The javelin thrower Yiselena Ballar Rojas defected from the Cuban delegation that was traveling to participate in the World Championships in Athletics, confirmed official media on the island.
The Playoff and Complete Swing portals, which publish information on Latin American athletes in the United States, had reported this week that Ballar Rojas left the delegation in Miami, where a connection would be made with the flight that would transport Cuban athletes and leaders to Eugene, Oregon. The World Cup began in that city this Friday.
The Cuban delegation at the World Cup has not reported directly on the event. However, the sports portal Jit, official media of the National Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation of Cuba (INDER), published a note on Thursday night in which it tacitly confirmed the desertion, condemning Ballar Rojas’ decision.
As of Thursday night, the official World Cup statistics site in Eugene listed Ballar as an athlete entered for the javelin throw, whose heat is scheduled for Wednesday.
Ballar Rojas won the bronze medal at the U20 World Cup that took place last year in Nairobi, Kenya. Also in 2021, she obtained a silver at the Junior Pan American Games that were held in Cali.
He was included at the last minute in the Cuban delegation, which has now been reduced to 14 members, after the injury suffered by the heptathlonist Yorgelis Rodríguez.
This month, the president of the Cuban Athletics Federation had spoken out against athletes who desert Cuban teams when they travel abroad.
“I feel sorry for them, because they change their jersey for any monetary reason,” said Juantorena, legendary Olympic champion in the 400 and 800 meter dash in Montreal 1976.
Last month, the world champion and Olympic runner-up in the long jump, Juan Miguel Echevarría, had requested the withdrawal of the Cuban athletics team.
“Juan Miguel Echevarría ha solicitado la baja del equipo nacional por problemas personales. Respetamos su decisión porque detrás de cada atleta hay un ser humano y reiteramos que las puertas siguen abiertas para un atleta que respetamos y admiramos”, informó la comisionada nacional Yipsi Moreno, citada por el portal Deporcuba.
De 23 años y campeón mundial indoor en Birmingham (2018), Echevarría no compite desde los Juegos Olímpicos de Tokio 2020, donde acarició el título, pero en el último salto el griego Tentoglou lo superó y una lesión le impidió responder quedando en plata.
Luego de saltar a la fama en 2018 al llevarse la corona mundial indoor y fijar su marca personal en 8,68m, Echevarría rozó la barrera de los 9 metros (8,92m, con viento a favor) al año siguiente y se robó los reflectores de la familia del atletismo.
That same year he won bronze at the World Cup in Qatar, the title at the Pan American Games in Lima and took first place in several stops in the Diamond League.