Yarelis Barrios – A
among the greats
YARELIS Barrios has always mustered
more than enough courage in the big competitive
moments of her career, gaining herself a spot on the
medal podium in World athletics competitions since
2007, despite not having set new personal records.
She is the first to acknowledge that
throwing the disc farther will enhance her chances
in any meet and, above all, will be necessary if she
hopes to become an Olympic champion.
To her great personal satisfaction,
and adding fuel to the rumors that her chances of
winning a title in London are good, the strong Pinar
del Río native, runner-up in Beijing ’08, shook up
the Cuba Athletics Cup competition, recently
concluded in Havana, with a throw of 67.90 meters,
one and a half meters farther than the 66.40 which
won her a second place finish in the Guadalajara Pan
Americans in October, 2011.
The throw made by the three-time
World medalist is especially significant given that
no other athlete has done as well over the last
seven years. It was a fitting response to German
Nadine Muller, who won the World championship in
Daegu, South Korea and just recently, March 18, made
her best throw this year of 68.89 meters.
There are 44 female disc-throwers
all-time who have thrown for more than 68 meters,
including five Cuban women, but there is only one
who has surpassed Muller and Barrios this century.
This is Irina Yatchenko (BLR) with a 69.14 meter
throw in 2004, whose greatest accomplishment was
winning the Paris World Championship of 2003. In
Beijing 2008, she came in number 11 and has not
competed since 2009, 44 years of age at that time.
The Villa Clara native Denia
Caballero, with a personal best of 65.60, came in
second in the Havana national competition with a
64.82 throw and expressed her confidence. The 22-year-old
made a good impression when she debuted alongside
Yarelis at the World Championship in Daegu and is
currently ranked fourth worldwide, behind Sandra
Perkovic (67.19) from Croatia.