2021 - Olympic Qualifiers - Men's Freestyle
65KG - Gadzhimurad Rashidov
2019 World Champion, Gadzhimurad Rashidov will be the favorite to bring home gold in Tokyo. However, he will be challenged as there are 2 other world champs (Otoguro and Aliyev) and 5 other world medalists (Punia, Musuakev, Valdes, Niyazbekov, and Gadzhiev) in the field. Even with that depth, Vazgen Tevanyan might be the biggest threat to Rashidov. Tevanyan won the 2020 Individual World Cup over Musukaev and followed up that performance by winning the Euro Qualifier over Haji Aliyev.
Ismail Musukaev and Haji Aliyev were both in action at the Poland Open. Musukaev competed at 65kg but Aliyev was up at 70kg - neither came away with gold. Musukaev did defeat Yianni Diakomihalis in a wild, 7-6 match but then forfeited the remaining of his matches. Aliyev stumbled against his American opponent, Alec Pantaelo, but came back to take bronze by defeating 2017 65kg World Champion, Zurabi Iakobishvili (GEO).
Iran solidified their Olympic rep at 65kg when Morteza Ghiasi defeated Amir Yazdani during a special-wrestle off. Yazdani had qualified the weight for Iran at the final Olympic qualifier in May but the Iranian wrestling federation made Ghiasi and Yazdani wrestle-off at the end of May. Ghiasi won in a commanding 10-5 victory to earn the Olympic spot at 65kg.
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