National Turkish Greco-Roman wrestler, Rıza Kayaalp became the European wrestling champion for the ninth time on Saturday in the 2019 championships held in Bucharest, Romania.
After defeating his Georgian rival, Iakobi Kajaia 3:0 in the finals, Kayaalp took the gold medal to become the 2019 champion in 130 kilogram category.
Winning his ninth title, Kayaalp became the most decorated Turkish wrestlers in European tournaments.
The 29-year-old athlete has been suffering from a nagging injury for the past three years but still managed to win the 2018 championship, equalizing the record of former Turkish Greco-Roman wrestling champion Hamza Yerlikaya.
The European championship is an opportunity for Kayaalp to punch a ticket to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which the athlete previously said is his main goal.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan congratulated Kayaalp in a phone call later on Saturday.