Sanaye Win Iranian Freestyle League Title

By Ali Feizasa

TEHRAN, Iran (December 11) --- Sanaye Mazandaran captured the '21 Iranian freestyle wrestling league team title, while 13 world and Olympic medalists competed in the final day at the Azadi Sport complex in Tehran, Iran.

Cornered by former world champion Reza Yazdani as their head coach, Sanaye Mazandaran enjoyed wins from Russian world champions Abasgadghi MAGOMEDOV and Magomedrasul GAZIMAGOMEDOV. which helped their team beat Amol team, 6-4 in the final match. 

Meanwhile, Iran's '21 world bronze medalist Mojtaba GOLEIJ and Amouzad brothers were key wrestlers for the champion team. Despite the Sanaye team missing 92kg world champion Kamran GHASEMPOUR for the finals due to injury, '20 Asian silver medalist Ahmad BAZRI was a worthy successor for him and achieved two important victories.

In third-place match, Sahand Aras defeated Mazandaran Azad University, 9-1. World champion Zagir SHAKHIEV and three time world and Olympic bronze medal winner Artur Naifonov were Russian stars of Aras team.

Russian world champion Shakhiev loses to Iranian Olympian
During the semifinal match, current 65kg world champion Zagir Shakhiev from Aras team had a tough rival as Iranian Tokyo Olympian Morteza GHIASI succeed to the earn 6-4 victory. Shakhiev beat Hassan MORADGHOLI, helping his team to place third.

“Yesterday I had an injury during the training and I didn’t want to wrestle against Ghiasi but the team decided to send me on mat.” Shakhiev said. He added, “Everything is in high level in Ira's  league but I am upset no to see Iranian fans in the hall. My motivation for coming Iran league was to wrestle in front of Iranian fans. Many expected to see my match with Amir Mohammad YAZDANI but his weight has moved up.” 

Olympic 74kg silver medalist suffers deficit in 79kg
In the 79kg bout of the final match, '20 Olympics silver medalist in 74kg, Mahamedkhabib KADZIMAHAMEDAU suffered a narrow loss against Ali SAVADKOUHI and couldn’t help his team's chance at winning the team title. “I liked to compete with Kadzimahamedau. Today I had a good day and I was motivated for this match.” Savadkouhi said.

But, the Dagestani-born wrestler of Belarus won the battle against 2021 world silver medalist Mohammad NOKHODI from Aras team, 8-7 in the semi final match.

Easy day for heavy weight world champion, Zare
Reigning heavyweight world champion Amirhossein ZARE appeared on mat for Amol team and had an easy day. The Iranian wrestler who had been named United World Wrestling’s Breakthrough Performance of the Year award winner, had a 5-0 victory against Esmaeil NEJATIAN but it was not enough for his team to win the final match. Zare was also the winner of the semi final by forfeit.

“It was a great sense to win the award of Breakthrough Performance of the Year. It was my first year in senior level and I am glad for winning Olympic medal and world heavy weight title. I hope to repeat it for many years” Zare said. 

Four Russians remained invincible
Four Russian wrestlers remained invincible during the final day of the '21 season of Iran league.

The veteran Magomedrasul Gazimagomedov (2015 & 2018 world champion) earned two victories for the championship Sanaye while his team member, 61kg world champion Abasgadghi Magomedov competed in 57kg and had two technical Fall victory over Iranian Olympian wrestler Reza ATRI and Reza MOMENI.

This year's world bronze medalist at 74kg, Timur BIZHOEV and Olympic bronze medalist Artur NAIFONOV were other Russian wrestlers who downed their rivals.

“There were good wrestlers in Iran league and the organization of that was in high level. I'd like to compete again in the Iran league.” Bizhoev said. Asking about his future in the world of wrestling, he answered: “There is no difference where I compete. I want to be champion in all upcoming events.”

