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UPCOMING OLYMPIC GAMES

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Cuba won five Greco-Roman gold medals on the final day of the Pan American Wrestling Championships in Frisco but were unable to prevent the United States from finishing top of the overall team standings as the hosts landed three titles of their own.

Oscar Pino Hinds rounded off a superb day for the Cubans by beating Brazil’s Eduard Soghomonyan in the closing seconds of the 130 kilograms final with a huge back-arching throw.

Having posted three technical falls in the morning session at the Dr. Pepper Arena in Texas, Hinds executed a lock around the body of Soghomonyan and arched him over for a 6-0 triumph.

Fellow Cuban Yasmany Lugo Cabrera, the Pan American Games gold medallist, also added a technical fall in his 98kg contest with Venezuela’s Luillys Perez Mora to a pair of falls in the morning session for his fifth Continental Championships crown.

The US’s hat-trick of gold medals was anchored by Geordan Speiller’s technical fall over Puerto Rico’s Luis Centeno Rodriguez in the 75kg final, dropping the former Pan American junior runner-up to his back for a 10-0 victory.

With Cuba only entering six wrestlers in the Greco-Roman events, the US’s Patrick Smith and Cheney Haight secured wins in the non-Olympic weight categories to give their country a 10-point margin of victory in the final team standings.

In the only head-to-head match-up between Cuba and the US, Pan American Games bronze medallist Miguel Martinez Palacios wrapped up his fourth technical fall of the day, 8-0, over Alejandro Sancho.

On the day, Martinez Palacios outscored his four opponents, 34-0, and was never extended beyond the first period.

Cuba’s other two finalists defeated opponents from Mexico for their gold medals.

Javier Dumenigo Gonzalez roared from behind against Pan American Games silver medallist Ali Soto Macias for a 13-6 win at 59kg, while Pan American Games bronze medallist Alan Vera Garcia cautiously forged a 6-2 win over 2015 Pan American championships bronze medal winner Alfonzo Leyva Yepez in the 85kg finals.

With the conclusion of the Pan American Championships, wrestlers who were unable to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games by finishing in the top six at last year’s World Championships now shift their focus to the Pan American Olympic qualification tournament in Frisco next week.

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