The USA’s Kyle Snyder defeated Khetag Goziumov of Azerbaijan to win the men’s 97kg freestyle gold, while in the 65kg category the title went to Russia’s Soslan Romanov, who defeated another Azerbaijani, Toghrul Asgarov.
Snyder took gold in the 97kg category thanks to a hard-fought 2-1 victory over his Azerbaijani opponent. Romania’s Albert Saritov and Uzbekistan’s Magomed Ibragimov won the bronze medal
“I’m really grateful to be able to get to compete,” said a delighted Snyder. “My whole family is here, a lot of my friends and family, so it’s just an awesome opportunity. Goziumov beat me a month ago so any time you can keep improving, it’s good stuff.”
Meanwhile, Goziumov conceded that he had been outfought by the stronger man on this occasion. “It was very hard,” said the Azerbaijani. “The American too strong. I wanted to win, but today he was the strongest.”
One of the two bronze medallists, Ibragimov was delighted to make the podium: “This is an Olympic medal, it is very precious. So many of those guys lost in the first rounds, but I was able to take the bronze. Only the very best athletes qualify for the Games and to make the podium is great.”
Ramonov romps to victory in the 65kg
In the men’s 65kg final, Russia’s Soslan Ramonov defeated defending champion Toghrul Asgarov of Azerbaijan 11-0 on technical points. The bronze medals went to Uzbekistan’s Ikhtiyor Navruzov and Italy’s Frank Marquez.
According to the Ramonov, the scoreline in the final made his victory look much easier than it was. “Actually Asgarov is very strong. The most important thing is to be focused in the right way, then everything falls into place,” he said.
He also revealed that he had got himself into the mood ahead of the final by flicking through pictures of his family. “To focus, I like to go through photos on my phone. I can distract myself and my mood gets better right away. I’ve got a great family!”
For his part Asgarov was delighted to make the podium for the second time in two appearances at the Games, and felt that fatigue after a tough semi-final had played its part in denying him a second gold. “I’m glad to have won a medal. I competed in my second Olympics and it is good that I got another medal. Obviously, I really wanted to win in the final, but the fact I was tired after the semi-final, which was a hard match, played a part.”
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