Another Gold for Cuba
Cuban powerlifter Oniger Drake Vega won gold in the 88 kg division with a record lift of 195 kg. Vega’s record came on final day of powerlifting at the V Parapan American Games in Toronto, August 11.
With the lowest body weight of the six participants (85.04 kg), the Cuban put on an impressive performance. Vega secured the top spot by bench-pressing 190 and 195 kilos one after the other, but failed on three attempts at 200 kg.
According to the official Games website, Vega was followed by Venezuelan César Campo with silver (191 kg) and Brazilian Rodrigo Rosa de Carvalho with bronze (186 kg).
Vega’s gold made a hat-trick for Cuban powerlifters. Early in the competition Cubans Leydis Rodríguez (41 and 45 kg division) and Danilo Rodríguez (65 kg division) achieved weightlifting golds, with César Rubio (45 and 54 kg division) taking silver and Yoander Arias (59 kg division) bronze.
Powerlifting at the Parapan Am Games came to a close with Cuba in third place with three gold, one silver and one bronze. Mexico came out on top with three gold, four silver and two bronze, while Brazil came second with three gold, one silver and four bronze.
Danilo Rodriguez: “I Couldn’t Leave Without the Gold”
Cuban powerlifter Danilo Rodriguez won a gold medal with a spectacular performance on Sunday, August 9, the second day of competition at the V Parapan American Games. Lifter Yoander Arias won bronze in the 59 kg division the same day.
Rodriguez came out on top of the 65 kg division with a validated lift of 166 kg, following two missed attempts at 160. A 160 kg lift would have been enough to secure the gold.
“The strategy came from my coach, Ramon Martinez. It was based on the confidence he has in me and in the training,” the powerlifter told JIT.
“I couldn’t leave without the gold, and the third time was the charm. This isn’t the first time I have been up against the wall but it’s all about self-confidence,” Rodriguez said. Two such occasions he referred to were the competitions in Rio de Janeiro 2007 and Guadalajara 2011, in which he did not medal.
In Guadalajara, Rodriguez was not given the full three attempts to lift 155 kg, but his attitude remained positive. “The referees are very demanding with regard to standards, and one must work hard in the discipline to succeed,” Rodriguez said.
“I never say they are judges – they must apply the rules and we fulfill them. But there is often disagreement, such as when I lost the bronze medal at the Paralympic Games in Athens. I was not happy with that,” Rodriguez added.