Almaty, Kazakhstan, April 19, 2021: Iran dominated the 2021 Asian Wrestling Championships which came to an end in Almaty, Kazakhstan on Sunday, April 18.
Iran won three gold medals in men’s freestyle and four gold medals in men’s Greco-Roman to sweep the team title in both categories and comfortably retain their tag as an Asian powerhouse.
Leading the way was superstar Hassan Yazdani, who was using the Asian Championships as a stepping stone for his ultimate goal of winning a second straight Olympic gold medal in Tokyo.
Yazdani proved once again he is in a class of his own, schooling India’s Deepak Punia in their long-delayed first encounter to take the 86kg gold medal as the six-day tournament in Almaty concluded on Sunday night with the last five finals in freestyle.
Yazdani, who will defend the Olympic title he won at Rio 2016, outclassed Punia with a 10-0 technical fall.
“The Asian Championships was a good event and I wanted to see my preparations. Now I will continue to prepare for the Olympics as a wrestler who will win the gold medal. Only the gold,” said a confident Yazdani.
Also winning golds for Iran in men’s freestyle were Kamran Qasempour and Ali Sha’bani. Together with three other silver medals and two bronzes, Iran easily won the team title with 179 points ahead of India (151) and Kazakhstan (149).
Iran had earlier in the competition won the men’s Greco-Roman team title with a massive aggregate of 194 points, ahead of Kazakhstan (156) and Kyrgyzstan (153).
Winning golds for Iran in the men’s Greco-Roman were Pejman Poshtam (77kg), Nasser Alizadeh (87kg), Mehdi Bali (97kg) and Ali Akbar Yousefi (130kg).
Mongolia won the women's team title with 173 points ahead of India (168) and Kazakhstan (156).