Mijaín López Núñez Looking to Make History In Olympic Wrestling Final

Olympic Wrestling
CHIBA, JAPAN - AUGUST 01: Mijain Lopez Nunez of Team Cuba celebrates after defeating Riza Kayaalp (not seen) of Team Turkey in menâs wrestling greco-roman semi final match during Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Makuhari Messe Hall in Chiba, Japan on August 01, 2021. (Photo by Ahmet Izgi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Mijaín López Núñez, the 38-year-old Cuban Olympic Wrestling finalist, will be looking make history in these 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. López Núñez will be competing in the Olympic Wrestling finals for a record-breaking fourth gold medal. He has already won three Olympic gold medals previously in Men’s 130kg Greco-Roman wrestling.

“The new superstar of wrestling,” Nenad Lalovic, President of United World Wrestling (UWW), called López Núñez, “If he gets the gold medal this week, he will be the first man to have ever achieved that,” Laloviv said.

Mijaín López Núñez vs Iakobi Kajaia Olympic Wrestling Final

On his way to this August 2 final, Mijaín López Núñez had a challenging path but wrestled cleanly to consecutive victories. First, he had defeated Romania’s Europe Wrestling 2020 Gold Medalist Alin Alexuc Ciurariu 9-0, followed by Iran’s, Asian Wrestling 2020 Gold Medalist Amin Mirzazadeh 8-0, to qualify for the semi-finals.

In the semi-finals match, Lopez Nunez faced the silver medalist in Rio 2016 and bronze medalist in London 2012, Turkey’s Riza Kayaalp, Which the Cuban defeated 2-0. After the match, these two shared a kiss and a hug.

“He’s not the youngest wrestler out there. But he’s in great form. You cannot see that often, winning in the heaviest category in that age,” Laloviv, President of the UWW, said, “He’s just great.”

Mijaín López Núñez is a three-time Olympic Wrestling gold medalist, and he will set the men’s record if he is able to earn a gold medal on August 2. For the Men’s 130 kg Greco-Roman Olympic Wrestling final he will face Georgian wrestler Iakobi Kajaia.  Kajaia won the European wrestling gold medal in 2019, and a bronze in World Championships in 2019.

On his way to the final, Georgian-born Iakobi Kajaia needed to defeat Chilean Yasmani Acosta Fernández, who was the South American Games Greco-Roman Gold medalist, Finland’s Elias Kuosmanen, who is a two-time European Wrestling bronze medalist, and Russia’s Sergey Semenov, who is a Wrestling World Champion in 2018 and a Rio 2016 Olympic Wrestling Bronze Medalist.

Cuba’s Mijaín López Núñez will face Iakobi Kajaia, of Georgia, in the Men’s 130 kg Greco-Roman Olympic Wrestling Final gold medal match on August 2nd.

Reuters points out that these four Olympic wrestling gold medals would only be for the men’s category. For the Women’s Japan’s Kaori Icho won four gold medals in women’s freestyle Olympic Wrestling. “We already have a woman who’s done it, so finally a man will equal a woman,” Laloviv, President of the UWW, said.

Adeline Maria Gray vs. Aline Rotter-Focken for Women’s Olympic Wrestling Final

Adeline Maria Gray, of the USA, will be looking to add an Olympic gold medal to her collection, on August 2. She has not yet earned a medal in the past two Olympics, for which she has qualified. However, she has earned five championships in Women’s Freestyle Wrestling, and she was the first American woman to do so.

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This Monday, American-born Adeline Maria Gray will be looking to gain her first Olympic Wrestling gold medal. But it goes through Germany’s Aline Rotter-Focken.

Aline Rotter-Focken will also be seeking her first Olympic wrestling medal. Rotter-Focken won a wrestling world championship in 2014, and an Individual World Cup in wrestling in 2020.

On her way to the Women’s Freestyle Olympic Wrestling final, Maria Gray needed to defeat Yasemin Adar, of Turkey, who had previously won multiple European wrestling championships, and a World Wrestling championship. Rotter-Focken had to defeat Japan’s home-country hero in Hiroe Minagawa. Minagawa had won multiple Asian Championship medals representing Japan.

American-born Adeline Maria Gray will face Aline Rotter-Focken, of Germany for the Women’s Freestyle Olympic Wrestling Final, at 76 kg, this August 2.

More Info on Olympic Wrestling Finals:

Aug. 2: Men’s Greco-Roman 60 kg, men’s Greco-Roman 130 kg, women’s freestyle 76 kg
Aug. 3: Men’s Greco-Roman 77 kg, men’s Greco-Roman 97 kg, women’s freestyle 68 kg
Aug. 4: Men’s Greco-Roman 67 kg, men’s Greco-Roman 87 kg, women’s freestyle 62 kg
Aug. 5: Men’s freestyle 57 kg, men’s freestyle 86 kg, women’s freestyle 57 kg
Aug. 6: Men’s freestyle 74 kg, men’s freestyle 125 kg, women’s freestyle 53 kg
Aug. 7: Men’s freestyle 65 kg, men’s freestyle 97 kg, women’s freestyle 50 kg

MMA and Olympic Wrestling have much cross-over. Read more about that here.

 

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