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Katie

time to start training with the Cubans

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The USA and Cuba have restored diplomatic relations. The USA has eased travel restrictions on Cuba. Literally any of us can now travel there. The USA is about to take Cuba off its terror list, which will ease some economic sanctions. Raul Castro and Obama recently met, and they both agreed that Cuba's isolation is a relic of the cold war, and the best path forward is greater cooperation. Everybody expects to see Hiltons and Senor Turtles popping up in Havana in the next 5 to 10 years. 

 

Now, after watching the Russians dominate everything, it might be time to start training more closely with the Cubans. There's a lot we can learn from them, and training with elite wrestlers who are steeped in freestyle would only make our guys better. Geographically, Cuba is super close the USA. I can't imagine it would take much to bring their guys over here and vice versa. There's also some precedent for training with representatives from other countries. Franklin Gomez and Jaime Espinal train at the NLWC, but represent Puerto Rico.

 

How great would it be to have Cortina at PSU? Or Salas at ASU? Or Bonne at OSU?

Edited by Katie

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"How great would it be to have Cortina at PSU? Or Salas at ASU? Or Bonne at OSU?"

 

It would be great, but it will never happen as long as the communist regime is in place.  Just because we remove restrictions, it doesn't mean the Castro regime will allow their athletes to live in the USA as students.  Besides, they gain nothing by wrestling college kids in folkstyle.   

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Yup. He wasn't too far off last year at 61 placing 3rd. He teched the Russian and his loss to Aliyev was very close. He will need to break something like a 12 match losing streak for Cubans in that finals to win though.

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Yup. He wasn't too far off last year at 61 placing 3rd. He teched the Russian and his loss to Aliyev was very close. He will need to break something like a 12 match losing streak for Cubans in that finals to win though.

 

Quintana won gold in 2004. Have 12 Cubans been in the finals since then?

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I got the stat from Mike Riordan at bloodyelbow; he might have counted only world championships and not Olympics. Going from memory WC final losses include Salas to Sadulaev and Aldatov, Lopez to Safayran, Garzon to Shahin, Quintana to Dudaev and Abdullauev (did win Olympic gold). Romero and Rodriguez each won gold early in their careers and then had a bunch of silvers; Romero to Saitiev 2x (1 Olympic) and Mindorashvilli; ARod to Makhov, Mussulbes and that Turkish guy. Montero also won a gold at some point.

 

I can't really remember the order of all these and how long the streak is at but since 2000 or do that's an awful lot of silver medals. Also a ton of bronzes being won in that time.

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I got the stat from Mike Riordan at bloodyelbow; he might have counted only world championships and not Olympics. Going from memory WC final losses include Salas to Sadulaev and Aldatov, Lopez to Safayran, Garzon to Shahin, Quintana to Dudaev and Abdullauev (did win Olympic gold). Romero and Rodriguez each won gold early in their careers and then had a bunch of silvers; Romero to Saitiev 2x (1 Olympic) and Mindorashvilli; ARod to Makhov, Mussulbes and that Turkish guy. Montero also won a gold at some point.

 

I can't really remember the order of all these and how long the streak is at but since 2000 or do that's an awful lot of silver medals. Also a ton of bronzes being won in that time.

 

Montero won gold at 2002 worlds. If we count only world title matches since then (and exclude Quintana's 2004 Olympic gold), I would be skeptical that Cubans have been in 12 world championship finals. But I haven't looked it up so I don't know. 

 

This obviously wouldn't apply to Greco where Lopez has won four world golds (and two Olympic golds) since 2005. 

 

If Riordan is suggesting Cubans are getting paid to throw matches, he better support that with actual evidence. I'd hate to see him lose his credibility.  

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Riordan didn't suggest it but since 3 guys on my list have been suspended for throwing matches it's not exactly a huge leap to suggest some (not all) are fixed.

 

Again just going from memory all the losses I mention except for Romeros to Saitiev and ARod to Mussulbes count. That's 9, which is indeed not 12 but still a staggering string of losses. Do I think those are all bought and paid for? I don't; but clearly the Cubans are struggling to put it all together under pressure.

