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Anisley García, Laydel Domínguez Cervantes, Carlos Daniel Ramos and Luis Gustavo Cañabate came together for a historic performance not only for diving, but for all Cuban sport. Although they did not start as favorites, they united their strengths and will, giving the Island its first gold medal in the Junior Pan American Games Cali 2021.
The Cubans dominated the mixed team event, a novel event that is not part of the Olympic program and includes eight rounds of jumping in both trampoline and platform, in the individual and synchronized modalities. In the event, the Cubans accumulated 471.2 units to narrowly beat the Mexican squad (468.35), who were the overwhelming favorites to win the title after their fourth place finish at the World Championship of the category.
The United States finished in third place, far behind the first places with a total of 417.1. Other nations favored for the podium, such as Canada and Brazil, finished in fourth and fifth place respectively.
Cuba opened with the duo of Anisley Garcia and Carlos Daniel Ramos in the synchronized platform, but only managed to close that round tied for seventh place among the eight competing teams.
From that point on, the Cubans began to raise their scores and thus move up in the standings. Thus, Anisley herself finished the second round tied for the best jump, while in the following round Laydel Domínguez was the best on the springboard.
The fourth round saw again Anisley and her closing with a score only lower than Mexico. In the fifth round Laydel was the most outstanding on the springboard, in the sixth round Anisley finished third, while Luis Cañabate secured the medals during the seventh rotation with the best jump.
In the eighth and last attempt, Laydel and Anisley combined their talents in the synchronized springboard and consolidated the gold with another top score among all the competitors.
"Anisley García gives statement to #Jit after winning gold medal with Cuba's mixed team at Cali 2021 diving."
In that stability lay precisely Cuba's main strength to win the gold medal. While other teams suffered from failures in some of the eight rounds, the four Cubans maintained their strong performances.
"We feel very happy. It wasn't just me but a whole team and now we saw the result. In the scoring we all counted and a failure of someone could affect the result, but we did not think about that," assured to Jit the star Anisley Garcia.
For his part, Luis Gustabo Cañabate told Cubadebate that he felt everything was fast, "but we did what we know with everyone's effort."
"We feel super proud. We could not believe that after such a short amount of time to train we'd win this event," he added.
The men's 3-meter springboard event, also with Cuban participation, is scheduled for Friday.