China, Mongolia Put 3 Wrestlers Each into Asian Women's Finals

By Ken Marantz

Coming off a haul of four gold medals from the previous day in women's wrestling at the Asian Championships, China put three wrestlers into the five remaining finals---a number limited by the fact that that was all China had in action on day four.

Paris 2017 world bronze medalist HAN Yue (CHN) won both of her matches by fall to advance to the 72kg final against Nasanburmaa OCHIRBAT (MGL), one of three Mongolians to earn spots in the gold-medal matches at the Kozhomkul Sports Palace.

There will also be a China-Mongolian duel at 62kg, in which Paris 2017 world champion Orkhon PUREVDORJ (MGL) will take on LUO Xiaojuan (CHN), a 2015 Asian champion who ousted Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Sakshi Malik in the qualification round.

PEI Xingru (CHN), a 2016 world champion, sees her path to gold blocked by Sara NATAMI (JPN), an unheralded high schooler who marked her debut in a senior international tournament by recording a fall and a technical fall.

China's entries at 53kg (PANG Qianyu) and 65kg (XU Rui) are both injured and withdrew from the tournament, according to the team's Bulgarian coach Siemon CHTEREV.

"I am content with this result," Chterev said. "I'm very happy with the Chinese team. For six months, they have been getting better. They believe in themselves. This is very important."


Meanwhile, two-time Asian medalist Navjot KAUR (IND) will try to end India's hex in Asian women's finals---the country stands 0-13 dating back to 2001---when she takes on Miyu IMAI (JPN) in the 65kg final.

The Kaur-Imai showdown will be a rematch of a group stage match earlier in the day, which Imai won 4x-4 on criteria.

The possibility of a rematch came about because there were only six entries in both the 65kg and 72kg categories. The competitors were drawn into two groups of three. After a round robin, the top two in each group advanced to the semifinals.


PAK Yongmi (PRK) will try to give North Korea its first gold of the tournament with a victory in the 53kg final against Sumiya ERDENECHIMEG (MGL), a 2013 world bronze medalist.

Pak advanced to the final with a nail-biting 4-3 victory over Yu MIYAHARA (JPN), who was coming off victories at the Dave Schultz Memorial and Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix tournaments.

"Our wrestlers who are on the level of being finalists didn't make it," said Japan women's coach Hideo SASAYAMA, also referring to four-time Asian medalist Yurika ITO (62kg) and New Delhi 2017 silver medalist Masako FURUICHI (72kg).

Asked about the performance of 17-year-old Natami, whose lone international experience was a silver medal in the cadet class at the 2016 Klippan Open, Sasayama reserved judgment.

"She had a good draw, and as a third-year high schooler, she still needs to go on the attack more," he said.

Women's Wrestling
53kg (10 entries)
Gold - PAK Yongmi (PRK) v Sumiya ERDENECHIMEG (MGL)

Bronze –  Thi Hang VU (VIE) v Yu Miyahara (JPN)
Bronze – Zhuldyz Eshimova (KAZ) v CHIU Hsin Ju (TPE)

Semifinal – PAK Yongmi (PRK) df. Yu Miyahara (JPN), 4-3
Semifinal – Sumiya ERDENECHIMEG (MGL) df. CHIU Hsin Ju (TPE) by Fall, 5:18 (4-1)

57kg (10 entries)
Gold - Sara NATAMI (JPN) v PEI Xingru (CHN)

Bronze –  KIM Yeseul (KOR) v Thi Huong DAO (VIE)
Bronze – Baltsetseg ALTANTSETSEG (MGL) v JONG In Sun (PRK)

Semifinal – Sara NATAMI (JPN) df. Thi Huong DAO (VIE) by TF, 10-0, 3:15
Semifinal – PEI Xingru (CHN) df. JONG In Sun (PRK) by Fall, 4:11 (2-2)

62kg (10 entries)
Gold - Orkhon PUREVDORJ (MGL) v LUO Xiaojuan (CHN)

Bronze –  Khalbazar NARBAEVA (UZB) vs Yurika ITO (JPN)
Bronze – Sakshi MALIK (IND) v Ayaulym KASSYMOVA (KAZ)

