Berg Among Four Who Announced Retirement in Oslo

By Vinay Siwach

OSLO, Norway (October 14) -- The Oslo World Championships witnessed a special moment on the penultimate day of the competition when Norway's Olympic medalist Stig BERGE (NOR) announced his retirement from the sport in front of his home fans. The Jordal Amfi arena saw a sea of fans bid farewell to the Greco-Roman wrestler who won a bronze medal at the Rio Olympics 2016. 

In his final tournament, Berge was looking good for a medal but his run was cut short when he suffered a loss in the quarterfinals. The hopes of a repechage round were also dashed when lost in the semifinal of the 67kg weight class.

President Lalovic welcomed King of Norway HARALD V to the '21 World Championshipns in Oslo. (Photo: Kadir Caliskan)

On the special occasion, the King of Norway HARALD V was also present in the arena and was greeted by the president of United World Wrestling Nenad LALOVIC. The two were given a grand reception in the arena and both watched the bouts on Saturday.

The 38-year-old, who left his singlets on the mat Sunday, brought his son to the mat as the crowd gave him standing ovation for a career which included a bronze medal at the Olympics, bronze at World Championships and three silver medals at European Championships.

He was not the only wrestler to retire in Oslo. Three other wrestlers also hanged their bouts from the sport.

Rio Olympian Chakir ANSARI (MOR) signaled his retirement by leaving his shoes on the mat at the '21 Oslo World Championships. (Photo: Kadir Caliskan)

Freestyle wrestler Chakir ANSARI (MOR), Egypt women's wrestling legend Samar HAMZA (EGY) and Japan's Greco-Roman wrestler SHIYOMADA (JPN) also ended their careers with Ansari being the first of the lot.

Ansari wrestled on the first day of the competition and after his loss to Arman ELOYAN (FRA), he left his shoes on the mat, a mark of retirement in wrestling. Incidentally, the two-time Olympian wrestled for France until 2014 before moving to Morocco.

Hamza had a fairytale ending to her career, etching her name in history books as she became her country's first-ever female wrestler to win a medal at the annual event. She defeated Kiran GODARA (IND) in the 76kg bronze medal bout to return home with the bronze. Hamza has previously wrestled at two Olympics and finished 10th in Tokyo.

Shiyomada could have shocked the world when he led Olympic champion 6-1 in their opening round bout. He then tried a big body-lock throw but ended on his back, a position Mohammadreza GERAEI (IRI) held and secured a pin for the win. In the repechage round, Shiyomada lost to Hasart JAFAROV (AZE).


Yazdani details emotional win over Taylor that propelled him to third world title

By Eric Olanowski

OSLO, Norway (November 26) --- Hassan “The Greatest” YAZDANI (IRI) headed into the Oslo World Championships with revenge on his mind. He lost to career rival David TAYLOR (USA) in three consecutive matches – including once in August via a last-second takedown in the Tokyo Olympic finals.

Yazdani turned the tides in Oslo on a cold October night and exacted revenge on Taylor and claimed his third world title.

United World Wrestling sat down with Yazdani after his epic win to talk about the losses that drove him to become a three-time world champion, what was different about his Iranian team in Oslo and what’s motivating him to chase a second Olympic gold medal.

The Epic Oslo Matchup:
Yazdani controlled the 86kg world finals match from start to finish to notch a solid 6-2 victory over Taylor in the highly anticipated 86kg final at the Oslo World Championships.

Yazdani's victory, coming two months after a heartbreaking loss to Taylor in the final at the Tokyo Olympics, gave him a third world title to go with his 2016 Rio Olympic gold, and capped a remarkable day for Iran in the Jordal Amfi arena.

"I made the people of Iran happy," Yazdani said. "I need to appreciate Taylor, because he worked as a motivation and inspiration for me to work better and better and become the champion."

The vocal contingent of Iranian fans were sent into a frenzy when rising star Amir ZARE (IRI) claimed the 125kg title, having earlier seen Iran gain finalists in all four weight classes that got underway Sunday, including Yazdani's cousin Amir YAZDANI (IRI).

"Iran always supports their wrestlers and fans here were great," Yazdani said. "And it was because of them and God I won."

The United States had mixed success in the two other finals, with Kyle DAKE (USA) prevailing at 74kg, but Daton FIX (USA) coming up short against Abasgadzhi MAGOMEDOV (RWF) at 61kg.

In Tokyo, Yazdani had to settle for the Olympic silver when Taylor scored a takedown with 17 seconds left for a 4-3 win in the final. On Sunday, he never gave the American the chance to get close.

Yazdani continually kept the pressure on, using an underhook to force Taylor to the edge and score a pair of stepout points in the first period. In the second period, he added a takedown, before Taylor got on the scoreboard with a takedown with 1:03 left.

With the clock ticking down, Taylor tried a counter lift, but Yazdani held firm and dumped him to the mat for a takedown and the final points of an well-earned victory.

"He's a great competitor," said Taylor, whose lone world title came in 2018, where he beat Yazdani in the first round. "Not my day."

Asked what he could have done differently, Taylor quipped, "Scored my points. He's a good wrestler. We will go again."