The Iraqi national wrestling team won second place at the 12th annual Arab championship in Doha, Qatar last week.
The Iraqi team finished just one point behind Syria's first place score of 53 points. Algeria came in third.
The Iraqi team won 4 medals -- 2 gold and 2 bronze -- during the tournament.
Jumaa Jassim won the first gold medal after defeating Algeria's Belal ben Braya in the 60 kg category.
Ali Nadhum won the second gold medal after defeating Jordanian and Asian champion Hani Salah in the 120 kg category.
The bronze medals were won by two brothers -- Mohammed and Hussain Shaya -- in the 55 kg and 66 kg categories.
Thirteen Arab countries took part in the championship: Iraq, Qatar, Jordan, Syria, Palestine, UAE, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Sudan, Lebanon, Tunisia, and Morocco.
"We were expecting to win 10 different medals in both the Roman and free wrestling, although the competition was fierce between the Iraqi team and our brotherly Syrian team," said Mohammed Abdul Sattar, secretary of the Iraqi Central Wresting Association (ICWA).
"The reason Iraq came in the second place was the absence of many young players who won the Arab championship in Jordan two weeks ago. We were depending on their participation in this championship, but the technical crew preferred not to take any risks and field them in the championship because they were exhausted," Abdul Sattar told Mawtani.
The national team prepared for the Doha championship by entering a 10-day training camp in Syria. "The results could have been better if we had prepared well for this championship," Abdul Sattar admitted.
Team coach Jamal Nassir Redha said, "Iraq has always dominated this category in the Arab championships, as we have dominated all the championships that were held in the past."
Redha explained that the Jordanian, Syrian, and Qatari teams' progress depended on a number of foreign players and early preparation in European training camps.
"The Iraqi team achieved a good result by winning second place in the Arab championship in spite of our lackluster preparation for it," Redha said.
The Iraqi wrestling team took first place in the Arab youth wrestling championship recently held in Jordan, winning 8 gold medals, 6 silver, and 2 bronze.