The Oldest Wrestler in the World?
Passing 86 years of the life, Mohammadreza Sahraei is still young enough to wrestle! He started to train 68 years ago. He doesn’t remember the month of his birth but he knows well how to wrestle.
Mohammadreza Sahraei is the oldest wrestler of Iran, maybe the oldest one in the world. He says about the initial days that he tried to join a wrestling club: “68 years ago I went to wrestling club. I knocked the door of the club. Someone opened it and asked what do you want? I said I want to wrestle. He laughed and replied, go away, you should play among the girls! I went there three times. Finally Habib Bolour (former head coach of Iran FR team) accepted me to join the club. So the story of my life and wrestling started.” Sahraei said.
"At first days everyone was afraid to wrestle against me. They believed I am stronger than usual wrestlers. I believe wrestler should be firm and strong even during training! I was 58kg weight class wrestler. I am still 58 kg after 68 years." The veteran wrestler says he has competed in some regional and national events but he doesn’t remember them exactly: “I captured some gold and bronze medals in national events but I don’t remember when or where! But I didn’t have international experiments. Our hero was Gholamreza Takhti (Former Iranian Olympic and world champion). When he died we couldn’t believe it. He was our sample hero."
Sahraei talks about his marriage and the insistence of his father: “My father told me you should marry if you want to continue wrestling. I answered I don’t have money but he stepped into my shoes and insisted. I married when I was 24. My wife was agreeing with me to wrestle and she treated me like a small boy. She prepared my sport bag every day. I have four children and seven grandchildren now.” His training sessions with Takhti is his best memory: “I trained with Gholamreza Takhti many times. I was two years older than him. He was 98 kg and I was 58kg. He never put pressure on me during the trainings. He was a great man. ” He cannot wrestle at high level after marriage but he doesn’t leave wrestling. “After marriage, I couldn’t continue wrestling seriously so, I started to coach young wrestlers in “Izad Ferdosi” club in Tehran, but when I was 70, I started to train again.”
The oldest wrestler of Iran believes his regular training has helped him to be healthy. He also wants to wrestle as far as he has the ability: “I train two days in a week now. I was never sorry for choosing wrestling and I continue it to be healthy. I was never harmed by wrestling. I will wrestle till my last breath.”