Cubana Almanza dresses in gold and secures Olympic ticket in Forbach, France.

With her fastest race of the season, Almanza, 31, surpassed the minimum mark required by World Athletics and increased the number of Cuban participants in Paris 2024 to 38.

Rose Mary Almanza © JIT
Rose Mary AlmanzaPhoto © JIT

The Cuban Rose Mary Almanza achieved her goals at the athletic meeting in Forbach, France, after crossing the finish line first in the 800-meter race and clocking a time of 1:58.89 minutes to secure her spot among the qualifiers for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

With his fastest race in the current outdoor season, 31-year-old Almanza surpassed the minimum mark (1:59.30) required by World Athletics and increased the number of Cuban participants in the multisport event to 38. The event will take place from July 26 to August 11.

In the competition in question, the Camagüey athlete crossed the finish line ahead of the British athlete Alexandra Bell (1:59.55), who won the silver, and the Cuban athlete Daily Cooper (1:59.93), who celebrated third place and continues to seek to certify her presence in the French capital.

Cuban athletics added more good news, as Roxana Gómez and Yoandys Lescay dominated the lap around the track among women and men, respectively, with times of 50.84 -her best result of the period- and 46.33 seconds.

Similarly, sprinter Shainer Rengifo (10.36) finished second in the hundred-meter race that left his compatriot Reynaldo Espinosa (10.58) in fifth place. Noa Bibi, from the Republic of Mauritius, was the fastest man and stopped the clocks at 10.33.

All this happened after the victory this Saturday of the Cuban triple jumper Leyanis Pérez in the fifth stop of the Diamond League, which took place in the U.S. city of Eugene, Oregon.

Pérez, a substitute at the Indoor Athletics World Championship held in Glasgow, Scotland, last March, stretched to 14.73 meters on his first attempt and defeated Thea Lafond (14.62, Dominica), the champion of said universal event, and Shanieka Ricketts (14.55, Jamaica), who placed second and third, respectively.

With the multi-award-winning wrestler Mijaín López as the standard-bearer, Cuba aspires to conquer five gold medals at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris and finish among the top 25 nations in the final standings.

Three years ago, in the Tokyo 2020 program, the Caribbean nation finished in fourteenth place, with an excellent haul of seven gold medals, three silver medals, and five bronze medals.

Four of the medals were achieved through their flagship sport: boxing. Andy Cruz, Arlen López, Julio César La Cruz, and Roniel Iglesias climbed to the top of the award podium.

Two more gold medals were achieved in Greco-Roman wrestling. The mentioned López made history by becoming a four-time Olympic champion, while Luis Orta surprised everyone, as he was not among the top favorites. Finally, Serguey Torres and Fernando Dayán Jorge celebrated the gold prize in speed canoeing.

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