The first Wrestling World Championship of the current quadrennial period will kick off next Monday in Paris. It would be especially tough for Cubans as the team will participate with novel wrestlers.
All three Cuban who won medals at the Olympic Games held in Rio de Janeiro 2016 are absent this time for different reasons. They will be replaced now by inexperienced athletes.
Ismael Borrero, gold medal in the 59kg division, was not 100% in the physical field and could not have a proper training. Yasmani Lugo, silver medalist, is injured.
On the other hand, Mijain Lopez —three times gold medalist in Olympic Games— decided to rest this year. Therefore, his sworn opponent, Turkish Riza Kayaalp will have his chances now.
Thus, our options in the world championship are severely reduced in Paris. We depend now on freestylers Yowlys Bonne (61), Alejandro Valdes (65), Livan Lopez (74), and Reinieris Salas (97).
However, we hope to see ardent combats and Salas may perhaps return to the top-3 as his division is led by American Kyle Snyder and Russian Abdulrashid Sadulaev.
According to the schedule, the competition kicks off on Monday August 21 in the 98, 71, 75, and 85kg divisions in the Greco-Roman style. Cuban freestylers will compete on weekend.
Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz // CubaSi Translation Staff