Wrestling around the world continues, with the first day of the World Championships on Monday September 16th.
The first day of the event was dominated by Iran, as they took home two gold medals, while Russia claimed three bronze medals. Hassan Rahimi (Iran) won the 55kg gold medal for his first senior world title. Defending world champion Reza Yazdani (Iran) held onto his 96kg title by defeating European champion Pavlo Oliinyk (Ukraine) in the semi’s and 2010 world champion Khetag Gazyumov (Azerbaijan). It was a stout recovery for Yazdani, who had battled back from a knee injury in the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Despite the two gold medals, Iran actually trails Russia 24-20 in the world team rankings. Russia’s two top-ranked wrestlers were knocked off in the semifinals, though they won the third place matches to take home bronze medals.
The third gold medal was captured by European champion David Safaryan (Armenia), defeating rival Magomed Kurbanaliev of Russia in the 66kg quarterfinals.
More men’s freestyle wrestling will continue Tuesday, September 17th with the 60kg, 84kg, and 120kg weights.