RIO DE JANEIRO – Shinobu Ota managed a silver medal but was no match against reigning world champion Ismael Borrero Molina of Cuba in the men’s Greco-Roman 59-kg final at the Rio Olympics on Sunday.
The 22-year-old Ota, who finished second at the 2014 Asian Championships in Astana and was making his debut in the Olympics, lost by technical fall to the 24-year-old Borrero Molina.
Ota was trying to become the first Japanese athlete to win gold in Greco-Roman since Atsuji Miyahara achieved the feat back at the 1984 Los Angeles Games. Despite his loss in the final, Ota was able to secure a medal in men’s wrestling for Japan in the 16th consecutive Olympics.
“I had only been aiming for gold. When I get back to Japan I will train hard all over again,” said Ota. “I wasn’t nervous. I feel relieved that I could continue the tradition (for Japan getting an Olympic medal) but also realize I have so much to work on since I could only manage the silver.
“I am determined that in four years, I am going to be the one who wins gold. I kept looking over at Borrero Molina’s gold when we were on the medals podium and thinking how cool it looks,” he said.
Borrero Molina scored six points when he heaved Ota up from the clinch position for a power-drive onto his back, making it 6-0 in the first period.