Budapest’s Sports Arena was the best scenario for Cuban wrestling in the last decade. Budapest has been hosting world wrestling championships since 2005.
If we take into account that the most notable performances of the Cuban delegation were achieved by Mijain Lopez, then we can state this is best Cuban performance as a team since 2007, when both wrestling styles achieved balanced results.
Freestyle wrestling was once again outstanding as betokened since the last world championship. Cuba won this time one gold and three bronze medals, while Greco-Roman wrestling added a bronze medal.
Yowlys Bonne improved his two previous third places in the 61kg division and won the gold medal. Moreover, Alejandro Valdes (65kg) and Oscar Pino (130kg) repeated last edition’s bronze medals. Meanwhile, Franklin Maren (70kg) and Lianna de la Caridad Montero (55kg) won their first medals in a world tournament.
Lianna’s performance was awesome as she became the first Cuban woman to win a medal in world championships (Adults). She did it after losing her first combat. Psychologically, it is tough to debut losing the first combat —especially in a sport where once you lose, you depend on other to advance. However, the twenty-year old girl stayed focused and went to the repechage as if nothing had happened.
Oscar Pino experienced something similar. He was the sole Greco-Roman wrestler to win a medal. He was defeated by young Russian wrestler Sergey Semenov, who seems to take the leading role of our giant Mijaín Lopez as he won easily all of his combats.
We already talked about Yowlys and Alejandro. Thus, it is time to praise Marén (30). He has enjoyed a very good season. He won the gold medal at the Central American and Caribbean Games held in Barranquilla, but his dream was broken by Russian Adam Batirov —now competing for Bahrein.
It is true that Yowlys and Maren’s divisions are not considered in Olympic Games, but it is certainly praiseworthy what wrestling achieved in Hungary. It gives grounds for optimism for the upcoming Pan American Games and Tokyo-2020.
Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSi Translation Staff