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Tehran to host international Takhti wrestling cup

Wrestlers compete during the opening day of the 35th Takhti Cup international wrestling tournament in Kermanshah, western Iran, February 12, 2015.

Iran will host the 2016 Takhti Cup international wrestling tournament in memory of the legendary freestyle wrestler Gholam Reza Takhti, which will also serve as a qualifying tournament for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The 36th edition of the sports event will run January 14 and 15 in the 12,000-seater hall of Azadi Sports Complex in western Tehran, and will bring together athletes from Iran as well as a number of Asian and European countries.

The organizers will hand USD 6,000 in cash prize to the champion team, while the second and third teams will receive USD 4,000 and 3,000 respectively. 

Iranian sportsmen won the 2015 Takhti Cup wrestling tournament, which ran from February 12 to 13 in the western city of Kermanshah. 

The Iranian freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling team clinched eleven gold medals and wrapped up the championship with 73 points. Ukraine finished in the second place with 50 points; and the Chinese wrestling team finished third with 45 points. 

A total of sixteen countries, namely Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, China, Egypt, Georgia, India, Iran, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, North Korea, Pakistan, Tunisia, Ukraine and the United States took part in the event. 

Takhti, the most famous wrestler in Iranian history, died on January 7, 1968. He claimed the gold medal in Melbourne 1956 Olympic Games and won two silver medals in 1952 Helsinki and 1960 Rome Olympic Games. 

Wrestling at the 2016 Summer Olympics is scheduled to take place from August 14 to 21 at Hall 3 of the Olympic Training Center in Barra da Tijuca.

Around 344 male and female wrestlers are expected to compete in 18 events of freestyle and Greco-Roman disciplines.

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