Former World Judo Champion Estela Rodriguez Dead at 54

Estela Rodriguez
Former world judo champion and Olympic medalist Estela Rodriguez Villanueva passed away on Sunday at the age of 54 from conditions relating to her diabetes, Cuban media is reporting. One of the most successful competitors in Cuban judo history, she became the first judoka from that country to win a world title when she earned gold in the women's open weight class at the 1989 World Championships helping jump start an era of Cuban judo excellence.

She would go on to capture silver medals at heavyweight in both the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games, though the latter was tainted when she tested positive for a banned drug. She was allowed to keep her medal however and only issued a reprimand at the time.

Introducing Martial Arts School Listings on Black Belt Mag!
Sign Up Now To Be One Of The First School Listed In Our Database.
Don't miss a single issue of the worlds largest magazine of martial arts.