No gold for Cuban boxers in Olympics

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{image-cuban boxers_25082008.jpg}Beijing, Aug 25: Boxers from Cuba failed to win a gold medal at an Olympics for the first time in 20 years on Sunday, when Carlos Banteaux Suarez lost 18-9 in his welterweight final bout against Kazakhstan's Bakhyt Sarsekbayev.

Cuban boxers won five gold medals 2004 in Athens, four each in the previous Olympics in Sydney and Atlanta and seven at Barcelona in 1992, but boycotted the 1988 and 1984 Games. The poor showing is further evidence that defections are seriously hampering the Communist nation's boxing team. In the past two years, Cuba have lost five gold medal winners from its 2004 Athens Olympics team as well as a 2005 World Championship. However, head coach Pedro Roque said the lack of a gold medal was a cyclical thing and his fighters failed due to a lack of experience. "They came here with no experience and they've won eight medals. No gold I know, but nobody was expecting more than one or two medals."

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