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Iran wrestling team at World Cup

For immediate release

January 11, 2000, (USA Wrestling) -- Iran preliminary lineup features four World Champions for World Cup of Freestyle Wrestling in Fairfax, Va., Feb. 5-6

Iran has announced its preliminary lineup of athletes that will compete at the World Cup of Freestyle Wrestling to be held at the Patriot Center at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., Feb. 5-6.

The World Champions on the Iranian squad include 1998 World Champion Ali Reza Dabir at 127.75 pounds, 1998 World Champion Ali Reza Heidari at 213.75 pounds, 1997 World Champion Mohammad Talaei at 138.75 pounds and 1993 World Champion Akbar Fallah at 152 pounds.

Dabir also claimed a World silver medal in 1998. He has won a gold medal at the World Cup the last two years.

Heidari won his 1998 World title at 187.25 pounds. Last year, he moved up to 213.75 pounds, where he won a World silver medal and claimed gold medals at the World Cup and the Asian Championships.

Talaie was a World champion at 127.75 pounds in 1977. He moved up to 138.75 pounds in 1999, and placed sixth at the World Championships.

Fallah won his World title in 1993, and went on to place second in the 1995 World Championships. He was 10th in the 1996 Olympic Games.

Iran has competed in the United States in wrestling on a regular basis in recent years. Among the events that Iran has sent teams to compete in the U.S. were the 1995 World Cup, the 1995 World Championships, the 1996 Olympic Games, the 1998 World Cup, the 1998 Goodwill Games, the 1998 Junior World Freestyle Championships and the 1999 World Cup.

Another veteran star on the Iran roster will be Gholam Reza Mohammadi at 119 pounds. Mohammadi was a World silver medalist in 1995 and won World bronze medals in 1994 and 1998.

Ali Akhbar Nejad, who placed fourth in the 1992 Olympic Games, will compete at 152 pounds. Nejad was a 1995 World Military champion and 1994 Asian Games champion.

Pejman Dorostkar, who placed fourth in the 1998 World Championships, is slated to compete at 167.5 pounds.

Rounding out the Iran roster are Mohammed Ghassemi (119), Bayman Tayebi (119), Oveis Mallahi (127.75), Ali Akhbar Nejad (152), Majid Mohammadi (152), Bahram Abedi (167.5), Mehdi Akbar Nejad (167.5), Shahab Ghorbani (187.25) and Ali Reza Rezaei (286).

Iran was second as a team at the 1999 World Cup in Spokane, Wash., losing in the championship finals to the host United States. Iran is considered one of the strongest freestyle wrestling teams in the world, winning the 1998 World team title and placing fourth in the 1999 World Championships.

The strongest field in the history of the competition is expected, with six of the top eight teams at the most recent World Freestyle Wrestling Championships confirmed to participate. It will certainly be an exciting preview of the competition at the 2000 Olympic Games.

Along with Iran, the field for the 2000 World Cup includes Russia, Cuba, Ukraine, Turkey, and the host United States. Each of the teams will compete against the other nations in dual meet action. In addition, individual medals will be awarded at each of the eight weight classes.

Four sessions of wrestling will be held. On Saturday, Feb. 5, session times are 12:00 noon and 7:00 p.m. On Sunday, Feb. 6, session times are at 11:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

A variety of ticket price packages are available. The best bargains are the All-Session Tickets, which cost $99 for Seating A (best locations), $75 for Seating B and $55 for Seating C. Individual session tickets will become available on January 15.

For more information, contact Gary Abbott of USA Wrestling at 719-598-8181.

WORLD CUP OF FREESTYLE WRESTLING

Fairfax, Va., Feb. 5-6

Iran World Cup preliminary lineup

54 kg/119 lbs. - Gholam Reza Mohammadi

54 kg/119 lbs. - Mohammed Ghassemi

54 kg/119 lbs. - Bayman Tayebi

58 kg/127.75 lbs. - Ali Reza Dabir

58 kg/127.75 lbs. - Oveis Mallahi

63 kg/138.75 lbs. - Mohammad Talaei

69 kg/152 lbs. - Akbar Fallah

69 kg/152 lbs. - Ali Akhbar Nejad

69 kg/152 lbs. - Majid Mohammadi

76 kg/167.5 lbs. - Pejman Dorostkar

76 kg/167.5 lbs. - Bahram Abedi

76 kg/167.5 lbs. - Mehdi Akbar Nejad

85 kg/187.25 lbs. - Shahab Ghorbani

97 kg/213.75 lbs. - Ali Reza Heidari

130 kg/286 lbs. - Ali Reza Rezaei

This release can also be obtained on USA Wrestling's website in the *Recent Results* area at http://www.usawrestling.org

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