Wrestling: Gadzhiev becomes first-ever Polish world champion in freestyle

Representing Poland, Magomedmurad Gadzhiev won gold in the men's freestyle 70 kg category at the 2021 World Wrestling Championships in Oslo, Norway, on Tuesday. In the final clash, the Dagestan-born warrior defeated Ernazar Akmataliev of Kyrgyzstan 2-1.

This is Poland's first-ever world championship title in the men's freestyle competition.

Throughout the entire tournament, Gadzhiev showed confidence and prowess on the floor. Onward to the final, he defeated Nicolae Cojocaru from UK 9-0, the Chilean Carlos Romero 15-4, the Georgian Zurabi Iakobishvili 4-1 and Turan Bajramov from Azerbaijan 4-2 in the semi-final.

“I am very happy. Thank you very much to everyone who supported me and cheered me on, because this medal is also their merit. After an unsuccessful start at the Olympics, I wanted to show that I can still achieve very good results. In a season like this, it is difficult to prepare to be in top form twice, but thanks to the coaches and other people involved in my preparations, we managed to do it,” said the 33-year-old wrestler.

Magomedmurad Gadzhiev was born in Dagestan, Russia. Since 2014, he has been representing Poland, earlier fighting for his country of birth. The title scooped in Oslo is so far his biggest feat in his career. Prior to this gold, he won silver in Paris in 2017, and bronze in Nur-Sultan two years later. He also has five medals from the European Championships under his belt, including two golds grabbed in Rome in 2020 and in Riga in 2016.

In 2020, he triumphed in the World Cup competition in Belgrade, which was organised instead of the world championships, canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.