CUP Grad Bekzod Abdurakhmonov Qualifies for Summer Olympics in Wrestling

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CLARION, Pa. – For the first time since 1996, Clarion University will have the opportunity to shine on one of the biggest sports stages in the world, as 2012 graduate Bekzod Abdurakhmonov punched his ticket to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro this past weekend.

Abdurakhmonov, a two-time NCAA Championships participant and a 2012 All-American while wearing the Blue and Gold, secured an Olympic spot in Men’s Freestyle wrestling for his native Uzbekistan on Sunday. Competing at the United World Wrestling (UWW) World Olympic Games Qualifying Tournament in Istanbul, Turkey, Abdurakhmonov defeated Spain’s Taimuraz Friev Naskidaeva in the finals of the 74kg weight class.

The Clarion graduate has had great success on the international stage, having also claimed the title at the 2014 Asian Games. That same year he won the bronze medal at the 2014 World Championships in his hometown of Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Abdurakhmonov joined his brother Muzaffar as a volunteer assistant coach at Harvard in 2014 and recently completed his second season on the staff of the Crimson. In his first year he helped three Crimson wrestlers earn All-Ivy honors, including NCAA heavyweight qualifier David Ng.

Clarion wrestling fans are no strangers to seeing their alumni participating at the sport’s highest level. In 1996 Kurt Angle, a 1992 Clarion graduate, won Olympic gold in Atlanta, Ga., defeating Abbas Jadidi by officials’ decision after a 1-1 draw. Angle was a two-time NCAA Champion and a three-time All-American at heavyweight for the Golden Eagles.


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