Tynybekova Recaps Her Inspiring Journey to Kyrgyz Sports History

By Eric Olanowski

OSLO, Norway (November 18) --- Aisululu TYNYBEKOVA (KGZ) successfully defended her 62kg world title at the '21 World Championships in Oslo, four short weeks after becoming the first Kyrgyz woman to win an Olympic medal.


Shortly after relying on her defense to stifle 2019 world U23 silver medalist Kayla MIRACLE (USA), 7-0, in the 62kg final, the now-two-time world champion sat down with United World Wrestling to recap her incredible journey to becoming one of the sports most recognizable figures.

In Oslo, Tynybekova did not have to contend with nemesis Yukako KAWAI (JPN), who beat her in the final at the Tokyo Olympics, and, like all of Japan's medalists, did not make the trip to Oslo.

But that's not to say that Tynybekova had it much easier. In the first round, she fell behind 4-0 against two-time world cadet champion Nonoka OZAKI (JPN) before rallying to a 6-4 win. She also had a close call in the quarterfinals.

"Today's final match was easier than any other match during this championships," Tynybekova said. "On Day One, all the three matches were really tough, I can say I could barely win them in the last seconds. "I wrestled the American girl at the international tournament in Italy and I know the way she wrestles. We figured out her technique together with the coach and I just followed everything he told me."

In the end, winning is all that counts for the woman who became the first wrestling world champion in her country's history, male or female. She was also one of two wrestlers who became Kyrgyzstan's first-ever female Olympic medalists in any sport at the Tokyo Games.

"As soon as I stepped out of the mat, my coach praised me," Tynybekova said. "It's most important for me to make my coach glad. I think all the people from Kyrgyzstan are glad as well. Talking about being a two-time world champion, I can say that I proved it to myself that I could make it. Of course, it makes me happy. Especially after losing at the Olympics, I could prepare well and win. It means a lot to me."


Yazdani details emotional win over Taylor that propelled him to third world title

By Eric Olanowski

OSLO, Norway (November 26) --- Hassan “The Greatest” YAZDANI (IRI) headed into the Oslo World Championships with revenge on his mind. He lost to career rival David TAYLOR (USA) in three consecutive matches – including once in August via a last-second takedown in the Tokyo Olympic finals.

Yazdani turned the tides in Oslo on a cold October night and exacted revenge on Taylor and claimed his third world title.

United World Wrestling sat down with Yazdani after his epic win to talk about the losses that drove him to become a three-time world champion, what was different about his Iranian team in Oslo and what’s motivating him to chase a second Olympic gold medal.

The Epic Oslo Matchup:
Yazdani controlled the 86kg world finals match from start to finish to notch a solid 6-2 victory over Taylor in the highly anticipated 86kg final at the Oslo World Championships.

Yazdani's victory, coming two months after a heartbreaking loss to Taylor in the final at the Tokyo Olympics, gave him a third world title to go with his 2016 Rio Olympic gold, and capped a remarkable day for Iran in the Jordal Amfi arena.

"I made the people of Iran happy," Yazdani said. "I need to appreciate Taylor, because he worked as a motivation and inspiration for me to work better and better and become the champion."

The vocal contingent of Iranian fans were sent into a frenzy when rising star Amir ZARE (IRI) claimed the 125kg title, having earlier seen Iran gain finalists in all four weight classes that got underway Sunday, including Yazdani's cousin Amir YAZDANI (IRI).

"Iran always supports their wrestlers and fans here were great," Yazdani said. "And it was because of them and God I won."

The United States had mixed success in the two other finals, with Kyle DAKE (USA) prevailing at 74kg, but Daton FIX (USA) coming up short against Abasgadzhi MAGOMEDOV (RWF) at 61kg.

In Tokyo, Yazdani had to settle for the Olympic silver when Taylor scored a takedown with 17 seconds left for a 4-3 win in the final. On Sunday, he never gave the American the chance to get close.

Yazdani continually kept the pressure on, using an underhook to force Taylor to the edge and score a pair of stepout points in the first period. In the second period, he added a takedown, before Taylor got on the scoreboard with a takedown with 1:03 left.

With the clock ticking down, Taylor tried a counter lift, but Yazdani held firm and dumped him to the mat for a takedown and the final points of an well-earned victory.

"He's a great competitor," said Taylor, whose lone world title came in 2018, where he beat Yazdani in the first round. "Not my day."

Asked what he could have done differently, Taylor quipped, "Scored my points. He's a good wrestler. We will go again."