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Ismael Borrero wins Olympic gold medal in 59kg Greco-Roman wrestling

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Already the reigning world champion, Ismael Borrero added an Olympic gold medal to his hardware collection on the first day of wrestling at the 2016 Rio Olympics.


The 24-year-old Cuban was dominant in 59kg Greco-Roman wrestling's Gold Medal Match, defeating Japan's Shinobu Ota by technical superiority, 8-0. Borrero hit a four-point takedown, then turned Ota for an extra two points in the first period. He got another two-point score in the next period to clinch the tech fall.


Borrero's gold medal is the first so far for Cuba in any sport at this year's Olympics.



"I'm really glad to be an Olympic champion," Borrero said, according to the Associated Press. "There's a lot of emotion. It's so hard to explain. It went really fast but I was able to be a stronger athlete and come out on top."


Ota had a strong day en route to the final, first knocking off 2012 gold medalist Hamid Soryan of Iran in the qualifying round and later pinning Azerbaijan's Rovshan Bayramov, the world No. 2, in the semifinals. It was a surprising run for Ota, who entered the day ranked just No. 12 in the world.








Uzbekistan's Elmurat Tasmuradov claimed the first of two bronze medals after defeating Kyrgyzstan's Arsen Eraliev in one of the day's most exciting matches, a 13-8 affair.


In the other Bronze Medal Match, Stig-Andre Berge earned Norway's third bronze of these Games. As time expired on his match, he was almost immediately tackled afterward by two of his coaches in an emotional celebration.






U.S. wrestler Jesse Thielke had a strong showing in the first match of his Olympic debut, winning a Round of 16 bout against Morocco's Messoud El Mahadi by technical fall. Thielke ultimately lost his next match by tech fall to Bayramov in the quarterfinals though.



59kg Greco-Roman wrestling results

Gold: Ismael Borrero (CUB)

Silver: Shinobu Ota (JPN)

Bronze: Elmurat Tasmuradov (UZB)

Bronze: Stig-Andre Berge (NOR)


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