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Sajidov vs. Mindorashvili is the new “Bout of the Week” on USA Wrestling Audio/Video website



USA Wrestling has updated its new "Bout of the Week" which has been posted as a video file on-line on TheMat.com Audio/Video website .

The featured match this week is the 2006 Sajid Sajidov vs. Revas Mindorishvili gold medal finals at 84 kg/185 lbs. in men's freestyle at the World Wrestling Championships in Guangzhou, China.

At the World Championships each year, most of the finals matches include at least one wrestler who has never been in the championship match before. However, occasionally, the finals match features a pair of previous World champions, each seeking to return to the top of the podium again. Such was the case at the 2006 World Championships at 84 kg/185 lbs.

Sajid Sajidov of Russia was a 2003 World champion, and Revaz Mindorashvili of Georgia was a 2005 World champion in this weight class. The winner would become a two-time champion.

Mindorashvili, at 30, had been wrestling for a longer time at the international level. His first major achievement was a fourth-place finish at the World University Championships at 76 kg in 1998. From that point on, Mindorashvili was a regular starter in Georgia's lineup at the World level.

For a few years, Mindorashvili paid his dues, falling short of medals at the major events. He attempted to qualify Georgia for the 2000 Olympics at 76 kg, entering two Qualification Tournaments, but did not place in the top 10 in either tournament. In 2001, he was eighth at the European Championships and seventh at the World Championships.

His first international medal came in 2001, when he moved up to 84 kg and won a bronze medal at the European Championships, then went on to place sixth at the World meet in Iran. His big breakthrough year came in 2003, when he was the European champion and won a bronze medal at the World Championships in New York City. He was also a European runner-up in 2004.

At the 2004 Olympics, Mindorashvili had a disappointing finish, placing 13th. He bounced back the next year at the 2005 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, claiming the gold medal, beating 1999 World champion Yoel Romero in the finals. After not earning a placement at the 2006 European Championships, Mindorashvili came to the 2006 World Championships in Guangzhou, China seeking to defend his World title.

Sajidov, at 26, had quickly risen on the World scene. He started as a champion right away, winning a Cadet World title in 1995, then a Junior World title in 1998.

His first big Senior-level victories came at the 2001 and 2002 European Championships, where he won the gold medal. He was among a number of star Russian wrestlers at his weight class, which also featured 2000 Olympic champion Adam Saitiev, 1996 Olympic champion Khadjimurad Magomedov, talented Khadjimurad Gatsalov and others.

At the 2003 World Championships in New York City, Sajidov got his first chance to compete for Russia at the world level. He defeated young star Cael Sanderson of the United States in the gold-medal finals to capture the World title.

The next year, Sajidov was the Russian choice for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. He cruised through his side of the draw until the semifinals, when he was upset by Korea's Moon Eui-Jae. Moon was able to turn Sajidov for exposure points to jump to a big early lead which was insurmountable. Sanderson beat Moon for the gold medal, and Sajidov wrestled back to win the bronze medal, stopping Romero in his final match.

The 2005 World Championships was a bit disappointing for Sajidov, who dropped to fifth place in the standings. Many felt that he was not wrestling well, and were curious about his future on the Russian team. However, Sajidov continued his dominance against his domestic rivals, and earned the spot on the Russian World Team in 2006 that competed in Guangzhou, China.

Sajidov made a strong return to dominance, defeating Travis Cross of Canada, Reza Yazdani of Iran, Radoslaw Horbik of Poland and 2005 World bronze medalist Taras Danko of Ukraine to earn his spot in the championship finals.

On the other side, defending champion Mindorashvili worked his way past David Bichinashvili of Germany, C. Gazorig of Mongolia, Vadim Laliev of Armenia and Zaurbek Sokhiev of Uzbekistan to make the gold-medal match.

In the battle of past World champions, it was Sajidov who emerged victorious over Mindorashvili, winning his second World title and signaling to all that he remains one of the world's best freestyle wrestlers at this time.

This popular feature will be changed on a regular basis, allowing members to enjoy many of the greatest matches in wrestling history. Posted in the archive section of the Members Only web page was the 2006 Ibragim Aldatov vs. Asghar Ali Bazrighaleh gold medal finals at 74 kg/163 lbs. in men's freestyle at the World Wrestling Championships in Guangzhou, China. Many other entertaining and historic matches are in the archive section for the Bout of the Week.

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