After having to settle for bronze in three different wrestling classes, Iran finally has its first wrestling gold medal of these Olympic Games.
Hassan Yazdani erased a 6-0 deficit to defeat Russia’s Aniuar Geduev in the gold medal match of the 74 kg freestyle, winning on tie-breaking criteria. Yazdani has now won gold medals at the Junior Wrestling World Championships, Wrestling World Cup (2015 and 2016) and Olympics, and last year he took silver at the Wrestling World Championships in Las Vegas.
Geduev, who had to deal with a cut to his head suffered in his quarterfinal round win over American Jordan Burroughs, with the cut resulting in stoppages in both his semifinal and gold medal matches. Burroughs, who entered the tournament as the favorite to win gold after doing so in London four years ago, lost in the repechage bracket and did not medal.
Azerbaijan’s Jabrayil Hasanov, who lost to Geduev in the semifinals, and Soner Demirtas of Turkey were the bronze medalists. Turkey has now won three total wrestling medals in Rio, with the other two (one silver and one bronze) coming in Greco-Roman.