Olympic champ Ghasemi now UWW Educator

By United World Wrestling Press

CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY, Switzerland (May 1) -- Komeil GHASEMI, an Olympic champion in 2012 and silver medalist from Rio 2016, expanded his career horizons by pursuing a United World Wrestling (UWW) educator certification. In Cambodia's Southeast Asian Championships last year, Ghasemi took his first step by appearing for the certification test.

As the coach of Cambodia's national team for two years, Ghasemi sought to enhance his skills and knowledge. After acing the Level 1 Coaching, Training, and Introduction to Refereeing course, conducted by Olympic Solidarity in collaboration with UWW, Ghasemi was invited to the Coaches Course in Thailand in March.

"I am thrilled to share my experience and my expertise with all the participants," said Ghasemi in December. "UWW remains committed to its affiliated members and is always concerned for their development and is committed to working with all the partners concerned towards this objective of sustainable development while keeping the course of the 2022-2026 strategy."


Hailing from the wrestling hotbed of Juybar, Iran, Ghasemi has achieved several accolades in his career. He won two gold medals at the U20 Asian Championships and bronze medals at the U20 World Championships. Ghasemi's notable achievements also include a world silver medal in addition to his two Olympic medals, making him the most successful Iranian heavyweight wrestler.

After retiring in 2019, Ghasemi transitioned to coaching and joined the Cambodian wrestling team. His expertise bore fruit at the Southeast Asian Wrestling Championship held in 2021, where Cambodian wrestlers achieved their most significant tournament success since joining a few years ago, earning a total of 19 medals, including three golds, three silvers, and 13 bronzes, under Ghasemi's coaching.


In Southeast Asia, boost in referee numbers

By United World Wrestling Press

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (May 25) -- In a bid to improve the skills of referees in the region, an Introduction to Refereeing course was hosted by the Cambodian Wrestling Federation prior to the South East Asian Games.

The course was conducted between May 8-12 and organized by the President of Southeast Asia and Vice President of CWF Casey BARNETT.

Conducted by United World Wrestling Educator and IS Olympic referee Ashok KUMAR (IND), the course allowed referees from Southeast Asia to improve their skills prior to being evaluated at SEA Games for a potential UWW referee license.

There were 17 participants that took part in the course. This included referees from Cambodia, Indonesia, and Ukraine.

“Most of the candidates were young referees in their twenties. They were extremely enthusiastic and excited to learn about referee skills," Kumar said.

During the course, participants learned the foundations of what it takes to be a great referee. The areas covered during the course included: the safety of the athletes, evaluation of holds, referee mechanics, positioning, and controlling the bout.

The five-day course gave the participants extra practice because of the limited wrestling activities in the region.


Each day, they conducted theoretical sessions in the morning at the CamEd International Business School. Then in the afternoon, the participants had practical sessions at the training hall.

"The extra practice and longer course were perfect for the candidates. This was evident with the amount of improvement they showed on the final day of the course,” Kumar added.

At the conclusion of the course, the referee candidates completed the UWW Level 1 course and practical during the SEA Games. With their performance, they hope to see an increase in the number of UWW-licensed referees.

“The training course was a wonderful success with the excellent class instruction of Kumar and the amazing mentoring and supervision of Jang. The skills developed by our referees will make a long-lasting impact on the sport of wrestling in Southeast Asia by improving the standard of refereeing and competitions in the region," Barnett said.

Even the participants of the course expressed their satisfaction and hailed the course as transformative.

"Throughout the SEA Games in Cambodia, I had the opportunity to participate in Referee Training Course which was educated by an expert educator from UWW. I used to doubt and ask myself if I can make it or not. As a result [of the course], I was able to successfully achieve it,” Huy LYSIENG, a Cambodian referee, said.

Another referee added that the emphasis was put on the right areas and the course will help them perform their duty in the right manner. 

“I particularly enjoyed the structure of the course," Mykyta SHYMKO, a referee from Ukraine, said. "It managed to strike a balance between theoretical knowledge and practical skills, allowing us not only to understand the rules of wrestling but also to apply them in practice. It was also wonderful to see that you placed special emphasis on ethics and fairness in refereeing, making our sessions even more valuable.”