Iran Greco-Roman wrestling team captured 4 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals at 2022 Asian Championships in Mongolia.
Mohammad Mokhtari (72kg), Rasoul Garmsiri (82kg), Naser Alizadeh (87kg) and Mehdi Bali (97kg) were four Iranian gold medalists as Mehdi Mohsen nejad (60kg) took silver and Iman Mohammadi (63kg) and Aref Habibollahi (77kg) were bronze medalists.
Naser ALIZADEH (IRI) can certainly take pride in winning a second straight gold medal at the Asian Championships. Particularly since he had to beat another champion from 2021 to do it.
Defending champion Alizadeh defeated Jalgasbay BERDIMURATOV (UZB) 3-1 in an intense Greco-Roman 87kg final on the opening day of the six-day tournament at the Buyant Ukhaa Sports Palace in the Mongolian capital.
"I am part of the national team and it's an honor," said Alizadeh, who was also a world U23 bronze medalist in 2021.
Alizadeh's ability to take advantage of the par terre position, while being able to defend when he was put on bottom, made the difference in beating Berdimuratov, who won the 82kg gold last year in Almaty.
"The final is always tough and I had the point for passivity in the first period. I managed to score from par terre and lead 3-0," Alizadeh said. "In the second period, he got the passivity but I was determined to defend. In my mind, I was thinking that I have to only defend this attack to win."
Alizadeh was somewhat amazed that he could achieve the golden repeat.
"It's a special feeling to win two Asian gold medals," he said. "Last year and now I am again champion. Incredible."
Iran monopolized the last three finals of the second night, with Mohammad MOKHTARI (IRI) at 72kg and Rasoul GARMSIRI (IRI) at 82kg taking titles in their senior Asian debuts, and Medhi BALIHAMZEDEH (IRI) capping the Greco competition by successfully defending his 97kg crown.
Mokhtari scored a takedown and gut wrench late in the first period and held on for a 4-1 victory in the 72kg final over Abylaikhan AMZEYEV (KAZ).
In an earlier sequence, Amzeyev scored a four-point counter to the back that Mokhtari reversed before adding a two-point roll. But Amzeyev's initial move was ruled a tackle below the waist, and all of those points were wiped off the board.
Mokhtari, a 2016 world cadet silver medalist, placed fifth at the 2021 World Championships, and now is aiming for a chance to return to the world stage in Belgrade later this year.
"I am glad to win the gold, it's my first time at Asians," Mokhtari said. "I began wrestling 12 years ago. My father was a wrestler and watching him wrestle got me excited to train in wrestling.
"I will now rest for one week and, if I qualify for the World Championships in Iran, I will train to win there."
At 82kg, Garmsiri scored a stepout point with 1:08 left to clinch a 4-3 victory over Dias KALEN (KAZ) in the final of his first individual competition as a member of Iran national team.
Kalen gained the par terre position first and got two points with a throw that was otherwise well defended, but Garmsiri reversed him to his back to cut the lead to 3-2. In the second period, Garmiri gained a passivity point to go ahead on criteria, then secured the win with the stepout.
Bali's final hurdle to a second straight 97kg gold came in the form of one of Asia's most decorated active wrestlers in Rustam ASSAKALOV (UZB), but the Iranian was up to the task in forging a 5-1 victory.
"I fought with an expert who won a world medal and he was also in the Olympic Games," Balihamzehdeh said. "Thank God I won."
Bali took a 4-0 lead in the first period after receiving a passivity point, then scoring with a stepout and a two-point counter to a takedown. He added a stepout early in the second period, gave up a point on a lost challenge, then fended off all attempts in finishing off the win.
For Assakalov, who was third last year at 87kg, it was the eighth Asian medal of his career that includes three gold. The Russian-born 37-year-old is also a two-time world medalist and two-time Olympian.
Even with Iran coming away with the three other gold at stake, it was Kazakhstan that walked off with the team title with 190 points thanks to five silver medals to go with its two gold. Iran was second with 176 points, followed by Kyrgyzstan in third with 148.
