Iranian Greco-Roman wrestler Pejman Poshtam dedicated his bronze medal at the Wrestling World Championships to his late mother.
On Friday, Poshtam, representing the country at the 82kg contests, beat Hungarian Laszlo Szabo 4-0 to share the third podium of the class with Adlan Akiev of the Russian Wrestling Federation in Oslo, Norway.
Azerbaijan’s Rafig Huseynov edged Burhan Akbudak of Turkey 2-1 for the gold.
“It’s been a tough year for me as I lost my mother. I want to dedicate this medal to her,” Poshtam said after his final bout in the Norwegian capital.
“I’m so grateful to [Iranian head coach] Mohammad Bana for trusting me after moving up to a higher weight division,” added Poshtam, whose medal was his second triumph in 2021 after snatching an Asian 77kg gold in Almaty, Kazakhstan, in April.
Poshtam began his campaign with a close victory (4-3) over Indian Harpreet Singh on Thursday, before outmuscling Tarek Abdelslam of Bulgaria 7-2.
The Iranian then overcame Belarusian Radzik Kuliyeu 3-1 for a place in the semifinals, where he suffered a 5-2 defeat against Akbudak.
When asked if his hometown hero Hamid Sourian – the most decorated Iranian wrestler with seven world and Olympic golds, and the vice president of Iran Wrestling Federation – helped him en route to a first world medal, Poshtam said, “Sourian is a true legend of Iranian sport. When I started wrestling as a kid, he was a member of the country’s seniors’ team. He helped me a lot to find my way into the Iranian team. I wouldn’t have had these achievements if it wasn’t for his contribution. I hope I can win an Olympic medal for my city, Shahr-e Rey, in the future.”
Poshtam’s medal was Iran’s second bronze of the night, after Mohammad-Ali Geraei eased past Tamás Lévai – also from Hungary – 9-0 for the joint-third spot of the 77kg class – alongside Geramny’s Roland Schwarz.
Two-time Olympic champion Roman Vlasov, who beat Geraei in the quarterfinals, went on all the way to beat Sanan Suleymanov of Azerbaijan for the gold.