Semifinal – Orkhon PUREVDORJ (MGL) df. Yurika ITO (JPN), 9-1
Semifinal – LUO Xiaojuan (CHN) df . Ayaulym KASSYMOVA (KAZ), 5-1

65kg (6 entries)
Gold - Miya IMAI (JPN) v Kaur NAVJOT (IND)

Bronze –  LEE Hanbit (KOR) v Tsevegmed ENKHBAYAR (MGL)

Semifinal – Miya IMAI (JPN) df. LEE Hanbit (KOR), by TF, 10-0, 1:52
Semifinal – Kaur NAVJOT (IND) df. Tsevegmed ENKHBAYAR (MGL), 2-1

72kg (6 entries)
Gold - Nasanburmaa OCHIRBAT (MGL) v HAN Yue (CHN)

Bronze –  Zhamila BAKBERGENOVA (KAZ) v Masako FURUICHI (JPN)

Semifinal – Nasanburmaa OCHIRBAT (MGL) df. Zhamila BAKBERGENOVA (KAZ) by Fall, 2:11 (9-4)
Semifinal – HAN Yue (CHN) df. Masako FURUICHI (JPN) by TF, 10-0, 5:18


Evloev Gives Host Country 74kg Freestyle Gold

By Ken Marantz

On the night the curtain came down on the Asian Championships in Bishkek, Muslim EVLOEV (KGZ) provided the perfect final act.

Evloev gave the host country a gold medal in 74kg freestyle as the tournament wrapped up its well-supported six-day run at the Kozhomkul Sports Palace with finals in five weight divisions.

Evloev, riding an early 5-point lead, never let up in defeating Mandakhnaran GANZORIG (MGL) by 11-1 technical fall with :24 remaining to give Kyrgyzstan its first Asian freestyle gold since 2015 and fourth in its history.

"It's a great feeling," Evloev said of winning at home to improve on his silver medal he won last year in New Delhi. "The crowd was really supporting me as much as they could and I couldn't fail them, so I did my best."

Iran finished up by capturing two golds, as reigning world and Olympic champion Hassan YAZDANI CHARATI (IRI) cruised to his first Asian title with a victory at 86kg, and Mohammadjavad EBRAHIMIZIVLAEI (IRI) followed by winning the 92kg crown.

In a duel between Georgian-born wrestlers for the 125kg title, Davit MODZMANASHVILI (UZB) defeated Giorgi SAKANDELIDZE (QAT), 5-0, in a tepid match that capped the tournament.

Nurislam SANAYEV (KAZ), 61kg champion looking for a gut wrench. Photo Max Rose-Fyne. 

The other gold at stake went to Nurislam SANAYEV (KAZ), a New Delhi 2017 bronze medalist who scored two takedowns in the second period of the 61kg final to top Kazuya KOYANAGI (JPN), 6-2.

Uzbekistan, which had won five medals, including two golds, on Saturday, added two bronzes to Modzmanashvili's gold to clinch the team title with 178 points. Iran finished second with 157 and Kazakhstan third with 146.

Evloev acknowledged he was heartened by the Greco victory of compatriot Akzhol MAKHMUDOV on the second day, one of the tournament's iconic moments for the thunderous ovation it elicited from the delirious crowd.

"Of course he did inspire me," Evloev said. "And I also want to say congratulations to Makhmudov because I haven't seen him yet."

In the final, Evloev used a single-leg lift to dump Ganzorig, a two-time world bronze medalist, backwards to the mat for a 4-point move, which became 5 when the Mongolian side's challenge was unsuccessful.

"It made me feel more confident, but I was going to wrestle until the last second," Evloev said of being staked to a big early lead. "That's why I won."

Photo of Hassan YAZDANI CHARATI (IRI) by Max Rose-Fyne. 

Outside of the Kyrgyz wrestlers, the spotlight was squarely on superstar Yazdani Charati.

