With Eye on Safety, Lithuania Returns to Practice Mats

By United World Wrestling Press

VILNIUS, Lithuania (May 22) -- With few cases of COVID-19 nationwide, Lithuania's top wrestlers are returning to the mat, albeit with safety precautions in place. 

Lithuania has only seen 1600 total cases of COVID-19 and 60 deaths. Despite the lower numbers the wrestling federation and the athletes are taking every precaution they can to ensure the health and safety of the wrestlers on the mat. The new guidelines for practice includes increased cleaning protocols, temperature checks, hand sanitization and face masks (for anyone not actively wrestling).

Athletes’ Commission member Mindaugas EZERSKIS mentioned the practices during Monday's Athlete Webinar with the commission and UWW President Nenad Lalovic. Ezerskis said the team is training during the week and taking weekends off with a focus on preparing for the Olympics and Olympic Qualification events. 

You can watch the full video, here.

Olympic Channel: Ibragimov Becomes FYROM's First-Ever Medalist at Sydney 2000

By United World Wrestling Press

In 2000, freestyle wrestler Magomed Ibragimov became the first-ever Olympic medalist for the nation of Macedonia. The Olympic Channel looked back on Ibragimov's historic achievement and life-changing impact. 

The Background

The Sydney 2000 Games will always hold a special significance for North Macedonia.

Wrestler Magomed Ibragimov not only won his first Olympic medal but it still stands as the only Olympic medal the Balkan nation has registered.

Ibragimov was born in Dagestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic and is of Avar descent which is one of the largest ethnic groups in Dagestan. He started freestyle wrestling, which was a popular sport in the region, in 1986.

Heading into the Atlanta 1996 Games, Ibragimov represented Azerbaijan and was considered a favourite for a medal after he won gold at both the 1995 and 1996 European Championships. But he would only finish fifth in the 82kg category.

However, following on from his performance at Atlanta 1996, Ibragimov would go on to represent F.Y.R Macedonia.

Read full story on Tokyo 2020