Iranian wrestler Zare’ tops UWW superheavyweight ranking

Freestyle wrestler Amirhossein Zare’ is the only Iranian to stand atop his respective weight class in the latest United World Wrestling Rankings.
The reigning world champion Zare’ pipped Georgian great Geno Petriashvili – beaten by the Iranian in last September’s world final – to the top spot of the 125kg class, with American Mason Parris and Taha Akgül of Turkey following the top two respectively.
A glorious five months saw Zare’ add the Asian Games gold to his world crown in October before he came out on top against fellow-Iranian Amir-Reza Ma’soumi in the final in the season-opening Zagreb Open Ranking Series event in January to secure his place in the country’s squad heading to the Paris Olympics in August.
Zare’ is widely regarded as the favorite to walk away with the ultimate prize of the 125kg contests in the French capital, which would be a second Olympic medal – after his bronze-winning campaign in Tokyo – for the decorated 23-year-old Iranian, who has been the dominant force of the freestyle superheavyweight wrestling over the past three years with double world golds and a bronze.
Meanwhile, Mohammad Nokhodi – a bronze winner in the UWW Worlds – stood second in the 79kg ranking – next to Russian Akhmed Usmanov, who defeated Nokhodi in the world quarterfinals before going all the way to beat Georgian Vladimeri Gamkrelidze in the final.
Gamkrelidze is third in the ranking with Azerbaijan’s Orkhan Abbasov in fourth.
Rahman Amouzad has endured an under-par run over the past year – failing to defend his world title before being pinned in the Asian Games final – but still managed to stand fourth in the 65kg ranking – behind Armenian Vazgen Tevanyan, world silver winner Sebastian Rivera of Puerto Rico, and Hungarian world champion Iszmail Muszukajev.
Amir-Mohammad Yazdani is fourth in the 70kg ranking, with Armenia’s Arman Andreasyan, American Zain Retherford – victorious over Yazdani in the world final – and Bulgaria’s Ramazan Ramazanov completing the top three.
Hassan Yazdani, who is yet to recover from a surgery on his injured shoulder in October, is fourth in the 86kg standing.
Yazdani’s familiar American foe David Taylor sits above the ranking, followed by San Marino’s Myles Amine and Azamat Dauletbekov of Kazakhstan.

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