Toronto 2015 Pan American Games
The Cuban sports delegation participating in the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games is currently in third place with a harvest of 18 gold, 14 silver and 19 bronze for a total of 51 medals. But let's take a brief look at the performance of Cuban athletes on Thursday and upcoming sports events.
Wrestler Yasmany Lugo earned gold in a 4-0 fight victory by fall over Honduran Keving Mejia in the Greco-Roman 98kg final bout. Mijail Lopez won his forth gold in Pan American Games, subduing Chilean Andrés Ayub in an 8-0 victory by Great Superiority in the Greco-Roman 130kg final bout.
The women's freestyle wrestling 58kg final bout resulted in a hard-fought clash in which Cuban Yakelin Estornell almost achieved a victory and had to accept the silver as Brazilian Joice Souza could gain points little by little and win in a 6-5 decision by points.
Cycling track sprinters Lisandra Guerra and Marlies Mejias won silver in the women's team sprint finals and couldn't achieve a better result against Canadians Kate O'Brian and Monique Sullivan who set a Pan-American record of 33.959.
On Thursday, the Cuban baseball team beat Nicaragua 11-6 in the preliminary round.
The women's basketball team won over Argentina by score of 68 to 55 in the preliminary round of Group B.
The beach volleyball couple of Liamna Flores and Leila Martinez defeated Trinitarians Malika Davidson and Ayana Dyette 2-0 in the women preliminary round of pool D.
And, also on Thursday, the men's beach volleyball team of Nivaldo Diaz and Sergio Gonzalez beat St. Lucians Julian Bissette and Joseph Clercent by a score of 2-0 in the preliminary round in pool C.
Soccer- Gold Cup
It’s time for Cuba to start playing up to its full potential in soccer. It is not time for experimenting and messing around. It’s the knockout rounds where one slip up can send you home early. After an unconvincing group stage, the Cuban soccer team has a chance to really prove they can become something else and surprise everyone at the CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament. But they have to take the next step to prove it in the quarter finals against the United States tomorrow, Saturday, in Baltimore, Maryland.
There is the fact that Cuba played poorly against Mexico and finished third in Group C, but could overcome the group stage scoring just once and a seven goals differential. The US didn't have its best performance, despite finishing first in Group A.
Wednesday night’s win over Guatemala 1-0 was just their second this year (the other was a friendly win over Dominican Republic in March). Maikel Reyes, who scored Cuba’s only goal of the tournament so far, is probably the man to follow for Cuba by the US team.
Cuba has made it to the knockout rounds of the Gold Cup for the second straight tournament.
Anti-doping in Toronto 2015
The purpose of the TO2015 anti-doping program is to prevent, deter and detect doping through educating athletes, by advocating for a clean sport system and by implementing doping control services before and during the Games. The TORONTO 2015 Games anti-doping strategy enforces fair play and promotes athlete awareness of World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules and regulations.
However, all that shines is not gold as the Pan American Sports Association says four athletes have been pulled from the international competition after positive drug tests.
The association says three of the athletes —Mexican Cinthya Vanessa Dominguez Larao, Puerto Rican Nelson Gomez and Colombian Javier Jesus Ortiz Angulo — tested positive for anabolic steroids.
It says the fourth, Dominican Mario Mercedes Castillo, tested positive for a banned stimulant.
Eduardo De Rose, chairman of the organization's medical commission, says every major sporting event has a number of anti-doping violations, but it's surprising to see this many cases so early in the Games.
Dominguez Lara is a weightlifter and the other three are baseball players.
The Peruvian delegation says swimmer Mauricio Fiol, the silver medalist in the 200-meter butterfly, has also tested positive for steroids and has been suspended from the team. But Fiol has the option of asking for the result of the B sample.
The Pan Am Sports Association says it will not confirm or comment on any potential doping cases for 48 hours after receiving test results in order to give the affected athletes a chance to address the allegations.
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