Yazdani Top Male World Wrestler of 2017

The 22-year-old freestyler has won gold medals at 2017 Paris World Championships, 2017 Baku Islamic Solidarity Games and 2016 Rio Olympics, among many more honors
Hassan Yazdani (R) beat Russian Aniuar Geduev to win the gold medal of 2016 Rio Olympics.
Hassan Yazdani (R) beat Russian Aniuar Geduev to win the gold medal of 2016 Rio Olympics.

Iranian freestyler Hassan Yazdani was announced the top male wrestler of the year by the United World Wrestling on December 22.

International governing body for the sport of amateur wrestling, UWW releases a list each year to define wrestlers with great performance. In this year’s list, Yazdani is the only male wrestler and is accompanied by two women athletes.

Yazdani, 22, grabbed the gold medal of 74kg category in 2016 Rio Olympics at the age of 20. Gold medal of 2017 Paris World Championships is among his other trophies. He also collected the silver medal of World Championships in Las Vegas in 2015.

According to the, he kicked off the 2017 World Championships with three straight technical superiority victories, outscoring those opponents 32-2. In the semifinals Yazdani defeated Vladislav Valiev from Russia 4-0 to make his first world finals appearance since 2015 when he took home a silver medal. In the gold medal match, the Iranian superstar shut out Boris Makoev from Slovakia  10-0 to win his first world championship.

In his Asian career, Yazdani has the gold medal of 2017 Baku Islamic Solidarity Games. To grab the gold medal, Yazdani defeated former Russian-Azerbaijani Olympic gold medalist Sharif Sharifov and 2016 Turkish Olympic silver medalist Selim Yaşar with the total result of 11-0 for both matches.

As a junior, Yazdani won the gold medal for 66kg category in 2014 Juniors Championships in Belgrade, Serbia.

The Olympian started wrestling at the age of 15 back in 2006. He qualified for national junior squad in 2011 and achieved the bronze medal for Asian Games in the same year.

Starting from 50kg, Yazdani has bumped up his weight to 86kg gradually and has been a medal winner in all weight categories. He has played in five categories including 50kg, 66kg, 70kg, 74kg and 86kg.

In his first appearance in 74kg, Yazdani first won the 2016 Paris Grand Prix silver medal and later in the same year grabbed the 2016 Rio Olympics gold medal.

His Olympic gold medal set a remarkable moment in the history of Iran wrestling. Winning the gold medal, Yazdani was the first person to achieve an Olympic gold medal in wrestling for the country after16 years (four Olympics editions).


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