Bonka Produces Historic Night for Belarus at #WrestleSofia

By Taylor Miller

Photo of Dzmitry BONKA (BLR).

SOFIA, Bulgaria – On Saturday night, Dzmitry BONKA (BLR) became the first Cadet World Greco-Roman champion for Belarus since 1997, winning the 65 kg bracket at the 2019 Cadet World Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria.

In his gold-medal match, Bonka scored two takedowns and two points on exposure to defeat 2019 Cadet Asian bronze medalist Sheroz OCHILOV (TJK), 6-2.

The last to win a Cadet World title for Belarus was Alexander RUTSCHKO (BLR) at 57 kg at the 1997 Cadet World Championships in Maribor, Slovenia.

Iran produced two gold medalists in the first night of Greco-Roman finals on Saturday.

The first champ of the night was Amirreza Mohammadreza DEHBOZORGI (IRI), who added a Cadet World title at 48 kg to his resume.

Dehbozorgi, a 2018 Youth Olympic Games champion and two-time European champion, outwrestled Ziya BABASHOV (AZE) for a 3-1 victory and a gold medal.

Also collecting gold for Iran was 2019 Cadet Asian bronze medalist Shahrokh Abouzar MIKAEILI (IRI), who won the 110 kg weight class, grinding out a 1-0 decision against Razmik KURDYAN (ARM), who was fifth at 2019 European Championships.

Nihat Zahid MAMMADLI (AZE) finally topped the World podium on Saturday night at 55 kg. A 2017 Cadet World runner-up and European Youth Olympic Festival bronze medalist, Mammadli defeated Asian bronze medalist Pravin Pandurang PATIL (IND) with a dominating 9-0 performance.

Also winning a gold medal with a technical superiority was Mykyta ALIEKSIEIEV (UKR), who overpowered 2018 Cadet Balkan champion Gabriel LUPASCO (MDA), 12-3, in the 80 kg title match.

Alieksieiev greatly improved upon his 2018 Cadet World finish as he went from seventh place to first.

At 65 kg, Dzmitry BONKA (BLR) became the first Cadet World Greco-Roman champion for Belarus since 1997.

In his gold-medal match, Bonka scored two takedowns and two points on exposure to defeat 2019 Cadet Asian bronze medalist Sheroz OCHILOV (TJK), 6-2.

Finals matchups                   
48 kg
GOLD - Amirreza Mohammadreza DEHBOZORGI (IRI) dec. Ziya BABASHOV (AZE), 3-1
BRONZE – Rupin RUPIN (IND) dec. Riehan BOTHA (RSA), 5-0
BRONZE - Yerbol KAMALIYEV (KAZ) dec. Alibek AMIROV (RUS), 6-1

55 kg
GOLD - Nihat Zahid MAMMADLI (AZE) df. Pravin Pandurang PATIL (IND), 9-0
BRONZE – Abror ATABAEV (UZB) dec. Seyitcan BEYTEKIN (TUR), 6-4

65 kg
GOLD - Dzmitry BONKA (BLR) dec. Sheroz OCHILOV (TJK), 6-2
BRONZE – Arman KHACHIKYAN (ARM) dec. Hojat Hassan REZAEI (IRI), 9-8
BRONZE – Attila Tamas TOESMAGI (HUN) df. Neeraj NEERAJ (IND), 10-2

80 kg
GOLD - Mykyta ALIEKSIEIEV (UKR) df. Gabriel LUPASCO (MDA), 12-3
BRONZE – Maksat SAILAU (KAZ) df. Jonni Kunnari SARKKINEN (FIN), 8-0
BRONZE – Vigen NAZARYAN (ARM) dec. Kamran Abdolreza ARGHASH (IRI), 5-3

110 kg
GOLD - Shahrokh Abouzar MIKAEILI (IRI) dec. Razmik KURDYAN (ARM), 1-0
BRONZE – Mate GOKADZE (GEO) df. Dominik Tomasz KRAWCZYK (POL), 8-0
BRONZE – Adolf BAZSO (HUN) dec. Grigorios KONTOVOUNISIOS (GRE), 4-0



Iran wins two individual championships for the Greco-Roman team title at #WrestleSofia

By Taylor Miller

SOFIA, Bulgaria – The 2019 Cadet World Championships came to a close with the last five gold-medal matches in Greco-Roman on Sunday night in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Reza SAKI (IRI), a 2019 Cadet Asian silver medalist, defeated Stepan STARODUBTSEV (RUS), who was second at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, for the crown at 71 kg.

