Cuban Wrestler Eyes Fifth Olympic Gold

Cuban Wrestler Eyes Fifth Olympic Gold
Cuban Wrestler Eyes Fifth Olympic Gold

Despite being 41 years old, the last two without competing, Cuban Mijaín López, four-time Olympic wrestling champion, is preparing intensely to fight for his fifth consecutive crown in Paris-2024, an unprecedented feat that would expand his legend. "I'm going to repeat," he says resolutely.

Experts then thought that the time had come for his well-deserved retirement, but, with the same force that he applied a suplex to the Turkish Riza Kayaalp in the final of Rio-2016, López announced that he would go to Paris for his fifth title, which would make him He is the only athlete to achieve that feat in the modern era.

With a few extra kilos, this Greco-Roman wrestling superstar began the final stage of his preparation in January and is confident that in the four months remaining until the event in France he will manage to reach the weight of 130 kg, his eternal rival.

"The fatigue is there, the pain in the body is there, so the mentality has to be strong, the motivation has to be even stronger," explains this veteran, who holds the titles of Beijing, London, Rio and Tokyo held in 2021.

In his preparation for Paris-2024, he also prioritizes "the confidence" he has in the high level of expertise and in that of his coach, Raúl Trujillo, who has already guided him to win the gold medals in Rio and Tokyo. . "It's just about listening to the coach and a lot of trust in all of his training plans," he says.

"It's just about not having injuries, as I've always said, and over there to Paris, up from the mats to fight," he adds.

In five Olympic events, López has 18 victories and only one defeat, against the Russian Khasan Baroev in Athens-2004, during his first experience under the five rings, at the age of 22.

López will continue his preparation in the resort of Varadero, 150 km east of Havana.