Russian wrestlers set to dominate Beijing GamesJuly 23rd, 2008 - 12:59 pm ICT by IANS
By Huang Jie
Beijing, July 23 (Xinhua) Wrestling powerhouse Russia is looking forward to tightening its headlock in the forthcoming Beijing Olympics starting Aug 8. Russia’s male wrestlers are a dominant force in the world’s oldest competitive sport. They won five golds in Athens and seven titles at the 2007 World Wrestling Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan, including a near-sweep in the freestyle events.
Gatsalov, the freestyle 96kg champion in Athens, booked his ticket to Beijing by stamping his class at the Baku World Championships. Fellow Russian freestyle wrestler Batirov, who won the 55kg Olympic gold in 2004, also clinched the 60kg title in Baku and that helped him qualify for Beijing.
Athens gold medallist Michine is the only Russian Greco-Roman world champion and Khasan Baroev will defend his 120kg title of the 2004 Olympics.
Wrestlers from 41 countries and regions qualified in the classical Greco-Roman event, in which only hands and upper bodies can be used to attack and defend.
Hamid Soryan, Iran’s 55kg world champion, the Georgian world champions David Bedinadze (60kg) and Ramaz Nozadze (96kg), as well as wrestlers from Hungary, South Korea and the US, will fancy their chances to challenge the powerful Russians in Greco-Roman wrestling.
Farid Mansurov of Azerbaijan, gold winner of 66kg in both Athens and Baku, is expected to be the other star Greco-Roman wrestler in Beijing.
Forty-three countries and regions will contest for the seven golds in freestyle, where players can use their legs for pushing, lifting and tripping as well as holding their opponents below the waist.
Russia topped the medal count in Athens with five golds, two silvers and three bronzes. Buvaisar Saitiev of freestyle 74kg with Batirov and Gatsalov combined in three golds. But Saitiev has been replaced by 2007 world champion Mahach Murtazaliev. Besik Kudukhov of 55kg, Georgy Ketoev of 84kg and Bilyal Makhov of 120kg all triumphed in Baku.
- Iranian Greco-Roman wrestler wins gold at London Olympics - Aug 06, 2012
- Iran, Belarus, Turkey dominate wrestling championship - Sep 14, 2011
- Olymic wrestling: Vlasov ends Russia's wait for gold - Aug 06, 2012
- Khatri, Alka to lead India's charge at Asian Wrestling - Apr 28, 2011
- World Wrestling: Russia, Japan win team titles - Sep 19, 2011
- Olympic wrestling: Khugaev gives Russia gold - Aug 07, 2012
- Two-member Indian wrestling team for Golden Grand Prix - Jul 16, 2010
- Indian wrestlers put behind doping scandal, aim for rich haul - Sep 20, 2010
- It's now or never, says wrestler Yogeshwar (IANS kicks off its coverage of India's medal hopes at the London Olympics) - Jun 12, 2012
- Indian wrestlers confident of winning more golds - Oct 06, 2010
- Olympic wrestling: Iran's Soryan Reihanpour wins gold - Aug 06, 2012
- Olympic wrestling : Lopez Nunez wins gold for Cuba - Aug 07, 2012
- Cuba expecting better show at London Olympics - Jul 19, 2012
- Delhi to host three-day wrestling championship next week - May 08, 2010
- Sushil Kumar wins Gold medal at World Wrestling Championship in Moscow - Sep 13, 2010
Tags: 2004 olympics, baku azerbaijan, beijing olympics, bronzes, dominant force, five golds, freestyle events, gold medallist, gold winner, headlock, khasan baroev, male wrestlers, medal count, olympic gold, ramaz nozadze, roman world, upper bodies, world champion, world champions, xinhua