Cyclist Marlies Mejías arrived in Cuba in the last few hours from the United States, where she rides for a professional club, with the idea of participating in the Pan American Games in April and securing a place for Paris-2024.

“It is difficult to qualify, there are few competitions left, but I will try to be in my third Olympic Games,” said the 31-year-old cyclist to Radio Habana Cuba.

She declared herself very happy to return to Cuba after two years and reunite with her family and stroll around Havana with her four-year-old daughter Marieth, who traveled before her to Cuba.

Mejias is a member of Virginia ‘s Blue Ridge TWENTY24 women’s team of 26 runners, including Olympic champion Jennifer Valente and world runner-up Sofia Arreola.

A two-time Olympic diploma winner (London-2012 and Rio-2016), the multi-time Central and Pan American champion became in 2018 the first Cuban cyclist residing on the island to ride for a professional club in the United States. Because of her quality she has signed year after year.

With Virginia, based in the city of Roanoke, she won 16 races last year, a performance for which she has earned multiple accolades, including that of manager Nicola Cranmer, who defines her as a “fierce rider” and says that some of her teammates call her “the legend”.

She has also achieved excellent results with the Cuban national team, both on the road and on the track. She won medals in World Cups, the Tour of Uruguay and more than a dozen medals in multiple events such as the Veracruz 2014 Central Caribbean Games, where she was the queen of the race with five gold medals.

However, she has not competed with the Cuban national team since the 2021 Pan American Games in the Dominican Republic, where she won the time trial and guaranteed a ticket for Cuba in Santiago-2023.

Next April she would have her last chance to score points to qualify for Paris at the Pan American in Carson, California, although if not possible, she could also enter the road, where her compatriot Arlenis Sierra (Movistar) is one of the best in the world.

Source: Radio Habana Cuba