into the World Grand Prix with the aim of turning
around a recent run of poor form and reorganising
themselves for the Athens Olympics.
form recently has been disappointing and the glory
days of the 90's when they won the Olympic Gold three
times are but a distant memory.
Coming off a sub-standard fifth place finish at the
2002 World Championship in Germany and a far from
satisfactory seventh placing at the Montreux Masters
Cuba have a lot to look forward to at the 2003 World
The three time World Champions play a hard,
Soviet-style power game and are traditionally
exceptional jumpers and hard hitters. Indeed a former
U.S. coach said of them " they are the best. You
love to watch them, but you don't like to play against
The national team has included some of the world's
great players but some of the side that won the gold
medal in Sydney 2000 have now retired. Younger players
are now being drafted into the team to lay the
foundation for a solid performance in Athens 2004.
The Cuban women have a distinguished record in
international competition and were Olympic champions
three times and have taken four World Championship
titles. Their performance in the Grand Prix, will be
another litmus test on their progress ahead of the
2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece.