More than a hundred athletes leave the island in 2023

The list of abandonments and desertions is headed by baseball, collectively, and the Olympic medalist discus thrower Denia Caballero, individually.

Denia Caballero (i) y béisbol (d) © Cubadebate
Denia Caballero (i) and baseball (d) Foto © Cubadebate

With the last dates of 2023 approaching to give way to a new year, it is prudent to recount the main events of these almost 365 days ago. Among them, it is worth reviewing the numbers of Cuban athletes who have left Cuba to go out to fulfill their dreams in other lands.

According to the digital portal Cubanet he maximum number of athletes who left Cuba was 103. In a list that includes prominent names in the Cuban sports elite such as the Olympic medalist Denia Caballero, who left the island's sports delegation that competed in the Meeting Provincial Council of Castellón, in Spain, to others less recognized but who formed the quarry that was forged in disciplines such as baseball, he hockey or the handball, just to name a few.

Another of the names that resonated during the year was that of bi-world boxing champion Yoenlis Hernandez, who left the delegation that returned to the Island after participating in the World Championship in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, last May.

A brief text of the Cuban Boxing Federation He noted that Hernández "declined to continue his trip to Havana" during a stopover in Panama, which "implies his break with the national team and with the competitive commitments made for this and future seasons."

A separate mention is deserved by the XIX Pan American Games held in Santiago de Chile in October. At the event, a total of 13 athletes left the Cuban delegation, motivated mainly by the lack of resources to practice their sports on the island and the lack of personal freedom, according to several members of the team. women's field hockey team.

In Santiago, sports like basketball, he field hockey, rowing and athletics, the latter with the bronze break in the 400 meters hurdles, Yoao Illas, contributed to the numbers that did not exclude the abandonment of the blind swimmer Yunerki Ortega Ponce at the Santiago 2023 Parapan American Games.

However, despite a large number of abandonments occurring in the Chilean capital, this was not the main place from which Cubans abandoned their commitments to the island. Mexico took first position (28), followed by Chile (16) and in third place France (10), although these countries do not necessarily represent the final destination of athletes.

On the other hand, as expected, baseball continued to lead the bleeding of figures with budding talents in the year that ends. With the loss of several of its best prospects, the future of this sport appears compromised for upcoming international events.

The migratory flow - which does not exclude coaches and other specialists linked to sports development - has been one of the determining factors in the decline of an athletic movement that came to be located, this year, in the fifth place by nation at the Pan American Games in Santiago, with several sports, once dominant, far below expectations, such as baseball and the volleyball.

In 2024 the Olympic event in Paris 2024 It is posed as another challenge on the horizon, to which we must see how many qualified athletes arrive.

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