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US wrestling team due in Iran on May 14

President of Iran's Wrestling Federation (IWF), Mohammad-Reza Taleqani, announced on Saturday that five Greco-Roman wrestlers of the United States will arrive in Tehran on Wednesday, May 14, IRNA reported.

Taleqani told IRNA the visas of the American wrestlers have been issued and the US Greco-Roman wrestlers would arrive here early Wednesday morning.

According to the IWF head, the US wrestlers will have a short training in the hall of Shahid Shiroudi Sports Complex, central Tehran, and will fly later to the western city of Sanandaj where Takhti Cup is held.

Taleqani added the US Greco-Roman team will depart Tehran next Saturday for the United States and the freestyle wrestling team of the country is scheduled to arrive here in mid-May.

Fifteen teams have pulled out of the tournament due to the regional situation but the United States, Bulgaria, Syria, Armenia, and the Azerbaijan Republic will take part in Takhti Cup, added the top wrestling official.

Sanandaj is host to the Greco-Roman bouts of Takhti Cup on May 15-16 and the freestyle clashes are held in Tehran on May 22-23.

Touching upon the world event in New York, Taleqani said the US federation has officially invited the Iranian federation to send a team in September.

He added the US official invitation indicates that the trip of Iranian wrestling team to that country faces no problem.

No doubt, the world bouts in the US will help the Iranian wrestlers make success in Athens Olympic Games in 2004, said the wrestling head adding, it is too difficult to qualify for the Olympics without pitting the wrestlers in the world competitions.

He added Iran has always bagged most of the Olympic medals in wrestling bouts, adding that if the country fails to win top titles of wrestling, it nosedives in the table that has negative impacts on this sporting field.

Two months ago, Iran boycotted the 2003 World Cup Wrestling Championship in Boise, Idaho, for the US failure to remove immigration checks on Iranian athletes that included fingerprinting.

... Payvand News - 5/10/03 ... --

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