Cuba's Sanchez Brings The Boom To Open Cerro Pelado Women's Tournament

Home-nation representative Yudari SANCHEZ (CUB) was magnificent on the first day of women’s wrestling at the Granma Y Cerro Pelado, earning three early-stoppage wins at 68 KG.

It was a quick, first-period fall over Saidy Loena CHAVEZ (HON) for Sanchez to begin the day. She then reeled off technical fall victories over Soleimy CORABALLO (VEN) and Yariannys MARIN (CUB) to position herself a single win away from the gold medal.

Sanchez, a junior world silver medalist and U23 world bronze medalist last year, takes on Diana MIRANDA (MEX) in tomorrow afternoon’s session. Miranda was a fifth-place finisher at the 2015 World Championships and will no doubt be a tough out for Sanchez.

Montero was upset in her last-of-four round-robin matches by Maria FERNANDA (CUB), 4-1.

Montero, a recent Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix bronze medalist, completed her tournament with a 3-1 record. Both Fernanda and 2016 Pan American bronze medalist Alejandra ROMERO (MEX) can finish 3-1 with wins tomorrow and force criteria to determine the 57 KG champion.

Cuba has two more women who are the only undefeated wrestlers left in their respective round-robin brackets. Returning Cerro Pelado silver medalist Milaimys MARIN (CUB) can take the 76 KG gold with a win over 2017 junior Pan American champion Mabelkis CAPOTE (CUB). Similarly, Hangelen LLANES (CUB) needs a win over 2018 Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix bronze medalist and six-time Pan American medalist Yakelin ESTORNELLA (CUB) to finish unscathed.

The remaining four weight classes, while also round-robin in nature, will feature pseudo gold-medal matches between unbeaten women tomorrow.

Two-time Pan American champion and London Olympian Kelsey CAMPBELL (USA) impressed with a pair of shutout wins at 59 KG. Next, she meets up with the talented Dayselis RODRIGUEZ (CUB), winner-take all.

At 53 KG, three-time Pan American bronze medalist Betzabeth Angelica ARGUELLO VILLEGAS (VEN)
seeks perfection against Amanda HERNADEZ (CUB).

Dual Cuba-on-Cuba finals round out the list of gold-medal contenders in women’s wrestling. 2016 junior Pan American champion Yusneylys GUZMAN (CUB) will battle last year’s Cerro Pelado bronze medalist Leanne MENDOZA (CUB) at 59 KG. Lesser known Cubans Yayneli SANZ (CUB) and Laura HERIN (CUB) will vie for the 55 KG crown.

The women’s wrestling day two session will begin at 2 p.m. local time on Tuesday. Complete results and a live stream of all the action can be found at


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YOUNG ATHLETES OF THE CUBAN SPORT: Oscar Pino, Mijaín’s Follower

Oscar Pino will always remember August 22nd, 2017 as the day that Greco-Roman wrestling smiled upon him. He won in Paris a Bronze Medal in the World Championship for Adults. His win was an example of gratitude to Héctor Milián and Mijaín López, their predecessors among the Cuban super heavyweights.  

Still in shock for being chosen the best Cuban athlete in wrestling in the year, and among the 10 sportsmen from Cuba in the selection of federative and expert, Pino agreed to talk to Cubasí:  

Your division has a long history, how do you evaluate this first experience in the world championship with a medal won?  

"I had the chance to have both of them next to the wrestling mattress. Milián was supporting the group of coaches, with notorious influence and very aware of the details. I trained with Mijaín for a while on the mattress. With those tutors, Raúl Trujillo and Mario Olivera, the training could not be less than excellent. Before the World Championship I felt sure. I commented to Trujillo that would win a medal and I told him that again when I was on the weight."  

This weight category technically becomes complex when moving. Taking that into account, what is Oscar Pino main resource?  

"As fighter, since I began in the EIDE School, I always watched Mijaín’s matches, he was already an established elite wrestler and I have been devoted to take all what’s positive in his system. Then when I entered the national pre-selection I kept the learning process. I especially mimic his pulling on the standing combat, move aside and defend myself, also tricks when performing the unbalancing of opponents and closing the grips, because he is unquestionably number one doing that. Those are the keys of my system: intensity standing, I study the opponents, constantly on the offensive with pulls and putting my arm on the inside, controlling the fights…"  

Which was the most difficult combat in the World Championship? Do you have a formula to gain weight?  

"In the World Championship of Paris I fought weighing 123 kg. We won match by match, with a technical-tactical strategy for each competitor. Many of them were already known to me, like the Hungarian I was pitted on the first combat, a difficult opponent. Winning on the first match gave me confidence. Now I weight 127 kg. The preparation we have developed after the World Championship has aimed at that among other elements. The combination of work-rest, an extra diet with carbohydrates and other energy meals.  

Now I seek adaptation, but that doesn’t mean to diminish speed, I have to work on the intensity and endurance of strength on the second rounds, but overall I feel fine."  

Oscar lives in the capital, the only medal winner in the Championship of Paris, and one of the three of our retinue, currently occupies the third position in the world ranking, following the Turkish Ryza Kaayalp and the Estonian Heiki Nabi, two very well-known to Cubans and who lost to Mijaín in the global balance of matches. By the way, position four is occupied by Yasmani Acosta, from Matanzas province equally trained by Mijaín and who also won a bronze medal in Paris, but he fought representing Chile, a fact we still have to live with.  

Anyway, Mijaín has expressed his intentions of winning his fourth Olympic medal in Tokyo 2020. Three years left to see what will happen. Meanwhile, Pino will continue growing, and the idol from Herradura will have on the mattress a talented relief who will contribute youth, will and drive in each session on the "arena".

Cubasi Translation Staff / Amilkal Labañino Valdés

  • Published in Specials

Cuba Won Three Silver Medals in Wrestling Golden Grand Prix

Cubans Yowlys Bonne, Alejandro Valdes and Reineris Salas won silver medals in the Wrestling Golden Grand Prix final in Baku.

In the 61-kilogram category, Bonne, who won bronze in Tashkent-2014, lost the gold by 0-9 to Akhmednabi Gvarzatilov, after defeating the Belarusian Husein Shakhbanau (7-2) and the American Alan Taylor Waters (6-4).

Meanwhile, Valdes (65 kilograms) had a perfect competition until the final, when he was outscored by the Russian Magomed Kurbanaliev (2-4).

Finally, Salas (97-kilogram category) lost the title to the Russian Abdusalam Gadisov, who beat him 9-3.

Eliecer Guevara (57 kg), Livan Lopez (74 kg) and Yudenny Alpajon (125 kg) were eliminated in their first matches.

This tournament will continue tomorrow, with the fight for the medals in the female discipline, to which Cuba sent four wrestlers.

  • Published in Sports
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