Day 1 Results
55kg (9 entries)
GOLD: Yu SHIOTANI (JPN) df. Amangali BEKBOLATOV (KAZ) by TF, 13-2, 2:58
BRONZE: Jasurbek ORTIKBOEV (UZB) df. Hyeokjin JEON (KOR) by TF, 8-0, 2:22
BRONZE: Arjun HALAKURKI (IND) df. Davaabandi MUNKH ERDENE (MGL), 10-7
63kg (9 entries)
GOLD: Tynar SHARSHENBEKOV (KGZ) df. Mirambek AINAGULOV (KAZ) by fall, 4:06 (5-0)
BRONZE: NEERAJ (IND) df. Islomjon BAKHRAMOV (UZB), 7-4
BRONZE: Iman MOHAMMADI (IRI) df. Ahmad AL NAKDALI (SYR) by def.
77kg (8 entries)
GOLD: Akzhol MAKHMUDOV (KGZ) df. Maxat YEREZHEPOV (KAZ), 3-1
BRONZE: Kodai SAKURABA (JPN) df. Sajan BHANWALA (IND) by TF, 11-1, 2:39
BRONZE: Aref HABIBOLLAHI (IRI) df. Hyeonwoo KIM (KOR) by inj. def.
87kg (8 entries)
GOLD: Naser ALIZADEH (IRI) df. Jalgasbay BERDIMURATOV (UZB), 3-1
BRONZE: Sunil KUMAR (IND) df. Batbayar LUTBAYAR (MGL) by TF, 9-1, 3:58
BRONZE: Nursultan TURSYNOV (KAZ) df. Melis AITBEKOV (KGZ) 7-2
130 kg (9 entries)
GOLD: Alimkhan SYZDYKOV (KAZ) df. Minseok KIM (KOR) by fall, 2:28 (9-0)
BRONZE: Roman KIM (KGZ) df. Arata SONODA (JPN) by inj. def.
BRONZE: Muminjon ABDULLAEV (UZB) df. Timothy LOH (SGP) by fall, :35 (4-0)
Day 2 Results
60kg (8 entries)
GOLD: Zholaman SHARSHENBEKOV (KGZ) df. Mehdi MOHSEN NEJAD (IRI) by inj. def., 4:20 (4-0)
BRONZE: Yernur FIDAKHMETOV (KAZ) df. Baljinnyam TSEVEENRAVDAN (MGL), 12-6
BRONZE: Ayata SUZUKI (JPN) df. Gyanender DAHIYA (IND) by TF, 11-0, 5:34
67kg (9 entries)
GOLD: Meiirzhan SHERMAKHANBET (KAZ) df. Hansu RYU (KOR) by TF, 11-3, 3:14
BRONZE: Katsuaki ENDO (JPN) df. Shahin BADAGHIMOFRAD (IRI), 7-1
BRONZE: Sachin SAHRAWAT (IND) df. Makhmud BAKHSHILLOEV (UZB) by Fall, 5:48 (7-3)
72kg (8 entries)
GOLD: Mohammad MOKHTARI (IRI) df. Abylaikhan AMZEYEV (KAZ), 4-1
BRONZE: Adlikhan NURLANBEKOV (KGZ) df. Mirzobek RAKHMATOV (UZB), 3-3
BRONZE: Shogo TAKAHASHI (JPN) df. Jiyeon LEE (KOR) by TF, 11-3, 4:33
82kg (10 entries)
GOLD: Rasoul GARMSIRI (IRI) df. Dias KALEN (KAZ), 4-3
BRONZE: Mukhammadkodir RASULOV (UZB) df. Yuya OKAJIMA (JPN), 5-1
BRONZE: Harpreet SINGH (IND) by Jafar KHAN (QAT) by inj. def.
97kg (8 entries)
GOLD: Medhi BALIHAMZEDEH (IRI) df. Rustam ASSAKALOV (UZB), 5-1
BRONZE: Takahiro TSURUDA (JPN) df. Sanzhar SERIKKAN (KAZ), 6-6
BRONZE: Uzur DZHUZUPBEKOV (KGZ) df. Jewoo PARK (KOR) by TF, 11-1, 3:00