Yaşar Doğu


08 Ocak, 1961

Wrestler, world champion (B.1913, the village of Karlı / Kavak / Samsun – D.1961, Ankara). When his father died in the First World War, he settled in Emirli, his mother’s village. He started wrestling in this village at a very young age. He was only fifteen years old when he was ranked among the most famous wrestlers of the region. Before serving his military duty, he was involved in “karakucak” wrestling. When he was doing his military service in Ankara in 1936, he became a member of the Wrestling Society and began mat wrestling. When his military service was over, he stayed in Ankara and competed for his club.

After Onni Helinen, the Finnish trainer of the national team at the time, noticed the power of Doğu’s wrestling style and strength, he helped Doğu to join the national team in 1939. Doğu attended the 66 kg competitions of the European Championships in Oslo the same year, he wrestled there four times, was defeated once; thus came in second. His only defeat in the freestyle matches was when the Estonian wrestler Toots scored more points. Oslo Tournament was the only freestyle tournament in which Yaşar Doğu could not become the champion.

In the Balkan Championship held in Çemberlitaş-Istanbul in 1940, he won three times with three touché, and was crowned the champion at 66 kg. With the Second World War, it was only in 1946 when Doğu entered two national competitions in Cairo and Alexandria, and won with two touché. The same year, he competed in six 73 kg-matches which are organized in Stockholm for the European Championship, and for the first time he became the European Champion, winning all the matches. A year later, he again defeated all his opponents in the European Greco-Roman Championship, held in Prague, and became the champion at 73 kg. He joined the London Olympics in 1948, and beating his five opponents, became the Olympic Champion. He went on a European tour with the Turkish National Team in 1949.  In this tour which included Italy, Switzerland, Sweden and Finland, he competed in seven 79 kg-matches, winning them all. The European Wrestling Championship was organized in Istanbul in the same year. Competing in 79 kg-matches, Doğu defeated his first three opponents with touché, he defeated the famous Swedish wrestler Groemberg with a higher total score, and became the champion. He went on a tour of Asia, this time, in 1950. In the wrestling competitions he entered in Baghdad, Basra, and Lahore, he defeated his opponents with touché and he became famous in the East. During his sport life, Yaşar Doğu took the opportunity to enter the World Championship once. Although it was difficult for him to wrestle as he weighed 87 kilos and was a short person, he defeated his Finlander, Iranian, German and Swedish opponents and won the World Championship for the first but last time. In 1951, the national team of wrestlers returned to the homeland with the title of champion. This team included Yaşar Doğu, Nurettin Zafer, Haydar Zafer, Nasuh Akar, Celal Atik, Ali Yücel, İbrahim Zengin and Adil Candemir. After the London Olympics, he was awarded a house by the Olympic Committee and was declared a professional wrestler; he did not participate in the Helsinki Olympics in 1952.

After Yaşar Doğu quit wrestling, he became the trainer of the national team. During his stay in Sweden, when he was with the team, he had a serious heart attack on 15 December 1955. Although the doctors strictly recommended him to rest, he returned to Turkey and continued training young wrestlers. He had another heart attack in Ankara on 8 January 1961, and passed away.

A legend in Turkish wrestling, carrying the star and the crescent of his country upon his suit, Yaşar Doğu competed in 47 matches and was only beaten once. He defeated 33 of his 46 opponents with touch-falls. The 46 matches, whom he won, should have lasted 690 minutes, but thanks to his victories in a short time, these wrestling matches lasted 372 minutes 26 seconds.


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