Interview by Farrokh Hesabi

Olympic medal winner Rezaei lauds Iranian wrestlers

October 12, 2021 - 19:45

TEHRAN – Former Iran wrestler Alireza Rezaei appreciated the Iran national team’s freestyle and Greco-Roman performance in the 2021 World Wrestling Championships.

Iranian wrestlers won seven gold medals, three silvers, and three bronzes in total (freestyle and Greco-Roman) and earned the best record in terms of medals in the tournament. In terms of points, Iran earned third and second place in freestyle and Greco-Roman, respectively.

“We got outstanding results in the tournament,” said Rezaei in his interview with Tehran Times.

“No matter what medals our wrestlers won, their performance in all the categories was excellent. Our wrestlers did their best both in freestyle and Greco-Roman.

“I should congratulate all the wrestlers as well as the coaching staff and all the Iranian people who love wrestling,” added Rezaei, who won a silver medal at the 2004 Olympics in the men’s Freestyle 120 kg.

Regarding the level of the competitions, Rezaei said: “since the World Championships took place after a short time after Olympics, the participating teams brought their younger wrestlers to test them. However, in this edition, most of the teams, especially the favorites to win the medals, had their main squad, and the tournament level was high.”

When asked about the reasons behind the success of Iranian teams in Oslo, Norway, Rezaei explained: “There has been a good connection and cooperation between the junior, youth and adult sections of Iran and their coaching staff and now the success is the result of academic work in the previous years.

Rezaei then talked about the members of the freestyle team.

“Amirhossein Zare did a great job in 125kg and was much better than what he was in Tokyo Olympics. I enjoyed watching the matches of Kamran Ghasempour, who was terrific in 92kg despite battling in this weight for the first time. He beat two world-class wrestlers on his way to winning the gold medal.

“Hassan Yazdani created a national pride for all the Iranian with his unique performance. Also, Alireza Sarlak in the 57kg, Amirmohammad Yazdani in the 65kg, and Mohammad Nokhodi in the 79kg, who earned silver medals, were excellent and deserved to win gold if they were a little bit lucky,” he concluded.

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