ONE training session more, one day
less. This is the routine being followed by the
Cuban juvenile men’s Judo team as the young athletes
prepare for the World (under 20) Championship. The
event set for October 23-27, in Slovenia’s capital
city, is drawing close.
With no time to spare, the five team
members are ‘sharpening’ their skills under the
watchful eye of coach José Ibáñez, in the Cerro
Pelado High Performance Athletes’ Training School in
Havana: Magdiel Estrada (73 kg), Iván Silva (81kg),
Alex García (100kg), Onier Blanco (100kg) and
Norlandis Soler (+100kg).
They haven’t missed a beat, although
repairs underway on the gymnasium meant they were
forced to first relocate to the adjoining basketball
court, then to Ciego de Ávila, and finally to the
site where the women’s team is practicing.
What has been most important to
their training, however, has been the rigor,
according to Magdiel, who barely slowed down to take
a breath after returning from the adult World
competition in Río de Janeiro, where he registered
Another team member with
international experience is Silva, from Matanzas,
who competed in the Cadet championship (under 18) in
Miami. However, the true veteran on the team is Alex
García, also from Matanzas, who has participated in
two World Juvenile Championships (Paris 2009 and
Agadir 2010), one Cadet and the Singapore Juvenile
"To change divisions for this
competition, I had to lose 10 kilos in a month, so
at first I felt tired, but I’m getting close to the
weight now and hope to have good results," he said.
Coincidentally, it was precisely in
this category (100kg) that during the last
championship in Capetown, South Africa, Cuban José
Alexis Armenteros won a gold medal, as these young
judokas all dream of doing.
MASTER CLASS ON THE MAT... IN
October 20-26 legendary coach Justo
Noda will offer a seminar for the heads of high
performance school faculties from around the country
in Holguin, to address new trends in Judo
"Everyone must wear a judogi,"
Noda said, "Because above all it will be a practical
course." Not to teach how to throw an osoto gari
or a uchi mata, but how to take these moves
to a real fight, since as he said, Judo today is
"more dynamic, more tactical."
"And this is something we want to
emphasize, because those of us in the schools teach
our people how to fight and what we need are people
who think more while fighting," he added.
He will be joined by champions
Yordanis Arencibia and Asley González so that
trainers at the basic level can interact with these
successful athletes, in addition to statistically
analyzing the techniques most used during the
Olympics and World Championships since Athens 2004.
Training plans, rule changes and other issues of
interest will also be addressed.