Yazdani on Verge of Becoming Iran’s First-Ever Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist

Yazdani on Verge of Becoming Iran’s First-Ever Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Returning world and Olympic champion Hassan Yazdani is on the verge of becoming Iran’s first-ever two-time Olympic gold medalist, but his path to that historic feat will likely go through his biggest rival, David Taylor from the U.S.

The duo of headlining superstars are on a collision course for a third career meeting. Taylor earned hand-raining performances in each of their two colossal matchups, unitedorldwrestling.com reported.

Their first meeting took place at the ‘17 World Cup in front of an Iranian-friendly crowd in Kermanshah. The then-relatively unknown American gassed Yazdani in the second period and scored a stunning fall over the Iranian -- sparking one of the sport’s biggest rivalries. A year later, Taylor proved the Kermanshah match wasn't a fluke. After trailing by four points after the first period, Taylor outscored Yazdani 9-0 in the second period of their opening-round clash at the ‘18 World Championships en route to winning his world title.

But Yazdani, known as “The Greatest,'' reclaimed 86kg supremacy at the ‘19 World Championships after Taylor underwent season-ending surgery after tearing his ACL in an exhibition bout.

He easily blew through the 86kg bracket at the ‘19 World Championships. The 27-year-old picked up a pair of falls and technical superiority wins before earning an injury default in the gold-medal final against Deepak Punia (IND).

It was Yazdani’s second world gold and fourth overall world medal. He won a silver medal in ‘15 and a bronze medal in ‘18. He backed that up with a 30-0 thumping of his three opponents at the Asian Championships.

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