CubaPLUS Magazine

Sporting greats in Latin America and the Caribbean

Sporting greats in Latin America and the Caribbean

Cuban wrestler Mijaín López, Venezuelan triple jumper Yulimar Rojas and Argentina’s soccer team were declared best in Latin America and the Caribbean in the 57th edition of the Annual Sports Survey organized by the Prensa Latina news agency.

The survey has been carried out since 1964 in the last two months of each year -with the exception of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic-, and this occasion saw participation from 103 media outlets from 20 countries in the region.

At 39, the king of the Greco-Roman super heavyweight category won his fourth gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, a medal he had also won in Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Río de Janeiro 2016.

Sporting greats in Latin America and the Caribbean

In this fruitful season, Mijaín López, today the only male Olympic tetra monarch, obtained the Outstanding Performance award in Tokyo 2020 from the Association of National Olympic Committees, and was selected Athlete of the Year in Cuba.

The stellar triple jump champion, young Yulimar Rojas, was crowned Best Athlete in Latin America and the Caribbean for 2021 in the women’s segment. Trained by former Cuban jumper Iván Pedroso, the Venezuelan, with a leap of 15.67 meters, broke the former record of 15.50 meters set by Ukrainian Inessa Kravets 26 years ago.

In addition, the double world titleholder also won the Diamond League, added the best indoor record in the specialty and finished among the finalists for the Best Female Athlete of 2021 award for World Athletics. In the men’s category, the second most voted was Argentine soccer player Lionel Messi, while in the women’s category it was Jamaican sprinter Elaine Thompson-Herah.

The Argentinian men’s soccer team stood out as champions of the Copa América 2021, after beating Brazil 1-0 in the final held at the emblematic Maracaná stadium in Río de Janeiro.

In the Latin American News Agency’s survey, the top male and female winners have historically been Jamaica’s Usain Bolt, with six awards (2008, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016), and Colombia’s Caterine Ibargüen, with five (2011, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018).

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