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Four U.S. wrestlers win gold medals at Takhti Cup

Four U.S. wrestlers claimed gold medals at the Takhti Cup in Qazvin, Iran, Jan. 18-21, 2000: freestyle wrestlers Shawn Charles (Mt. Pleasant, Mich./Sunkist Kids), Charles Burton (Bloomington, Ind./Sunkist Kids) and Tolly Thompson (Cedar Falls, Iowa/Sunkist Kids) and Greco-Roman wrestler Dan Niebuhr (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids). (Photos here)

This is only the third time the USA has competed in Iran in the last 20 years. The other two previous trips were in 1998, when the U.S. sent a wrestling team to the Takhti Cup and another to the World Freestyle Championships.

The United States, with 10 athletes, placed second in the team standings behind host Iran, which entered 83 wrestlers. Iran had 77 team points, followed by the United States with 71 team points.

Charles won a gold medal at 138.75 pounds, with a 5-0 record. He defeated A. Behtari of Iran, 8-0 in the championship finals. This is Charles second trip to Iran, as he also competed at the 1998 Takhti Cup.

Burton won his first major international event with a victory at 187.25 pounds. He holds a No. 2 national team ranking in the United States. Specific information on Burtons matches were not available at presstime.

Thompson won the gold medal at 286 pounds, with a 4-0 record. He stopped D. Rakhshkhoksmid of Iran in the finals, 5-0.

Niebuhr won the only U.S. title in Greco-Roman, capturing the 187.25 pound title with a 5-0 record. Niebuhr defeated M. Rahmani of Iran in the gold-medal match, 5-0.

All 10 of the U.S. athletes on the tour placed in the top 10 of their weight divisions. Randy Couture (Gresham, Ore./Sunkist Kids) participated in both styles, placing sixth in freestyle and ninth in Greco-Roman at 213.75 pounds.

Coaching the freestyle wrestlers was Joe Seay of Perry, Okla., who also coached the first U.S. team to wrestle in Iran in 1998. Coaching the Greco-Roman wrestlers was Anatoly Petrosyan of Colorado Springs, Colo., USA Wrestlings Greco-Roman resident coach. More information will be posted when available.

TAKHTI CUP at Qazvin, Iran, Jan. 18-21

U.S. freestyle results

119 - Lou Rosselli, Edinboro, Pa. (New York AC), 10th - match results not available

127.75 - Eric Guerrero, Stillwater, Okla. (Sunkist Kids), 5th - dec. Ghambaris (Afghanistan), 7-0; lost dec. to M. Jukar (Iran), 7-5; pin Robitu (Pakistan)

138.75 - Shawn Charles, Mt. Pleasant, Mich. (Sunkist Kids), 1st - dec. M. Shirazi (Iran), 3-2; dec. A.R. Zakeri (Iran), 5-4; dec. A. Mkhitarvan (Armenia), 6-0; dec. M. Hosseini (Iran), 3-1, ot; dec. A. Behtari (Iran), 8-0

152 - Chris Bono, Ames, Iowa (Sunkist Kids), 8th - lost dec. to M. Tavakolian (Iran), 6-3; won by tech. fall over A. Mohammad (Pakistan), 23-7

167.5 - Frank Trigg, Norman, Okla. (Sunkist Kids), 10th - lost dec. to H. Tatari (Iran), 2-0, ot; won by tech. fall over M. Usman (Pakistan), 11-1; lost dec. to M. Jamshidi (Iran), 10-1

187.25 - Charles Burton, Bloomington, Ind. (Sunkist Kids), 1st - match results not available

187.25 - Lee Fullhart, Iowa City, Iowa (Hawkeye WC), 8th - match results not available

213.75 - Randy Couture, Gresham, Ore. (Sunkist Kids), 6th - dec. A. Shahvirov (Iran), 9-2; lost dec. to M. Shahverov (Iran), 11-1; lost dec. to M. Rahseki (Iran), 5-3

286 - Tolly Thompson, Cedar Falls, Iowa (Sunkist Kids), 1st - dec. A.R. Rezaee (Iran), 3-1; dec. D. Laridi (Iran), 7-4; won by forfeit over L. Larijani (Iran); dec. D. Rakhshkhoksmid (Iran), 5-0 U.S. Greco-Roman results

187.25 - Dan Niebuhr, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids), 1st - dec. A. Rasuli (Iran), 3-0; dec. B. Moradi (Iran), 6-0; pin F. Kafaedzadeh (Iran); dec. A.R. Nikkaq (Iran), 10-5; dec. M. Rahmadi (Iran), 5-0

213.75 - Randy Couture, Gresham, Ore. (Sunkist Kids), 9th - lost dec. to R. Jazini (Iran), 7-6; lost dec. to M. Arsarifar (Iran), 3-1

Team Standings

1. Iran, 77 pts.; 2. United States, 71 pts.; 3. Armenia, 48 pts.; 4. Pakistan, 29 pts.; 5. Afghanistan, 26 pts; 6. Azerbaijan, 23 pts.; 7. China, 23 pts.; 8. Turkey, 15 pts.; 9. Kazakhstan, 7 pts.


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