Iran’s Saeed Molaei (L) squares off against Etienne Briand of Canada in a first-round bout at the 2018 World Judo Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan, on September 23, 2018.
Iran’s Saeed Molaei grabbed a gold medal at the 2018 World Judo Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan, bringing an end to the country’s 15-year gold drought at the competitions.
On Sunday, Molaei outmuscled Japan’s Sotaro Fujiwara in the golden score contest of their final showpiece to win the men’s -81kg gold, taking Iran’s tally to two medals – after Mohammad Mohammadi had won a -73kg bronze on Saturday.
Germany’s Alexander Wieczerzak and Vedat Albayrak of Turkey jointly finished third in the weight division.
Molaei’s triumph marked Iran’s first top prize in the world championships since 2003 – when Arash Mir-Esmaeili won the men’s -66kg gold in Osaka, Japan.
A total of 757 participants from 125 countries take part in the competitions at Baku’s National Gymnastics Arena on September 20-27.