Two Cuban Wrestlers Are the First To Escape This Year in a Competition in Mexico

Susana Martínez and Santiago Hernández left the Cuban team in Acapulco (Guerrero). (Facebook)

14ymedio bigger 14ymedio, Mexico, 19 February 2024 — In just three days, two members of the Cuban wrestling team, Susana Martínez and Santiago Hernández, abandoned the team training in Acapulco, Mexico. These are the first two escapes of Cuban athletes so far this year, which numbered 77 in 2023.

Martínez and Hernández escaped just before the start of the Pan American Senior 2024 Championship, scheduled from February 21 to 25, and the Pan American Olympic Qualifier to Paris 2024, from March 1 to 3.

Martínez, according to coach Daniel Gómez on the Facebook page La Lucha (Wrestling), traveled to Mexico to support the training of Cuban athletes Yusneylis Guzmán (in the 100 lb category), Laura Herin (117 lb), Ángela Álvarez (126 lb), María Santana (137 lb) and Brenda Sterling (150 lb).

Gómez did not give details about Martínez, 23, beyond the fact that she fled on February 16. Her best result was in 2021, when she won a fifth place in the Pan American Cadet and Junior tournament, according to Cubalite.

So far there has been no pronouncement in the official Cuban press about the escape of the athletes

Roly Dámaso, who closely follows both tournaments, confirmed on Monday the escape of Santiago Hernández. “He didn’t even wait for the luggage to arrive and just went on the run,” he said. The athlete was part of the Cuban team that will participate in the 119 lb category in the 2024 Pan American Senior Championship.

“This abandonment of the wrestling delegation to the Pan American Championship is a hard blow to the aspirations to qualify in the 126 lb division for the Olympic Games,” said Daniel Gómez. “Cuba must participate in this division in the Pan American Championship to be entitled to participate in the Pan American Qualifier for the Olympic Games.”

So far there has been no pronouncement in the official Cuban press about the escape of the athletes, the first this year to abandon a national delegation.

In September of last year, the Island lost Hangelen Llanes, gold medalist at the XXIV Central American and Caribbean Games, in the 150 lb category. This competitor left the team training in Paris before traveling to Serbia.

Before Llanes, Yoannia Pérez and Liliana Duane, members of the wrestling team, fled during an international event. Last March, it was Roly Dámaso who spread the news of the desertion of both athletes during a stopover in Mexico. “In a few years, Cuba will be a country without young people. They are tired of all the socialism and the promises that never came true,” Dámaso added.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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