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Cuba won three gold medals at the first stage of the Pan-American Judo Championship underway in Montreal, Canada.

Cuban medallists included Driulis Gonzalez in 63 kilos, Oscar Cardenas in 81 and Oreidis Despaigne in 100 kilos. Gonzalez defeated Argentinean Daniela Krukower, who had previously won over the Cuban judo expert at the Osaka 2003 World Championship. Meanwhile, Cardenas got a ticket to Rio de Janeiro after winning four combats and having defeated Pan-Am champ Emmanuel Lucenti of Argentina in the finals; and Despaigne got the gold medal after defeating Brazilian Leonardo Leite.

In all, Cuba also won three silver and two bronze medals, which guarantees the participation of eight judo experts in the Rio de Janeiro Pan-Am games, slated for next July. Another 10 Cuban judokas are scheduled to compete with the aim of getting their tickets to the Rio championship.

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