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American Greco-Roman team coach says happy to attend tournament in Iran

Head Coach of the American wrestlers Daniel Russell said in Tehran on Wednesday that "I am very happy to attend an international tournament in Iran," IRNA reported.

The US Greco-Roman team is taking part in the 22nd international wrestling tournament, Takhti Cup, to be held in Sanandaj in Kurdestan province.

Speaking to IRNA, he said Iran is regarded as the cradle of wrestling in the world and every wrestler wishes to contest with Iranian champions.

On absence of two US wrestlers in the tournament, he said one of them suffered injury and the other missed the contest due to failure to mail its documents on time.

"The United States has sent a number of very good wrestlers to the tournament and we hope to grab medals in the contests," he said.

"We should not mingle politics with sports, he said adding that the US free-style wrestling team will arrive in Tehran next week to take part in Takhti tournament", he said.

He hoped to witness a very good and high level contests in the tournament.

US wrestlers arrive in Tehran

US Greco-Roman wrestlers arrived in Tehran on Wednesday morning to take part in the international tournament, Takhti Cup, to be held in Sanandaj, Kurdestan province, IRNA reported.

President of Iran's Wrestling Federation (IWF) said two Greco-Roman wrestlers represent the United States in the 66 and 76 kg categories.

Mohammad-Reza Taleqani added Daniel Russell is the head coach of the American wrestlers.

According to him, the US wrestlers left here immediately for Sanandaj.

Syria, Armenia, Bulgaria, and Republic of Azerbaijan are the other participating teams, said the IWF chief.

Forty-five countries were invited to participate in Takhti Cup, said Taleqani adding that many of them pulled out of the international tournament due to the outbreak of fatal Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in some Asian countries.

He also referred to the short interval between Takhti Cup and the European bouts as another reason for the poor welcome of foreign countries particularly the European states.

On Tuesday, a 13-member Greco-Roman wrestling team of Azerbaijan arrived in Astara, Gilan province.

Astara's Physical Education Department said the Azeri team left immediately the northern port city for Sanandaj.

Sanandaj is a host to the Greco-Roman bouts on May 15-16 and the freestyle clashes will be held in Tehran on May 22-23.

The IWF announced on Tuesday the names of Greco-Roman wrestlers for the international event.

The wrestlers and officials are as follows:

55 kg: Hassan Rangraz, Hamid Bani-Tamim, Hadi Zeinivand, Hamid Bavafa, Ayoub Shah-Karami, Mohammad-Reza Mosta'an, Saeid Mohammadi

60 kg: Ali Ashkani, Bahman Tayyebi, Hamid-Reza Nassiri, Seyed Saber Mirzadeh, Mahmoud Roshandel, Mehdi Khoshbakht, Ali Mehrpour-Mohammadi

66 kg: Mehdi Nassiri, Mehdi Hodaei, Azad-Ali Mohammadpour, Saeid Saleki, Hassan Heidari, Fardin Latifi, Hamid Rezaei

74 kg: Parviz Zeidvand, Ali Zabihi, Mohsen Poudanaki, Mehdi Mohammadi, Amin Kashkouli, Taleb Ne'matpour, Hamid Taherzadeh

84 kg: Majid Ramezani, Rahman Raeissi, Rouhollah Mikaeili, Mohammad-Ali Mohammadi, Seyed Hassan Mar'ashian, Mehdi Rahimi, Mehdi Esmaeil-Nejad, Mojtaba Kababi

96 kg: Masoud Hashemzadeh, Reza Zeidvand, Behrouz Jamshidi, Ehsan Karimfar, Hamid Mehdian, Farid Adnani, Ali-Akbar Sadeq

120 kg: Alireza Gharibi, Payam Zarrinpour, Sajjad Barzi, Mehdi Khoshki, Farhad Kafaeizadeh, Alireza Akbari, Mehdi Sabz-Ali

Coaches: Amrollah Ayoubi, Mohammad-Ali Chamiani, Abdolkarim Kaka-Haji, Kianoush Darsh, Mohsen Taheri, Hossein Nik-Nejad, Ali Allahyari

Physical fitness coach: Bahman Mirzaei

Technical official: Reza Simkhah

Head: Rahim Aliabadi

Reza Simkhah said the wrestlers are ready for the international event.

Six wrestlers compete in every weight category, said the official, adding that one team represents Kordestan Province and the youth side of the country also takes part in the tournament.

... Payvand News - 5/14/03 ... --

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