 

Furthermore watch some of the matches I listed (plus some of Cubas early round losses). There are some really ugly matches there where the Cuban guys either get shellacked or make a huge mistake. Mental issues, thrown matches or just bad luck? It's probably some of each to be honest but it's frustrating as a fan up have to ask these questions.

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All wrestlers from all countries know Cubans throw matches. Salas got suspended for it. Romero got suspended for it. Goudarzi said on Iranian television that Garzon dropped his semi-final match to Gogayev at 66kg in the 2010 worlds because he was paid to do so. Kumar said that the Russian's offered him money to drop the finals. Match fixing happens in wrestling. I'm suspicious of the Livian Lopez 2013 worlds final as well. Riordan isn't exactly saying something hugely controversial. 

Edited by Shiraz123

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All wrestlers from all countries know Cubans throw matches. Salas got suspended for it. Romero got suspended for it. Goudarzi said on Iranian television that Garzon dropped his semi-final match to Gogayev at 66kg in the 2010 worlds because he was paid to do so. Kumar said that the Russian's offered him money to drop the finals. Match fixing happens in wrestling. I'm suspicious of the Livian Lopez 2013 worlds final as well. Riordan isn't exactly saying something hugely controversial. 

 

Unfortunately journalism isn't about "what everyone knows." There is something called professional ethics. If a journalist wants to say a group of wrestlers is throwing matches, as a journalist he needs to do the work of collecting evidence. Repeating unverified gossip from youtube is not journalism. 

 

In my opinion, accusing Cubans of dropping twelve straight world championship matches is pretty serious. If you make that accusation as a journalist, I would you hope you have evidence of that. (I don't know that Riordan did that. That's just my view in general.)

 

As far as Riordan is concerned, I didn't read his article so I don't know what he said or whether he actually collected facts. So I'm not talking about him. I'm talking about all journalists' obligations. 

Edited by Katie

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All wrestlers from all countries know Cubans throw matches. Salas got suspended for it. Romero got suspended for it. Goudarzi said on Iranian television that Garzon dropped his semi-final match to Gogayev at 66kg in the 2010 worlds because he was paid to do so. Kumar said that the Russian's offered him money to drop the finals. Match fixing happens in wrestling. I'm suspicious of the Livian Lopez 2013 worlds final as well. Riordan isn't exactly saying something hugely controversial. 

 

How about Sadulaev vs. Salas in the World finals in 2014? Did anyone say something about this match?

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Riordan did NOT accuse a bunch of guys of throwing matches. He pointed out that the Cubans have lost many world finals in a row, which is a factual statement.

 

The rest of us who are suggesting that some matches were thrown are not journalists. We don't need to meet journalistic standards of proof to speculate. Most of the credible insiders I've spoken to think that Cubans have thrown some matches but not all the time. (Ie they do try to win most of them).

 

Regarding Sadulaev some people were suspicious of the result but that's it as far as I know... IMO why bother to buy that match? Sadulaev was killing everyone he faced in similar fashion. However Salas has been suspended for match fixing in the past, and Sadulaev has been accused of cheating by faking his age, so let the speculation fly. It's not like these guys are squeaky clean.

Edited by armspin

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Unfortunately journalism isn't about "what everyone knows." There is something called professional ethics. If a journalist wants to say a group of wrestlers is throwing matches, as a journalist he needs to do the work of collecting evidence. Repeating unverified gossip from youtube is not journalism. 

 

In my opinion, accusing Cubans of dropping twelve straight world championship matches is pretty serious. If you make that accusation as a journalist, I would you hope you have evidence of that. (I don't know that Riordan did that. That's just my view in general.)

 

As far as Riordan is concerned, I didn't read his article so I don't know what he said or whether he actually collected facts. So I'm not talking about him. I'm talking about all journalists' obligations. 

 

Riordan said something sarcastic to the effect of Cubans losing 12 final matches in a row must be a coincidence. He didn't out right say they sold matches and from that sentence I didn't gather that he was implying all 12 were sold, but that there were likely sold matches in that streak of losses. That's undeniable since people have been suspended for it, so the evidence is already there. I agree with you on journalists' obligations but it does not apply here. I see no wrong doing on Riordan's part.  I wouldn't really even call Riordan a journalist, more of an analyst. 

