Las Palmas continues to be a breeding ground for great athletes. This has been demonstrated in 2018, full of achievements and dreams fulfilled by island athletes. And it is not easy, considering that by population the level of success in the different disciplines turns the province into an orchard of champions. From sailing to handball, to swimming or fighting, the canaries have eaten the year with forced marches. These champions, who have triumphed this season, are still hungry for more achievements in 2019.
Rocasa Gran Canaria
Women of handball continue to give joy to their followers. Although they finished the 2017-2018 season in the third position of the table and did not manage to revalidate their 2017 titles, when they won the Copa de la Reina and the Spanish Super Cup. But his most important feat of the year 2018 was to reach the final of the EHF Challenge Cup, which was measured at MKS Lublin in Poland. It was another titanic struggle of the Teldenses, who fought the Poles on their terrain. The staging of Globus Hall in Lubin was a pressure cooker that the warriors had to get used to facing. The pupils of Antonio Moreno succumbed for a tight 27-23 and hung the silver medal, which surely at the time knew little, but they are one more achievement in the long career of the team of Las Remudas. Carlos Herrera relieved Moreno at the head of the bench at the start of the regular season. New coach, but the club has closed the year as leaders of the general table losing only two games.
The dancer Daniel Sarmiento changed in 2016 in order to leave behind his stage in the Barcelona and signed for the French Saint-Raphaël HBV. Many saw this change as a step by the center, which accumulated 23 titles between Champions League, Asobal League, Copa del Rey, Super Cup and Asobal Cup. The coach Jordi Rivera, who was his teacher in Gáldar and León, recovered him to participate with the national team in the European Championship that was held in January in Croatia. Sarmiento was a key player in Spain, which was planted in the final and hung the gold medal after beating Sweden 29-23.
That Las Palmas produces great champions in sailing is nothing new. 2018 was a good year for island sailors. Gran Canaria Tara Pacheco, belonging to the Club de Regatas Suroeste de Mogán, was proclaimed European runner-up of the Nacra 17 class in Poland along with Galician Fernando Echávarri. Then, in the World Cup in Denmark they qualified in sixteenth place.
The sisters María and Pilar Caba, of the Real Club Nautico de Gran Canaria, put an end to their race as sailors conquering the world class 420. The sisters proclaimed themselves world champions ahead of the Canary Islands Patricia Reino and Isabel Laseica. The Caba have taken a break from the competition due to their respective occupations, since Maria will focus on her studies in Medicine and Pilar, an industrial engineer, will do the same in her work in a car company.
Another regatista from Gran Canaria continued to expand her career. Patricia Cantero was proclaimed champion of Spain of 470 in Cádiz next to the Catalan Silvia Mas. Then, in the World Championship of Olympic Classes that was held in Denmark, the duo got the silver medal in 470 and the pass to go to the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020 for Spain.
Gran Canaria sailor Martina Reino won the bronze medal in the Laser class at the Mediterranean Games, as well as the title of champion of Spain. For his part, Joaquín Blanco won the gold in the Mediterranean Games in the Laser category. The canary had a very regular competition, in which the only time he came down from fourth place was in the fifth test (7), which was discarded, so in the eleventh and last race came out as first classified and mathematically champion .
One of the most famous achievements in the world of mixed martial arts was the premiere with victory of Gran Canaria Juan Espino in UFC. The fighter has just entered a new dimension. A few years ago I competed in Canarian wrestling and from now on he will do it in 'el Dorado' of mixed martial arts (MMA). Espino became the first Spaniard to win a UFC bout after defeating the American Justin Frazier in just over three and a half minutes with a submission key. The fighter has already signed six bouts in the UFC for the next four years and aims to be among the top 15.
Rafa Cabrera Bello
The Gran Canaria golfer continues one more year in the world golf elite. Despite not winning any title in the 2018 season, Rafa Cabrera fought until the last moment to get into the European team of the Ryder Cup. Finally he stayed out despite surpassing Sergio García in the ranking. The golfer closed the year in 29th place in the world, third Spanish in the world ranking. "I would say it was a good year without being brilliant, I played golf well and had some very good results," said Cabrera.
