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Lineups set for USA vs. Iran in LA on May 19

Gary Abbott

5/2/2013
Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

LOS ANGELES -- The lineups for the United States and Iran have been announced for the a friendly international dual meet billed as "United 4 Wrestling" on Sunday, May 19 at 2 p.m. at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena in Los Angeles, Calif.

As part of World Wrestling Month in May, Iran is sending a men's freestyle team to the United States to compete in Los Angeles, as well as at "The Rumble On The Rails" in Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Terminal in New York City, N.Y. on Wednesday, May 15.

At the friendly dual meet in Los Angeles, both the USA and Iranian lineups are filled with past Olympic and World Championship medalists, making this truly a match featuring many of the world's best wrestlers.

Tickets for "United 4 Wrestling" are available at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com, and by charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000. The LA Sports Arena box office hours are weekdays from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. The LA Sports Arena box office (3939 South Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90037) is located on the south side of the arena, adjacent to Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Three levels of ticket pricing are offered and start as low as $13, to $23 for mid-level seating, to $63 for seats closest to the floor.

The United States team in Los Angeles is led by a pair of 2012 Olympic medalists, Olympic champion Jordan Burroughs at 74 kg/163 lbs. and Olympic bronze medalist Coleman Scott at 60 kg/132 lbs.

Burroughs was a 2011 World champion. He has an undefeated 52-0 record since bursting onto the Senior level after a successful career with two NCAA titles as the University of Nebraska.

Scott had an amazing 2012 season, winning the World Cup, winning the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, then a Special Wrestle-off for the U.S. Olympic Team.

Two other 2012 Olympians are on the U.S. roster: Tervel Dlagnev at 120 kg/264.5 lbs. and Sam Hazewinkel at 55 kg/121 lbs. Dlagnev was a 2009 World silver medalist, and placed fifth at both the 2012 Olympics and the 2011 World Championships. He is a past University World champion. Hazewinkel was one of the nation's best Greco-Roman wrestlers before he made the switch to freestyle in 2009. His father and his uncle were two-time Olympians.

The other three U.S. athletes were runners-up at the recent U.S. Open: Jordan Oliver at 66 kg/145.5 lbs., Clayton Foster at 84 kg/185 lbs. and Chris Pendleton at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. All three were college stars at national power Oklahoma State, with Oliver and Pendleton both winning two NCAA titles and Foster placing second at the NCAAs.

Chris Pendleton is a native Californian, having wrestled for Lemoore High School in Lemoore, Calif., where he was a 2000 California high school state champion.

Leading Team Iran is two-time World champion Mehdi Taghavi Kermani at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. Taghavi is a two-time Junior World champion and two-time Olympian.

The Iranian team will feature a pair of 2012 Olympic bronze medalists, Ehsan Lashgari at 84 kg/185 lbs. and Komeil Ghasemi at 120 kg/264.5 lbs. Lashgari is a three-time Asian Championships champion, claiming titles in 2009, 2010 and 2012. Ghasemi was also a two-time Junior World bronze medalist (2007 and 2008).

2011 World bronze medalist and 2012 Olympian Hassan Rahimi will be wrestling at 55 kg/121 lbs. Rahimi has won gold and silver medals at the Junior World Championships and captured the title at the World Military Championships.

2007 Junior World champion and 2012 Olympian Masoud Esmailpour Jouybari will compete at 60 kg/132 lbs. Esmailpour also earned a gold medal at the recent 2013 World Cup held in Tehran, Iran. Also on the team is three-time World Cup medalist Hassan Tahmasebi at 74 kg/163 lbs. and Hamed Tatari at 96 kg/211.5 lbs., who took fifth at the 2013 World Cup.

Some of these matchups are classic showdowns. The match at 120 kg/264.5 lbs. between Dlagnev and Ghasemi is a rematch of the 2012 Olympic bronze-medal match, won by Ghasemi. Two of the other matches feature battles between 2012 Olympians: Hazewinkel vs. Rahimi at 55 kg/121 lbs. and Scott vs. Esmailpour at 60 kg/132 lbs. Every match features two talented international wrestlers, and each of the competitors is capable of giving the fans a tremendous display of wrestling.

The event is sponsored by the Semnani Family Foundation, an international humanitarian organization based in Salt Lake City and founded by Khosrow Semnani, a prominent Iranian-American philanthropist. The match is being staged in cooperation with California USA Wrestling and Beat the Streets -- Los Angeles.

Since the 1990s, Iran has competed in wrestling in the United States 10 times. This included the 1995 World Championships in Atlanta, the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, the 1998 Junior World Championships in Primm, Nev., the 1998 Goodwill Games in New York City and the 2003 World Championships in New York City. In addition, the Iranian team competed in the World Cup held in the United States five times (1995 in Chattanooga, 1998 in Stillwater, 1999 in Spokane, 2000 in Fairfax, Va. and 2001 in Baltimore).

