Cuban javelin pair defects before the world championships

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) – Javelin thrower Yiselena Ballar Rojas has defected from the Cuban team for the 2022 World Championships, according to the island’s official media.

Play Off and Swing Completo, two portals that publish information about Latin American athletes in the United States, reported this week that Ballar Rojas left the delegation in Miami, which is a stopover for the Cuban delegation en route to Oregon.

Portal Jit, the official media of the National Institute of Sports and Physical Education of Cuba (INDER), confirmed the decision of Ballar Rojas when he condemned the move on Thursday night.

“Given her reprehensible attitude, turning her back on the commitment she made, we confirm the will to strengthen ourselves in the effort to fight for a result worthy of the nobility of the Cuban people, who will continue our work in the city. Eugene,” the post read.

Ballar Rojas was scheduled to compete in the javelin at the worlds. Her heat was scheduled for Wednesday.

Ballar Rojas won bronze at the U20 World Cup last year in Nairobi, Kenya. Also in 2021, she won a silver medal at the Junior Pan American Games in Colombia.

She was included in the Cuban expedition at the last moment after Yorgelis Rodríguez withdrew from the heptathlon due to a knee injury.

This month, the president of the Cuban Athletics Federation criticized athletes who drop out of Cuban sports teams when they travel abroad, a situation the communist country often faces.

“I feel sorry for them because they are changing their jersey for whatever financial reason,” said Alberto Juantorena, who won the 400-meter and 800-meter races at the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

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Ferdinand Medina

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