Cuba against Mexico for Tokyo Olympic spot

COLIMA, Mexico, June 26, 2021. - Cuba goes up against Mexico at the NORCECA Continental Cup Finals for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic spot in Colima, Mexico.


Lidy Echevarría and Yanisleydis Sanchez with Leila Martinez and Mailen Deliz from Cuba will face Mexican duos of Martha Revuelta and Zaira Orellana and Susana Torres/María José Quintero on Sunday for the last spot to go to the Tokyo Olympic Games.


The first match of the series between Cuba and Puerto Rico was an exciting three-set comeback win for Lidy and Yanisleydis 2-1 (19-21, 21-17, 15-8) against María González and Allanis Navas. Puertorico’s communication in the first set was crucial, they were confident in their moves and their skillfull defense along with a smart offense kept the scores really close. Lidy and Yanisleydis grabbed the second set with good offense, but still the scores were tight. It was up to the third set that Cuba jumped ahead by huge eight point advantage (11-3) and not giving Puerto Rico any chance to recover. 


Lidy indicated it was a tough battle “we did not lose our head and we failed a lot in the first set; it was tough, we never gave up and we were able to keep up until the win”. 


Leila Martinez and Mailen Deliz faced Lara Torruella/Lina Bernier of Puerto Rico-2, with both teams showing a balanced performance. Leila and Mailen were stronger in the first set of the match, communicating a lot and taking matters under control; still it wasn’t necessary to push themselves to perform with the explosion they normally do. 


Leila expressed that reaching the final was the goal “we wish to be in the Olympic Games, it’s been a long two-year preparation beacause the Games were postponed, we have worked hard and we hope not to miss the ticket just like in the past Olympics”.   


Estefanie Bethancourt and Natalia Girón of Guatemala-1 gave Martha Revuelta and Zaira Orellana of Mexico-1 a lot of trouble during the first set. Guatemala took the lead; they were solid, focused and kept a three-point lead (13-10) until Mexico’s strategy with Martha Revuelta using more offense helped them turn things around. In set two, Martha and Zaira controlled Guatemala’s offense; they were more effective and sealed the series in two sets.  


Zaira spoke about the differences of their performance in the first and second sets “our decision to win was crucial, I told myself not to give up and we were able to stop the nerves, both teams were strong”.  


Martha Revuelta expressed “it’s always difficult in your first match, Guatemala had already a strong performance yesterday with a great debut over Costa Rica; we adjusted our rhythm. We trusted our good skills and we had an excellent attitude on the court”.


Mexico-2 of Susana Torres and María José Quintero had an easy win over Guatemala-2 of Paola Alvarado and Ana Sofía Arévalo 2-0 (21-7, 21-10). They performed relaxed and weren’t in any serious situation that needed their best tactics.  


Results Women’s Semifinals Saturday 

Cuba 2, Puerto Rico 0

Lidianny Echevarría/Yanisleydis Sanchez CUB-1 d María González/Allanis Navas PUR-1 (19-21, 21-17, 15-8)

Leila Martinez/Mailen Deliz CUB-1 d Lara Torruella/Lina Bernier PUR-2 (21-16, 21-18)


Mexico 2, Guatemala 0

Martha Revuelta/Zaira Orellana  MEX-1  Estefanie Bethancourt/Natalia Girón GUA-1 (21-19, 21-15)

Susana Torres/María José Quintero MEX-2  d Paola Alvarado/Ana Sofía Arévalo GUA-2 (21-7, 21-10)