News ID: 324042
Published: 1005 GMT September 09, 2022

Wrestling World Championships: Four Iranians in action on Day 1 of GR contests

Wrestling World Championships: Four Iranians in action on Day 1 of GR contests

Sports Desk

Four members of Iran’s 10-man Greco-Roman team will kick off their campaigns at the Wrestling World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, today.

Mohammad Bana’s men will be looking to emulate last year’s success in Oslo, Norway, when Iran finished as the runner-up – six points adrift of the Russian Wrestling Federation – despite topping the medal table with a remarkable four golds.

With the Russians omitted from this year’s event, Iran will fancy a first Greco-Roman crown in eight years.

Pouya Dadmarz will be the first Iranian in action, representing the country at the 55kg contests.

A world under-23 silver medalist in 2019, Dadmarz will make his senior debut in the competitions a year after taking the Asian bronze in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Eldaniz Azizli of Azerbaijan and Georgia’s Nugzari Tsurtsumia – joint bronze winners in Oslo – will be favorites to win the gold as Japanese Ken Matsui and Russian Emin Sefershaev, who squared off in last year’s final when Matsui came out on top, will be absent in the Serbian capital.

Yu Shiotani replaces Matsui in the Japanese team and will be looking to build on back-to-back Asian golds over the past two years.

In the 72kg weight class, Iran’s Mohammadreza Mokhtari, fresh from an Asian gold-winning campaign in April, will chase a first world medal after he settled for a fifth-place finish in Oslo.

Armenian Malkas Amoyan, who won the gold last year, will participate in the 77kg contests in Belgrade, and with Russian Sergey Kutuzov – beaten by Amoyan in the final – also out, Kristupas Sleiva of Lithuania and Poland’s Gevorg Sahakyan, who shared the third podium in Oslo, will headline the 72kg event.

Three-time bronze medalist Mohammad-Ali Geraei will be in hunt for a first world gold when getting his 77kg campaign underway.

On his way to the feat will be Azerbaijan’s Sanan Suleymanov – a silver medalist in Oslo – as well as Amoyan, who won the European gold on his 77kg debut in April.

Azkhol Makhmudov of Kyrgyzstan and Japan’s Shohei Yabiku – silver and bronze winners at the Tokyo Olympics – as well as Bulgarian Aik Mnatsakanian will also be in the mix.

Nasser Alizadeh will participate in the 87kg contests on the back of successive Asian golds.

Defending champion Zurab Datunashvili will be the man to beat on his home soil, while Danish wrestler Turpal Bisultanov, who claimed the gold at the European Championships, is also tipped for success.


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