Reza Atrinagharchi was one of Iran's three gold medallists on the opening day of the Asian Wrestling Championships in Xi'an in China ©UWW

Iran won three of the five men’s freestyle gold medals on offer as action began today at the Asian Wrestling Championships in Xi’an in China.

Among the trio of Iranian winners was Reza Atrinagharchi, who beat defending champion Kumsong Kang of North Korea 9-3 in the 57 kilograms final at Xi’an Electronic Science and Technology University Gymnasium.

Kang defeated former world champion Yuki Takahashi of Japan in the semi-finals.

Takahashi was joined on the third step of the podium by Uzbekistan's Makhmudjon Shavkatov.

There was also Iranian success for Bahman Mohammad Teymouri at 79kg and two-time former world champion Reza Mohammad Ali Yazdani at 97kg.

Teymouri overcame India’s Parveen Rana 3-0 to earn his first Asian title, while Yazdani, who was returning from an absence of more than two years, beat Mongolia’s Batzul Ulziisaikhan 7-4 to add to the continental crowns he won in 2010 and 2016.

Yazdani has twice missed out on the chance of claiming an Olympic medal, at London 2012 and Rio 2016, after suffering injuries during the competition. 

He sees Tokyo 2020 as his chance for redemption.

"Unfortunately, I lost two times at the Olympics because I was injured," Yazdani said.

"Now I want to make up for that in Tokyo in 2020. 

"I tried to keep myself fit, watch my weight and train for wrestling and now I’m back on the national team."

India's Bajrang Bajrang claimed the men's 65kg freestyle crown ©UWW
India's Bajrang Bajrang claimed the men's 65kg freestyle crown ©UWW

The 79kg bronze medallists were Kyrgyzstan's Oibek Nasirov and Kazakhstan's Galymzhan Usserbayev, while those at 97kg were India's Satywart Kadian and Kazakhstan's Alisher Yergali.

Also tasting victory today were India’s Bajrang Bajrang and Kazakhstan’s Nurkozha Kaipanov.

Bajrang sealed the 65kg gold medal with a 12-7 win over Kazakhstan’s Sayatbek Okassov, overcoming a five-point deficit in the second period.

It saw the world silver medallist regain the continental title he won two years ago in New Delhi.

"I didn’t feel I was losing," Bajrang said.

"If you see my matches, I start a bit slow, then I catch up.

"I gain an understanding of the strategy of the opponent.”

Kaipanov, meanwhile, beat Japan’s Kojiro Shiga to the 70kg title, courtesy of a 9-0 victory.

North Korea's Kim Han Song and Iran's Peiman Biabani were the 65kg bronze medallists.

Rounding out the 70kg podium were China's Yuan Shaohua and Iran's Yones Emamichogaei.

Action is due to continue tomorrow with medals being awarded in the men’s freestyle 61kg, 74kg, 86kg, 92kg and 125kg categories.