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14 Years Ago Today Buvaisar Saitiev Won His Third Olympic Gold

Photo: Alamy Stock

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14 years ago today was the end of a historic career for the legend Buvaisar Saitiev of Russia. He would defeat Soslan Tigiev of Uzbekistan in the finals to win his 3rd olympic gold medal and 9th cumulative gold medal overall.

Tigiev was stripped of his silver medal back in November of 2016 when he tested positive for steroids. Murad Gaidarov of Bulgaria was given the silver medal. Fun fact about this weight class is that Ben Askren actually competed in the bracket and placed 6th.

Throughout his lengthy career Saitiev had picked up wins over Moon Eui-Jae, Alexander Leipold, Kenny Monday and Park Jang-Soon just to name a few guys on his extensive hitlist.

During his reign Saitiev would compete at four olympic games picking up his first gold in 1996, fell in the pool round to Brandon Slay of the United States in 2000 and would end up picking up a 9th place finish. He would come back strong picking up a gold medal in Athens outscoring his opponents 32-5 dominating the field with his only close match being the the aforementioned Gaidarov.

He would wrestle at 7 world championships taking home a gold at 6 of them and falling to Mihail Ganev of Bulgaria in 2006 to drop to an 8th place finish.

After not making the team falling to Makhach Murtazaliev who would go on to win gold that year at the world championships Saitiev was able to make the team in 2008 for Beijing which would be the final tournament of his competitive career, also where he would need to win to secure his legacy as one of the greatest ever.

Diving into depth on his run at the Beijing olympics Saitiev would take out Cho Byung-Kwan of South Korea in the qualification round 8-2. He would cap off a 5-0 win over Ahmet Gulhan of Turkey in the round of 16. Seeing familiar foe Ivan Fundora of Cuba in the finals where he would escape with a 4-1 victory and pinning Kiril Terziev of Bulgaria in the semifinals to advance to the olympic gold medal match.

In the finals he would face Soslan Tigiev of Uzbekistan in a match that would go all three periods. Tigiev won the first period 1-0, Saitiev won the second period 1-0, and he also won the third period 3-1 to capture his third olympic gold medal which would tie Aleksandr Medved.

Nowadays Saitiev is still very active in the wrestling scene and you see a lot of it on social media as well

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