Clutch Performers Baltuev, Sakaki and Lewan Seize Freestyle Gold in Athens

By Richard Immel

ATHENS, Greece (Sept. 9) – A gripping set of freestyle semifinals and medal matches capped day six of the Cadet World Championships held at Ano Liosia Olympic Hall.

With only one day of competition remaining, Russia and the United States have separated from the pack, and just like the Junior and Senior divisions, the team champion will be determined in the final session between these two rivals.

Russia landed two champions on Saturday evening, Fedor BALTUEV (RUS) at 50kg and Alan BAGAEV (RUS) at 85kg. They also scored a bronze medal from Soslanbek BUDAEV (RUS) at 69kg.

Baltuev, the Cadet European champion, emerged from the brink of defeat to force Mahir MAMMADZADA (AZE) to settle for silver a second year in a row. With short time remaining and trailing by three points, Baltuev launched Mammadzada from an overhook position to score four, giving the Russian a 9-7 win.

Offense was hard to find in the 85kg final between Bagaev and Cadet Asian champion Abbas Ali FOROUTANRAMI (IRI). The two traded activity time points, with Bagaev earning criteria on last point scored to win, 1-1.

The United States picked up a gold medal at 69kg from William LEWAN (USA) and a bronze medal at 85kg from Gavin HOFFMAN (USA).

The clutch gene was in full effect for Lewan as he toppled Daud IBRAGIMOV (AZE) in a last-second stunner, 3-1. Lewan scored the only point of the first period after driving a Ibragimov out of bounds. He then surrendered a point from activity time expiration to trail on criteria, 1-1. With five seconds remaining, Lewan pressured his way into a go-behind takedown and rode it out for the victory. 

William LEWAN (USA)

Ryuto SAKAKI (JPN) completed one of the more impressive tournaments of the week with a 3-2 win over Cadet European bronze medalist Turan BAYRAMOV (AZE) in the 58kg finals. The comeback theme continued here as Sakaki scored a late second period takedown while trailing 2-1 to cement his win.

The opening gold-medal match of the evening came at 42kg, with Alihasan AMIRLI (AZE) outlasting Cadet Asian champion Umidjon JALOLOV (UZB) 1-0 to take the crown. Amirli scored the only point of the match from an activity time expiration on Jalolov in the first period.

The championship bouts at 46kg, 54kg, 63kg, 76kg and 100kg were all determined prior to the riveting medal round. Both Russia and the United States finished with a 3-1 record in the semifinals. Japan was able to send two athletes to the finals, while Iran and Georgia each pushed one through.

Two finals pit Russia and the United States against one another. Cadet European champions Arsamag KHOSTIKOEV (RUS) and Ismail-Bek NIROV (RUS) will face international newcomers Aaron BROOKS (USA) and Daniel KERKVLIET (USA) at 76kg and 100kg.


Russia’s third finalist is Cadet European champion Inar KETIIA (RUS), who is slated to face Cadet Asian champion Kenshin ITO (JPN) for 63kg gold. Ketiia won a pivotal semifinal over two-time Cadet European medalist Khadzhimurad GADZHIYEV (AZE) in a rematch of the Cadet European finals, 4-0.

Reigning Cadet World champion Kurt MCHENRY (USA) looks for a golden back-to-back against Cadet World bronze medalist Giorgi GEGELASHVILI (GEO). McHenry notched a gritty 5-4 win over Cadet World bronze medalist Magomed ABDURAKHMANOV (RUS) in the 46kg semifinals.

The 54kg final features Cadet Asian silver medalist Mehdi Akhbar ESHGHIVASOUKOLAEI (IRI) and Kanata YAMAGUCHI (JPN). Eshghivasoukolaei topped Cadet Pan American champion Roberto ALEJANDRO BLANCO (MEX) 9-0 in his semifinal. Yamaguchi won 8-2 over Himanshu KUMAR (IND) on the opposite side.

In a slight change of schedule from previous days, the action will begin at 15:30 on Sunday on Greece with the remaining repechage matches. The medal round is scheduled to begin at 17:00.

