Plus: Messi’s hat trick, fisty-cuffs in the UFC and FIFA-gate claims more victims.
Team Cuba is fired up and ready to go to the Olympic Games in Rio this August, with a total of 58 athletes qualified for nine different disciplines.
The 42 men and 16 women, will compete mostly in track and field events, but also volleyball, boxing, modern pentathlon and gymnastics, among others.
The number of Cubans qualified for the competition could increase in the next months with further preliminary events.
In London 2012, Cuba came 16th out of 204 nations, the highest out of any Latin American nation, an extraordinary feat for an island with a population of 11 million.
“Cuba has a very particular characteristic, being a small country it is an Olympic power thanks to our sport. It is the only country that is distinguished as a sports management model different from other countries, where commercialization dominates,” said Cuban sports chief Rene Romero Esquivel.
Another Hat Trick for Messi
Barca now top La Liga with an eight-point lead after the Catalans trashed Rayo Vallecano 5-1 on Thursday, including a hat trick for Leo Messi.
The mind-blowing Argentine has scored 20 goals in 16 games this year.
Ultimate Fighting Championship featherweight champion nearly came to blows with opponent Nate Diaz — 48 hours before the pair are set to fight in Las Vegas.
As the pair faced off at the MGM Grand, with the Irishman clad in a dapper plaid suit, the traditional squaring up nearly turned into a full scale brawl and the two had to be pulled away from each other.
FIFA-Gate Boils on in Ecuador
The former treasurer and accountant of the Ecuadorean Football Federation have been detained over their role in a massive corruption scandal rocking the entire soccer world.
Ecuadorean state prosecutors say that the pair “are linked” to the asset laundering case which has seen the prosecution of suspended FEF chief, Luis Chiriboga.