Georgian beats Russian, then wins 84 kg gold

Revazi Mindorashvili of Georgia beat the Russian gold medal favorite in an emotional semifinal match Thursday, then rallied in the final to win the Olympic freestyle wrestling 84-kilogram championship.
Mindorashvili, the 2005 world champion, lost the first period of the final against Yusup Abdusalomov of Tajikstan 3-2 but came back to dominate the last two periods 3-0 and 4-0.
Several hours earlier, Mindorashvili reversed a European championships loss in April to reigning world champion Georgy Ketoev of Russia with a 4-2, 7-3 decision, nearly causing him to break into a middle-of-the-match dance.
The disappointed Russian wouldn't even shake his hand, though the two smiled at each other during the medal ceremony after Taras Danko of Ukraine and Ketoev took the bronzes.
Despite the hostilities between the two countries and Russia's recent military intervention in Georgia, Russian fans in the China Agriculture University gymnasium stood politely during the Georgian national anthem.
Without Ketoev, the final featured two wrestlers who have long been contenders in major tournaments but had never gotten this far in an Olympics. In 2004, Abdusalomov was ninth and Mindorashvili was 13th in Athens.
Abdusalomov is 30, but his only previous high finish was a second in last year's world championships.
Andy Hrovat of the United States lost to Reineris Salas of Cuba 0-3, 3-1, 2-2 despite winning the first period of the opening-round match and was eliminated when Salas lost his next match. Only those who lose to finalists enter the bronze medal bracket.
Hrovat gave up the deciding points in the third period while ahead 2-0, thinking he led only 1-0 and needed to be aggressive to get more points.
"I didn't push the pace hard enough," said Hrovat. "I took a shot, but I needed to take 2-3-4 hard shots."

Updated : 2021-03-06 11:09 GMT+08:00