Iran will set its sights on lifting the trophy when the Greco-Roman contests get underway at the U23 Wrestling World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, on Monday.
Led by head coach Farshad Alizadeh, the 10-man squad will leave for the Serbian capital on Saturday, hoping to emulate the country’s seniors’ impressive campaign at the Wrestling World Championships earlier in October, when Iran bagged a record four gold medals, as well as a couple of bronzes, to finish second behind the Russian Wrestling Federation in Oslo, Norway.
Iran will again face competition from RWF, which will also bring a strong team to Belgrade.
Having missed out on the event in Norway due to a positive COVID-19 test, Amin Mirzazadeh will be after his second world gold – following a juniors title on 2019 – in the 130kg weight class.
Mirzazadeh, who fell short of grabbing a bronze at the Tokyo Olympics in August after a loss in the third-place bout, will have Russian Mikhail Laptev and David Ovasapyan of Armenia on his way to the ultimate prize.
The first day of the competitions could see a massive 63kg clash between the 2019 world bronze medalist Alireza Nejati of Iran and Georgian Leri Abuladze, who settled for a silver in Oslo after losing the final against Nejati’s compatriot Meisam Dalkhani.
Also tipped for success will be Pouya Dadmarz – a world juniors champion in 2017 – who will participate at the 55kg contests.
Mehdi Mohsen-Nejad will be seeking to better his previous achievements at the event – successive bronzes in 2018 and 2019 – when getting his 60kg campaign underway.
The four Iranians will be joined by Mohammad-Javad Rezaei (67kg), Amir Abdi (72kg), Amin Kavianinejad (77kg) – an Asian gold medalist in 2020 – Mohammad Naqousi (82kg) – a world juniors bronze medalist in August – Nasser Alizadeh (87kg) – a 2021 Asian champion – and Morteza Alqosi, who also won a world juniors bronze in Ufa, Russia.