HAVANA, CUBA.- Cyclist Yumari Gonzalez, triple jumper Yargelis Savigne and wrestler Mijail Lopez received their awards on Thursday as the best Cuban athletes in 2009.
In a ceremony at the Revolution Museum in Havana, the three current world champions in their respective specialties were presented with the trophies by Jose Ramon Fernandez, vice president of the Council of Ministers and head of the Cuban Olympic Committee (COC).
The two-time world champion, Gonzalez, read an athletes' commitment to the Revolution, which upheld the rejection of the Cuban sports movement to the arbitrary inclusion of Cuba by the U.S. government in the list of nations sponsoring terrorism.
Meanwhile, Lopez, told CAN news agency that he is quite recovered from the surgery of his right elbow and he feels motivated to give more relevant results to the Cuban people.
Despite this being his fourth time winning this award, the Beijing Olympic gold medalist said it still feels great (to deserve it) because there has been so many years of training and sacrifice to reach this moment and to enjoy it.
At the beginning of the ceremony, Savigne, the judokas Oscar Braison and Yanet Bermoy and the volleyball player and rookie of the year, Wilfredo Leon, laid a wreath at the eternal flame dedicated to the Heroes of the Fatherland.
Bermoy and Braison are among the 10 best athletes of 2009, with Rosniel Iglesias (boxing), Roberlandy Simon (volleyball), Yarelis Barrios (athletics), Guillermo Martinez (athletics), Mabel Gay (athletics), Thaimi Castellanos (taekwondo) and Osmay Acosta (boxing).
The list is completed by Lisandra Guerra (cycling), Norge Luis Vera (baseball) and Leonel Suarez (athletics), who shared the tenth place.
This ceremony was also attended by Olga Lidia Tapia, member of the Secretariat of the Central Committee of Communist Party of Cuba, Jaime Crombet, vice president of the National Parliament, and Christian Jimenez, head of the National Institute of Sport, Physical Education and Recreation.