Cuban Takes Greco-Roman Gold

Americans Jesse Thielke and Andy Bisek, both of whom won their first match and lost their second, have been eliminated

Cuba continues to pin its competition in international wrestling.

Ismael Borrero Molina won the gold medal in 59-kilogram Greco-Roman wrestling Sunday, to give Cuba at least one wrestling title in each of the last seven Olympics.

Borrero Molina beat Japan's Shinobu Ota 8-0 in the first title match of the Olympics.

The Cuban dominated the 22-year-old Ota, pulling ahead with a dramatic throw and turn move and clinching on match superiority.

Uzbekistan's Elmurat Tasmuradov and Andre-Stige Berge of Norway claimed bronze medals — with Berge giving the Norwegians their first wrestling medal since 1992.

Despite the loss to Borrero Molina, Ota did produced one of the biggest upsets the Rio Games will likely see as he stunned seven-time world champion Hamid Soryan of Iran 5-4 in the opening set of Greco-Roman bouts in the 59-kilogram division in Arena Carioca 2. 

The loss was the second straight international flame-out for Soryan, who has won six world titles in addition to gold at the London Games in 2012. 

Ota proceeded to win three more matches, including a semifinal bout vs. world No. 2 Rovshan Bayramov of Azerbaijan that ended with a pin. Cuba's Ismael Borrero, the world No. 1, will face Ota in the gold match. 

Americans Jesse Thielke and Andy Bisek, both of whom won their first match and lost their second, have been eliminated. Bisek, at 75 kg, was thought to be the U.S. best hope for a medal in Greco-Roman, a discipline that has long lagged behind freestyle in popularity in the States.

Bisek, the world No. 5, lost his quarterfinals match to Starcevic 3-0.  

Greco-Roman wrestling, world's oldest sport, underwent major changes after being forced to apply for reinstatement to the IOC in 2013.

Matches now feature two 3-minute periods with cumulative scoring, a move designed to stop wrestlers from sitting on a lead as they often did under the old best-of-three format.

Meanwhile, Russia wrestler Roman Vlasov won gold for the second Olympics in a row, taking first at 75 kilograms in the Greco-Roman event.

Vlasov beat Denmark's Mark Madsen 5-1 on Sunday. Madsen has now finished second in the world five times. Still, Madsen became Denmark's first Olympic medalist in wrestling since 1948 by winning silver.

Vlasov's win might be the first of many in Rio for the Russians, who typically dominate the Olympic tournament.

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