While Russia’s athletics and weightlifting competitors have been banned from the Olympics, the wrestling team hasn’t, and Russia has a history of success in the sport at the Olympics.
And the country already has a head start for gold medals in wrestling, as Roman Vlasov won gold in the men’s 75kg Greco-Roman category. He defeated Denmark’s Mark Overgaard Madsen 5-1 in the final bout, giving Vlasov his second consecutive Olympic gold medal. Vlasov won gold in the 74kg Greco-Roman category at the Olympics in London in 2012, in addition to winning world championships in 2011 and 2015.
Vlasov defeated Bozo Starcevic of Croatia in the semifinals prior to this. Vlasov almost didn’t make it to the gold, as he appeared to be choked unconscious during a bout he ended up winning on points.
Meanwhile, in the 59kg Greco-Roman category, Ismael Borrero Molina of Cuba won the gold by first defeating Elmurat Tasmuradov of Uzbekistan to get to the gold medal match, and then beating Shinobu Ota of Japan to win it all.
Original story by SB Nation