And he lived up to expectations by overwhelming Uitumen ORGODOL (MGL) in the 86kg final, scoring with a takedown and roll combination right away, and then reeling off three takedowns for a 10-0 technical fall with 36 seconds still left in the first period.

Orgodol added the Asian silver to the one he won in 2016 and his bronze from 2013.

So popular is the Iranian that he had a phalanx of Kyrygz security guards whereever he went, and was whisked pass waiting media and fans without comment after his medal ceremony and completing doping procedures.

In the 92kg final, Ebrahimizivlaei built up a 5-1 lead through the first period against Adilet DAVLUMBAYEV (KAZ), then gave up a passivity point and nothing else to take the gold with a 5-2 victory.

The plodding end to the final bout of the tournament, the 125kg final, belied the historical significance of it.

Modzmanashvili, a London 2012 Olympic bronze medalist for Georgia, took a 4-0 lead with an early takedown to a roll, then gained a point when Sakandelidze was on the activity clock in the second period, when the two giants seemed to have little desire to expend further energy.  

By winning the silver medal, Sakandelidze became Qatar's first-ever medalist at the Asian Championships. The Gulf nation's best previous showing had been fifth place.

Although it took an import to gain a spot on the medal podium, Qatari officials were ecstatic with the result.

"After a long period, this is a big success for Qatar wrestling federation, for Qatar," said team leader Vardan Ghazaryan. "For the first time in senior championships, after more than 50 years, we take such success. Qatar is very proud and it will advertise wrestling to include more young schoolboys for developing wrestling in Qatar."

Ghazaryan said the federation has high expectations for Sakandelidze, who he said has lived in Qatar for two years.

"This is, of course, his first match for Qatar, but you will see his success and medals, gold medals, in the future."

Among the bronze-medal matches, Daniyar KAISANOV (KAZ) overcame an 8-3 deficit with 45 seconds remaining, scoring the winning takedown in the final seconds to defeat KIM Daisung (KOR), 11-8, at 74kg.

Kim, who clearly ran out of gas down the stretch, is a 40-something high school wrestling coach who came out of retirement to make the national team, according to a South Korean federation official.

Azizbek SOLIEV (UZB) also notched a last-second takedown to upend Turtogtokh LUVSANDORJ (MGL), 4-3, in their 92kg third-place match.

Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Iran and China all came away with two bronze medals on the night, while host Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia had one each.

61kg (12 entries)
Gold - Nurislam SANAYEV (KAZ) df. Kazuya KOYANAGI (JPN), 6-2

Bronze - Abbos RAKHMONOV (UZB) df. Sharvan SHARVAN (IND), 6x-6

74kg (12 entries)
Gold - Muslim EVLOEV (KGZ) df. Mandakhnaran GANZORIG (MGL) by TF, 11-1, 0:24

Bronze - Daniyar KAISANOV (KAZ) df. KIM Daisung (KOR), 11-8
Bronze - Mostafa HOSSEINKHANI (IRI) df. Dovletmyrat ORAZGYLYJOV (TKM) by TF, 10-0, 4:12

86kg (12 entries)
Gold - Hassan YAZDANI CHARATI (IRI) df. Uitumen ORGODOL (MGL) by TF, 10-0, 3:24

Bronze - Azamat DAULETBEKOV (KAZ) df. Javrail SHAPIEV (UZB), 4-0
Bronze - BI Shengfeng (CHN) df. Deepak PUNIA (IND) by TF, 10-0, 3:41

92kg (10 entries)
Gold - Mohammadjavad EBRAHIMIZIVLAEI (IRI) df. Adilet DAVLUMBAYEV (KAZ), 5-2

Bronze - LIN Zushen (CHN) df. SUE Changjae (KOR), 2-1
Bronze - Azizbek SOLIEV (UZB) df. Turtogtokh LUVSANDORJ (MGL), 4-3

125kg (13 entries)

Bronze - Zolboo NATSAGSUREN (MGL) df. NAM Koungjin (KOR) by TF, 10-0, 4:43
Bronze - Amin TAHERI (IRI) df. Sohbet BELLIYEV (TKM) by TF, 14-4, 3:02