Sadulayev’s drama at the World Championship. Russian tank stopped fighting for gold due to injury
Batraz Tomaev September 18, 2023, 19:50 Moscow time Audio version: Your browser does not support the audio element.
Abdulrashid will compete for bronze if his health allows it.
The preliminary tournament for freestyle wrestlers in the weight category up to 97 kg was incredible in terms of the intensity of passions. The medals have not yet been awarded here, but so many events have already occurred that there is enough for three or four pesos.
The first violin in this tournament was played by two-time Russian Olympic champion Abdulrashid Sadulayev. Two years without performances in major tournaments, only a few victories and a large advance, which fans and experts paid to the leader of the national team. All this, of course, put pressure on Sadulayev.
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There were also health problems. But this appeared a little later.
And in the round of 16, Abdulrashid almost easily defeated the former Russian and now representative of Hungary, Vladislav Baytsaev. The final score is 4:2.
In the quarterfinals of the competition, the Iranian athlete Mojtaba Golej stood in the way of the Russian. In the first part of the fight, Sadulayev scored two points, but he spent the end as a receiver, because in the last minute the Iranian scored four points and was close to reaching the semifinals.
There were four seconds left in the match. And that’s exactly what Abdulrashid Sadulayev needed to defeat his opponent. “You cannot underestimate the heart of a champion,” they will later write on social networks.
Sadulayev reached the semi-finals, where, according to all scenarios, he would face the American Kyle Snyder, but suffered a sensational defeat in a parallel match. The most experienced Olympic champion of Rio 2016 lost to the 20-year-old representative of Bahrain, Akhmed Tazhudinov. And he lost “dry”-0:10. This is a real feeling!
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Fate united Sadulaev with Tazhudinov. Exactly with the guy whom Sadulaev once groomed for big victories. The fact is that 20-year-old Tazhudinov is a student at the school named after Abdulrashid Sadulayev. A year ago, the Dagestan talent decided to play in Bahrain.
The Russian tank could not hold out in the semi-final at the proper level due to a neck injury. Sadulayev clearly felt uncomfortable on the mat and, as a result, did not finish the fight; He retired due to injury when the score was 2:9 one minute before the end.
Thus history was made: Tazhudinov, for the first time in his career, in the first great start of his career, beat two Olympic champions (Sadulaev and Snyder) at once and reached his first World Cup final. And Sadulaev was defeated at the world championship for the first time since 2017.
It is still unclear whether Sadulayev will compete tomorrow for bronze and the Olympic license. The coach believes that the Russian may not recover.
“Abdulrashid has a hernia in his cervical vertebra, a huge lump, it is painful. Because of the winner’s character, he won the previous fight in the quarterfinals. And in the semifinals he simply couldn’t fight normally. Most likely, Abdulrashid will not be able to perform tomorrow and his performance will end,” Russian wrestling team coach Makhmud Magomedov told Match TV.
Yes, champions also lose and they also have their problems. But the strongest are able to literally rise from the ashes to demonstrate their strength.
And one of them, of course, is Sadulayev.