At the Wrestling Ranking Series in Budapest, Iranian representatives Mohammad Reza Geraei and Saeed Esmaili both clinched bronze medals in the 67 kg category, setting the stage for a crucial face-off to determine who will represent Iran at this weight in the upcoming Paris Olympics.

Iran PressEurope: The event, part of the World Wrestling Federation's competition, saw athletes from around the globe compete in Budapest, Hungary. The tournament, which began yesterday, concluded today with the medal rounds.

Mohammad Reza Geraei, an Olympic and world gold medalist, showcased his prowess throughout the tournament. He started strong by defeating Suleiman Nasr from Tunisia 4:2 and then overcame Mamadasa Silla from France with a 5-1 victory, progressing to the semi-finals. There, he was defeated by Lori Abuladze from Georgia 6:1, advancing to the bronze medal match where he faced Andres Montano from Ecuador. Despite a tough match that ended in a 3-3 tie, Geraei secured the bronze due to criteria.

Saeed Esmaili, a rising star in Greco-Roman wrestling, also demonstrated his skills impressively. Esmaili dominated Nestor Almanza from Chile with a resounding 10:0 in the opening round and continued his winning streak by defeating Valentin Petik from Moldova 6-0 to reach the semi-finals. However, a crucial error in the closing seconds of his semi-final bout against Luis Orta Sanchez, a world and Olympic champion from Cuba, cost him the match, which ended 9:7. Esmaili rebounded in the ranking match, narrowly defeating Kyotaro Sugabe from Japan 6:5 to also secure a bronze.

With both athletes now holding bronze medals from the tournament, the selection for the national team's 67 kg slot in the Paris Olympics will come down to a direct confrontation between Geraei and Esmaili. Geraei needs one victory, while Esmaili requires two wins in their upcoming face-to-face matches to secure their spot.

In other weight categories, the 60 kg division saw Mehdi Mohsennejad and Amirreza Dehbozorgi compete, with Mohsennejad prevailing 3-1 to claim his place on the national team for Paris.