US Wrestling Executive Director Rich Bender (L) poses with the head of Iran’s wrestling federation Hojatollah Khatib
US Wrestling Executive Director Rich Bender (L) poses for a picture with the head of Iran’s wrestling federation Hojatollah Khatib during a meeting in Tehran on February 20, 2013. Wrestlers from political foes Iran and the United States will compete in a friendly international meet in Los Angeles on May 19 as part of an international push to keep the sport in the Olympics. © Atta Kenare - AFP/File
US Wrestling Executive Director Rich Bender (L) poses with the head of Iran’s wrestling federation Hojatollah Khatib
AFP
Last updated: April 26, 2013

US and Iran duel to promote wrestling's Olympic bid

Wrestlers from political foes Iran and the United States will compete in a friendly international meet in Los Angeles on May 19 as part of an international push to keep the sport in the Olympics.

Dubbed "United 4 Wrestling," the freestyle event is being organized by USA Wresting and youth development agency Beat the Streets-Los Angeles as part of World Wrestling Month, which was declared by the international wrestling federation (FILA) in April after the February 12 recommendation by the International Olympic Committee Executive Board that wrestling not be a core sport at the 2020 Olympic Games.

A final decision on the program of the 2020 Games is to be made by the IOC in September.

"It is an exciting opportunity for wrestling to show the world its ability to bring together nations of different political, cultural and geographic backgrounds," said USA Wrestling Executive Director Rich Bender.

The Los Angeles event will follow a May 15 event at New York's Grand Central Station involving the United States, Iran and Russia.

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