Cuba’s Best of 2017 Pole Vaulter Silva and Boxer La Cruz
By Silvia Mayra Gómez Fariñas
Pole Vaulter Yarisley Silva and boxer Julio César La Cruz were voted best Cuban athletes in 2017. They were chosen through votes cast by representatives of the National Sports Institute, sports media and the Young Communist League. Cuban sports awards 2017: Best Team: Tamers of Cuba (Boxing) - Won Hamburg World Championships and Pan American Tournament, and placed second in the World Boxing Series. Most Outstanding Team Sport: Volleyball Cuban volleyball players won the silver medal at the Under 21 World Championships and the bronze at the Under 23; Cuban volleyball teams also qualified for the World Cup 2018 and finished nine at the Beach Volleyball World Tour. Most Outstanding Individual Sport: Boxing Best Female Athlete, Individual Sports: Yarisley Silva (Athletics) - bronze at London World Championships; a gold, a silver and a bronze at the Diamond League, and other relevant performances. Best Male Athlete, Individual Sports: Julio César La Cruz (Boxing) - clinched his fourth world title and won five fights at the 7th World Series to help Cuba finish second. Ranks first in the 81kg division. Pan American and Cuban champion. Best Female Athlete, Team Sports: Lidiannys Echevarría (Beach Volleyball) - Finished ninth at the Verna World Championship, won two gold medals and two silver at the Norceca circuit.
Best Male Athlete, Team Sports: Alfredo Despaigne (Baseball) - Home run leader at the Japanese Professional League, where he set a personal record in runs batted in, with further outstanding performances at the World Baseball Classic and the Caribbean Series. Rookie of the Year: Andy Cruz (Boxing).