Estela Rodríguez, Cuba

Cuban judoka Estela Rodríguez, double Olympic runner-up, dies

MIAMI, United States. — Cuban judoka Estela Rodríguez Villanueva, Olympic runner-up in Barcelona 1992 and Atlanta 1996, died this Sunday in Havana at the age of 54, official media on the island reported.

According to the official newspaper Hitthe former athlete died as a result of cardiac arrest at the Joaquín Albarrán Surgical Clinical Hospital (Clinical of 26), a center to which she had been admitted due to conditions associated with the diabetes she suffered from.

The media indicated that the body of the athlete will be cremated and transferred to Santiago de Cuba, her native province.

World champion and two-time Olympic runner-up, Estela Rodríguez is considered one of the best Cuban judokas of all time.

The judoka was a four-time medalist at the Pan American Games, highlighting her performance at the 1991 Havana event, where she won two gold medals.

In 1989, Estela was the first Cuban judo athlete (including both sexes) to win a medal in a world championship of the discipline (Belgrade, 1989). In 1992 she also became the first judoka to medal at the Olympic Games.

Due to her extensive and successful career, she was included in the Hall of Fame of the Pan American Judo Union.

In 1988, 1991 and 1992 she was chosen among the ten best athletes of the year in Cuba and was also included among the 100 best Cuban sports figures in the 20th century.

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