Rio 2016 Olympic Games gold medallists Hassan Yazdani Charati of Iran and Kyle Snyder of the United States are among the competitors from eight nations set to compete at the 2017 Freestyle Wrestling World Cup stage in Kermanshah in Iran.
Yazdani, making his third World Cup appearance, will be hoping to guide Iran to its sixth straight World Cup triumph and eighth victory overall.
The Iranian, who won gold at Rio in the 74 kilograms category, is entered at 86kg and will be joined by silver medallist Komeil Ghasemi, who will be competing at 125kg, and bronze medal winner Hassan Rahimi at 57kg to form the nucleus of Iran’s squad.
However, the trio will have to rely on Asian champions Meisam Nasiri at 65kg and Peyman Yaramahdi at 74kg, along with the other members of the squad, to secure victory at the Imam Khomeini Sport Venue tomorrow and Friday (February 17).
The US, who have hosted the last three freestyle World Cups, arrive with a squad that includes Snyder, London 2012 gold medallist Jordan Burroughs and recently crowned world champion Logan Stieber.
The US finds itself in Group A with six-time winners and 2016 runner-up Russia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, who finished third last year.
In Group B, Iran will fancy their chances of reaching the final with Turkey appearing to be their strongest rivals for a place in the championship dual.
World and Rio 2016 champion Taha Akgul is not on the entry list but world and Olympic silver medallist Selim Yasar is and could provide an interesting challenge for Yazdani Charati.
India and Mongolia complete the line-up in Group B.
Action is set to begin tomorrow with three sessions of group stage matches.
The classification rounds and final will then take place on Friday (February 17).
If teams are tied 4-4 after a dual meet, the winner will be determined by a formula that takes into account, wins by falls and defaults, technical superiority, most technical points scored, fewest technical points allowed, and the result of the last bout wrestled.
United World Wrestling (UWW) yesterday hailed the arrival of the United States team in Iran, following diplomatic tension between the two countries.
American participation had appeared unlikely following retaliation to restrictions imposed on Iranian immigration into the US by President Donald Trump.
Trump’s executive order, signed on January 27, prohibited citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries - also including Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen - from being granted entry to the US for a 90-day period.
A Federal Judge has since blocked the ban, with the Trump administration then failing to have this ruling overturned at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
After the suspension of the policy, following a ban by a Federal Judge, Iranian Foreign Minister Javed Zarif vowed that visas would be given to American wrestlers.