• The unique Cuban Ernesto Fuertes Hilva – a record-breaker at the Pan American SAMBO Championships with 2 championships and 4 medals

The unique Cuban Ernesto Fuertes Hilva – a record-breaker at the Pan American SAMBO Championships with 2 championships and 4 medals

Personalities
29 August 2016 Sergei Grishin

No, it’s not a mistake. You heard everything right. This powerful and explosive man from the Liberty Island won his fourth gold medal in Asunción today, but what's most interesting is that he won these medals in two Pan American Championships in a row – last year and this. The secret is simple – Ernesto competes in two SAMBO disciplines – Sport and Combat.

Yesterday, he won a gold medal in a Sport SAMBO weight category, beating Pablo Vargas of Argentina, and today in Combat SAMBO, he met Canadian Kiril Sozin in the final. The first two minutes of the fight were futile, but then Ernesto delighted all the spectators and his fellow Cubans with a powerful throw quickly followed by a retention. The result was an early win and a second gold medal here in Asunción.

Ernesto Hilva's winning throw:

Interview with Ernesto Hilva:

"Which SAMBO discipline do I like best? To be honest, I'm more into Sport SAMBO. This is because I used to practice judo and freestyle wrestling. So my techniques are better suited for Sport SAMBO. How do I manage to feel OK in Combat SAMBO? Actually, I did some boxing, so I know firsthand about punching, and most important, protection against strikes. I feel fairly comfortable in Combat SAMBO. But I still like Sport SAMBO better.

In terms of functionality and health, I get through these marathons calmly. At home in Cuba, I often fight several days in a row in different weight classes. For example, it even happened that I fought three days in a row in the 90 kg, 100 kg and +100 kg weight classes. I think my body is already used to these loads, and now it enjoys these loads, so to speak.

Which countries do I consider the world's best in SAMBO? Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Belarus, of course.

As for us, we're hoping that athletes from these countries will be in various subgroups with Ernesto at the World SAMBO Championships in Bulgaria, but we're sure he'll be prepared so no one will scare him.”