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Iranians pay respects to late world wrestling champion Takhti

Common Iranians and sports officials pay homage to legendary late Iranian freestyle wrestler Gholam Reza Takhti at his grave in Ibn Babawayh Cemetery, southern Tehran, on January 6, 2017.

Thousands of Iranians have commemorated the 49th death anniversary of late legendary Iranian freestyle wrestler Gholam Reza Takhti at his grave in the country’s capital city of Tehran.

President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Wrestling Federation (IRIWF) Rasoul Khadem, Iranian Greco-Roman wrestler and six-time World Champion Hamid Sourian Reihanpour, former IRIWF head Mohammadreza Taleghani and a number of serving and retired Iranian sports officials were also in attendance at the ceremony held at  Ibn Babawayh Cemetery in southern Tehran.

Takhti, the most famous wrestler in the Iranian history, died on January 7, 1968. The Iranian nation was stricken with deep grief, when the news of Takhti's death broke. Seven people reportedly even committed suicide because of unutterable sadness.

The legend was known for his chivalry and sportsmanship and continues to symbolize the essence of sports to the Iranian people.

Takhti claimed the gold medal in Melbourne 1956 Olympic Games, overcoming Boris Kulayev from the Soviet Union in the final contest of the 87-kilogram weight section.

He also claimed two Olympics silver medals in 1952 Helsinki and 1960 Rome.

Takhti won two World Championships gold medals in 1959 Tehran and 1961 Yokohama as well.

The Islamic Republic of Iran Wrestling Federation hosts an international wrestling tournament in memory of the legendary wrestler every year.

The 37th edition of Takhti Cup is scheduled to be held in Iran’s northeastern shrine city of Mashhad between January 19 and 20, 2017.

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