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Zach Roberson, Lee Fullhart win bronze medals as Takhti Cup concludes in Iran

BANDAR ABBAS, Iran - Two American men's freestyle wrestlers earned bronze medals on the final day of the Takhti Cup on Friday in Bandar Abbas, Iran.

Zach Roberson won a bronze medal at 60 kg/132 lbs. before Lee Fullhart followed suit by winning a bronze medal at 84 kg/185 lbs. The United States placed second as a team behind Iran. The Americans won a total of four medals during the two-day event.

The U.S. won two medals on the event's first day on Thursday. Mo Lawal (Colorado Springs, Colo./Gator WC) won a gold medal at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. while Henry Cejudo (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) won a silver medal at 55 kg/121 lbs.

Roberson (Ames, Iowa/Sunkist Kids) decisioned A. Shapalang of Iran 2-0, 1-1, to earn the bronze medal. Roberson had two takedowns in the first period, the first on a strong leg attack. In the second period, Shapalang scored the first point, and with 15 seconds remaining, Roberson used a spin-around to score the point to give him the bronze.

"He got in on a single leg and I knew he would be coming after me again," Roberson said. "I knew I had to get busy so I tried to pressure him. I kept moving and moving and in a short time I got behind him and came away with the point."

Earlier in the session, Roberson pinned A. Samiee of Iran in the first minute after a strong double leg and a quick turn. Roberson said, "I managed to get him to his back and tried to pin him quick. He got off of his back, and then they called the fall."

Fullhart (Colorado Springs, Colo./Gator WC) decisioned H. Kamarvand of Iran 1-0, 1-1 to win his bronze medal. In the second period, Fullhart came from a point down and used a snap down with a go-behind to tie it at 1-1 and win the match by virtue of scoring last.

Fullhart garnered attention from the Iranian spectators for his work on the mat and his workmanlike approach to winning. He was one of several American wrestlers who was sought after for photographs with the Iranians following the competition.

Also at 84 kg, M. Khodaee of Iran decisioned Andy Hrovat of the U.S., 4-3, 0-1, 3-2, in a close match that dropped Hrovat to fifth place in the weight class.

Hrovat (Ann Arbor, Mich./New York AC) took the lead in the first period after taking Khodaee to his back, before Khodaee finished the action with two points of his own. Khodaee gained the only takedown of the second period. In the third period, Hrovat initiated the action from par terre but Khodaee picked up two points to Hrovat's one on the action, which proved to be the difference.

Earlier at 74 kg/163 pounds, Ramico Blackmon (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) defeated A. Niyazmengliyev of Turkmenistan 1-0, 1-0 to gain the bronze medal match. M. Mohammadi of Iran defeated Blackmon, 1-0, 0-1, 1-0 to earn the bronze medal.

World Silver Medalist Mike Zadick (Solon, Iowa/Hawkeye WC) did not compete at 60 kg/132 lbs. because of a hand injury.

At Bandar Abbas, Iran, Jan. 19

Final placements

55 kg/121 lbs.
Gold - M. Rezaee (Iran)
Silver - Henry Cejudo (USA)
Bronze - H. Hajian (Iran)
Bronze - H. Bahador, IRI
Fifth - A. Dabbaghi, IRI
Fifth - F. Dejamkhooi, IRI

60 kg/132 lbs.
Gold - M. Aslani (Iran)
Silver - S. Ahmadi (Iran)
Bronze - M. Aqajani (Iran)
Bronze - Zach Roberson (USA)
Fifth - M. Pashaamiri (Iran)
Fifth - A Shahpalang (Iran)

66 kg/145.5 lbs.
Gold - H. Tahmasbi (Iran)
Silver - M. Babaee (Iran)
Bronze - M. Shirazi (Iran)
Bronze - H. Mohammadnejad (Iran)
Fifth - M. Moharrampour (Iran)
Fifth - N. Fadaee (Iran)

74 kg/163 lbs.
Gold - H. Habibi (Iran)
Silver - I. Mohammadian (Iran)
Bronze - M. Bahabasteh (Iran)
Bronze - M. Mohammadi (Iran)
Fifth - S. Emamqolipour (Iran)
Fifth - Ramico Blackmon (USA)

84 kg/185 lbs.
Gold - M. Mansouri (Iran)
Silver - H. Tatari (Iran)
Bronze - Lee Fullhart (USA)
Bronze - M. Khodaee (Iran)
Fifth - H. Kamarvand (Iran)
Fifth - Andy Hrovat (USA)

96 kg/211.5 lbs.
Gold - Mo Lawal (USA)
Silver - A. Moradi (Iran)
Bronze - J. Daliri (Iran)
Bronze - S. Qorbani (Iran)
Fifth - S. Amiri (Iran)
Fifth - V. Dramimoquadam (Iran)

120 kg/264.5 lbs.
Gold - A. Rezaee (Iran)
Silver - H. Seifi (Iran)
Bronze - S. Jalili (Iran)
Bronze - T. Kafaee (Iran)
Fifth - H. Pouralijan (Iran)
Fifth - M. Azarshakib (Iran)

Friday's U.S. performances

60 kg/132 lbs. - Mike Zadick, Solon, Iowa (Hawkeye WC)
Did not enter due to injury

60 kg/132 lbs. - Zach Roberson, Ames, Iowa (Sunkist Kids), 3rd
WIN M. Rahimi (Iran), 2-0, 0-1, 1-1
LOSS Saeed Ahmadi (Iran), 1-0, 1-0
WIN A. Samiee (Iran), by first-period fall
WIN A. Shapalang (Iran), 2-0, 1-1

74 kg/163 lbs. - Ramico Blackmon, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC), 5th
WIN H. Razani (Iran), 1-0, 1-0
LOSS Hadi Habibi (Iran), 1-0, 1-0
WIN A. Niyazmengliyev (Turkmenistan), 1-0, 1-0
LOSS M. Mohammadi (Iran), 1-0, 0-1, 1-0

84 kg/185 lbs. - Andy Hrovat, Ann Arbor, Mich. (New York AC), 5th
WIN J. Mirzaee (Iran), 0-2, 2-0, 1-0
WIN Saeed Vagozari (Iran), 3-1, 6-1
LOSS Mishdi Mmansouri, 1-0, 1-0
LOSS M. Khodaee (Iran), 4-3, 0-1, 3-2

84 kg/185 lbs. - Lee Fullhart, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Gator WC), 3rd
LOSS Amiri Tatari (Iran), 1-0, 1-0
WIN H. Kamarvand (Iran), 1-0, 1-1

84 kg/185 lbs. - Tony Gansen, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids)
LOSS M.B. Aali (Iran), 4-0, 2-2, 8-1

120 kg/264.5 lbs. - Michael Irving, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Gator WC)
WIN Hamed Zareian (Iran), 0-1, 4-0, 3-1
LOSS Seyed Mohammad Azarshakib, 3-1, 2-1
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