2017-12-06 / Mideast

Iranian wrestler throws match to avoid Israeli

An Iranian wrestler acknowledged that he intentionally lost at an international competition where he was favored to take the gold medal rather than face an Israeli challenger in the next round.

Alireza Karimi-Mashiani, 23, told the Iranian Students’ News Agency that when his coaches told him he would have to throw his match against Russia’s Alikhan Zabrailov, “the world came crashing down on my head.”

“All the hassles and tribulations that I had suffered for many months in training and away from my family in the hope of winning the gold medal passed in front of my eyes,” he said.

Karimi-Mashiani added that he hoped that Iranian officials would honor their pledge to reward him for his sacrifice.

The United World Wrestling championship for under-23 took place in the Polish city of Bydgoszcz. (JTA)

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