Aussie suffers wrestling defeat

Published 21 August 2016 (AEDT)

WRESTLING - FREESTYLE: Sahit Prizreni has been unable to convert on an early lead, going down to Katai Yeerlanbieke of China in the men’s 65kg division.

The 33-year-old, who competed for Albania at both the Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, went down 6-1 to the Chinese fighter in the six minute fight.

The result likely brings Australia’s Rio 2016 wrestling campaign to an end - Prizreni’s only chance of making it back into the competition will be if Yeerlanbieke makes it to the gold medal fight. That result would then see the Aussie into the repechage system and give him a shot at bronze.

It was a cautious opening from both fighters before Prizreni secured the 1-0 lead and held it as the first of two three-minute rounds came to a close.

The Chinese fighter came harder in the second round, though. He pushed the Aussie out of bounds to level up the scores before doing the same again to take a 2-1 lead.

He then took Prizreni down twice to push the lead out to a five-point margin, which is how the fight would end.

Earlier in the campaign, Australia’s two other wrestlers at the Rio 2016 Games, Ivan Popov and Talgat Ilyasov, both bowed out in the opening round.

Matt Bartolo

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