Leinier Savón wins Cuba's first medal at the Tokyo Paralympic Games

The long jump obtained by Savón also constituted a Pan-American record

Leinier Savón © JIT
Leinier Savón Photo © JIT

This article is from 2 years ago

Leinier Savónwon the first medal for the Cuban delegation in theTokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, after winning a silver medal in the long jump event, category T12 (visual impairment), with a jump of 7.16 meters that also constituted a Pan-American record.

The double Paralympic champion of Rio de Janeiro 2016 (in 100 and200 meters planes) surpassed his personal best in the long jump three times this Monday in his first, fifth and sixth jump, with measurements of 6.92 meters, 7.01 m and 7.16 m, respectively.

"Every athlete wants more and I wanted gold, but giving Cuba the first medal makes me feel very happy," said the 32-year-old athlete in statements to JIT the 32-year-old man from Guantanamo.

"I knew I could go over seven meters and that would guarantee a medal. I stretched as far as I could and there is the result," he added.

"I had no idea that he had set a record for America. In my enjoyment I didn't realize it. That makes me doubly happy," concluded the 100 and 200 meter dash runner as well.

The gold medal was won by the Iranian Amir Khosravani, with 7.21m and the bronze went to the Azerbaijani Said Najafzade, with a jump of 7.03.

"The Iranian has good technique and better momentum. I think we will be opponents again in Paris, in the next Paralympic Games," commented Savón, who is now a triple Paralympic medalist.

Also Cuban, Ángel Jiménez, injured his right femoral muscle during the competition, in which he scored 6.25 meters, valid for ninth place among 10 participants.

Leinier finished eighth in the long jump in Rio de Janeiro 2016, with a mark of 6.74 meters and five years later he won silver. The opposite happened in the 100 meter dash, he was a two-time gold medalist in Rio and now he couldn't make it to the final.

On this same day the CubanLeonardo Díaz won the bronze medal in the discus throw of the F56 class; and javelinist Guillermo Varona ranked fourth among athletes classified F46.

Cuba participates in these XVI Paralympic Games with adelegation made up of 16 athletes who compete in athletics, weightlifting, judo, table tennis, cycling, shooting, and swimming. Globally, the Paralympics are made up of 4,400 competitors from 160 countries.

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