Havana, Jan 18 (Prensa Latina) Former triple jumping stars, Willie Banks and Kenny Harrison, lead a U.S. athletics delegation visiting Cuba to offer clinics to coaches and athletes and initiate an exchange, Radio Havana Cuba reported on Friday.
The North American delegation already had a meeting on Thursday with the president of the Cuban Federation of the discipline (FCA), Alberto Juantorena, to specify details of the agenda in Cuba.
According to former athlete and FCA advisor Lázaro Betancourt, guidelines for future exchanges were also outlined and the US former jumpers expressed their satisfaction at being able to exchange with Cuban athletes and coaches, especially in the triple jump area, in which the Caribbean country is a world power.
In addition to Banks, former world record holder (17.97m), and Harrison, Olympic champion of Atlanta 1996 and one of the five athletes to overcome the 18m barrier with 18.09, the US delegation is made up of several coaches and young jumpers.
On the Cuban side, all the triple jumpers of the Cuban national team are included in the exchange -with the exception of young Jordan Díaz, who’s participating in an European tour- and the coaches Yoelbi Quesada and Juan Gualberto Nápoles.
The clinics -practical and theoretical- had their first day this Friday in the new track of the Pan American Stadium.
The members of the U.S. delegation praised several Cuban jumpers, among them the former world triple jumper, Pedro Pérez Dueñas (deceased last year), the universal high jump record holder Javier Sotomayor -present in the exchange- and Lázaro Betancourt Junior, one of the best triple jumper in the world during the 80s, last century.
Banks, 62 years old, is an influential figure in the U.S. Athletics Federation, where he holds a talent development position, and is nominated to serve on the International Association’s Executive Board of the discipline.
For his part, Harrison, a 53-year-old Atlanta-96 Olympian, is the third triple jumper in the all-time list and one of the five to break the 18-meter barrier (18.09).