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My friends in the Caucasus said that every time a Cuban made the finals in a tournament in that part of the world, they would offer to sell a match.. he even accused Romero of losing to Adam Saitiev in the Olympic finals on purpose, and this is one of his countrymen who believes that Caucasian wrestlers are above all others

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flipping a coin heads 10 times in a row happens once ever 1000 iterations. its very unlikely that cubans have gotten so unlucky in finals matches. 

 

that said, i personally dont think there is anything immoral in athletes in their situation selling matches. the system they come from is great at producing championship caliber athletes but terrible at compensating them. they live in penury and are kept from defecting often with threats to their family. i would value money for my family over winning a sports tournament as well. 

 

hopefully this all changes soon and the cuban athletes are able to keep their wrestling and sports traditions while transitioning into a freer and more open society. 

 

just my 2 cents. 

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flipping a coin heads 10 times in a row happens once ever 1000 iterations. its very unlikely that cubans have gotten so unlucky in finals matches. 

 

that said, i personally dont think there is anything immoral in athletes in their situation selling matches. the system they come from is great at producing championship caliber athletes but terrible at compensating them. they live in penury and are kept from defecting often with threats to their family. i would value money for my family over winning a sports tournament as well. 

 

hopefully this all changes soon and the cuban athletes are able to keep their wrestling and sports traditions while transitioning into a freer and more open society. 

 

just my 2 cents.

 

nice word thesaurus boy.

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flipping a coin heads 10 times in a row happens once ever 1000 iterations. its very unlikely that cubans have gotten so unlucky in finals matches. 

 

that said, i personally dont think there is anything immoral in athletes in their situation selling matches. the system they come from is great at producing championship caliber athletes but terrible at compensating them. they live in penury and are kept from defecting often with threats to their family. i would value money for my family over winning a sports tournament as well. 

 

hopefully this all changes soon and the cuban athletes are able to keep their wrestling and sports traditions while transitioning into a freer and more open society. 

 

just my 2 cents. 

 

As a poster on a wrestling forum, I think your comment is fine.  But if you were a journalist, I would expect higher standards. 

 

Since Montero won gold at worlds in 2002, Cubans have gone 0-9 in world freestyle finals. But if you include Olympic freestyle finals in that tally, Cubans are 1-9. And if you count Greco world finals, Cubans are 6-13. Finally, if also you count Greco Olympic finals they are 8-14.
 
Is there some reason to only count world freestyle finals? Wouldn't world-level freestyle finals make more sense? Or even all wrestling finals?
 
If a journalist wants to do statistical analysis with accurate numbers, that would be fine with me. But if a journalist simply says "0-and-whatever is suspicious," that would not seem like good journalism to me, especially if the numbers are both wrong and arbitrarily selected. 
 
Again, I can't find Riordan's article and I never read it, so I'm not talking about him. I'm just talking in general.
Edited by Katie

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was hoping someone would look them all up :) Katie, do you mind posting those results? I'm curious what the record is without counting Lopez at GR heavyweight. 

 

here is where Riordan mentioned the 10 world finals losses in a row, before the 2 more losses in 2014

http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2014/9/5/6108989/a-thorough-guide-to-the-2014-freestyle-world-wrestling-championships-brent-metcalf

 

hence 12 in a row. i never counted them up myself though. but once you look at the incentives and take away the stigma it makes a lot of sense. wrestling isn't a professional sport in the US so there is less incentives to cheat. but in the rest of the world where there is a lot more money on the line (relatively), the incentive is there.

 

and it's not like americans or europeans are immune. baseball players and cyclists are notorious dopers. domincans lie about their age to get MLB contracts. match fixing in soccer is endemic, from asia to africa to europe. sumo wrestlers have been statistically proven to fix matches due to the promotion/relegation system (in the first Freakanomics book, very interesting chapter). 

 

so the options are either go amateur only (a popular notion for a long period of time yet not so much recently) or accept that it is there and do you best to minimize the damage it causes to the sport. 

 

a bit more than 2 cents worth this time perhaps. 

Edited by Jaroslav Hasek

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