000 m canoe double, and shortly after, finished third in the Danish event. It was Cuban canoeing’s fourth Olympic medal, since Ledi Frank Balceiro (C-1 1,000 m) and the Ibrahin Rojas-Leobaldo Pereira (C-2 1,000 m) were second in Sydney 2000, a medal that Balceiro and Ibrahin Rojas repeated in , Athens 2004 in the C-2 500 m race.
Cuba’s harvest included the silver and bronze medals of Yarisleidis Cirilo and Katherin Nuevo, in the C2 200 and 500 m, respectively.
Another good performance there was that of José Ramón Pelier, seventh in the C1 1,000 m final A, a modality which he won in the final B of Tokyo, where Cirilo and Nuevo ended up sixth in the final A of Tokyo to become Cuba’s first women canoeists to earn a medal at the world level.
The continental competition for Juniors also produced gold medals: Nuevo, in the C1 200 m and Pelier in the C1 1,000 m, in addition to kayaker Reinier Carrera’s bronze in K1 1,000 m single sculls.
The results of the annual survey of the National Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation (INDER) and the Cuban sports journalists hailed the Torres-Jorge duo as the best in the non-individual event category, and the two among the top 10, as well as Cirilo, who was the best rookie.
The voting for the best Cuban juniors of 2021 has not yet taken place, but canoeing will surely outstand as much as in the senior events.
Undoubtedly, an outstanding performance of Cuban rowers—canoeists and kayakers—with a view to the Central American and Caribbean Games in San Salvador, the 2023 Pan American Games in Chile, and the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.