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Canoeist Fernando Dayán: “An athlete must be ready when the time comes”

HAVANA, Cuba, Dec 30 (ACN) The young Cuban canoeist Fernando Dayán Jorge was ready at the right time, the reason that he still dreams of the Olympic title recently won in the two-seater canoe together with the experienced Serguey Torres in the Tokyo Games.

Their medal, the first in the Olympic Games for Cuban canoeing, was enough for both of them to earn the award for the Non-Individual Event among the best Cuban athletes of 2021.

“It had been a very difficult year because of the pandemic, and for a moment we lost motivation because the Olympics seemed a little far away. But we began to train every day until we officially knew that the Olympics would be held, so we set out to win a medal,” Dayán told ACN. “We both trained for a long time in Poland, where we spent every day trying to correct our slightest flaws in order to win a medal. An athlete must always be ready for when their moment comes.”

Dayán and Serguey knew that they had to do their best to be on the podium, since their rivals were very well prepared and came with good results in the four previous years, and so they had a perfect race, putting the extra in the final stretch and winning the gold medal that they wanted so much after they failed to get it in Rio 2016.

Dayán, 22, had words of praise for his veteran teammate, the 32-year-old Sergeuy Prado. “Besides being my competition partner, he has been a brother and a father. I started with him when I was 17, and he offered me his hand and his experience. He has always been with me, and I was able to improve myself with everything he has taught me. Now we have set our sights on Paris 2024, and one of our commitments is to keep this Olympic title,” he concluded.

Then it will be necessary to see how his veteran teammate and friend Serguey Torres, who has already participated in four Olympic Games and canoeing is a sport of too much physical preparation, arrives to 2024.

If not Serguey—whose shape by 2024, after four Olympic participations, remains to be seen—Fernando Dayán could train in the two-seater canoe with the young José Ramón Pelier, undoubtedly, the greatest talent of Cuban canoeing. But that will be the task of the coaches.

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