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Serbia’s Stefanek wins nation’s first Olympic wrestling gold

Rio Olympics Wrestling Men

Serbia’s Davor Stefanek celebrates after winning the gold medal during the men’s wrestling Greco-Roman 66-kg competition at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)


As the third-ranked wrestler in the world in the Greco-Roman 66 kg weight class, Serbia’s Davor Stefanek was expected to contend for his nation’s first-ever wrestling medal in Rio. He did that and then some, taking gold with a win over Armenia’s Migran Arutynunyan in the gold medal match. Stefanek celebrated his victory with a back flip.

WATCH: Davor Stefanek takes gold in 66 kg Greco-Roman, does celebratory back flip

Stefanek’s gold medal in his third appearance at the Summer Olympics is quite the turnaround, as he failed to win a match in Beijing (2008) and London (2012). The 2014 world champion in the 66 kg weight class, Stefanek took third at last year’s worlds. Stefanek won Serbia’s second gold medal in its history as an independent nation, and this is their first medal of the Rio Olympics.

As for Arutynunyan, he is Armenia’s second wrestling silver medalist in Rio with Simon Martirosyan being the other.

Taking bronze were Shmagi Bolkvadze of Georgia and Rasul Chunayev of Azerbaijan. No Americans competed in the 66 kg division of Greco-Roman wrestling.