There were celebrations for the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Mohammadreza Geraei who defeated Ukraine’s Parviz Nasibov to win the men’s Greco-Roman wrestling 67kg title at Tokyo 2020.
In the showpiece event, the 25-year-old overpowered Nasibov 9-1 at the Makuhari Messe Hall. After quickly clocking up the first point, there was a long wait as the judges deliberated before awarding Nasibov the next. At 1-1 it was all to play for, but Geraei pulled away and he was up 3-1 with more than three minutes on the clock. The points then ticked away, and the final score was 9-1.
Nasibov said later: "Of course I feel disappointed because I lost with such a score. I think I could have performed much better. When training, I overestimated the strengths of my opponent. He is the same athlete as we all are. Nonetheless, I made a mistake somewhere. A silver medal is better than nothing, but it will remind me of my mistake and I will do better."
It had been another strong win for Geraei. In the semifinal he demolished Georgia’s Ramaz Zoidze 6-1 and in the earlier rounds Germany’s Frank Staebler 5-5 and Colombia’s Julian Stiven Horta Acevedo 8-0.
The first of the bronze medal matches was claimed by three-time world champion Staebler, who defeated Zoidze 5-4. At 32, Staebler has become the oldest German athlete to achieve an Olympic medal in Greco-Roman wrestling. The second bronze went to Egypt’s Mohamed Ibrahim Elsayed, 23, who did a cartwheel when he was declared the winner after he overpowered world and two-time European champion, ROC’s Artem Surkov, 27, in 1-1.