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HavanaJournal.com: Cuba Culture

Cubans sweep wrestling gold medals

Posted August 04, 2003 by publisher in Cuba Culture.
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Associated Press

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic—Rulon Gardner was just another obstacle the Cuban wrestling team shoved aside in sweeping the seven Greco-Roman gold medals at the Pan American Games.

The 2000 Olympic heavyweight champion, coming back from a snowmobiling accident in 2002 that resulted in the amputation of a toe, lost to Mijian Lopez 5-0 Sunday. It was the third time Lopez beat Gardner this year, all by shutouts.

Lopez’s win was the most impressive of the Cuban sweep. Another American Olympian, Brandon Paulson, lost in the 121-pound class to Lazaro Rivas, who is 5-0 against Paulson.

The United States took four silver medals—Gardner, Paulson, Brad Vering and Justin Ruiz—and bronze by T.C. Dantzler and James Gruenwald.

The host nation got its first medal of these games when Angelo Mota took silver behind Cuban Juan Maren at 1451/2 pounds.

Cuba’s big haul in wrestling gives it the lead in gold medals, but the United States tops the overall chart. The Cubans have 11 gold and four bronze. The Americans have six golds, nine silvers and six bronze.

Lance Bade had to be perfect to win another Pan Ams gold medal in shooting. So the two-time Olympian hit all 25 shots in the final round Sunday to edge Rodrigo Bastos of Brazil for the men’s trap shooting title, 147-146.

The young U.S. men’s basketball team couldn’t do the job down the stretch and lost to Puerto Rico 86-85. Andre Barrett of Seton Hall missed an off-balance shot at the buzzer as the Americans twice had problems getting off shots in the closing minutes.

Puerto Rico used a 13-4 run early in the fourth quarter to take a lead it would not relinquish.

One day after losing a fourth consecutive game to Cuba, the U.S. women’s basketball squad beat Canada 56-53. Canada led 52-51 with less than two minutes to go. Duke forward Iciss Tillis reached over an opponent to keep a rebound alive, leading to Stanford’s Nicole Powell hitting a 3-pointer with 1:27 left to put Team USA ahead for good.

The U.S. men won their second consecutive lopsided water polo game, 17-5 over Brazil.

The U.S. baseball team got its 24th consecutive victory with a 12-0, seven-inning win over the Bahamas.

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