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Iran Crowned at Takhti Greco-Roman Cup

Iran had four wrestlers among the finalists three of whom won gold medals and one took silver
Heavyweight wrestler Behnam Mehdizadeh, in the 130kg category, beat the Turkish opponent Osman Yildrim 2-1  and took Iran’s third gold medal.Heavyweight wrestler Behnam Mehdizadeh, in the 130kg category, beat the Turkish opponent Osman Yildrim 2-1  and took Iran’s third gold medal.

Iran’s Greco-Roman team finished first in the Takhti Greco-Roman Cup with 12 medals in Mahshahr, Khuzestan Province, January 25-26.

According to Iran Wrestling Federation website Iawf.ir, a total of 127 wrestlers from Iran and 11 countries attended the games and collected 192 points. Iran emerged as the champion of the tournament.

Iran had four wrestlers among the finalists three of which won gold medals and one took silver. Eight other medals were bronze.

Among the golden boys, Mohammad-Ali Garaei in the 77kg category grabbed the first gold by defeating the Turkish rival 7-2.

Garaei has a bronze medal from the 2017 Paris World Championships, a gold medal from the 2015 CISM Championships in South Korea and silver from the 2015 Asian Wrestling Championships in Qatar.

In the final clash in the 87kg class, Saman Azizi went on the mattress against a Kazakh wrestler. The game ended in a 1-1 draw but as Azizi took the last point, according to the rules he was announced winner.

The third gold medal for Iran was from the heavyweight wrestler Behnam Mehdizadeh, in 130kg category, after he downed Turkish opponent Osman Yildrim, 2-1. Mehdizadeh also has two gold medals from the 2014 and 2017 Asian Championships in Kazakhstan and India respectively.

The single silver medal for Iran was given to Mehrdad Mardani. He stepped into the final match of the -60kg but lost to a Kirghiz opponent Uzur Dzhuzupbekov 0-6 and took second place.

 Eight Bronze Medals

In the classification games of the 55kg category, Moslem Naderi and Reza Khedri both finished third; Naderi in the main run and Khedri via repecharge.

Naderi beat Ibrahim Nurullayev from Azerbaijan 5-4 and Khedri overpowered the Azerbaijani athlete Ziyad Zeynalov 9-0.

In the 63kg class Mohammad Nourbakhsh won bronze overcoming Dmytro Kosenok from Ukraine 5-1.

In the 67kg category, Mohammad Eliasi defeated Ismael Borrero from Cuba 7-5 to win bronze. Borrero, 26, is the 2016 Rio Olympics gold medalist. He also has one gold from the 2017 Las Vegas Championships.

The fourth bronze winner was Farshad Belfakah in the 72kg class who defeated Goga Gogiberashvili from Georgia 1-0.

In 97kg, Ali-Akbar Heidari won the bronze medal after a close encounter with Dorin Constantin Pirvan from Romania. The match ended 1-1 but Heidari had the last point and won the game.

Shahab Ghourehjili took another bronze in the 130kg by defeating his Romanian rival Ciurariu Alin Alexuc 1-0 in classification games.

As the Takhti Greco-Roman Cup has entered the United World Wrestling annual ranking series list, the tournament attracted world and Olympic champions and gave the event an elevated status compared to previous editions.

Turkey with 171 points finished second and Kazakhstan with 145 points was third.

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