Iran freestyle team lineup set for The Rumble On the Rails in Grand Central Terminal in New York City on May 15

May 8, 2013
(PRESS RELEASE) -- As part of World Wrestling Month in May, Iran will be sending a men’s freestyle team to the United States for two friendly international events. Iran has announced a strong team for these competitions, including past Olympic and World Championship medalists.

Three of the world’s top powers, Iran, the United States and Russia will come together in solidarity at “The Rumble On The Rails,” in Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Terminal in New York City, N.Y. on Wednesday, May 15, starting at 3:30 p.m.

The competition will be held alongside the annual Beat the Streets Awards Gala, which will be held following the competition at Bryant Park Grill. A ticket will be required for both the competition and the Gala.

Leading Team Iran is two-time World champion Mehdi Taghavi Kermani at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. Taghavi is a two-time Junior World champion and two-time Olympian.

The Iranian team will feature a pair of 2012 Olympic bronze medalists, Ehsan Lashgari at 84 kg/185 lbs. and Komeil Ghasemi at 120 kg/264.5 lbs.

Lashgari is a three-time Asian Championships champion, claiming titles in 2009, 2010 and 2012. Ghasemi was also a two-time Junior World bronze medalist (2007 and 2008).

2011 World bronze medalist and 2012 Olympian Hassan Rahimi will be wrestling at 55 kg/121 lbs. Rahimi has won gold and silver medals at the Junior World Championships and captured the title at the World Military Championships.

Also on the team is 2007 Junior World champion and 2012 Olympian Masoud Esmailpour Jouybari at 60 kg/132 lbs. He also earned a gold medal at the recent 2013 World Cup held in Tehran, Iran.

Also on the team is three-time World Cup medalist Hassan Tahmasebi at 74 kg/163 lbs. and Hamed Tatari at 96 kg/211.5 lbs., who took fifth at the 2013 World Cup.

The lineups for the United States and for Russia for will be announced very soon.

“The Rumble On The Rails,” is a private event. Tickets are required for admission and they must be bought ahead of time from No tickets will be available on site at the event. There will be no standing room only opportunities and no view from the pedestrian walkway. Anybody who would like to see this outstanding competition must plan ahead and secure a ticket prior to the competition.

This will be the fourth straight year in which a major international-style wrestling competition will be hosted as part of the Beat the Streets Gala activities.

In 2010, an all-star challenge featuring top U.S. wrestlers was held on the USS Intrepid, an aircraft carrier docked on the west side of Manhattan. In 2011, the United States defeated World champion Russia, 5-2, the first sports event ever held in historic Times Square. In 2012, another U.S. vs. Russia dual meet was held in Times Square, along with the U.S. Olympic Team Wrestle-off for the 60 kg/132 lbs. position on the U.S. Olympic Team in men’s freestyle. All of these events have been great showcases for international wrestling as well as receiving major media coverage.

Since the 1990s, Iran has competed in wrestling in the United States 10 times. This included the 1995 World Championships in Atlanta, the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, the 1998 Junior World Championships in Primm, Nev., the 1998 Goodwill Games in New York City and the 2003 World Championships in New York City. In addition, the Iranian team competed in the World Cup held in the United States five times (1995 in Chattanooga, 1998 in Stillwater, 1999 in Spokane, 2000 in Fairfax, Va. and 2001 in Baltimore).

This team from Iran will also face off against the USA in a friendly international dual meet billed “United 4 Wrestling,” on Sunday, May 19 at 2 p.m. at Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena in Los Angeles, Calif.


55 kg/121 lbs. – Hassan Rahimi

60 kg/132 lbs. – Masoud Esmailpour Jouybari

66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Mehdi Taghavi Kermani

74 kg/163 lbs. – Hassan Tahmasebi

84 kg/185 lbs. – Ehsan Lashgari

96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Hamed Tatari

120 kg/264.5 lbs. – Komeil Ghasemi

Coaches – GholamReza Mohammadi, Reza Leyegh, Mohammad Talaie, Ali Reza Rezaei

Technical Manager – Rasoul Khadem

Team Leader – Ali Bayat

Officials – Khatib Hojatollah, Ali Eftekhari, Ahmad Govari

Doctor – Sadegh Mahboubi


At New York, N.Y., May 15

3:30 p.m. – USA vs. Iran, at Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Terminal

5:00 p.m. – Beat the Streets youth exhibition matches at Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Terminal

6:00 p.m. – USA vs. Russia at Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Terminal

8:00 p.m. – Beat the Streets Awards Gala at Bryant Park Grill

ABOUT USA WRESTLING USA Wrestling is the National Governing Body for the Sport of Wrestling in the United States and, as such, is its representative to the United States Olympic Committee and the International Wrestling Federation FILA. Simply, USA Wrestling is the central organization that coordinates amateur wrestling programs in the nation and works to create interest and participation in these programs. Its president is James Ravannack, and its Executive Director is Rich Bender.

ABOUT BEAT THE STREETS The mission of Beat the Streets is to develop the full human and athletic potential of the urban youth and to strengthen the culture of New York City wrestling. BTSW works directly with the New York City Department of Education in a public-private partnership to help New York City's student-athletes achieve their personal and athletic goals. Through the operation of wrestling programs in middle and high schools in the five boroughs, BTSW and the DOE provide a safe, positive atmosphere in which disadvantaged and at-risk youth can learn the essential life skills of physical fitness, teamwork, and self-empowerment. The goal of fostering strong, dedicated, and optimistic kids is delivered through coaching, after-school programs, and mentoring. More information can be found at

ABOUT KEEP OLYMPIC WRESTLING In the United States, the official website is, on Facebook at, and on Twitter @wrestlingvision.

The international links for FILA are, on Facebook at and on Twitter @FILA_Official.


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