TOKYO, July 28 (Xinhua) -- Cuba won its first medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games on Tuesday, with 80kg taekwondo athlete Rafael Alba defeating Sun Hongyi from China to take the bronze medal.
In a low-scoring 5-4 bout, the complex fight was decided in the last second of regulation time, when Alba achieved the point that led him to the podium.
"I am very happy and grateful to win this medal," he said. "The Cuban people were expecting this victory."
Alba added that he appreciated the support given by the rest of the members of the Cuban Olympic delegation and his relatives and friends on the island.
"We will continue gaining Olympic medals. I have no doubt about it," he added.
In the coming days, Mijain Lopez (Greco-Roman wrestling), Idalys Ortiz (judo) and Julio Cesar La Cruz (boxing) are expected to compete for gold medals in their respective sports.
Ariel Sainz, vice president of Cuba's Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation, said that the island's Olympic delegation would continue working hard to meet its goals.
"With a small delegation, we hope for a dignified and efficient performance," he said.
Cuba has amassed 226 medals since its debut at the 1900 Paris Games, ranking first among Latin American and Caribbean countries in Olympic history.
With some five gold medals predicted to be won, the island expects to place among the top 20 in the overall medal count at the Tokyo Olympics.