- Title: IRAN: WRESTLING - U.S. wrestlers win four medals in Iran
- Date: 21st January 2007
- Summary: BANDAR ABBAS, IRAN (JANUARY 19, 2007) (REUTERS) WRESTLERS IN FRONT OF PORTRAITS OF AYATOLLAHS FANS CHANTING MORE WRESTLERS IN FRONT OF PORTRAITS OF AYATOLLAHS FANS CHANTING WRESTLERS HEAD OF U.S. FREESTYLE WRESTLING TEAM VAN STOKES (LEFT) WITH COACH TERRY BRANDS (RIGHT) U.S. SQUAD
- Reuters ID: LVA1G6HR1HGYMEC434P9187QW1V1
- Duration: 00:01:02
- Topics: Sports
- Story Text: Muhammad 'Mo' Lawal won gold in Bandar Abbas on Thursday and Henry Cejudo took silver, while on Friday bronze medals went to Zach Roberson and Lee Fullhart.
It was the first time that the Americans had participated in the competition since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to power in 2005 -- an event that further soured already bad relations between Tehran and Washington.
In a small, but significant goodwill gesture, the American wrestlers were exempted from having their fingerprints taken as they entered the country. Iran imposed the fingerprint requirement on Americans after Washington imposed a similar rule on visiting Iranians.
The head of the U.S. team, Van Stokes, told Reuters on Friday: "I think it's very important for the wrestlers of Iran and the wrestlers of the United States to come together and have competition."
A U.S. team competed in the tournament in 1998 after a break of 20 years and Iranian teams have participated in competitions in the United States.
The Bandar Abbas competition is also known as the Takhti Cup after one of Iran's most famous sportsmen, Gholamreza Takhti, who won an Olympic wrestling gold medal in 1956 and world championship gold in 1959 and 1961. Takhti died in a hotel room in 1968 in what the government of the time said was suicide, but what many people believed was an offciially sanctioned assassination because of his political beliefs.
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