6 years ago today Hassan Yazdani would win gold at the Rio olympics knocking off Aniuar Geduev of Russia in the finals. At 21 years old would also become one of the youngest olympic champs in the history of wrestling.
Coming into thee 2016 olympics Yazdani’s only losses were to either Russian’s or Ali Shabanau of Belarus. Being a returning world silver medalist down at 70kg bumping up a lot of people were excited to see a gold medal match between Yazdani and Jordan Burroughs.
That match never went down because Burroughs would lose to Geduev in the quarterfinals and falling to Bekzod Abdurakhmonov in repechage. Burroughs would come back strong and regain the top standing in the weight class winning the 2017 world championships.
Looking back on Yazdani’s 2016 olympic run he would have a procession match with Asnage Castelly of Haiti in the opening round. He would defeat soon to be olympic bronze medalist Sonor Demirtas of Turkey in the quarterfinals 7-0. Teching Galymzhan Usserbayev of Kazakhstan in the semifinals 10-0.
Now let’s talk about the gold medal bout against Geduev. Geduev the 29 year old knocking off 3x world champion Denis Tsargush to even make the olympic team. Taking out Jordan Burroughs in the quarterfinals and Jabrayil Hasanov in the semifinals.
Geduev would go up 6-0 on Yazdani while constantly getting his head all taped up and wrapped during the bout. Yazdani would end up coming back to take the gold medal match with 3 takedowns to win 6-6 on criteria.
This would just be the start of what Yazdani would accomplish in the sport however. Winning a world title the next year in 2017, a second one in 2019, and most recently this past year in Oslo the 27 year old as 4 gold medals to his name and will look to add to it this year in Serbia.
His kryptonite historically at 86kg has been the American David Taylor however who Yazdani holds a 1-3 record against. Yazdani did beat him last year in Oslo with Taylor winning the olympic gold in Tokyo. Personally I feel that this next match will decide a lot about who the better wrestler in this rivalry is. The first two matches between these two might as well be throw aways at this point by how much these guys have separated themselves from the pack.
With Russia not at the world championships this will be the match of the tournament 100%.