Cuban Athletics Champion Juan Miguel Echevarria Leaves the National Team

Juan Miguel Echevarría during the athletics men’s long jump qualifying rounds at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. (EFE /Juan Ignacio Roncoroni)

14ymedio biggerEFE/14ymedio, Havana, 18 June 2022 — The Cuban pole vault champions, Yarisley Silva, and long jump champions, Juan Miguel Echevarría, left the national teams of their respective disciplines, the Athletics Commission officially reported this Friday.

When presenting the 35th edition of the Barrientos Memorial this weekend, an event that traditionally brings together the most outstanding figures of Cuban athletics, the commissioner of the specialty, Yipsy Moreno, confirmed the absences of Silva and Echevarría.

Moreno said that the long jumper Echevarría will not compete in this event because “due to personal problems, he requested his withdrawal from the national team,” according to a report in the official sports newspaper Jit.

A silver medalist at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Echevarría, 23, is considered the most successful Cuban long jumper in recent times.

After suffering several injuries, Echevarría’s trainers had indicated that he was preparing for future competitions.

Regarding pole vaulter Yarisley Silva, 35, the commissioner reported that she “determined to put an end to her sports career.” However, Silva’s abandonment had already been made known at the beginning of April by the independent press.

“The issue is not what could happen with regards to sports with Yarita in the future, but that her reasons for her departure include her dissatisfaction with the way in which the Federation has carried out many logistical and other movements related to her and Navas [her coach Alexander Navas ],” said SwingCompleto journalist Yasel Porto.

“That is another personal decision, it is a sad moment that all world champions have to go through and it tears us apart, we recognize her athlete lineage and for us she will continue to be our warrior,” Moreno justified this time.

Silve has had an outstanding sports career with a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics, as well as outdoor and indoor world titles. She was also three times Pan American champion.

In March, she decided not to participate in the world indoor athletics championships in Serbia, because her pole vaults had not arrived on time.

“Why did I decide not to compete? Because, even if they looked for poles that were as similar as possible, they weren’t going to be mine. It was the third time this had happened to me,” Silva told the state publication Cubadebate.

She also said then that her goal was to “finish big” and that is why she did not want to say goodbye to athletics “below” her results, so she said she planned to participate in the next Central American and Caribbean Games.

The retirement of these outstanding figures of Cuban sports adds to a series of abandonments registered in recent months, mainly by young people in disciplines such as baseball, karate, wrestling, athletics and canoeing.


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