05 JUL 2009 General News Havana

12 Cubans to compete in World Youth Champs

Mabel Gay leaps out to World Junior women's gold (Getty Images)Mabel Gay leaps out to World Junior women's gold (Getty Images) © Copyright

Seven girls and five boys will represent the largest Cuban team ever at the 6th IAAF World Youth Championships in Bressanone, Italy, July 8-12.

The global event will mark the international debut for all of them, who hope to keep the successful tradition of the Island in this age category.

Ernesto Revé impresses with his 16.56 best in the Triple Jump and hopes to repeat the winning performance of four of his compatriots in previous World Youth Championships: Mabel Gay (1999), Dennis Fernández (Sherbrooke 2003), Héctor Dayron Fuentes (Marrakech 2005) and Dailenys Alcántara (Ostrava 2007).

Two others, World Championships medallists Yoandri Betanzos and David Giralt were second in Bydgoszcz'99 and Debrecen 2001, respectively.

"I am lucky to train and compete with some of the world's best. I look forward to the Championships, meeting athletes from all over the world and bringing joy to my country," said Revé.

In the throws, hopes lie on Lismania Muñoz (Javelin-53.70) and Arasay Morales (Discus-48.50).

On the track, three athletes will run the 800m: Armando Hernandez (1:48.87), Rosemary Almanza (2:03.81) and Dairina Sotolongo (2:06.68).

Other top hopes are Lázaro Aguerrido in the 110m Hurdles (13.52), Irisdaimi Herrera in the Long Jump (6.14), Deborah Collado in the 200m (23.45) and Norge Sotomayor in the 400m Hurdles (51.85).

In the combined events, Maylin Lam (5180) and Lázaro Romero (6110) will contest the Heptathlon and Octathlon, respectively.

Present in the five previous editions, Cuba boasts 23 medals in the 10-year history of the World Youth Championships: seven gold, nine silver and seven bronze.

The event has seen the emergence of some of the country's stars today, including 110m Hurdles World record holder and Olympic champion Dayron Robles (6th in Sherbrooke 2003), 2004 Olympic bronze medallist Yunaika Crawford (silver in 1999) and World Championships medallists Yoandri Betanzos and David Giralt.

The Cuban squad flew to Italy on July 3.

Javier Clavelo Robinson for the IAAF