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Iranian freestyle judoka Mollaei captures top rank in world

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iranian judoka Saeid Mollaei (file photo)

Iranian judoka Saeid Mollaei has been named the world’s best athlete in the under 81-kilogram weight category in the latest International Judo Federation (IJF) rankings.

The 26-year-old notched up 4,871 points and claimed the top ranking spot of the weight class, standing ahead of Dutch judoka Frank de Wit with 4,716 points.

Russian athletes Khasan Khalmurzaev, Aslan Lappinagov and Alan Khubetsov landed in the third to the fifth places.

On February 24, Mollaei prevailed over Alpha Oumar Djalo, a representative from France, with an ippon in the title challenge of the under 81-kilogram weight class at the Düsseldorf Grand Slam 2018, and snatched the gold medal. 

Germany’s Dominic Ressel and Aslan Lappinagov from Russia shared the bronze medal.

The Düsseldorf Grand Slam 2018 began on February 23, and finished on February 25, 2018.

The tournament reportedly brought together 446 male and female judo practitioners from 65 countries, namely Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Great Britain, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan and Russia.

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