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Yeniuska Mirabal: Cuba’s First Female Contender in World Weightlifting Championship

Christiana Mikesch
Published by Christiana Mikesch | Senior Coach
Last updated: September 14, 2023

Cuba’s Yeniuska Mirabal is making waves in the strength sports community as she steps up to the plate in the World Weightlifting Championship.

Competing in the 71 kg bodyweight division in Saudi Arabia, Mirabal is the first woman and third athlete from Cuba to participate in this prestigious event.

Woman lifting weightsWhile her podium chances might not be sky-high, her participation alone is a testament to her grit and determination. She’s not alone in her journey, though.

Her teammates, including national record holder Arley Calderon, are also making their mark.

Calderon recently upped his record by a whopping five kilograms to 291 kg in the 61 kg category, keeping him in the running for the Paris 2024 Olympic qualification zone.

Another Cuban athlete, Olfides Saez, has already made his mark in the championship.

Competing in the 89 kg division, Saez finished 11th overall with a total of 355 kg, 19th in the snatch with 155 kg, and eighth in the rebound with 200 kg.

But the Cuban representation doesn’t stop there. Juan Carlos Zaldivar (102 kg) and Ayamey Medina (81 kg) are set to compete in the coming days, while Delmis Rodriguez is serving as a referee in the competition.

This championship is a melting pot of strength, featuring 354 women from 94 countries and 365 men from 105 nations.

It’s a testament to the global appeal of weightlifting and the inspiring stories that emerge from it.

As Mirabal takes the stage, she’s not just lifting weights – she’s lifting the hopes and dreams of aspiring female weightlifters back in Cuba.

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