Olympic champion leaves official Cuban delegation in Mexico

Fernando Dayán Jorge Olympic champion in Tokyo 2020

Cuban canoeist Fernando Dayán Jorge, Olympic champion in Tokyo 2020, abandoned the official delegation with which he was traveling to Mexico to have a preparation base, the official sports weekly Jit reported Sunday.

The National Canoeing Commission (CNC), the newspaper said, criticized the athlete’s actions and stated that “this is a serious indiscipline that ruins years of intense work and aspects of the sport’s development strategy towards the Olympic cycles of Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028.”

According to the CNC officials, Jorge is “the fruit of the island’s sports education system and, in particular, of the profound work done at the national school of this discipline.”

With his decision “he has turned his back on the commitment to new results for his sport and his people,” the commission added.

Faced with the worsening economic crisis in Cuba and the scarce retribution to the practice of high performance sports, more and more athletes of various disciplines are leaving the island by any means in search of new horizons.

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The number of ruptures with the Cuban sports system and the departures from the country or the abandonment of delegations has increased in recent months with the reopening of international airports and the resumption of sports activities slowed down by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Along with Serguey Torres Madrigal, Jorge was crowned Olympic champion in the Japanese capital in August, breaking the competition record in the 1,000-meter tandem canoe (C2-1000).

Torres and Enriquez started last in the final competition and crossed the finish line ahead of all competitors with a time of three minutes, 24 seconds and 995 thousandths of a second.

They left behind on the podium the Chinese team (3:25.198) and the defending champions representing Germany (3:25.615).

The Cuban duo, winners of several world competitions, achieved with their performance in Tokyo Cuba’s best Olympic result in this sport discipline. 

Previously, Leobaldo Pereira and Ibrahim Rojas had won silver in Sydney 2000, while Ledys Frank Balceiro, in the 1,000 meters C1, won silver in the same Games and in Athens 2004.

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