0341 GMT November 30, 2022
Iranian wrestling sensation Hassan Yazdani booked his place at the freestyle contests of next summer’s Tokyo Olympics after a victory over compatriot Kamran Qassempour.
Yazdani, 26, a Rio 2016 gold medalist, outmuscled the two-time world under-23 champion 5-2 in an 86kg qualification bout in Tehran.
In the other qualifier held in the training camp, Reza Atri beat Rahman Amouzad 6-4 to boost his chances for a place in the 57kg competition in Tokyo.
Iran’s head coach Gholam-Reza Mohammadi said he will announce the Iranian representative of the weight class following a meeting with his technical board.
The country had been guaranteed spots at the two weigh divisions after Yazdani won the gold at the 2019 World Wrestling Championships in Nur-Sultan, the capital of Kazakhstan, with Atri sealing the place with a last-four finish.
The Iranian 125kg wrestler Yadollah Mohebbi also secured the quota place after reaching the semifinals in Nur-Sultan.
Six freestyle spots will still be up for grabs when Iranians take part at the qualification tournament in China in late March, before participation at the Asian Wrestling Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan, starting April 13.
Iran has also been handed three Greco-Roman tickets for the Games when Alireza Nejati (60kg) and Mohammad-Ali Geraei (77kg) finished third in their respective weight classes in the 2019 world meet, while in the 130kg division Amir Qassemi Monjezi reached the semis to qualify for Tokyo.