|BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images. Iranian Mostafa Hossein-Khani (L) wrestles with US Michael Zadik (R) in the 66kg freestyle category at the 29th International Takhti Cup wrestling tournament in Tehran on March 12, 2009.|
The Iranian freestyle wrestling team has been crowned champions of the 2012 FILA Freestyle Wrestling World Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan, after defeating the hosts in the finals. Iran defeated Azerbaijan 4-3 in the finals of the tournament this past week to win the tournament for the fifth time. Iran had previously won the 1996, 1998, 2001, and 2006 World Cups.
Hassan Rahimi, Mehdi Taqavi, Sadeq Goudarzi, and Reza Yazdani defeated their Azerbaijani opponents while Massoud Esmailpoor, Ehsan Lashgari, and Komeil Qasemi lost their respective matches. The Iranian team had advanced to the finals after defeating the US 4-3 in round four on Saturday. Earlier on Sunday, the Americans beat Russia 5-2 to clinch the bronze medal.
FILA Wrestling World Cup is an international wrestling competition among teams representing member nations of the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA), the sportâ€™s global governing body.
The championships have been conducted every year since the 1973 tournament. The World Cup began as a dual-meet competition for the top teams on each continent, but now features the top teams in the rankings of the previous yearâ€™s world championships.
The 2012 Greco-Roman Wrestling World Cup will be held in Saransk, Russia in late May. Iran will be seeking to celebrate its third successive championship.