Olympic Greco-Roman Wrestling: Artur Aleksanyan Battles Pain To Advance To Second Consecutive Gold Medal Match

48 seconds felt like an hour for Artur Aleksanyan.

The Armenian Greco-Roman wrestler and 2016 Olympic champion suffered an apparent hamstring injury in the semifinal match of the 97-kg bracket against Iran’s Mohammad Hadi Saravi with 48 seconds left and battled through pain to secure a 4-1 victory to advance to the gold medal match.

Aleksanyan delivered a two-point turn with less than a minute to go to take a 3-1 lead, then came up wincing in pain. He received medical attention while officials denied a challenge by Saravi, earning the Olympic champion another insurance point. From then, Aleksanyan went on the defense while struggling to put support on his left foot but was able to withstand the final 48 seconds to move on with a 4-1 win.

He will now face Musa Evloev, representing the Russian Olympic Committee in the gold medal match on Tuesday. A victory would make Aleksanyan the first-ever Olympian representing Armenia to win two golds in a career.

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