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Photography, sports and life as seen through the lens of Seattle Times photographer Rod Mar.

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August 14, 2008 8:09 AM

Olympics: It's all Greco to me

Posted by Rod Mar

It's been a little busy around here and I find myself behind on posts.

Took a little side trip to Greco-Roman wrestling on Thursday (that's Wednesday to you statesiders).

Great sport -- great pictures.

Check that -- great sport, great POTENTIAL for great pictures. I made good ones.

Greco-Roman is a discipline that forbids attacks at the legs. Wrestlers slap and grab each other (okay, they're not supposed to slap, but some do) in an effort to get a hold on their opponent. If neither does in the first minute, the referee draws a color and one wrestler gets the offensive position and the other the defensive.

Etc., etc..

For photographers, the sport is cool because it features lots of body throws. Yup. Pick up your opponent and toss him down.

Also, when they celebrate, some do complete backflips.

I wasn't there covering a specific athlete or country, so I chose an upper position near the top of the arena. This is to be respectful of those really needing photos of a specific athlete (one hopes they'd extend the same courtesy back), and also because I wanted a different angle. Floor spots were all taken, so I chose to play with the clean backgrounds of the mat.

Don't get me wrong -- I'd love to get some photos of big dudes throwing each other around, today just wasn't the day.

This was one of the best from my angle, but the backgrounds are terrible if you're not careful. Really, should there by a guy in a white T-shirt sitting matside?

Italy's Andrea Minguzzi (blue) throws Zoltan Fodor of Hungary in the 84-kg Greco Roman wrestling:

(Nikon D3, VR 200-400mm/f4 lens @ 400mm, ISO 2000, 1/1000th sec.,f4.0)

Medals rounds bring out jubilation and dejection, and this was no different.

Cuba's Mijain Lopez flexes in celebration after defeating Russia's Khasen Baroev in the 120-kg gold medal match in Greco Roman wrestling. Again, tough background -- I needed to be a bit higher (I was already at the top of the gym), or they needed to be more forward on the mat. I know, picky, picky.

(Nikon D3, VR 200-400mm/f4 lens @ 380mm, ISO 2000, 1/1000th sec.,f4.0)

Italy's Andrea Minguzzi celebrating after his bronze medal match.

(Nikon D3, VR 200-400mm/f4 lens @ 330mm, ISO 1600, 1/1000th sec.,f4.0)

Kazakhstan's Asset Mambetov points at his coach in victory after defeating Marek Svec of the Czech Republic in Greco Roman wrestling.

(Nikon D3, VR 200-400mm/f4 lens @ 360mm, ISO 2000, 1/1000th sec.,f4.0)

American Adam Wheeler celebrates his bronze medal over Korea's Tae-Young Han.

(Nikon D3, VR 200-400mm/f4 lens @ 350mm, ISO 2000, 1/1000th sec.,f4.0)

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