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Former World Champion brings Golf Tournament to Cuba

  • 16-Aug-10 17:02
  • Cuba
  • Holiday Industry

Ana Guevara, former world champion sprinter is lending her name to Cuba's first ever "Ana Guevara Cup", a golf cup to be awarded to the winner of a new golfing tournament that will take place from 13-17 October 2010.

Former World Champion brings Golf Tournament to Cuba

Former Mexican World Champion, Ana Guevara recently took Cuba holidays in Varadero to attend a press conference held on Sunday, 15th August 2010. The former world champion and Olympic silver medalist in the 400 metre dash will lend her name to the Ana Guevara Cup, a pro-am golf tournament that will be held in Cuba from 13-17 October 2010.

The competition will bring as many as 140 Mexican participants flying to Cuba holidays to take part in the Varadero tournament, in a resort of white-sand beaches and sparkling, clear-blue surf east of Havana that has the country's only 18-hole golf course.

"I'm back and doing something new, a sport that almost no one knew me for," the 33-year-old from northern Mexico said Sunday at the Varadero Clubhouse on a bluff overlooking the ocean. It used to be known as "Xanadu," an 11-bedroom mansion built by U.S. chemical tycoon Irenee DuPont and now used for many official events and gatherings as well as Cuba weddings and other celebrations.

Ana added that she had never picked up a club until 2003, when her trainers ordered her to take a monthlong break from sprinting. She said the game left her with soreness in muscles she didn't know she had. "I played 18 holes, three days in a row. I almost couldn't move afterward," she said. "But I was comfortable ... I picked it up quickly." - she remembers.

Since retiring from track and field, Guevara sometimes plays twice a week. She has lowered her score from 120-plus to the low 90s and said she thinks she will shoot 89 or better before long. The sprinter said it took her time to warm to the game. "It seemed very boring to me. Actually, I didn't even think it was a sport," she said. "But it required great concentration, great technique."

Her longtime trainer is Cuban golf expert Raul Barreda, and she said that she travelled to Cuba holidays for golfing so much while working with him that lending her name to the Varadero tournament is like "returning to my roots."

"I hope this can be the vehicle that opens doors for this sport in Cuba," Guevara added.

Last May, Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero said the Cuban government had approved construction of residential projects linked to resorts — possibly opening the door for villas that could one day ring oceanfront golf courses. However no further details were given about whether Cuba will allow tourist developments that include residences owned by foreigners.

Cuba has said it would like to build 10 more 18-hole golf courses around the island to bank on the golfing potential of the Cuba holidays market. However the island has yet to break ground on any projects.

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