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Cuba finishes fourth at the 2015 Pan American Games

vboxeo cubaThe Cuban delegation finished fourth in the medal count at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games in Canada, with a total of 36 gold, 27 silver and 27 bronze medals.

The boxing saw the biggest gains for the island with six titles, won by Andy Cruz, in the 56 kilogram division, Lázaro Álvarez (60kg), Arlen López (75kg), Julio César la Cruz (81kg), Erislandy Savon (91kg) and Lenier Peró (91+kg).

Cuban boxers also added four silver medals to the total with Joahnys Argilagos (49kg), Yosbany Veitía (52kg), Yasnier Toledo (64kg) and Roniel Iglesias (69kg), who were affected in some cases by questionable decisions from the judges.

Cuba led the medal count in the canoeing competitions, winning a total of six gold, two silver and two bronze medals, with outstanding individual performances from Jorge García and Yusmari Mengana.

García dominated the Canoeing Flat K1 1000m event and also played his part in the triumphs in the K2 and K4 events of the same distance, while Mengana took the title in the women’s K1 200m and 500m, in addition to winning the K2 500m together with Yurieni Guerra.

Athletics also made a major contribution to the island’s gains at the Games, thanks to the conquest of five gold, three silver and one bronze medal. Richer Pérez (marathon), Pedro Pablo Pichardo (triple jump), Yarisley Silva (pole vault), Denia Caballero (discus throw) and Yorgelis Rodríguez (heptathlon) excelled in their respective events, each securing the gold medal.

The wrestling also constituted a mainstay of Cuba’s performance in the Canadian city, providing a total of four gold, three silver and six bronze medals. Mijaín López led the way for the Cuban gladiators winning his fourth Pan American title in the 130kg division of the Greco-Roman wrestling, in which Yasmany Lugo (98kg) also triumphed, while Reineris Salas (86kg) and Yowlys Bonne (57kg) excelled in the freestyle events.

The taekwondo and judo events also contributed to the golden total for the Cuban delegation, both with three titles, although the latter was the most successful sport overall, with all 14 athletes reaching the podium (three gold, three silver, eight bronze), while the former saw five medals (three gold, two bronze) from just seven participants.

The judokas to reach the top were Idalys Ortiz (78+kg), Dayaris Mestre (48kg) and Magdiel Estrada (73kg), while Yania Aguirre (49kg) José Ángel Cobas (80kg) and Rafael Alba (80+kg) were crowned in the taekwondo.

Rowing contributed two gold, three silver and two bronze medals, with an outstanding performance by the key Cuban figure Ángel Fournier, who won two titles in the single and the double sculls events, together with Eduardo Rubio, as well as securing second place in the quadruple sculls.

Artistic Gymnastics saw Cuba return to the Pan American podium through Marcia Videaux, surprise champion in the women’s vault, together with her team mate Manrique Larduet in the men’s competition, who also secured another two silver medals and one bronze, to become the athlete with the most medals of the Cuban delegation.

Meanwhile, the weightlifting made history with the first ever medal for Cuba in the women’s division, with Marina Rodríguez (63kg) taking the silver, while Adriel La O (77kg) and Yoelmis Hernández (85kg) secured the gold in their categories, with the latter followed in second place by his compatriot Yadier Núñez.

In the shooting events, Eglys de la Cruz and Reynier Estopiñán added two gold medals in the women’s and men’s 50m rifle 3 positions.

Likewise, in the diving competitions the duo of José Antonio Guerra and Jeinkler Aguirre starred in one of the most notable performances, taking the synchronized 10m platform title, to everyone’s surprise.

Among the team sports, female pair Lianma Flores and Leila Martínez provided Cuba with the silver medal for beach volleyball, while Nivaldo Díaz and Sergio González took the bronze medals in the men’s competition. The island’s female basketball team and the men’s baseball team also took the bronze.

Cuba also won medals in the badminton, cycling, fencing, rhythmic gymnastics and karate competitions.

The island fell short of its performance in the previous edition of the Games in Guadalajara (Mexico) in 2011, where it gained a total of 58 gold medals, 35 silver and 43 bronze, and lost out on the second place maintained since the 1971 edition in Cali (Colombia), with the exception of Havana 1991, when they finished top of the medal count.

(Diario Granma)

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