Russians at the double on first day of wrestling
Arslan Zubairov of Russia produced a stunning comeback to win gold in the 58kg Greco-Roman wrestling final, before his compatriot Mark Bemalian followed suit in the 85kg category.
Zubairov celebrates after winning gold in the 58kg category
Zubairov fell 4-2 behind against Zaven Mikaelyan (ARM), but then secured three consecutive tosses worth four points each to go 10 points clear and win the contest.
“I remained calm [when I fell behind] because I knew I still had enough time,” Zubairov said afterwards. “My coaches have taught me not to get nervous.”
Mikaelyan took silver and Keramat Abdevali of Iran claimed bronze.
In the 85kg final, Bemalian scored his points in the first half and then defended his lead to defeat Bulgaria's Kiril Milov 9-6.
“I don’t remember right now what happened during the match,” Bemalian said. “The most important thing right now is that I won.”
The bronze medal went to Ahmed Ahmed of Egypt.
In the 50kg category, Ilkhom Bakhromov (UZB) won gold with a shock triumph over Jabbar Najafov (AZE), who scored with 30 seconds remaining in the bout – only to see the points redacted, costing him victory.
Dadov roars with delight as he celebrates his 69kg golden moment
Down 6-5, Najafov appeared to score on a takedown for a 7-6 lead, however, Bakhromov’s coach challenged and upon review the takedown was shown not to be clean.
“The Azerbaijani was the favourite so it was not easy for me,” Bakhromov said. “But my coaches supported me and gave me advice and that helped me.”
Iran’s Mohammadreza Aghaniachari clinched the bronze to complete the podium line-up.