The Desertion of Cuban Athletes Continues, Now a Pentathlete and Three Rowers Escape

The three Cuban rowers are hoping to cross the US border. (Jit)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 17 November 2022 — The escape of athletes continues to fracture Cuban sports. This Thursday, the abandonment of the pentathlete Melissa Garlobo in Brazil, joined the Wednesday escape of rowers Ernier Tamayo, Alexei Carballosa and Nayala Torres in Mexico. According to journalist Francys Romero, the latter are close to “crossing Mexico’s border with the United States.”

So far this year “there are already 53 athletes of different specialties,” who take advantage of their stays abroad to end their sports relationship with the Island, the reporter said on his social networks.

Garlobo’s desertion occurred on October 28, just after finishing in 33rd place in the specialty tournament that took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In this contest Cuba won six places for the Pan American Games in Santiago 2023. The decision of the granmense was signaled as “a serious indiscipline,” said the official media Jit.

Melissa Garlobo, together with Diana Leyva and Delmis Pérez, won the bronze medal in August during the Pan American Modern Pentathlon Open Championship in Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic, thus guaranteeing their participation in the Central American and Caribbean Games San Salvador 2023.

In Mexico, this Wednesday three other rowers, Ernier Tamayo, Alexei Carballosa and Nayala Torres, took advantage of an oversight to sneak away and follow in the footsteps of Boris Luis Guerra, who on Sunday separated from the team of 15 Cubans who have been developing their training on the Virgilio Uribe Olympic track in view of the Central American and Caribbean Championship that will begin on November 23 in El Salvador.

In recent months, there have been defections of Cuban athletes from various disciplines: baseball, boxing, volleyball, Greco-Roman wrestling, handball and athletics. Official data in the last decade show that more than 800 athletes have left Cuba and take advantage of their stay abroad to separate from the delegations.

One of the most recent baseball defections was that of receiver John Andy Rodríguez, who left the Island for the Dominican Republic. Rodríguez had an outstanding performance in the Matanzas U-15 team “with eight matches in the last National [where he] achieved 38 innings and an average of .250 and a double,” Francys Romero stressed.

Carlos Yoel Amat, on the other hand, took a flight to Nicaragua. Born in Güira de Melena, in his last National Series he defended the Hunters team, averaging .375 in 48 games with 36 hits in 96 turns at bat. Amat’s intention is to reach the United States. Another of the players is the habanero José Enrique Aballí, who participated in Cuban youth teams and the National Under-23 Series.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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