Made up of eight athletes, three women and five men, the Cuban female judo fighters arrive at this multisport event with the aspiration of reaching the medal podium in most of the divisions in which they will compete.
Ibis Dueñas, former judoka and current coach of the women’s team, told Prensa Latina that her disciples Dainelis Calunga (57 kg), Arianna de la Caridad Echevarria (70 kg) and Sheyla Hernandez (+70 kg) are in very good physical and technical condition, focused on reaching medals in their respective weights.
Sheyla, who is deeply weak visual (J-2 category) is the most experienced of the trio and is expected to reach the medals without setbacks, despite the fact that almost all her rivals have much higher body weight than her, says the Cuban trainer.
However, Dueñas adds, the battle will be more tense and difficult in the other two divisions in which we will compete.
In the case of Dainelis (also a J-2 athlete), it is one of the most crowded divisions of the tournament, with many rivals of very good technical and tactical level; while Arianna, a totally blind athlete (J-1), will face the challenge of having rivals of similar condition to her as well as visually impaired athletes, that is, athletes with some degree of vision.
It is worth mentioning that for this multi-sport paralympic edition, in the case of judo, it was decided that both categories (J-1 and J-2) will compete together, due to the low registration of competitors in most of the divisions or weights.