Rodriguez Earns Mexico’s First Medal at the 2016 Rio Games

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19 Aug 2016 | Olimpíadas

2016 Rio Games

Misael Rodriguez has ended his country’s drought…

The Mexican boxer couldn’t counter strong counterattacks from Uzbekistan’s Bektemir Melikuziev, losing his bout in the semifinals of the Men’s Middle 75 kg competition at the 2016 Rio Games, so he had to settle for the bronze medal.

Misael Rodriguez

But there’s a silver lining…

Rodriguez earned the first medal for Mexico at the 2016 Summer Olympics, instantly becoming a national hero in Mexico.

Rodriguez began with power in the first assault, but he looked hurt by the Uzbek fighter. It appeared the cards were in Melikuzievs favor.

With a mission to finish his opponent, Rodriguez started the third chapter, under pressure to get the knockout, but his opponent’s experience proved to be too much. The fight ended in favor of the Melikuziev in a unanimous decision.

But earning any medal is meaningful to Rodriguez.

Less than a year ago, he was panhandling for spare change to gather funds to qualify for the Olympics.

Rodríguez had to beg not because Mexico is broke, but because of a power struggle between the federal agency that oversees sports, known as CONADE for its Spanish acronym, and the country’s various sporting federations.

The spat stems from an anti-corruption crusade started by CONADE’s director, former state prosecutor Alfredo Castillo, last year. Alleging irregularities, his agency cut funding to some of the sport federations. But the strategy hasn’t cleaned Mexico’s undeniably flawed sports system, commentators say. Instead, it’s resulting in one of Mexico’s most embarrassing Olympic performances in years.

But Rodriguez isn’t pointing fingers though, at least not publicly. News agency EFE quotes Rodríguez as saying, “Medals after begging taste sweeter.”


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One Comment on “Rodriguez Earns Mexico’s First Medal at the 2016 Rio Games”

  1. […] Kamran Shakhsuvarly and Mexico’s Misael Rodriguez, his country’s first medalist in the division since 1968, took the bronze medals as losing […]