Cuba’s Manrique Larduet Becomes World’s Second Best Gymnast

Larduet at the rings

By Eric Reynoso (Café Fuerte)

Cuban gymnast, Manrique Larduet
Cuban gymnast, Manrique Larduet

HAVANA TIMES — Cuban gymnast Manrique Larduet made history this Friday after winning a silver at the all-around competition of the 46th World Gymnastics Championship held in Glasgow, Scotland.

The 19-year-old Larudet, today regarded as the greatest promise of Cuban gymnastics, secured a total of 90.698 points, coming in behind Japanese gold-medalist Kohei Uchimura (who received 92.332 points). The bronze medal went to Chinese gymnast Shudi Deng, with 90.099 points.

This is the best international performance by a Cuban gymnast in its entire history. Cuba has secured a mere four medals at world tournaments and hadn’t witnessed a performance of this magnitude since 2001, when Erick Lopez won a silver medal at the parallel bars during a world championship held in Gante, Belgium. It’s a shame most sites dealing with Cuban issues silenced the news.

Larduet exceeded all expectations and left audiences stunned by his performance at competition’s end, breaking all records set during the classifying rounds.

The gymnast earned four 15-point scores in six of the mandatory routines: the parallel bars (15.733), horse jump (15.433), static bar (15.333) and rings (15.233). His scores for the other two routines were also outstanding – 14.666 at freehand and 14.3 at the pommel horse.

Larduet’s score at Scotland’s Hydro Arena makes him the youngest all-round medalist since German Fabian Hambuechen (2006).