Jun 13, 2024

On June 1, 2024, Salamanca witnessed a historic moment for Cuban athletics. Shainer Reginfo clocked an impressive time of 9.90 seconds in the 100 meters, with which he not only won the Carlos Gil Memorial, but also became Cuba’s national record holder.

This achievement assured him a direct ticket to the Olympic Games in Paris, a dream come true for this talented sprinter.

Suddenly, and in a few seconds, this June day became an important date in the life of the young Cuban; the most important until today – according to his own words.

The fact takes us back to 2021, having just returned from Kenya, after running two finals (100 and 200m) in the World U20 Athletics Championships held in Nairobi and winning bronze in the hectometer to become the first Cuban to reach that podium in the history of these competitions, I asked him:

•Where do you see yourself in three years?

•In Paris, he told me.

On June 1 he also “caught” the national record. His run of 9.90 seconds bettered the previous benchmark of 9.98 seconds, which was shared by two of his idols: Silvio Leonard (since 1977) and Roberto Skyers (equaled in 2019). He also joined the club of the few Cubans who have managed to go under 10 seconds in the history of the island in this event.

Reginfo’s mark and also that of his compatriot Reinaldo Espinosa who ran 9.96 seconds represent an interesting breakthrough in Cuban athletics, which had not seen times below 10 seconds since the 2019 season.


“Achieving the national record and qualifying for the Olympics has been the best thing that has happened to me so far,” Reginfo confesses.

“I had a short season, but with good preparation. I never thought I would achieve this time; I was hoping to go under ten seconds, but I didn’t think I would run this fast.”


“I have faced a lot of injuries in my career. Really injuries have been my biggest enemy, I’ve battled them every year,…but you know what, if I have to, I’ll keep fighting.”

Shainer is restless. He is constantly on the go. He loves the Internet more than soccer and basketball, which are the other sports activities he prefers, and he defines himself as a healthy boy, always ready to play a joke on his friends. He emphasizes his restlessness. He repeats it and smiles sincerely.

Facing Paris, the biggest challenge of your sporting career

“Psychologically, I’m very well prepared. Now, even better than before. Physically, I also feel very good. At first I thought my good performance was a matter of luck, but when I reviewed my progress, I realized it wasn’t luck. Now, my goal is to repeat that time or improve it to feel more satisfied.”

A piece of advice to young people following in your footsteps.

“A lot of focus. Don’t get distracted when training. Everything is achieved with discipline. It doesn’t matter how many times you fail; you can fail one, two, three, even up to ten times, but if you work rigorously, the result will come. Let them look at my reflection: several years running at a good level, but never with a record like the one I have now”.

Being Cuban and running for Cuba

“Representing Cuba has been the nicest thing that has happened to me. Getting a medal in front of such a big audience, even in another country, is the most beautiful thing that can happen to a Cuban athlete,” he shares excitedly.

Now that going under 10 seconds and being in Paris is a dream come true, what’s next on your list of career goals?

I have a note on my phone that says so, and a few weeks ago I also dreamed it: I visualize myself in the Olympic final. You have to work for it. Dreams come true.

With his recent record and the qualification to the Olympic Games in Paris, Shainer Reginfo consolidates himself as one of the significant figures in contemporary Cuban athletics, his story of struggle and overcoming is an inspiration for all, demonstrating that, with discipline and perseverance, the biggest dreams can come true. Rendez-vous à Paris, Shainer!

Written by Lilyan Cid


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