April 23 - Iranian wrestlers dominated the opening day of the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA) Asian Championships in Astana, Kazakhstan, winning three of the five gold medals on offer.
The tactic proved a success as each of the three competitors stormed to 10-0 victories in their respective weight categories to give Iran a comfortable lead going into day two of competition.
Ahmad got the ball rolling for the Iranian's as he saw off competition from Jin Hyok Kang of North Korea in the men's 65 kilogram weight category.
This was followed by Joucar in the 86kg division who secured victory over local wrestler Aslan Kahidze, with Kamil adding the final gold with a dominant win against Mongolia's Natsogsuern Zolboo in the 125kg contest.
Two bronze medals were also awarded in each of the weight categories.
The 65kg category saw Mongolia's Batchulun Batmangai and Uzbekistan's Furkat Farmanov capture the medals with wins against Dauren Zhumagaziev of Kazakhstan and Qatar's Ibrahimaibrahim Abdullrahma respectively.
In the 86kg weight category Mongolia's Orgadol Uitumen triumphed over South Korea's Gwanuk Kim for the first bronze whilst Uzbekistan's Rashid Kurbanov beat China's Gelebaya Qing.
Kazakhstan's Daulet Shabanbay defeated Mongolia's Natsogsuern Zolboo to secure the first bronze medal in the 125 category with China's Shang Hai taking the second after defeating Sabah Abdulnalak Mohammed of Iraq.
Local favourite Rasul Kaliev had the crowd in raptures in the lightest of the men's weight categories, the 57kg division, as he came from behind to defeat Mongolia's Damdinbazar Tsogtbahtahr 11-4 to secure the hosts only gold medal of the day.
This contest also saw Kyrgyzstan's Samat Nadypbekuulu and Japan's Fumitaka Morishita take home the bronze medals as they overcame Vaysiddin Ibodov of Tajikistan and Iran's Rezazaden Mehran.
Mongolia were left to rue another missed opportunity in the women's 58kg final as Shoovdor Baatarjav lost to Japan's Risako Kiwai leaving Mongolian wrestlers to settle for their third silver medal of the day.
Dhanda Pooja sealed India's first medal of the Championships with victory over Uzbekistan's Lilya Shakirova in the bronze medal play-off, whilst Ok Han Kum added to North Korea's medal tally with a win over Vietnam's Thi Loan Pham.
Action at the Daulet Sports Complex is due to begin again tomorrow with men's freestyle action at 61kg, 70kg, 74kg and 97kg whilst the women's 48kg freestyle will also get underway.
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]
April 2014: South Korean world champions headline names at 2014 Asian Wrestling