Starodubtsev led, 1-0, at the break, but just moments into the second period, Saki scored on a four-point arm throw. He held onto the lead for the remainder of the bout, winning gold with a 4-1 victory.

For the title at 51 kg, Saeid ESMAEILI LEIVESI (IRI) used a first-period takedown to give him an eventual 2-1 win over Elmir ALIYEV (AZE). It was both wrestlers’ first World Championships.

At 92 kg, 2019 European silver medalist and 2018 European bronze medalist Lachin VALIYEV (AZE) outlasted 2017 Cadet World silver medalist Muhammed EVLOEV (RUS) for the title.

After a scoreless first period, Valiyev scored an early takedown. Evloev could only respond with a pair of step outs. Valiyev held on for the 2-2 win on criteria.

In the title match at 60 kg, 2019 Cadet European champion Maksim SKURATOV (RUS) faced two-time Cadet European medalist Elmir ALIYEV (AZE) in a rematch of the European Championships finals.

Last time they wrestled, Skuratov claimed an 11-0 victory. This time, Aliyev kept the bout more competitive; however, it was not enough. Skuratov won the Cadet World title with a 5-0 win.  

To open the night, 2019 Cadet Asian champion Samatbek IZIMGALI (KAZ) spent only 59 seconds on the mat to claim the gold medal at 45 kg, defeating Asadbek BAKHRAMAOV (UZB) by fall.

Securing two individual champions on Sunday, Iran won the team title with 148 points, followed by Azerbaijan with 123 points and Russia with 99 points.

Finals matchups
45 kg
GOLD - Samatbek IZIMGALI (KAZ) df. Asadbek BAKHRAMAOV (UZB), fall 1:00
BRONZE - Tamazi GLONTI (GEO) df. Vladyslav KURKURIN (UKR), 4-0
BRONZE - Farid SADIKHLI (AZE) df. Mahdi Kioumars AHADI ZENAB (IRI), 8-1

51 kg
BRONZE - Volodymyr VOITOVYCH (UKR) df. Denis MIHAI (ROU), 12-9
BRONZE - Edmond Armen NAZARYAN (BUL) df. Arshad ARSHAD (IND), fall 2:56

60 kg
GOLD - Maksim SKURATOV (RUS) df. Mert ILBARS (TUR), 5-0
BRONZE - Arman VARDANYAN (ARM) df. Zhanbolot TURATBEKOV (KGZ), 6-0
BRONZE - Nika BROLADZE (GEO) df. Seyed Danial Seyed Shamsollah SOHRABI (IRI), 8-6

71 kg
GOLD - Reza SAKI (IRI) df. Stepan STARODUBTSEV (RUS), 4-1
BRONZE - Furkan TAS (TUR) df. Aliaksei PIAKHOTA (BLR), 7-0
BRONZE - Alexandrin GUTU (MDA) df. Rauf Abdulla ALIYEV (AZE), 6-0

92 kg                           
GOLD - Lachin VALIYEV (AZE) dec. Muhammed EVLOEV (RUS), 2-2
BRONZE - Oktay DEMIR (TUR) df. Maik HAIMOV (ISR), 8-0
BRONZE - Richard KARELSON (EST) df. Laszlo Csaba VARSANYI (HUN), 3-0

Team results
1. Iran – 148
2. Azerbaijan – 123
3. Russia – 99
4. Kazakhstan – 73
5. Armenia – 73
6. Turkey – 70
7. India – 63
8. Georgia – 63
9. Ukraine – 62
10. Uzbekistan – 49