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Iran’s Hassan Yazdani named vice champion of Freestyle Wrestling in Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Iranian freestyle wrestler Hassan Yazdani Charati is seen after finishing runner-up in the final bout of the 86-kilogram weight division at Tokyo 2020 Olympics on August 5, 2021. (Photo by Tasnim news agency)

Iran’s freestyle wrestler Hassan Yazdani Charati has put in impressive displays of grappling skills at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan, but was defeated by his tough rival in the final bout, and finished as the runner-up of the respected international sports event.

Yazdani – the 26-year-old champion of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics – earned a silver medal after David Morris Taylor III from the United States downed him 4-3 in the last encounter of men’s 86-kilogram weight category at Makuhari Messe Hall on Thursday.

The Iranian wrestler had started his campaign resolutely the previous day, and routed Uzbekistan’s Javrail Shapiev 11-2 in the first competition, before overcoming Swiss Stefan Reichmuth 12-2 in the quarterfinals.

Yazdani emerged victorious over Russian wrestler Artur Naifonov 7-1 in the semi-final round and advanced to the final.

On Wednesday, Iran’s Mohammad Reza Geraei triumphed over his Ukrainian rival Parviz Nasibov 9-1 in the final round of the 67-kilogram weight division, and clinched the gold medal.

He had previously defeated German opponent Frank Stäbler and Georgian competitor Ramaz Zoidze to make his way to the final encounter.

The Tokyo Olympics officially kicked off on July 23, and is going to last through August 8. Some preliminary events began on July 21.

The games see karate, sport climbing, surfing, and skateboarding make their Olympic debuts.

Originally scheduled to take place from July 24 to August 9, 2020, the event was postponed in March last year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is now being held largely behind closed doors with no public spectators permitted under the state of emergency.

Iranian athletes have so far snatched five medals — two golds, two silvers and one bronze — putting the Islamic Republic in the 27th slot of the medal count table.

China is on the top of the medal count table with 73 medals (including 33 golds), the US is second with 88 medals and Japan is third with a total of 44 medals.

Australia, the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), Great Britain, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, and New Zealand are in the 4th to 10th places respectively.

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