Artur Aleksanyan Wins Armenia’s First Gold Medal at Rio 2016

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (A.W.)—Artur Aleksanyan won Armenia’s first gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, after defeating Yasmany Daniel Lugo Cabrera of Cuba in the Greco-Roman Wrestling 98 kg final on Aug.16.

Artur Aleksanyan
Artur Aleksanyan after winning the gold medal match

Aleksanyan, the two-time reigning world champion, won back-to-back matches by technical fall in the quarterfinals and semifinals. He beat Turkey’s Cenk İldem in the semifinals.

During the medal ceremony, Aleksanyan wore a shirt with an image of Robert Abajyan—a junior sergeant killed in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabagh/NKR) in early April. Abajyan was posthumously awarded with the “Hero of Artsakh” award, which is NKR’s highest honorary title. Abajyan, who was 19 years old when he was killed, is the youngest person to be awarded the title.

Aleksanyan wearing a shirt with an image of Robert Abajyan (Photo: Armenian NOC)
Aleksanyan wearing a shirt with an image of Robert Abajyan (Photo: Armenian NOC)

Earlier in the day, Armenia’s Migran Arutyunyan (b. 1989) won Armenia’s second silver medal at the 2016 Olympic Games, after falling to Davor Štefanek of Serbia in the Greco-Roman Wrestling 66 kg final on Aug. 16.


  1. Magnificent effort by all. Including our hero Yana Egorian, w 2 golds in Fencing for Russia.

    Remember – the last winner of the ancient Olympic games, in bare knuckles boxing, was Prince Varazdat of Armenia in the 4th Century. Boxing was a kill or be killed sport then.

  2. Robert Abajyan was not killed – he feigned death and blew up himself on a grenade when Azeri special forces approached to check his body. That’s the reason he was awarded with the “Hero of Artsakh” title.

  3. Brilliant, congratulations to all. You have done your nation proud. All we need now is for Armenia to be more upfront and competitive in other sport – swimming, athletics, cycling etc etc. There is talent in Armenia, now it is time to explore the talent. Should now have a 10 year plan – get the youngsters out and encourage them to participate. All in all Bravo.

  4. we are proud of Artur well and truly, he is a real champion in both real life and in Olympic . God bless him and we wish even much more medals (gold) to find its way at this champions world.

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