Ismail Muszukaev won the gold medal in the 65kg freestyle wrestling qualification at the World Wrestling Championships in Belgrade, Serbia. The Russian-born athlete, who has been competing in Hungarian colors since 2019, reached Tuesday’s final in the hardest possible leg with a sensational march, reports Hirado.hu.
The world athlete qualified for the final on Monday. He first defeated Adil Ospanov of Kazakhstan, then the defending Olympic champion Otoguro Takuto of Japan, then Shamil Mamedov of Russia, and in the semi-finals he beat the defending champion Rahman Amouzad Khalili of Iran.
With his win against the latter, he qualified for the Olympics and achieved the greatest success of his career. Coach Zsolt Bánkuti said on Monday night that he had to be at his best to have a chance for the gold medal.
In theory, he should have no problem with his opponent in the final, Puerto Rico’s Sebastian Rivera, if he is as focused and sharp on Tuesday as he was a day earlier,
the coach emphasized.
“We have watched Rivera’s matches and I must say that Ismail’s style is much better than the Iranian’s,” noted Bánkuti.
Sebastian Rivera (in blue) and Ismail Muszukaev. Photo via MTI/Kovács Tamás
Musukaev celebrating his success. Photo via MTI/Kovács Tamás
“Thank you very much Hungary for giving me this opportunity to be here. I would not say that this match was easier, because after yesterday my joints and muscles were a bit sore. The Olympics in Paris are coming up and I have done everything I can to get a quota here and win a gold medal and win the matches.
Since I was a kid, an Olympic gold medal has been my dream and that is why I keep working,”
The wrestler, who has been a member of the Hungarian national team since 2019, won the European Championship last year. So far he has won two world championship bronze medals, was fifth at the Tokyo Olympics, and now in the biggest success of his career, he received the World Championship title.
The 30-year-old is Hungary’s 21st world champion in wrestling, and the 31st Hungarian world gold medalist. What is even more impressive is that he is the second gold medalist in 44 years in freestyle wrestling. The first was István Kovács in 1979 in San Diego.
Miklós Kásler, Minister of Human Resources, already congratulated the winner in a social media post:
Via hirado.hu, Featured image via MTI/Kovács Tamás