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Cuba Battles for 3rd Place at PanAm Toronto 2015

Toronto 2015

Cuba closed the 7th day of the 17th Pan-American Games Toronto 2015 in 4th place in the medal table with 19 gold, 18 silver and 20 bronze medals, on ranks led by the host representative of Canada 45-38-27. Thus, Brazil, Cuba and Colombia maintained an intense battle for 3rd place in the medals table.

But let's take a brief look at the performance of Cuban athletes in the last hours and upcoming events.

In baseball, defending champion Canada will play tomorrow against Puerto Rico and the United States now goes in a duel of great rivalry against Cuba to define the semifinals.

Canada, monarch of the Pan-American Games Guadalajara 2011, ended 1st in the group stage with 5 wins and 1 loss; however, last night suffered its only defeat in the preliminary falling 4-1 to the United States in a rematch similar to the final phase of Guadalajara.

Canada will now search for its berth to the 2nd consecutive final against Puerto Rico, 4th in the Table.

Thus, the United States, Pan-American runner-up, will face a great sporting rivalry match up against Cuba, bronze in Guadalajara and maximum winner of gold medals in Pan-American Games with 12. The United States already won during this event to Cuba 5-2 in the regular Season, while Canada battered Puerto Rico 11-4.

After concluding 7 competitive dates of the regular tournament, Canada was first (5-1), escorted by the United States, Cuba and Puerto Rico, all with 4-2.

In the other corresponding results of the latest yesterday events, Puerto Rico beat Nicaragua 5-3 and Colombia defeated Dominican Republic 4-1.

The exponents of freestyle wrestling gave the best performance of Cuba on Friday to bring 1 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze medals.

Yowlys Bonne won the only gold medal of the Cuban delegation to win American Angel Escobedo in the 57 kg. freestyle by technical superiority and adding the 3rd title of Cuba in this discipline.

Likewise, his compatriot Franklin Marén (65 kilos) anchored 2nd, falling 8-2 on the fight for the gold to the American Brent Metcalf, while among the ladies, Katerina Vidiaux in 63 kg. yielded the title against Canadian Braxton Stone 7-3, Lisset Hechavarría (75) exceeded the Venezuelan Jarimit Weffer 2-1 for the bronze, and Yudari Sanchez (69) succumbed to Argentina Luz Vazquez.

In cycling, played at the Milton Cisco Pan-american Velodrome, Cuban Lisandra Guerra won silver in the keirin event after losing to the Canadian Monique Sullivan.

After leading the qualifying stage, Jorge Grau won silver for Cuba in shooting sports at 50 meters pistol modality with 186.8 points, only surpassed by the Brazilian Julio Almeida (189.1), while the also Cuban Gustavo Yaunner concluded in the the 4th position.

Cubans Juan Carlos Stevens, Hugo Franco and Adrian Puentes advanced to semifinals in the event of archery team.

In team sports, always in the women's branch, Cuba won its 2nd victory in basketball after beating Venezuela 73-62, but succumbed 18-35 to Argentina in handball, and fell to 0-12 against United States in field hockey.

Finally, the Cuban men's volleyball team debuted with a 3-1 failure (25-20, 25-15, 23-25 and 25-25) against Argentina.

And in another sports news, Cuba and the United States will clash at the Soccer Gold Cup.

Previously, the Cuban women’s basketball team made its debut in Toronto on Thursday, July 16, with a 68-55 victory over Argentina in the 1st game of Group B; in the Pool D Preliminary Round of the women’s beach volleyball, Cuba defeated Trinidad and Tobago in the Pool D Preliminary Round through the duo of Lianma Flores and Leila Martinez who easily dispatched the Trinidadians Malika Davidson and Ayana Dyette (21-12 and 21-9) in 2 sets to guarantee their place in the quarter-final round; while their compatriots Nivaldo Díaz-Sergio González did the same in the men’s tournament, beating Saint Lucia 21-13 and 21-12.

In the case of water polo, the Cuban men's team defeated 13-6 Ecuador to finish in 7th place. Cuba's best scorer was Giraldo Carales with 5 goals, supported by José Peralta and Ivey Arroyo, both with 3.

And in badminton, the Cuban Osleni Guerrero achieved a bronze medal after losing 1-2 against the host Andrew D'Souza, in one of the semifinals.


Uruguay in Mourning for Death of Author of Maracanazo

Uruguay woke up yesterday in mourning for the death of Uruguay's former soccer player Alcides Ghiggia, who scored a winning goal over Brazil known as the "Maracanazo," precisely 65 years ago of that world historic event.

Ghiggia, who died of a heart attack in a central clinic at the age of 88, will receive funeral rites today at the Hall of Lost Steps of the Uruguayan Parliament, reserved for top figures.

Meanwhile, the Uruguayan Football Association decreed three days of mourning throughout the country. Uruguayan athletes participating in the Pan-American Games in Toronto should wear black armbands.

From Brazil, where he participated in a Summit of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur), President Trabare Vazquez lamented the death of the only survivor of the Uruguayan team that in 1950 defeated Brazil in the Maracana stadium.

After expressing his deep sorrow, the Uruguayan president stated the "irony of life" that Ghiggia died right on the day marking 65 years of the Maracanazo feat.
Ghiggia received many honors in and out of Uruguay, but the biggest one was in November 2013 when that goal, shown on giant screens in the Centenario Stadium, was shouted by thousands of Uruguayan attendees.

Edited by Ivan Martínez
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