Two Technical Fall Victory for Naifonov in absence of Yazdani
Despite the contract of Iranian superstar Hassan Yazdani with Amol team, he didn’t step on mat during the final day while, his Russian rival Artur Naifonov celebrated two technical fall victories. “Yazdani suffered some injuries after two high level events, so we preferred not to see him on mat during the final day of the league” said Iranian freestyle head coach Pejman DOROSTKAT.

Final Match: Sanaye Mazandaran df. Fooladin Zob Amol, 6-4
57kg: Abasgadghi Magomedov (Sanaye) TF. Reza Atri (Amol), 10-0
61kg: Rahman Amouzad (Sanaye) TF. Peyman Nemati (Amol), 10-0
65kg: Farzad Amouzad (Sanaye) df. Morteza Ghiasi (Amol), 2-2
70kg: Magomedrasul Gazimagomedov (Sanaye) df. Erfan Elahi (Amol), 6-0
74kg: Timur Bizhoev (Amol) df. Jamal Ebadi (Sanaye), 6-0
79kg: Ali Savadkouhi (Sanaye) df. Mahamedkhabib Kadzimahamedau (Amol), 6-5
86kg: Ahmad Bazri (Sanaye) df. Hadi Vafaeipour (Amol), 11-0
92kg: Amir Hossein Firouzpour (Amol) df. Mohammad Javad Ebrahimi (Sanaye) by forfeit
97kg: Mohammad Hossein Mohammadian (Amol) df. Mojtaba Goleij (Sanaye), 2-2
125kg: Amirhossein Zare (Amol) df. Esmaeil Nejatian (Sanaye), 5-0

Third place match: Sahand Aras df. Mazandaran Azad University, 9-1
57kg: Alireza Sarlak (Aras) TF. Erfan Aeini (Azad Uni.), 10-0
61kg: Mohammad Ramezanpour (Aras) df. Mehdi Shirazi (Azad Uni.), 3-1
65kg: Zagir Shakhiev (Aras) df. Hassan Moradgholi (Azad Uni.), 6-2
70kg: Mohammad Bakhshi (Azad Uni.) df. Amirhossein Hosseini (Aras), 4-2
74kg: Mostafa Hosseinkhani (Aras) df. Sobhan Yari (Azad Uni.), 5-0
79kg: Mohammad Nokhodi (Aras) df. Bahman Teymouri (Azad Uni.), 4-0
86kg: Artur Naifonov (Aras) TF. Alireza Saberian (Azad Uni.), 10-0
92kg: Amirali Azarpira (Aras) df. Amir Mohammadi (Azad Uni.), 2-1
97kg: Danial Shariatinia (Aras) df. Meysam Abdi (Azad Uni.), 7-0
125kg: Amin Taheri (Aras) df. Ali Akbarpour (Azad Uni.), 3-0

Match 1: Fooladin Zob Amol df. Sahand Aras, 8-2
57kg: Reza Atri (Amol) df. Alireza Sarlak (Aras), 4-4
61kg: Majid Ramezanpour (Aras) df. Peyman Nemati (Amol), 2-1
65kg: Morteza Ghiasi (Amol) df. Zagir Shakhiev (Aras), 6-4
70kg: Erfan Elahi (Amol) df. Amirhossein Hosseini (Aras), 7-4
74kg: Timur Bizhoev (Amol) df. Mostafa Hosseinkhani (Aras), 2-2
79kg: Mahamedkhabib Kadzimahamedau (Amol) df. Mohammad Nokhodi (Aras), 8-7
86kg: Artur Naifonov (Aras) TF. Hadi Vafaeipour (Amol), 12-1
92kg: Amirhossein Firoozpour (Amol) df. Alireza Karimi (Aras), 2-1
97kg: Mohammadhossein Mohammadian (Amol) TF. Amirali Azarpira (Aras), 10-0
125kg: Amirhossein Zare (Amol) df. Amin Taheri (Aras) by forfeit

