Cuba's women judokas are determined to stand shoulder to shoulder with Japan amongst the Olympic Games elite despite crippling financial and organisational problems.
That's the desire of veteran coach Ronaldo Veitia Valdivie whose 26-year reign has seen Cuba win 22 medals at the Olympics, just behind Japan.
"That's an average of 4.4 medals for each edition," he smiled.
At their training base in Wasquehal, in the north of France, Onix Cortes Aldama, who will fight in the -70kg division at the London Games, was impressed by the facilities on offer.
"The training conditions are better than in Cuba. The tatamis (mats) are big and new," she said.
"I really want to win a medal. I have trained and prepared well for this."
Valdivie believes national and personal pride will carry the team through.
"There is a strong national identity and the desire to be amongst the best all of the time," he said.
"To win you have to work. Only God knows how many medals we will win."
The Cuban team has been based in France for a week in a region which boasts 20,000 judo enthusiasts.
"French judo is at a very high level and it is for that reason that I dedided to come here to prepare for London," said the coach.
In Beijing four years ago, Cuba's women's team won three silver medals and a bronze.
"Times change. The global financial crisis has had more impact in the poorer countries of the world," added Valdivie.
"There are more and more international tournaments but we cannot take part in all of them...sometimes we have just enough money for one tournament.
"The French, Japanese, Koreans, Chinese...they can take part in all of the competitions with two athletes in each weight category. Me, I can't even enter one."
Cuba will have six women in seven weight categories at the London Games, but the coach was left to regret that sometimes injury robs his team of a competitor and unable to summon a replacement.
"But these difficulties make us more intelligent, the girls stronger."