Very early on, as at the end of April, the Cuban men’s softball team launched its nomination for the selection of the best team sport on the island this year.
There are still eight months left in which a superior performance in another discipline can occur, although the international competitive calendar is not long, let’s say, for us, but what happened from the 24th to the 30th of last month in the Argentine city of Paraná, where the islands achieved Antilles bronze medalist in the Pan American Championships, they raised the bar for expectations.
This third place has so many advantages that it is quite the equivalent of the title, at least many Cubans see it that way. Witness. First of all we must remember the genesis of the victory to understand the scale of what was achieved, since the group led by Leonardo Cardenas of Villa Clara practically relied on its training on a concentration for several months in Ciego de Ávila and hardly made a base of preparations in Colombia, between November and December of last year , Two clashes against the absolute and youthful Argentina national team.
In the bronze medal discussion, they beat one of the best teams in the world, the United States, fifth in the last world competition, which was held in the Czech Republic, and the owner of nine metals at the world fairs (five classes, one silver and three bronzes). That confrontation ended with a score of 11-5 and according to the GameChanger Classic, the attacking winners featured: Yessander Rodríguez of Santiago, 4-4 and four RBIs, and Avilanian Reinier Vera, 4-2 and also four pushes. .
The Cuban team, which had to contend with injuries to key players, including their ace on the hill, Avellanian Alain Roman (with two successes, including one against the Americans), finished with an overall score of 5-3, since in adding the smile to the brass, topped The group stage thanks to the victories over Guatemala, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic and Mexico, while the setbacks came in the Super League, in front of the locals (current world champions), and Canada (third place in third place). World Cup and medal in the last three editions) and the United States.
Cardenas, his coaching staff, and his students fulfilled the two purposes that led them to Paraná: to get one of the four contested cards for the upcoming global competition, from November 26 to December 4, 2022, in Auckland, New Zealand, and to return to the podium of this event, which Cuba has not occupied since 1998, when She triumphed for the crown in the version held in Venezuela, defeating the United States in the final.
The islanders also snatched stakes for the upcoming Pan American Games in Santiago de Chile, as well as the Central American and Caribbean Games in San Salvador, two events that will take place in 2023.
So far, the stadiums will be Argentina, Canada, Cuba, the United States, Australia, the Czech Republic, Denmark and South Africa in Rosedale Park in Auckland, for the second time. According to the WBSC website, the remaining teams will be two Asian qualifying teams and one overall card.