Azerbaijan takes 2 wrestling wins; Taymazov golden again
London, England (Sports Network) - Azerbaijan's Toghrul Asgarov and Sharif Sharifov earned freestyle wrestling gold medals Saturday, while Uzbekistan's Artur Taymazov won his third consecutive Olympic title.
Additionally, American Coleman Scott earned a bronze medal.
Asgarov, 19, defeated Russia's Besik Kudukhov in the gold medal match of the 60-kilogram weight class. He took the first period by one point, then gained five points in the second while holding Kudukhov scoreless to end the match.
Kudukhov is the reigning three-time world champion in the weight class, and in the qualification round beat Puerto Rico's Franklin Gomez in a rematch of last year's title match. But the Russian again came up short of gold. He won bronze in the 55kg category four years ago in Beijing.
Asgarov beat Scott in the semifinals, and the American went on to win his bronze medal match. India's Yogeshwar Dutt won the other 60kg bronze.
If Asgarov's gold was somewhat unexpected, Sharifov's came as little surprise. The reigning world champion at 84kg, he topped Puerto Rico's Jaime Yusept Espinal in the final. Sharifov won the first period by a 6-1 point margin, then took two points in the second period to lock up the victory.
Iran's Ehsan Naser Lashgari and Georgia's Dato Marsagishvili came away with bronze in the 84kg class.
In the 120kg category, the 33-year-old Taymazov outpointed Davit Modzmanashvili of Georgia in the first two periods, both times by a 1-0 margin. The two points were enough to give the Uzbek wrestler his fourth Olympic medal overall. He earned a silver at the 2000 Sydney Games.
Iranian Komeil Ghasemi and Bilyal Makhov of Russia won the bronze medals.
08/11 16:58:30 ET