TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s wrestling team Friday defeated the United States wrestling team to secure the gold medal at the Freestyle World Cup.
During the final matches, Iranian wrestlers sealed a 5-3 victory against their American guests in the western Iranian city of Kermanshah. State TV broadcast the matches live.
The Iranians won at the 57, 61, 65, 70 and 125 kilogram divisions, while the American wrestlers won 74, 86 and 97 kilogram divisions. Southern Regional High School graduate Frank Molinaro held a 4-0 lead over Iran’s Meisam Nasiri halfway through the second period at 65 kilograms, but Nasiri got on a roll late, scoring two takedowns and a step out in the final moments to defeat Molinaro, 5-4.
The U.S. wrestling team reached the final matches after defeating Russia, Georgia and Azerbaijan in group A of the competition. Iran defeated Turkey, India and Mongolia in group B over two days to reach the final.
Following their win, hundreds of Kermanshah residents poured into the streets, with drivers honking their cars horns, to celebrate the victory, Iranian media reported.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also issued a statement to offer his congratulations, the official IRNA news agency reported.
During the competitions, Iranian spectators warmly welcomed the American wrestlers, and many took selfies with them. Earlier in February, Iran reversed its position and allowed U.S. wrestlers to participate in the competition following an earlier U.S. travel ban, now frozen, by President Donald Trump on nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries.
, including Iran.
American and Iranian wrestlers have frequently hosted each other in similar competitions.