Tokyo Olympics Day1 Wrestling LIVE: Heavyweights Lopez and Riza Kayaalp drawn to meet in Semifinals- Follow Live updates –A blockbuster day awaits wrestling fans on the opening day at the Tokyo Olympics as three-time defending champion Mijain LOPEZ (CUB) is set for a collision with Rio Olympics silver medalist Riza KAYAALP (TUR).
The two were drawn on the upper side of the bracket at 130kg weight class and are on path to meet in the semifinal at the Makuhari Messe, Chiba on Sunday.
The first set of draws was completed in Tokyo for two weight classes, 60kg and 130kg, in Greco Roman and one in women’s wrestling – 76kg.
— United World Wrestling (@wrestling) July 31, 2021
Lopez will take on Alin ALEXUC CIURARIU (ROU) in the first round while Kayaalp will be up against Mantas KNYSTAUTAS (LTU).
Fourth seed Amin MIRZAZADEH (IRI) will have to overcome Lopez in the quarterfinal if he wants to reach the semifinal.
At 60kg, home favorite and world champion Kenchiro FUMITA (JPN) has drawn Abdelkarim FERGAT (ALG) and fourth seed Ali Reza NEJATI (IRI) is up against Armen MELIKYAN (ARM) in the first round.
The other side can see two young stars U23 world champion Kerem KAMAL (TUR) and Individual World Cup champion Zholaman SHARSHENBEKOV (KAZ) meet in the quarterfinals. The winner can possibly wrestle second seed and former world champion Sergey EMELIN (ROC) in the semifinal.
Wrestlers at 76kg in women’s wrestling also received their draws and five-time world champion Adeline GRAY (USA) will be wrestling Zaineb SGHAIER (TUN) in her first bout while defending champion Erica WIEBE (CAN) will wrestle European champion Epp MAEE (EST) in her first round.
Former world champion Yasemin ADAR (TUR) can wrestle Gray in the second round. The semifinal can see former Olympic champion Natalia VOROBEVA (ROC) wrestle one of them. But she has to go through Samar HAMZA (EGY), Elmira SYZDYKOVA (KAZ) and Aiperi MEDET KYZY (KGZ).
In another top first-round bout, Aline ROTTER FOCKEN (GER) will take on Rio Olympic fifth-placer and former world silver medalist Vasilisa MARZALIUK (BLR).
World silver medalist and local hope Hiroe MINAGAWA (JPN) begins her campaign against veteran wrestler Burmaa OCHIRBAT (MGL). Ochirbat is wrestling in her third Olympics and was one of the wrestlers from Athens Olympics as well.