Leri Khabelov (Chabelov)
A world class free-style wrestling star.
Honored Master of Sports of the USSR
Competition Weight Class: 100kg - HWT
- Olympic Champion (1992)
- Silver medal at the Olympic Games in Seoul (1988)
- 5 time World Champion (1985, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1993)
- 4 time European Champion (1985, 1987, 1988, 1992)
- World Cup winner (1986, 1991)
- Multiple Champion of the USSR
- A winner of many world class tournaments.
Trainer – B.Savlokhov, A.Fadzaev.
Being an ethnic Ossetian, Lery Khabelov was born in Georgia (within the former USSR). His victorious way at the free-style wrestling world competitions started when he won the juniors and cadets World Championships. In 1983-1984 he came in first at the Espoir European and World Championships again.
Next year, 20 year old Leri Khabelov, started competing at seniors competitions. The world of free-style wrestling had witnessed a new bright star rise up in this tough and eye-catching sport. In 1985 Leri step-by-step, won the European and World Championships and in 1986 - the World Cup. He then repeated this triumph in 1987.
In the year 1988 he was considered as a main candidate to get the gold medal at the Olympic Games in Seoul in heavy weight class, but unfortunately he was stuck on Pascasu (Romania) a final match. Khabelov got only the silver medal.
He did not participate in world class competitions for almost two years.
Only in 1990 he returned back and won the World Championship for the third time. Since then until 1995 Khabelov did not loose neither European Championships nor World Cups and World Championships.
The top of his wrestling biography was the year of 1992. Nobody was able to overpower Leri at the Olympic Games in Barcelona. He proved himself as the best heavy weight wrestler during all those years.
After those Olympics, in 1993 Khabelov won the World Championship for the 5th time.
Then in 1995 he got the bronze medals at the European and World Championships. Life in sports is short, because it takes too much of energy, efforts and nerves to reach the top.
After failing at his third Olympics in Atlanta (1996) Lery Khabelov retired from wrestling. Nowadays he is a Minister of Sports of Georgia.
About Leri Khabelov
(From news reports)
“Only a wise and kind man can become a real leader. That is what we see in Lery Khabelov, who got back his title of Champion in heavy weight class (100 kg.). In a final match, on the 15th second, he dropped his opponent – Akhmed Atavov, to the mats and then caught him from the back. But then suddenly Leri stopped wrestling and released the clinch. He seemed to be scared with something. Atavov was lying down on the mats and did not move – he was calm and restrained, though his knee was seriously injured.
Khabelov shrugged apologetically, meaning “I am sorry. I did not want the match to go this way…”
The audience loudly applauded, cheering both athletes: the winner – for being a gentleman and the other one – for his courage.”
F.Gogolev. “Soviet Sport”, 1987.