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Iranian athlete Aghaei snatches silver in kurash at Hangzhou Asian Games

Female Iranian kurash wrestler Donya Aghaei (Photo by Tasnim news agency)

Iranian sportswoman Donya Aghaei has grabbed a silver medal at the ongoing 19th edition of the Asian Games in China, becoming the country’s first female kurash wrestler to claim an international medal.

Aghaei finished her campaign in the women’s minus 70-kilogram weight class on Sunday and conceded a 0-12 defeat to her Chinese rival Yu Dan in the final contest of the competitions at Xiaoshan Linpu Gymnasium in the Chinese city of Hangzhou.

The Iranian athlete had earlier defeated Chia Wen Tsou of Chinese Taipei and Uzbekistan’s Malikakhon Kakhorova, before booking her place in the final.

The Turkmen national wrestling competition, kurash (also written as goresh), is a kind of wrestling on belts that has ancient roots and dates back to as early as the third century BC. Wrestlers need to earn points by forcing the opponent to touch the mat with any part of the body except a foot.

Kurash competitions are staged in four formats, namely round, shootout, mixed, and team.

During the round format contests, athletes compete with all wrestlers in the same weight category. If there are many wrestlers in one weight division, the participants are divided into two groups. Wrestlers who earn the first and second places in each group will be in action for the final showdowns.

Wrestlers are eliminated from the rest of the competition once they lose in the shootout format.

In the mixed format, wrestlers start with the round format for the preliminary round and then shift to the shootout format.

In the team format, only one athlete from each weight category of a team is allowed to participate. Participating teams will fight one-on-one in the competitions.

A record high of nearly 12,500 athletes from 45 countries and territories compete across 40 sports in the Asian Games.

Iran has sent 289 male and female athletes to the Games in 34 sports.

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