Olympic medalist Hassan Yazdani will be part of Iran's freestyle squad for the Wrestling World Championships. The silver medalist will be competing in the 86 kg weight category and will eye revenge against Olympic champion David Taylor of the USA. The glorious rivalry will get a new chapter written in Oslo, Norway when the two take to the mat.
David Taylor vs Hassan Yazdani Wrestling Rivalry
The duo have met thrice since Hassan Yazdani’s gold medal in 74 kg at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Their latest encounter was at the Tokyo Olympics final. The high-intensity match blew the roof of Makuhari Messe Hall as David Taylor clinched a last-second victory to become a champion.
Taylor will attempt to win his second world championship just two months after earning his first Olympic gold medal in dramatic fashion. Taylor wrote this week on Instagram:
“My favorite quote, ‘You either put in the work or you don’t. There is no in between. 7 weeks until the 2021 World Championships in Oslo, Norway. Time to refocus on the next goal."
Hassan Yazdani and David Taylor first met at the 2017 Wrestling World Cup in Kermanshah, Iran. Hassan was the crowd favorite in this match as he entered the competition as an Olympic champion. While it was an equally matched game, Taylor managed to pin Hassan’s shoulder’s long enough to win the match by pinfall.
Their first major encounter, though, happened at the 2018 Wrestling World Championships in Budapest.
The duo met in the qualification round of the 86kg freestyle. Hassan started strongly, securing an early three-point lead. However, Taylor was quick to cover the ground and took a two-point takedown to bring the score to 3-2.
The Iranian wrestler, however, continued to dominate the game and scored three points via takedown and pushout. At the end of the first half, the score stood at 6-2 in Hassan’s favor.
The second half of the bout, however, had a different story. Taylor went full throttle and scored nine points in three minutes to win the game 11-6. The US grappler eventually went on to become the 2018 Wrestling World Champion.