Cuban women’s boxing authorities announced this week that, for the first time, two Cuban boxers will compete in the Pre-Olympic in the discipline, seeking places for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
According to the head of women’s boxing coaches, Santiago Suárez, two women will be selected to attend the Pre-Olympic. Those with the most options are regional medalists Legnis Calá and Yakelín Stornell.
The boxers must travel to Germany on February 14 to set up a training base and travel to Italy, venue of the qualifying event, which will take place between February 29 and March 12.
The event will provide two places for Paris 2024 in the 57 kg and four in the 66 kg, the Calá and Stornell divisions, respectively.
In December 2022, the sports authorities of the Cuban regime gave their approval for women to study and practice, professionally, the discipline of boxing.
As revealed in a press conference, the Cuban Boxing Federation has given the green light to the high-performance practice of this sport, a request that has been launched for years and has always been rejected.
“Women’s boxing is approved in Cuba,” official journalist Angélica Arce announced on her social networks.
“We will recover what was lost. An in-depth study was conducted. We cannot allow ourselves to be constrained by time. Today is the day we are convinced, after all the investigations that have been done. This is a safe step, this is the moment and we will not take any risk,” the head of the Cuban Boxing Federation and national commissioner, Alberto Puig de la Barca, told the local press.
Before 1959 there were Cuban boxers fighting in the “professional arena”, such as Felicia “Fela” Mesa Zamá from Villa Clara. Nicknamed “Sagüera Panther”, the boxer was a sensation in the ring and defeated other Cuban fighters such as EladiaThondike, the “Ebony Goddess”, Gilda Melis and Silvia Hernández, among others.
But after the “Revolution” the communist officials suspended the practice of this discipline of women.