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Young wrestler holds onto Kırkpınar oil-wrestling title in Turkey

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News | 6/28/2010 12:00:00 AM |

Mehmet Yeşilyeşil The 24-year-old wins the title on a weekend where Sumo wrestlers steal show

Young wrestler Mehmet Yeşilyeşil successfully defended his title as he was named champion of the 649th meet of the historic Kırkpınar oil wrestling tournament Sunday.

The 24-year-old Yeşilyeşil faced off Ali Gürbüz in the final of the two-day event. Yeşilyeşil won a point in the 35th minute of extra time, when the “sudden death” rule is applied.

Yeşilyeşil won his first title last year in extra time as well.

After winning the “başpehlivan” (head wrestler) title for the second time, Yeşilyeşil now aims for a treble to win the Golden Belt outright.

“I am speechless. I am grateful for that second title,” Yeşilyeşil said to Anatolia news agency after the final match placed him at the top of the 498 wrestlers in the event. “I congratulate all the wrestlers. They all fought like warriors. But in the end I won the title.”

“Now I want to win the title for the third time and claim the Golden Belt outright,” he concluded.

Apart from competitive matches, the exhibition meetings were among the highlights over the weekend in Kırkpınar, a town in the northwestern city of Edirne.

Some 10,000 people watched as Turkish wrestlers held exhibition matches against Japanese sumo wrestlers on Saturday.

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