Cuban wrestler Lopez aims for third Olympic gold

Havana, Jan 15 (IANS) Having won two Olympic and five world titles, Cuba’s Greco-Roman wrestler Mijain Lopez has announced he will fight for a third gold in the upcoming Olympic Games 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.

“Winning more medals for Cuba honours the trust people have placed in me, therefore I am optimistic and believe in this,” Xinhua quoted Lopez, known as King of the 130 kilograms category, as saying to the Cuban News Agency on Thursday, from the central city of Sancti Spiritus where the National Wrestling Championships got underway.

He said he ended the previous year feeling like he could have fought better. During the Las Vegas World Championships in 2015, he lost what could have been his sixth gold medal while fighting against Turkey’s Riza Kayaalp, one of his most bitter rivals.

Going for gold in Rio de Janeiro in August is not only a commitment to his people and family but also to himself.

“I want people to continue believing in me as Cuba’s flagbearer, and for that, I have worked hard,” said Cuba’s Best Athlete of 2015.

Regarding his defeat to Kayaalp, the Cuban remarked “it is in the past” while adding he is hungry for a rematch.

“Of course I will look for a third Olympic victory, but in the end, the mat will have the last word,” he said.

Lopez currently trains with the German club ASV Nendingen and he believes it is important for his countrymen to go to foreign clubs because it contributes to increasing their level for future competitions.

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