Illya Fedorovych Mate (spelled Maté, Russian: Илья Фёдорович Мате, IPA: [ɪˈlʲjæ maˈtɛ], born 6 October 1956) is a retired Soviet Ukrainian freestyle wrestler. He won gold medals at the 1980 Olympics and 1979 and 1982 world championships, finishing third in 1981. Mate was reputed for his deceitfully flabby appearance, which misled his opponents into thinking of him as of an "easy prey," as well as for his springy sudden movements and the mat generalship, avoiding flukes, and providing no "chinks in the armor" for his opponents.
Mate receiveing an arm massage in-between the periods of his Olympic match, 25 July 1980
|Born||6 October 1956 (age 63)|
Starohnativka, Donetsk Oblast, Ukrainian SSR
|Alma mater||Makiivka Civil Engineering Institute|
|Height||187 cm (6 ft 2 in)|
|Weight||100 kg (220 lb)|
Mate was born to a Greek father and Ukrainian mother. He began training in kuresh wrestling while studying in a secondary school.
He took up freestyle wrestling in 1970 and won the Soviet heavyweight title in 1978–80 and 1982.
Retirement and later yearsEdit
After retiring from competitions he worked as a private entrepreneur in Donetsk, and remained involved with the Donetsk Wrestling Federation. Since 2003, an annual junior freestyle wrestling tournament has been held in Donetsk Oblast in his honor.
International competition recordEdit
|International competition record (incomplete)|
|1980 Olympic Gold Medalist at 100kg|
|Win||Július Strnisko||15–3||1980-07||1980 Summer Olympics||Moscow|
|Win||Antal Bodó||Tech Fall||1:41||1980-07|
|Win||Santiago Morales||Tech Fall||3:42||1980-07|
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