NEW DELHI (May 10) - Ramin TAHERISARTANG completed his hat-trick of gold medals at the Asian Senior Championships, and led Iran to a three-title Greco-Roman haul on the opening day of the tournament Wednesday.
Taherisartang battled to a tough 3-1 decision in the 80kg final over KIM Junehyoung (KOR), one of four Koreans to make the final in the five Greco-Roman divisions contested at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex wrestling stadium.
"It’s a hat-trick, and it’s different from the first and second medals," Taherisartang said. "I’m so happy. I want to take this color medal at the world championships."
Taherisartang, the Paris Grand Prix champion, captured his first Asian title at 71kg in 2015, then moved up to 80kg last year in Bangkok and made it two in a row.
Iranians also conquered the two heaviest weights, with Seyedmostafa SALEHIZADEH taking the 98kg gold and Behnam MEHDIZADEH following with a victory at 130kg.
Salehizadeh dominated his clash with KIM Seungjun (KOR), winning by technical fall at 3:35 by building up a 14-4 advantage -- although he had to survive a scare when the Korean pancaked him onto his back for a 4-point move.
In contrast, the final between Mehdizadeh and Damir KUZEMBAYEV (KAZ) offered little but two monoliths pounding against each other, and Mehdizadeh prevailed 3-1 as none of the points were scored through techniques.
The most eye-opening performance was turned in by OH Sanghun (KOR), who followed up his giant-killings in the morning session by edging Almat KESBISPAYEV (KAZ) 1-1 in the 66kg final.
Earlier Oh had defeated Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Elmurat TASMURADOV (UZB) in the quarterfinals and Ali ARSALAN (IRI) in the semifinals.
Oh said his best previous result was third place at the Bulgarian Open.
"I was confident that I could do well, and I’m glad I did well," Oh said. "I think I can get better."
The other gold medal at stake, at 75kg, went to Maxat YEREZHEPOV (KAZ) who finally stepped up to the top of the podium after winning two bronzes and a silver from 2012 to 2014.
In the final, Yerezhepov used a big 4-point throw to clinch a 5-0 victory over PARK Daeseung (KOR).
"I’m so happy, I can’t describe what I feel. I’m just happy," said Yereshepov, adding he felt well prepared for the tournament. "It was really hard work. We had three training camps before the championships. We had some physical training and some time for technique. This victory is due to that training."
In the bronze medal matches, Arsalan added to Iran’s tally with an impressive victory by fall at 4:16 over Tasmuradov. Arsalan scored all of his points in the second period in piling up an 11-1 lead before finishing off Tasmuradov.
China came away with two bronze medals, as DONG Jinxin topped Shogo TAKAHASHI 2-1 at 66kg, and YANG Bin overwhelmed Gurpreet SINGH (IND) at 75kg, winning by technical fall 8-0 in just 38 seconds.
The other 75kg third-place match was also a quick affair, as Bakhtovar KHASANOV (TJK) needed just 50 seconds to build up an 8-point advantage over CHEN Yu-Ching (TPE).
The local fans got something to cheer about when Harpreet SINGH (IND) edged NA Junjie (CHN) 2-1 at 80kg. The other bronze in that division went to Samar SHIRDAKOV (KGZ), a 2-2 winner by criteria over Danyal GAJIYEV (KAZ).
KIM Minseok made Korea 5-for-5 medal wise when he rallied from behind to defeat Arata SONATA (JPN) by fall at 2:51.
At 98kg, the bronze medals went to Rustam ASSAKALOV (UZB) and Yerulan ISKAKOV (KAZ).
Results from Wednesday evening’s medal matches:
66kg (11 entries)
Gold - OH Sanghun (KOR) df. Almat KEBISPAYEV (KAZ) 1-1
Bronze – Ali ARSALAN (IRI) df. Elmurat TASMURADOV (UZB) fall, 4:16
Bronze – DONG Jinxin (CHN) df. Shogo Takahashi (JPN) 2-1
75kg (12 entries)
Gold - Maxat YEREZHEPOV (KAZ) df. PARK Daeseung (KOR) 5-0
Bronze – YANG Bin (CHN) df. Gurpreet SINGH (IND) TF, 8-0, :38
Bronze – Bakhtovar KHASANOV (TJK) df. CHEN Yu-Ching (TPE) TF, 8-0, :50
80kg (9 entries)
Gold - Ramin TAHERISARTANG (IRI) df. KIM Junehyoung (KOR) 3-1
Bronze – Harpreet SINGH (IND) df. NA Junjie (CHN) 2-1
Bronze – Samat SHIRDAKOV (KGZ) df. Danyal GAJIYEV (KAZ) 2-2
98kg (9 entries)
Gold - Seyedmostafa SALEHIZADEH (IRI) df. KIM Seungjun (KOR) TF, 14-4, 3:35
Bronze – Yerulan ISKAKOV (KAZ) df. XIAO Di (CHN) 5-1
Bronze – Rustam ASSAKALOV (UZB) df. Azizdzhon ZARIPOV (TJK) fall, :51
130 kg (7 entries)
Gold - Behnam MEHDIZADEH (IRI) df. Damir KUZEMBAYEV (KAZ) 3-1
Bronze – KIM Minseok (KOR) df. Arata SONODA (JPN) fall, 2:51