0939 GMT October 05, 2022
Iranian wrestlers will be hoping to secure the remaining six spots for next summer’s Tokyo Olympics in the upcoming qualification tournaments in India and Kazakhstan.
The Iranian teams will head to New Delhi for the Asian Wrestling Championship, starting on February 18, which also serves as the Olympics qualifiers, before being given a second chance at the Asian qualifying tournament in Almaty, Kazakhstan, from April 9-11.
Both of the country’s Greco-Roman and freestyle teams resumed training camps last week in Tehran following the conclusion of the Iranian Premier Wrestling League.
The Iranian teams’ preparations were halted in November when the Untied World Wrestling decided to call off the December’s World Wrestling Championship in Belgrade, Serbia, due to the COVID-19 restrictions, replacing the competitions by the inaugural Individual World Cup.
Last year’s world championship in Nur-Sultan, the capital of Kazakhstan, saw Iranians book six places for the Olympics.
Rio 2016 gold medalist Hassan Yazdani sealed the spot with the 86kg gold, while Reza Atri (57kg) and Yadollah Mohebbi (125kg) also went through with last-four finishes in the freestyle event.
In the Greco-Roman contests, Alireza Nejati (60kg) and Mohammad-Ali Geraei (77kg) finished third in their respective weight classes, while in the 130kg division Amir Qassemi Monjezi also reached the semifinals to qualify for Tokyo.
Three spots will be still available for the Iranians in the 65kg, 74kg, and 97kg divisions of the freestyle event, with the 67kg, 87kg, and 97kg berths also at stake for the Greco-Roman team.
The Tokyo organizers and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) pushed back the 2020 Games by a year in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.