Art And Culture

Iran Beats US to Win Freestyle World Cup

Iran Beats US to Win Freestyle World CupIran Beats US to Win Freestyle World Cup

Iran defeated the US 5-3 to win the championship at the United World Wrestling Freestyle World Cup for the fourth consecutive year.

The tournament, which has been held annually since 1973, features the top teams in the global ranking from the previous year of the competition. With hundreds of Iranians waving flags, blowing horns and singing at the Forum Stadium in Los Angeles on Monday, Iranian freestylers felt at home and managed to overpower the host in a close encounter.

Earlier in the day, Iran defeated the powerhouse Azerbaijan, 7-1, winning its pool with a 3-0 record. The US also advanced to the final by defeating Mongolia, 8-0, winning its pool with a 3-0 record.

Iran’s Hassan Rahimi gave his nation the first win of the finals with a tight 6-5 victory over Tony Ramos (US) at 57kg. Iran’s Behnam Ehsanpoor sent the Iranian fans into boisterous applause, winning over American Coleman Scott 9-7 at 61kg.

Brent Metcalf gave the US its first win with a 3-1 victory at 65kg over world No.2 Masoud Esmailpour.

Iran would take a key swing match at 70kg as world No.10 Hassan Yazdani would show keen mat awareness to defeat world No. 11 Nick Marable 3-1.

Iran’s Morteza Rezaei-Ghaleh (74kg) had defeated two world medallists already in the tournament, but facing world No.2 Jordan Burroughs (US), he lost the match 10-0.

World No.4 Meisam Mostafa-Joukar, the reigning world university champion, would face American Clayton Foster at 86kg. Mostafa-Joukar finished off Foster earning a 12-2 technical fall and gave Iran a 4-2 lead with two bouts remaining.

At 97kg weight class, the 2012 Olympic champion Jake Varner (US) picked the last three seconds to strike and steal a victory away from 2014 world bronze medalist Mohammad-Hossein Mohammadian. Earning a 3-3 criteria victory, Varner sent championship down to the event’s last match.

World and Olympic medalist Komeil Ghasemi (IRI) stepped on the mat at 125kg to try to bring the World Cup title back to Iran. He would face off with World No.15 Zach Rey.

Ghasemi beat his American rival 3-1 to give Iran the 5-3 team victory.

Before the final, the consolation match to determine the third-place team was held in which Azerbaijan and Russia leveled on points in the consolation match, but Azerbaijan pushed through by technical points with 34 to 28.

Following the victory, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, the President Hassan Rouhani, Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani, and the Minister of Sports and Youth Mahmoud Goudarzi in separate messages congratulated the Iranian team.