A Russian wrestler says he has achieved a lifetime goal after winning gold at the World Wrestling Championships 2021, beating a feared American opponent who had won his first four matches by a combined score of 41-0.
Russian and European freestyle champion Abasgadzhi Magomedov had claimed he was willing to die on the mat before taking on Daton Fix, an Oklahoma fighter who calls himself the ‘greatest ever’ and had whitewashed all of his adversaries on his way to the final in Oslo.
Some analysts had suggested that Magomedov would require an exceptional performance to beat Fix, who had won all of those bouts by technical fall, taking under two minutes in each of his last three encounters.
Behind after the first period, Magomedov took a shot-clock point to make it 2-1 and a takedown with less than 90 seconds remaining as he won his fourth major gold medal of the year and the eighth of his outstanding career.
“I [had targeted] this gold all my life and today this hard long-term work has paid off,” the Dagestan-born star said afterwards.
“Thanks to my family for their support and faith in me, thanks to everyone who participated in my training – coaches, gym partners, all the personnel of the Russian and Dagestan national teams.
“Special thanks to all fans – your support motivates me in the most difficult moments.”
The 61kg king continued his remarkable run this year, winning all 18 of his bouts.
Magomedov had beaten Mongolia’s Tumenbilegiin Tuvshintulga and Turk Emrah Ormanoglu on technical falls on his way to the semifinals, in which he beat Japan’s Toshihiro Hasegawa 10-0.
His victory at the Russian National Championships in Ulan–Ude in March was a successful defense of the title he won for the first time in 2020.
A former US national champion at 57kg, Fix said he was “so thankful for all of the love and support” he had received in the build-up.
“For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be the best in the world,” added the 2019 Pan American Games winner.
“Although I have to settle for second this year, I know that I am right there. God’s plan for me has always been bigger than my own. I am more motivated than ever and cannot wait to get better.”
Magomedov is now aiming to help Russia win again in the team event at the championships.
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