Some 300 freestyle wrestlers from 21 countries descended on Istanbul on Friday for a three-day international tournament. The 46th edition of the Yaşar Doğu International Wrestling Tournament, named after the legendary Turkish wrestler, kicked off at Hasan Doğan Sports Hall.
The contest is a tune-up event for the upcoming World Championship competition and a chance for a seeding at October's international championship tournament in Hungary.
Friday's schedule included eliminations and was to be followed by Saturday's repechage, bronze and gold medal matches. The tournament concludes with finals on Sunday.
Wrestlers compete in the men's 57, 61, 65, 70, 74, 79, 86, 92, 97 and 125 kgs categories and the women's 50, 53, 55, 57, 59, 62, 65, 68, 72 and 76 kgs categories.
Wrestlers competing include prominent names from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Ukraine, Belarus, Bulgaria and Romania, many with multiple international titles. The United States men's Freestyle World Team il also in the tournament. Two Olympic gold medalists, 2012 Olympic champion Jordan Burroughs at 74 kg and 2016 Olympic champion Kyle Snyder at 97 kgs lead the U.S. team. Burroughs boasts four World Championship gold medals, while Snyder has two World Championship gold medals under his belt. They will be accompanied by Logan Stieber, the 2016 World Champion at 65 kg and 2017 World silver medalist James Green, 2017 World silver medalist Thomas Gilman and bronze medalists Nick Gwiazdowski and J'den Cox.
On the Turkish side, Yasemin Adar, Evin Demirhan and Buse Tosun compete in the women's category. Süleyman Atlı, Selahattin Kılıçsallayan, Yakup Gör, Fatih Erdin, Rıza Yıldırım, Cengizhan Erdoğan, Selim Yaşar, Mustafa Kaya, Recep Topal, Ahmet Bilici and Hüseyin Civelek compete in the men's. Adar, who won Turkey's first-ever women's wrestling gold medal for the 75-kg event at the 2016 European Championships, boasts bagging a gold at the European Wrestling Championship in April in 76 kgs. Evin Demirhan, ranked 13th for female wrestlers in the United World Wrestling rankings, won gold in last year's U-23 World Championships for female wrestlers.
Musa Aydın, the head of the Turkish Wrestling Federation, said they sought a team win in the tournament. "It has been almost half a century since our federation launched the tournament to honor wrestling legend Yaşar Doğu. It is an important event in international wrestling as it determines the global standing of freestyle wrestlers," Aydın said. "This is a can't-miss opportunity for wrestling fans that watch the world's best wrestlers here," he added.