Match 2: Sanaye Mazandaran df. Mazandaran Azad University, 9-1
57kg: Abasgadghi Magomedov (Sanaye) TF. Reza Momeni (Azad Uni.), 12-1
61kg: Rahman Amouzad (Sanaye) TF. Mehdi Shirazi (Azad Uni.)
65kg: Farzad Amouzad (Sanaye) df. Hassan Moradgholi (Azad Uni.), 5-2
70kg: Magomedrasul Gazimagomedov (Sanaye) Tf. Farhad Nouri (Azad Uni.), 14-3
74kg: Jamal Ebadi (Sanaye) df. Hamed Rashidi (Azad Uni.), 7-3
79kg: Ali Savadkouhi (Sanaye) df. Bahman Teymouri (Azad Uni.), 4-3
86kg: Ahmad Bazri (Sanaye) TF. Alireza Saberian (Azad Uni.), 10-0
92kg: Amir Mohammadi (Azad Uni.) df. Sajad Gholami (Sanaye). 5-1
97kg: Esmaeil Nejatian (Sanaye) df. Meysam Abdi (Azad Uni.), 3-2
125kg: Mojtaba Goleij (Sanaye) df. Ali Akbarpour (Azad Uni.), 6-0


Turkey hosts first UWW women's referee course

By United World Wrestling Press

ANTALYA, Turkey (May 14) --- On May 11, 2022 in beautiful Antalya Turkey, a precedent was set for all UWW Women referees. For the 1st time in United World Wrestling history, HIS-story became HER-story.  Women from 16 different countries have come together with 1 goal in mind; the advancement and recognition of Women officials within this heralded organization.

The Women's Referee Course, which consisted of two courses and three competition days, was preparation for the upcoming Commonwealth Games, and the 2024 & 2028 Olympic Games. 28 women referees from around the world were selected to participate in this first-of-its-kind educational program. 

On the first day of the course, UWW Bureau member Lucio CANEVA attended the opening ceremony and spoke to attendance. He thanked the referees for their support. He also explained why women referees are important for wrestling and all bureau members support this program.

Instructors Antonio SILVESTRI, Ibrahim CICIOGLU and Edit DOZSA collectively contributed to ensuring a successful platform for each woman that took part. Their combined knowledge only helped to propel the confidence of all the participants whether it was about rules or team-building activities and exercises. 

Dozsa, a pioneer of women's refereeing, was fully aware and empathic of the unique struggles women face in a male-dominated sport. Having been selected for the 2008 Olympic Games, Dozsa was able to bring the women together and give them an open forum to voice their individual experiences and struggles, without contradiction or judgments. The idea was for the women to learn how to empower one another. She provided tools and support that have enabled the women to grow and learn with each other over the years.

Participants from Turkey's women's wrestling course join together for a photo. (Photo: United World Wrestling)

The group at the course was experienced and talented. While some referees had wrestled, others were carrying the family torch. Regardless of experience, each member agreed that wrestling is in their blood and has forever changed their lives, for the better.

"Being a female official has many obstacles and nothing is easy about this job," Dozsa said. "We continue to sacrifice to be a part of this wrestling culture we all love so much. This course has given us renewed hope and an optimistic outlook for the future of women referees all over the world. We came in as 28 individuals and left as 1 empowered sisterhood."

The first two days of the course were dedicated to the theoretical aspect of refereeing and important rules were discussed and explained by instructors. A practice session was organized on the second day. All the questions of the attendees were answered by the instructors who also showed critical situations like referee mechanism, out of bounds situations, takedown and control, illegal wrestling and fouls.

During the last three days of the course, referees attended the International Champions tournament for the age group in all styles. They had a chance to officiate throughout the competition in both styles which was an experience for them as well.

The course was the first step for the women referees toward their Olympic hopes. The instructors thanked UWW president Nenad LALOVIC and all the bureau members for their support. They also expressed their gratitude toward the Sports and Development Departments for their collaboration and the Turkish Wrestling Federation for their attributions.