SPORTS


Russia rolls over Iran, wins freestyle World Cup title

Baku, March 18, AZERTAC

Deafening chants of “Russia” echoed throughout Yakutsk’s Triumph Sports Training Center as the Russian Federation claimed their seventh overall Freestyle World Cup title and first gold since their title-winning performance at the 2011 Makhachkala World Cup.

The goal for the Russian Federation coming into the 2019 Freestyle World Cup was simple and well stated, “Win the Freestyle World Cup on home soil.”

That’s exactly what Russia did, and they did so in dominant fashion. Russia closed out the weekend with a perfect 4-0 team record while having a combined individual record of 36-4. Even more impressive, the host nation strung together a 25 match win streak that extended through three duals. The streak began at the 65kg match in the Japan dual, went through the 10-0 shutout win over Turkey, and finally ended after the 92kg match in the Iran dual.

The host nation proved that they were without a doubt the deepest team entered into the tournament, wrapping up the World Cup on Sunday by easily halting Iran from winning their seventh World Cup title in the last eight years.

In the finals, Russia stomped Iran, 9-1, and ended the country's eight-year World Cup title drought.

The Russians cruised, winning the first seven matches and clinched the dual after Magomed RAMAZANOV (RUS) stuck Mojtaba ASGHARI OSMAVANDANI (IRI) in the 79kg bout.

Russia’s final win against Iran was their fourth win of the weekend. They went 2-0 on the opening day of competition, tallying wins over Cuba and Japan, then followed that up with a third-round win over Turkey. That Sunday morning win over Turkey locked up the perfect 3-0 record in Group A and handed Russia their spot in the World Cup finals for the first time since 2011.

This was Russia’s sixth Freestyle World Cup title-winning performance, and fifth on home soil. The last time Russia won a World Cup that wasn’t on home soil came at the 1998 Freestyle World Cup which was held in Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA.

Meanwhile, in the third-place bout, the defending champion the United States edged Japan, 6-4.

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