LIMA.— With their objectives fulfilled, Cuban wrestlers ended their stunning performance at the Pan American Wrestling Championships in the Peruvian capital, with six fighters winning medals - including thee golds courtesy of Reineri Andreu, Liván López and Reineris Salas - on the last day of the competition.
First the six Greco-Roman style fighters, then four of Cuba’s six female wrestlers, and finally five free-style gladiators all won tickets to the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima.
Cuba’s entire free-style team secured all their tickets to next year’s regional tournament, except for bronze medal winner Alejandro Valdés who was unable to compete following an elbow injury, clearing the way for the Dominican Republic’s Albaro Rudesindo, also a bronze medal winner, to snatch the spot.
Valdés was treated by the technical team and was the only fighter not to make it to the final after losing 9-10 in the semifinal, against Logan Stieber of the United States.
With his injury taking him out of the running for the silver medal, Valdés was determined to secure bronze against Canada’s Michael Asselstine, which he did with a score of 10-0 and 2:43 minutes to spare before the end of the final match.
Meanwhile, Reineri Andreu (57kg) gave Cuba its first gold after defeating Colombia’s Oscar Tigreros 10-0 in the final, and 2017 World silver medalist Thomas Gilman of the United States in the semifinal.
Andreu was followed by López (74kg) who defeated Nazar Kulchytsky also from the United States, 6-1.
Reineris Salas meanwhile, won his fifth Pan American championship title after beating Kyven Gadson (USA), 9-2 in the 97kg division.
In other final matches, Yurieski Torreblanca took silver after losing 2-3 to David Taylor (USA) in the 86kg division, as did Yudenny Alpajón, who was defeated 0-9 by Nicholas Gwiazdowski (USA).