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Cuba’s Borrero takes gold in 59 kg Greco-Roman wrestling

Wrestling - Olympics: Day 9

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 14: Ismael Borrero Molina of Cuba celebrates after defeating Shinobu Ota of Japan in the Men’s Greco-Roman 59 kg Gold Medal match on Day 9 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Carioca Arena 2 on August 14, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

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After winning three bronze medals in boxing and a silver in judo, Cuba took its first gold medal of the Rio Olympics Sunday.

Ismael Borrero, the reigning world champion in the 59 kg division of Greco-Roman wrestling, defeated Japan’s Shinobu Ota in the gold medal match Sunday afternoon. In his younger years the 24-year old Borrero was a weightlifter, with his coach at the time recognizing talents that would be useful on the wrestling mat. As a result, Borrero has developed into the best Greco-Roman wrestler in the world at his weight, and he’s now the eighth wrestling gold medalist in Cuba’s Olympic history.

Ota takes silver in his Olympic debut, a nice achievement for the 22-year old. Winning the bronze medal matches were Uzbekistan’s Elmurat Tasmuradov and Norway’s Stig-Andre Berge, with Tasmuradov finishing third at the world championships in both 2013 and 2014. As for Berge, he is Norway’s third bronze medalist in Rio, with the others coming in rowing (men’s double sculls and lightweight men’s double sculls).

American Jesse David Thielke lost to Azerbaijan’s Rovshan Bayramov in the quarterfinal round.