Iran dominated the Greco-Roman contests of the Wrestling U20 World Championships – courtesy of a remarkable four golds, as well two silver and bronze medals apiece.
Iranian wrestlers stole the show on the final day of the event in Sofia, Bulgaria, collecting three golds and two bronzes across five weight classes as the country topped the table with 174 points – 55 more than second-placed Azerbaijan with Ukraine in third on 93pts.
The result came days after Iran had won the freestyle competitions in the Bulgarian capital – a first-ever double of team titles for the country in the history of the under-20 championships.
The medal haul also saw the Greco-Roman team surpass a previous best tally in 2018, when the Iranian squad won four golds and two bronzes.
On Sunday, Saeed Esmaeili rallied from behind to beat Armenian Suren Aghajanyan and walk away with the ultimate prize of the 60kg contests – a second world medal for the Iranian following a junior silver last year.
Trailing a 6-2 deficit with 22 seconds left on the clock, the reigning U20 Asian champion moved into a bear-hug position before performing a four-point throw to tie the score at 6-6, winning the gold thanks to a criteria advantage.
Alireza Mohmadi bagged a second gold of the day for Iran in a much more emphatic fashion as he outclassed European silver medalist Achiko Bolkvadze of Georgia 9-1 in the 82kg final.
Ali Abedi also showed character to come from behind and overcome Kazakhstan’s Iussuf Matsiyev for the 97kg title.
Matsiyev took an early 4-0 lead with a stepout and turn from par terre as the Iranian failed to capitalize on his attacks. But just before the break, Abedi scored two stepouts and Matsiyev was hit with a caution for fleeing.
Three successive stepouts in the second period saw Abedi take a 5-4 lead and when Matsiyev was cautioned again for passivity, the Iranian continued the bout from a standing position and claimed three more points to win 9-4.
Danial Sohrabi and Amir Abdi finished their campaigns with a couple of consolation bronzes.
Sohrabi outmuscled Finnish wrestler Nestori Mannila 11-2 to share the third podium of the 67kg class with Din Mukhamed Koshkar of Kazakhstan.
Abdi, meanwhile, came on top against Kazakh opponent Merey Maulitkanov 4-0 for the joint 72kg bronze – alongside Ukrainian Irfan Mirzoiev.
Iman Mohammadi had opened the account for Iran on the preceding night by easing to a 6-1 victory over Baiaman Karimov of Kyrgyzstan in the 63kg final.
Abolfazl Choubani (87kg) and Fardian Hedayati (130kg) settled for the silver medals of their respective weight classes.
Members of the Iranian freestyle team pose with the championship trophy at the Wrestling U20 World Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria, on August 17, 2022.
Iranian freestyle team collected eight medals – including three golds – to finish the competitions on high last week.
Amirhossein Firouzpour was the star of the show for the country in Sofia as he tallied a total 41 points without conceding a single one en route to the 92kg gold.
Sobhan Yari and Amir-Reza Ma’soumi also claimed the 79kg and 125kg golds respectively, while Armin Habibzadeh took the 61kg silver.
Ahmad Mohammadnejad Javan (57kg), Hossein Mohammad-Aqaei (70kg), Aref Ranjbari (86kg), and Amir-Ali Azarpira (97kg) were the Iranian bronze medalists in Sofia.
Iran finished atop the FS table with 159 points, followed by USA (132pts) and India (112).