Iran wins its first gold medal at London 2012 thanks to wrestler Hamid Sourian
The 26-year-old wrestler, a five-time world champion, has won Iran's first gold medal in Greco-Roman wrestling in 40 years
Iran has won its first gold medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games after wrestler Hamid Sourian defeated Azerbaijan's Rovshan Bayramov in the final of the 55kg Greco-Roman wrestling this evening.
With the athletics under way, Iran's medal drought came to an end as Sourian, a five-time world champion, won the country's first ever gold medal in Greco-Roman wrestling in 40 years.
The 26-year-old wrestler from south of Tehran had secured his way to the final after defeating Hungary's Peter Modos in the quarter-finals and Denmark's Haakan Nyblom in the semi-final matches.
Although Sourian had previously claimed world championships, including a gold medal at the 2010 FILA Wrestling World Championships in Russia, he had not before won it at the Olympics. He finished in fifth place in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games after a defeat in the quarter-finals.
On Friday, Iran's Kianoush Rostami won a bronze medal in the men's weightlifting 85kg. "World champion Kianoush Rostami lifted 171kg in snatch and 209kg in clean and jerk. He finished at third place with a total of 380kg," Iran's state-run English language newspaper, Tehran Times, reported. Iran currently sits in 31st place on the Olympic medal table.
On Wednesday, there were disappointments for the Iranian team when its heavyweight boxer, Ali Mazaheri, was disqualified in his bout with Cuba's Jose Larduet. Within minutes of the bout, Iranians took to social networking websites, spreading accusations of match fixing and blaming the referee for poor judgment.
To their delight, boxing's governing body, AIBA, expelled the German referee Frank Scharmach for five days and expelled the technical official Aghajan Abiyev of Azerbaijan.
For the 45 men and eight women of the Iranian team, London is a city that evokes nostalgia. In 1948, when it hosted the Olympics, Iranian athletes came to the city for their first official participation ever at the Olympic Games and they returned home with the country's first medal with weightlifter Jafar Salmasi winning a bronze in the featherweight division. Sixty four years on, they have returned to London with hope of adding more to the stack of 48 medals already at home, with good chances of winning in wrestling, weightlifting, and taekwondo.