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Mongolia’s first Olympic champion Naidan Tuvshinbayar debutes +100kg
9 Aug 2017 11:50
Naidan Tüvshinbayar won Mongolia’s first ever Olympic gold medal at Beijing 2008 to earn hero status in his country. Naidan added to his legacy with a scintillating run four years later as he came up just short in his bid to retain his Olympic title as he took silver at London 2012.
The 33-year-old, who has four children (two boys and two girls) who are already training in the craft their father mastered, lost out in his opening contest at Rio 2016 and has only featured at the Asian Team Championships in April over the last 12 months (where he defeated South Korea's Kim Sung-Min).
However, you write off a Mongolian, and a trailblazer like Naidan, at your peril.
To prepare for what is expected to be his last World Championsips, Naidan, has been training at the national centre in Ulaanbaatar, even working out with Ilias Iliadis recently, and wrestled at the famous Nadaam Festival where he has long been one of the leading attractions.
Naidan steps up from U100kg to the heavyweight category for the biggest World Championships of all time. The mercurial Mongolian last campaigned at +100kg in 2011 but, with no ranking, could be a spoiler for the top seeds and may be able to count on Presidential support from the teeming stands in Hungary.
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Jan De Wit (NED)