By Rachel Cohen
The Associated Press
NEW YORK — Iran’s wrestling team visited the United States for the first time in a decade and found a virtual home meet.
The fans waving Iranian flags and stomping on the temporary bleachers were treated to a show of dominance by the wrestling power Wednesday in the exhibition at Grand Central Terminal. Iran beat the Americans 6-1.
“It’s typical Iranian. Wherever we go, they do the same thing,” two-time world champion Mehdi Taghavi Kermani said through a translator.
Wrestling is now one of eight sports seeking to fill one spot in the 2020 Olympics.
“This is what we’re trying to do right now,” said 22-year-old Kyle Dake, who could be an American star of the 2020 Olympics. “This is how we’re going to save Olympic wrestling.”
The youngster was the lone bright spot for the U.S. against Iran. At 163 pounds, he beat veteran Hassan Tahmasebi in his first major senior-level international match.