LONDON (Reuters) - Russian favourite Roman Vlasov defeated Armenia's Arsen Julfalakyan in the 74kg Greco-Roman wrestling final at the London Olympics on Sunday after surviving a scare in the quarter-finals.
The 21-year-old Russian somersaulted across the mat and then climbed on his trainer's shoulders to salute the crowd after adding the Olympic gold to the world championship title he won in Istanbul last year.
He nearly lost in the quarter-finals when France's experienced Christophe Guenot came within a whisker of victory.
The Frenchman, who won bronze in Beijing in 2008, was on level terms with Vlasov with 30 seconds to go and came close to pulling off a manoeuvre that would have defeated the Russian. To a huge roar from the crowd, Vlasov recovered in the dying moments and edged into the final.
The Russian secured Olympic gold with relative ease, winning the first two rounds without losing a point.
(Reporting by Peter Griffiths, Editing by Nigel Hunt)