IRAN MEN'S FREESTYLE ROSTER FOR USA TOUR TO LOS ANGELES AND NEW YORK
55 kg/121 lbs. -- Hassan Rahimi
60 kg/132 lbs. -- Masoud Esmailpour Jouybari
66 kg/145.5 lbs. -- Mehdi Taghavi Kermani
74 kg/163 lbs. -- Hassan Tahmasebi
84 kg/185 lbs. -- Ehsan Lashgari
96 kg/211.5 lbs. -- Hamed Tatari
120 kg/264.5 lbs. -- Komeil Ghasemi
Coaches -- GholamReza Mohammadi, Reza Leyegh, Mohammad Talaie, Ali Reza Rezaei
Technical Manager -- Rasoul Khadem
Team Leader -- Ali Bayat
Officials -- Khatib Hojatollah, Ali Eftekhari, Ahmad Govari
Doctor -- Sadegh Mahboubi

UNITED STATES FREESTYLE ROSTER FOR LOS ANGELES
55 kg/121 lbs. -- Sam Hazewinkel, Norman, Okla. (Sunkist Kids)
60 kg/132 lbs. -- Coleman Scott, Stillwater, Okla. (Titan Mercury WC)
66 kg/145.5 lbs. -- Jordan Oliver, Easton, Pa. (Titan Mercury WC)
74 kg/163 lbs. -- Jordan Burroughs, Lincoln, Neb. (Sunkist Kids)
84 kg/185 lbs. -- Clayton Foster, Laramie, Wyo. (GRIT Athletics/Cowboy WC)
96 kg/211.5 lbs. -- Chris Pendleton, Laramie, Wyo. (Titan Mercury WC)
120 kg/264.5 lbs. -- Tervel Dlagnev, Columbus, Ohio (Sunkist Kids)
Coaches -- National Freestyle Coach Zeke Jones, Colorado Springs, Colo., John Smith, Stillwater, Okla.
Team Leader -- Andy Barth, San Marino, Calif.

MATCHUPS FOR THE USA VS. IRAN DUAL MEET ON MAY 19
55 kg/121 lbs. -- Sam Hazewinkel (USA) vs. Hassan Rahimi (Iran)
60 kg/132 lbs. -- Coleman Scott (USA) vs. Masoud Esmailpour Jouybari (Iran)
66 kg/145.5 lbs. -- Jordan Oliver (USA) vs. Mehdi Taghavi Kermani (Iran)
74 kg/163 lbs. -- Jordan Burroughs (USA) vs. Hassan Tahmasebi (Iran)
84 kg/185 lbs. -- Clayton Foster (USA) vs. Ehsan Lashgari (Iran)
96 kg/211.5 lbs. -- Chris Pendleton (USA) vs. Hamed Tatari (Iran)
120 kg/264.5 lbs. -- Tervel Dlagnev (USA) vs. Komeil Ghasemi (Iran)

"UNITED 4 WRESTLING" USA VS. IRAN DUAL SCHEDULE
At Los Angeles, May 19
2 p.m. -- USA vs. Iran, Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena

ABOUT USA WRESTLING
USA Wrestling is the National Governing Body for the Sport of Wrestling in the United States and, as such, is its representative to the United States Olympic Committee and the International Wrestling Federation FILA. Simply, USA Wrestling is the central organization that coordinates amateur wrestling programs in the nation and works to create interest and participation in these programs. Its president is James Ravannack, and its Executive Director is Rich Bender.

ABOUT KEEP OLYMPIC WRESTLING
In the United States, the official website is http://www.KeepWrestlingInTheOlympics.com, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/officialkeepwrestlingintheolympics, and on Twitter @wrestlingvision.

The international links for FILA are http://www.fila-official.com/, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/fila.official and on Twitter @FILA_Official.

ABOUT BEAT THE STREETS-LOS ANGELES
Beat the Streets-Los Angeles cultivates youth development in underserved communities by encouraging a desire for excellence, respect, teamwork, leadership, integrity and perseverance through the instruction of quality wrestling programs. Together with public support, BTS-LA strives to enhance young men and women's lives in school, sports and community. More information can be found at www.beatthestreets-la.org

ABOUT CALIFORNIA USA WRESTLING
California USA Wrestling is the national governing body for the sport of wrestling in the state of California and, as such, is its representative to USA Wrestling. Simply, California USA Wrestling is the central organization that coordinates amateur wrestling programs in the State of California, and works to create interest and participation in these programs. California USA Wrestling is a non for profit 501(c)3 corporation. California USA Wrestling has more than 19,000 members. These members include athletes of all ages, coaches, officials, parents and fans striving together to strengthen the sport. Each year, California USA Wrestling charters over 400 wrestling clubs and sanctions over 200 local, state, competitions.

ABOUT SEMNANI FAMILY FOUNDATION
The Semnani Family Foundation focuses on tackling questions of global health, poverty and disaster relief, with particular emphasis on protecting women and children. During the past 20 years, the foundation has collaborated with more than 550 non-profit organizations in projects ranging from famine and earthquake relief to the establishment of vaccination programs and health clinics.

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