Greco-Roman Olympic champion Borrero falls to Zoidze in a day of upheaval


CHIBA, Japan, Aug 3 (Reuters) – Georgian Ramaz Zoidze won one of wrestling’s biggest surprises at the Tokyo Olympics when he defeated defending champion Ismael Borrero of Cuba in the Greco-Roman weight class on Tuesday light.

Borrero, who moved up from the bantamweight class and is a two-time world champion, struggled to get the upper hand over the 25-year-old Georgian in the round of 16.

Led 1-0, Zoidze equalized with a passivity call in the second period before making a withdrawal. Although Borrero made it 3-2 in the dying seconds, Zoidze held on for the win to advance to the quarter-finals.

Zoidze continued to impress, beating Iraq-born refugee Olympic team wrestler Aker Al Obaidi with a 10-0 technical superiority victory to advance to the semi-finals where he will face Iranian Mohammadreza Geraei.

“I felt really good, especially in the first fight… My mind and body were working perfectly. Now I feel disappointed, I gave it my all, ”said Al Obaidi, 21, who won his previous fight 8-0.

“I have no words to thank (the wrestling governing body) UWW and the IOC, I’m really happy to compete because of them. I am very young and will continue to compete.

Geraei advanced to the semi-finals after edging out three-time German world champion Frank Staebler despite his 4-2 lead at the break.

Two-time South Korean world champion Ryu Han-su was surprised in the round of 16 by two-time Egyptian under-23 world champion Mohamed Ibrahim El-Sayed, who took a 6-0 lead in the first half.

Ryu, who beat Algeria’s Abdelmalek Merabet by technical superiority in the previous round, managed to reduce the deficit against El-Sayed, but the Egyptian won the draw 7-6 to qualify.

Women’s world champion Aisuluu Tynybekova of Kyrgyzstan advanced to the freestyle middleweight semi-finals without conceding a point in both of her bouts.

Four-time Asian champion Tynybekova first beat Latvian Anastasija Grigorjeva 8-0 before concluding a 6-0 victory over Kriszta Incze pinning the Romanian. (Reporting by Ece Toksabay in Chiba and Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; editing by Himani Sarkar)


Robert J. King