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Cuba’s Nunez wins historic fourth gold in 130kg Greco-Roman wrestling

Cuba’s Mijain Lopez Nunez reigns supreme as the king of 130kg Greco-Roman wrestling as he becomes the first man to win fourth gold in the fourth Olympics at Makuhari Messe Hall.

Cuba’s wrestler couldn’t contain his elation at the end of his 130kg Greco-Roman wrestling bout: he had just achieved what no man had ever done before. The world’s greatest super heavyweight wrestler had just won his fourth consecutive gold medal at his fourth Olympic games.

The blood, sweat and tears of decades of training and competing had come down to this moment at the Makuhari Messe Hall at Tokyo 2020 on August 2, and the 38-year-old punched the air with joy.

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There was just one man who could have possibly stopped him, and he was standing right next to him, Iakobi Kajaia, 27, a European Games champion and a quarterfinalist at Rio 2016. But Lopez Nunez was determined not to give up the Olympic crown that he had worn for the past 13 years: he won it in 2008 and again in 2012 and 2016.

And he did so in style without conceding a point, just like he had done throughout the whole tournament. It was a master class in Greco-Roman wrestling. The arena erupted with cheers as the final bell went and the score stood at 5-0. Lopez Nunez grabbed the Cuban flag and held it aloft before he picked up his elated coach.

“I feel happy and proud to be the best in the world and make history,” he said later at a press conference. “I’ve had a long career, working hard to make these goals and break this record. Being able to break this record today, is for me, a great achievement because I’ve faced the best and I can be proud.”

Soon after the historic win Cuba’s President Miguel Diaz-Canel rang him: “He called me to congratulate me for this result. It was very important to have the call, recognising all my support, and at the same time, I feel flattered to fight for my country.”

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