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Top 5 Cuban Coaches to Attend 2015 Toronto Panamerican Games

Top 5 Cuban Coaches to Attend 2015 Toronto Panamerican Games

Posted by Miguel Ernesto on March 06, 2015

Most of the time they don’t make the headlines on the media. Sometimes, they are not even hugged by their pupils after the victory. Coaches’ work might seem to be thankless, even anonymous; but they undoubtedly play a leading role in the success or failure of athletes. Cuba is set to take its best delegation to the 2015 Toronto Panamerican Games in an effort to reach its main goal: holding its second position on the medal table. Who are going to be the most outstanding coaches at the event? Panamerican World brings you information on five names that, either in individual or collective disciplines, have made history.

Ronaldo Veitía, Judo, 68 years old

With over 250 pounds of weight, combined with a strict personality and the continuous victories of the judokas he has trained, Veitía stands out as one of the most successful Cuban trainers of all times. His knowledge on this sport is encyclopedic. Over the past 25 years, Cuba has had five Olympic champions (Odalis Revé, Legna Verdecia, Driulis González, Sibelis Veranes, Idalys Ortiz), who have been guided by professor Veitía. In the Guadalajara Panamerican Games, his pupils won five titles. They are looking forward to repeating that performance in Toronto this year.

Rolando Acebal, Boxing, 57 years old

Boxing is described as the “flagship” Cuban sport. It has given the highest number of medals (67) in Olympic Games and it has also prevailed in Panamerican Games. During the past edition, Cuban boxers conquered 8 out of 10 titles. Standing near that figure is the aim of the team that has been coached since 2010 by Rolando Acebal, a veteran sportsman that was labeled the most outstanding trainer of the 4th Boxing World Series in 2014, and continues applying the principles of such masters as Alcides Sagarra and Sarbelio Fuentes.

Víctor Mesa, Baseball, 55 years old

Guadalajara marked the first time in forty years that Cuban baseball didn’t climb to the top of the Panamerican podium. Reconquering the highest position will be the main objective of the team led by Víctor Mesa, one of the finest center fielders in the history of national baseball. He has become a polemic, but successful manager. Due to his extrovert personality, restless movement and usual arguments with umpires, the media pays significant attention to Mesa. “Wild Víctor” is unlikely to keep his blood cold.

Pedro Val, Greco-Roman Wrestling, 63 years old

Four years ago, Cuban Greco-Roman Wrestling won six out of seven titles during the Panamerican Games. Are Cuban wrestlers going to repeat those numbers in Toronto? It seems hard. However, prize-winning coach Pedro Val trusts his pupils to prevail in the Canadian city. The veteran coach joined the Cuban team in 1975 and he has been in charge of training Olympic champions Héctor Milián, Filiberto Azcuy and Mijaín López. There are just a few people that know Greco-Roman wrestling as well as this man does, who was named best trainer of the world in this discipline, 2010. 

Alexandre Navas, Jump Disciplines, 43 years old

He is the youngest trainer on Panamerican World’s list, but Alexandre Navas has undoubtedly won the position because of the excellent work in jump disciplines of Cuban athletics. Navas trains Olympic medalist and Panamerican record-holder Yarisley Silva (pole vault), who is the favorite to be on the podium in Toronto. 

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