BACK

 THE “BLACK PANTHER” IS BACK

The outstanding long jump specialist athlete who resigned from the Cuban team in 2022 to settle in Europe, has announced that he returns to high competition, and nothing less, under the supervision of coach Iván Pedroso. His goal: to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games representing Cuba.

Juan Miguel Echeverria was considered the most likely athlete in the world to beat Mike Powell’s long jump world record (8.95m) and overcome the mythical 9-meter barrier.

But, after competing after winning the 2019 Lima Pan American Games, obtaining the silver medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and achieving bronze at the 2021 Doha World Cup, he resigned from the Cuban team to go live in Europe. , completely distancing itself from high competition. A piece of news that had quite a stir in the media at that time since one of the great promises of world athletics abruptly put an end to his career.

However, this case had a turn this week, since the Cuban jumper published on his social networks his return to the court and no less than under the orders of the award-winning Cuban coach Iván Pedroso.

“I have fulfilled the dream of joining the team of the great Iván Pedroso. This would not be possible without all the work done by my previous coaches to whom I owe being here. Thank you for the journey together. And from today we will work for more dreams, the first achieve the mark required for the #Paris2024 Olympic Games, with the desire to compete and continue giving triumphs to #Cuba,” the Olympic medalist wrote on his Instagram account.

What do they say in Cuba? Juan Miguel Echeverría’s decision was viewed favorably from the Caribbean island.

According to the digital newspaper JIT, the vice president of the Cuban Athletics Federation, María Caridad Colón, indicated that “just as we respect his decision to try new paths, we applaud his willingness to return to our national team. We know his ability to deliver, and we know that with good concentration he can rediscover his best form, motivated by the desire to achieve the mark for the upcoming Olympic Games.”

“Given the lack of elements that disqualify him, his case would be added to the current reintegration policy for Cuban sports. We are also pleased that he projects his work alongside that glory of Cuba that is Iván Pedroso, and we will support from within our reach any step linked to his presence in Paris 2024,” stated national commissioner Rolando Charroo, who considered the position of the Tokyo 2020 silver.

Juan Miguel Echevarría, 25 years old, has not competed officially since 2021. His personal best is 8.68 meters achieved in 2018 in Germany, although his best record, which was not approved due to a tailwind of 3.3, is 8.92 meters.

Panam Sports wishes him the best of success in his return to training and we hope that he can achieve the long-awaited dream of qualifying for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games representing Cuba.

Iván Pedroso will be Juan Miguel Echevarría’s new coach for Paris 2024.