Gran Canaria tennis players continue to fight. Carla Suárez managed to reach the quarterfinals in the Australian Open and the US, a barrier that has not yet been overcome. He won a final in New Haven, where he lost to Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka by 6/1 and 6/4. It closed 2018 in position 23 of the WTA ranking and is already preparing for next season. In men, David Marrero finished the year in 64th place in doubles. In a year in which he has had several couples, Marrero has not achieved his best version on the track. With Fernando Verdasco, he conquered the Rio de Janeiro Open at the end of February. Another racket athlete, teldense David Vega, bet this 2018 for the doubles and has reached the 111th place in the ATP rankings in pairs.
Iballa Ruano can not be described in words. This year he has achieved his fifth consecutive Windsurfing world title, which came after the absence of his sister Daida, who was unable to participate due to an injury in the last race of the circuit season. This victory is the tenth title for the Canary Islands, while her twin sister, Daida has achieved 18 world titles throughout her career. Between the two they add 28 world titles. In addition, this year was proclaimed world champion of paddle surfing in the modality of waves, title that conquered on the beach of Las Canteras in mid-December. "This year I had proposed to be double champion in a different sport modalities and I have achieved it", explained the surfer from Pozo Izquierdo.
The Saladar de Jandía managed to achieve glory in the autochthonous sport. The group of Morro Jable conquered the Tournament Disa Government of Canary Islands of the First Category when knocking down by 10-12 to Union Gáldar Shopping Center and of Leisure 7 Palms.
Gran Canaria athlete Yasiel Sotero was proclaimed in Gyor (Hungary) European champion sub 18 disc with a throw of 64.31 meters, new record of the championships. The pitcher beat twice the record of the championships: in his first shot with 63.37 and then with 64.31, record that gave him the title with more than five meters ahead of the second, the Norwegian Fabian Weinberg.
The canary Esteban Medina won the gold medal in the European Sea Kayaking Canoe Championship, which took place in Alicante. Medina was proclaimed European champion by winning the men's senior test with a time of 1 hour and 25 minutes in a disputed final, which culminated in the final sprint after a comeback.
Acorán de la Santa
The young Gran Canaria gymnast Acorán de la Santa Cruz won the silver medal in the European Championship of his category that was held in Azerbaijan. Likewise, he obtained a sixth place in the category of 15 and 16 years in the World Gymnastics Championship on trampoline, in double mini-tramp mode, which was held in St. Petersburg.
The Spanish artistic swimming team, with the grancanarian swimmer Elena Melián, finished in third place after the end of the free routine exercise during the European Swimming Championships, which took place in Glasgow (Scotland). In the same tournament, the Spanish team, again with the Gran Canaria Elena Melián, finished in fourth place in the final of the technical routine.
The base of Agüimes became this year the first Canarian to play in the WNBA when signing for the Dallas Wings. Leticia has the '10' of the Wings, team with which she became the fourteenth Spanish to play in the WNBA.
Iris Junio and Naira Cáceres
The Canarian players managed to touch the sky when proclaiming champion of Europe with the Spanish Under-20 team in Hungary. Iris June was chosen the best of the tournament, she got a double-double in the final and the basket of victory against France in the quarterfinals in the last seconds of the match. The Canaries prevailed in the final to the Serbian team. Naira Cáceres, current player of Butler Bulldogs, combines her university studies with the basketball in United States. Iris Jun left the Spar Gran Canaria and signed this year for the University of Arizona.
Gran Canaria bodyboard rider Armide Soliveres made history and in just two months managed to win the European individual title, in the national team championship that was played in Santa Cruz, and the title of pro junior world champion.
The Grancanario Antomi Ramos He was proclaimed world champion of beach tennis in the category of men's doubles with his partner the Italian Mikael Alessi, which makes Ramos the first Spanish to achieve it in the history of a sport dominated by Italian players.