A live stream of the Cadet World Championships, in addition to schedule, brackets and results, are being provided on the United World Wrestling event page.

Freestyle Finals (42-50-58-69-85kg)

42kg (19 entries)

Gold – Alihasan AMIRLI (AZE) df. Umidjon JALOLOV (UZB) by VPO, 1-0

Bronze – Giorgi TCHOLADZE (GEO) df. Yusuf ERYUCEL (TUR) by VSU, 10-0

Bronze – Kaisei TANABE (JPN) df. Cole Nickolas SKINNER II (USA) by VPO1, 0-0


50kg (26 entries)

Gold – Fedor BALTUEV (RUS) df. Mahir MAMMADZADA (AZE) by VPO1, 9-7

Bronze – Akbar KURBANOV (KAZ) df. Niklas STECHELE (GER) by VPO1, 5-3

Bronze – Farrukh SHARIPOV (UZB) df. Dogan KARA (TUR) by VPO1, 9-4


58kg (27 entries)

Gold – Ryuto SAKAKI (JPN) df. Turan BAYRAMOV (AZE) by VPO1, 3-2

Bronze – Cavit ACAR (TUR) df. Talgat TYNCHTYKBEKOV (KGZ) by VPO1, 14-6

Bronze – Georgios PILIDIS (GRE) df. Rahul RAHUL (IND) by VFA, 6-1


69kg (23 entries)

Gold – William LEWAN (USA) df. Daud IBRAGIMOV (AZE) by VPO1, 3-1

Bronze – Soslanbek BUDAEV (RUS) df. Umur AYBEY (TUR) by VPO1, 5-4

Bronze – Mohammad Ashghar NOKHODILARIMI (IRI) df. Masaki SATO (JPN) by VPO1, 5-2


85kg (23 entries)

Gold – Alan BAGAEV (RUS) df. Abbas Ali FOROUTANRAMI (IRI) by VPO1, 1-1

Bronze – Gavin HOFFMAN (USA) df. Sandeep Singh MANN (IND) by VPO1, 7-2

Bronze – Danylo STASIUK (UKR) df. Mukhammadrasul RAKHIMOV (UZB) by VPO1, 6-4


Freestyle Results (46-54-63-76-100kg)

46kg (19 entries)



Semifinal – Giorgi GEGELASHVILI (GEO) df. Adlan ASKAROV (KAZ) by VPO1, 10-6

Semifinal – Kurt MCHENRY (USA) df. Magomed ABDURAKHMANOV (RUS) by VPO1, 5-4


54kg (24 entries)



Semifinal – Kanata YAMAGUCHI (JPN) df. Himanshu KUMAR (IND) by VPO1, 8-2

Semifinal – Mehdi Akhbar ESHGHIVASOUKOLAEI (IRI) df. Roberto ALEJANDRO BLANCO (MEX) by VPO, 9-0


63kg (27 entries)

Gold – Inar KETIIA (RUS) vs. Kenshin ITO (JPN)


Semifinal – Inar KETIIA (RUS) df. Khadzhimurad GADZHIYEV (AZE) by VPO, 4-0

Semifinal – Kenshin ITO (JPN) df. Jacori TEEMER (USA) by VPO1, 3-3


76kg (25 entries)

Gold – Arsamag KHOSTIKOEV (RUS) vs. Aaron BROOKS (USA)


Semifinal – Arsamag KHOSTIKOEV (RUS) df. Piotr CARASENI (MDA) by VSU1, 12-2

Semifinal – Aaron BROOKS (USA) df. Meysam Enayatollah ZAREE (IRI) by VSU1, 12-1 


100kg (22 entries)

Gold – Ismail-Bek NIROV (RUS) vs. Daniel KERKVLIET (USA)


Semifinal – Ismail-Bek NIROV (RUS) df. Seyedmehdi Seyedabasali HASHEMIJOUYBARI (IRI) by VPO1, 5-3

Semifinal – Daniel KERKVLIET (USA) df. Zyyamuhammet SAPAROV (TKM) by VSU1, 12-2