HAVANA, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- A Cuban judo team comprising five women and five men will depart Sunday for China, as the first stage of an Asian tour including South Korea and Japan, the coaches of the selection highlighted on Tuesday.
The island's representatives will participate in the China Judo Grand Prix on November 20-22, the South Korea Judo Grand Prix a week later, and the Grand Slam tournament in Japan on December 6-8.
The three tournaments count towards Olympic rankings, with all ten Cuban athletes aiming for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Armando Padron, coach of the women's team, told the press.
The women are led by Olympic champion and twice world champion, Idalis Ortiz (+78 kilograms), alongside Dayaris Mestre (48kg), Aliuska Ojeda (57kg), Maricet Espinosa (63kg) and Yalennis Castillo (78kg).
Meanwhile, the men are headed up by world champion and Olympic silver medallist, Asley Gonzalez (90kg), supported by Magdiel Estrada (73kg), Ivan Silva (81kg), Jose Armenteros (100kg) and Alex Garcia (+100kg), under the orders of coach Justo Noda.
Besides the Asian tournaments, the Cubans will participate in the Havana Grand Prix in January 2016, where they expect to continue improving their positions at the Olympic ranking.
Idalis Ortiz is ranked third in her division worldwide, with Armenteros ranked eighth in his weight class, making them best positioned for the Olympics so far.