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Rulon closing in on repeat

Updated: August 25, 2004, 9:52 AM ET
By Sherry Skalko | ESPN.com

ATHENS, Greece -- For the first time since winning a gold medal in Seoul in 1988, Alexander Karelin, now retired, entered an Olympic Greco-Roman wrestling venue on Tuesday without the title of defending champion.

That's because American Rulon Gardner stole the title from Karelin in Sydney, beating the Russian in their final four years ago to notch wrestling's greatest upset ever.

And though Gardner is the super heavyweight (264½ pounds) wrestler to beat in Athens, he's approaching ...

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