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131 wins, 2 losses: The 'Russian Tank' going to Tokyo Olympics

Four-time World Champion Abdulrashid Sadulaev plans to continue his win streak at Tokyo Olympics 2020

Russian wrestler Abdulrashid Sadulaev
Abdulrashid Sadulaev (Source: Olympics)

Kalptaru Agarwal

Updated: 20 July 2021 2:45 PM GMT

Thor once said "I am inevitable" but what he actually means is conveyed by the champion freestyle wrestler from Russia, Abdulrashid Bulachevich Sadulaev who has only suffered 2 defeats in his lifetime and his victory in any game is inevitable (certain to happen) as per his track record. He is known to be the most dominant active freestyle wrestler in the world with 131 wins attached to his name.

Sadulaev, of Avar descent competes in the 97kg category and has tried his hands in the 86kg category also. Aged just 25, this "Russian Tank" is bound to fire his entire strength to bag that medal position at the Tokyo Olympics.

He is a former Olympics gold medallist winning the title at the 2016 Rio Olympics in the 86kg event of wrestling. But what is it that made him powerful enough to dominate the world of wrestling? Let's find out

The beginning of a champion in making

The four-time world champion stepped on the mat at the age of 13 but quickly made his mark by winning a regional title. The youngest sibling in the house, he began his training in the Gamid Gamidov Wrestling Club in Makhachkala, Dagestan's sports school of Olympics reserve after finishing his 11th grade.

In his teen years, he was also the proud champion of the Cadet Freestyle Wrestling World Championship at the age of 16. His hard work and dedication speak for him.

Abdulrashid Sadulaev (Source: Wrestling Tv)
Abdulrashid Sadulaev (Source: Wrestling Tv)

Why is he called the best unstoppable freestyle wrestler of this generation?

Abdulrashid Sadulaev's impenetrable armor has only been broken twice and his win streak from 2014 had a stop only once. He was voted as the best Russian sportsman of June at the TV project "Golden Pedestal" earning a huge proportion of the votes.

The individual World Champion (2020) is the Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix winner of 2014 and 2018, European Games Champion 2015, and two-times Cadet World Champion of 2012 and 2013. Adding to the list of his achievements was the recent 2020 Russian National Freestyle Wrestling Tournament where he again bagged the top position in the 97kg category event.

The story of only 2 defeats on the mat

The four-time European Champion has earned his reputation with his talent and consistent performance at every tournament. Sadulaev is the first contender for any medal wherever he participates but to everyone's shock, he was defeated at the 2017 World Championships by United States Olympics Champion in 97kg Kyle Synder in a closely contested bout which was anointed as the 'Match of the Century.'

Another defeat was at the hands of Gamzat Osmanov at Memorial Heydar Aliyev in 2013 during the early days of his career. Apart from these two, the Russian Tank has not lost a single contest and no other wrestler has been able to dominate him.

Could he repeat the same stardom at the Tokyo Olympics 2020? We'll have to wait and see. But what we know is the bout between Sadulaev and Synder will be the most awaited if it so happens.

Sadulaev and Synder (Source: Wrestling Tv)
Sadulaev and Synder (Source: Wrestling Tv)

Was it so easy for the Russian tank to excel in the sport of wrestling?

Nothing in life is served on a platter and so, was the case with Sadulaev. He was frustrated when he was still beginning to participate and win contests, his friends jinxed him and he began losing out to weaker guys.

Due to losing his patience, he had a direct aversion to sports when his elder brother Zumrad explained to him to have patience and not give up. Post which the star rose to the occasion to take the matters in his hand and after analyzing his mistakes ---- he took off.

The off-mat social star

We have discussed the dominant image of Sadulaev on the world stage but what's social life is like? With his impressive figures on the mat, he is equally gaining milestones on Instagram where he has about 1.1 million followers making him a heavyweight in the social world.

Though, he does not attach much importance to this type of life. He downplayed this cyber success but considers it as an incentive to work when he thanked his fans.

He is a humble and hard-working man who believes in his dedication and devotion and his Instagram profile bears testimony to it. Where many stars are known to portray their rich lifestyle, he posts about his relentless work with the finest example being of a picture of him plowing a field for his grandfather.

Is wrestling all that Sadulaev feels accomplished from?

Inside the big muscular Abdulrashid is a kind humble fellow wanting to make a difference in the world. During the pandemic, he served as a volunteer for the Insan charity foundation to distribute products.

He also wanted to be a football player too if he hadn't been involved in wrestling. Furthermore, he considers his purpose now is to win a "second Olympics gold medal." With his pure determination, have an eye for him as the Summer Games are going to begin in less than a week.

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