Russian wrestler Zaurbek Sidakov dominated Dagestani-born Magomedkhabib Kadimagomedov in their men’s freestyle 74kg final in Tokyo, taking the ROC team’s Olympic gold medal haul to 17.
Two-time world champion Sidakov routed his rival 7-0 in Friday’s final, taking the ROC flag on sealing victory and covering his face with it before moving to the center of the mat and kneeling down to kiss the ground.
In clinching gold, Sidakov overcame the challenge from Kadimagomedov – a wrestler who switched allegiances to Belarus last year having previously been crowned a Russian national champion.
Kadimagomedov, 27, was born in the Tsumadinsky District of Dagestan – the same district as UFC legend Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Kadimagomedov has posed with Khabib in photos on his Instagram account as well as training alongside teammates such as Umar Nurmagomedov, Islam Makhachev, and Zubaira Tukhugov.
Kadimagomedov had to settle for silver in Tokyo as an emotional Sidakov, 25, dedicated his gold to former Russian double Olympic medalist Besik Kudukhov, a fellow wrestler who tragically died aged 27 in a car crash in 2013.
Sidakov received presidential congratulations on his victory, with the Kremlin website posting a message from Vladimir Putin.
“Having shown bright champion qualities, in a stubborn and tense struggle, you defeated strong rivals and in practice proved that you deserve the highest award,” read the message.
“With your victory you have significantly strengthened the leadership positions of the national school of free-style wrestling. I wish you continued success!”