Georgia and Turkey Set to Clash in Two U23 Euro C'ship Greco-Roman Gold-Medal Bouts

By Eric Olanowski

ISTANBUL, Turkey (June 4) – Georgia and Turkey secured four of the ten possible spots in Tuesday night’s U23 European Championship Greco-Roman finals and will meet in the 55kg and 130kg gold-medal bouts. 

The day two finals are headlined by the 2016 Junior World Championship gold medal rematch between the five-time age-level world champion and last year’s U23 world runner-up, Zviadi PATARIDZE (GEO) and defending U23 European champion, Osman YILDIRIM (TUR).

The Georgian wrestler locked up his spot in the finals after snagging his second superiority victory of the day with an 18-second routing of Constantin HUTULEAC (ROU) in the 130kg semifinals. 

He’ll take on Osman YILDIRIM (TUR) who finished the day with a 5-3 semifinal comeback win over Oskar MARVIK (NOR). 

Ekrem OZTURK (TUR) picks up a four-point throw in the semifinals. (Photo by Martin Gabor) 

The second Georgia and Turkey match-up comes at 55kg where Ekrem OZTURK (TUR) will meet 2015 junior world runner-up, Nugzari TSURTSUMIA (GEO). 

In addition, six other nations also pushed wrestlers through to Tuesday's Greco-Roman finals. 

The 63kg gold-medal bout will feature 2018 European champion Mihai Radu MIHUT (ROU) and Alexandru BICIU (MDA) who secured his first finals appearance spot since 2013 with a fall via headlock over Slavik GALSTYAN (ARM) in the semifinals. 

Rajbek BISULTANOV (DEN) gets his hand raised after defeating Fatih CENGIZ (TUR), 7 - 3 to make the 77kg finals. (Photo by Martin Gabor)

At 77kg, Rajbek BISULTANOV (DEN) will take on Russia’s Ismail SAIDKHASANOV. 

In the semifinals, Bisultanov took the early lead on Fatih CENGIZ (TUR) with a four-point arm spin. Shortly after, Bisultanov was dinged for passivity and placed in the par terre position when he secured the reversal and picked up the fall. 

Saidkhasanov’s takedown, two gut wrenches, and passivity point gave him the commanding 7-1 win over Antonio KAMENJASEVIC (CRO). 

Islam ABBASOV (AZE), U23 European finalist. (Photo by Martin Gabor)

Islam ABBASOV (AZE) the two-time age-level world champion and U23 world bronze medalist will wrestle the 2016 junior Euro bronze medalist Ivan HUKLEK (CRO) in the 87kg gold-medal match. 

Abbasov outscored his three opponents 29-6 in his trio of day one matches, including a smothering 7-1 victory over Dariusz VITEK (HUN) in the semifinals. 

Hulek came back from a four-point deficit to defeat Anton KURS (BLR), 9-6 to earn his spot in the 87kg championship bout.

Big Move from Day 1 of the U23 Senior European C'ships #Istanbul2018 !

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RESULTS
55kg 
GOLD - Nugzari TSURTSUMIA (GEO) v. Ekrem OZTURK (TUR)

SEMIFINAL - Nugzari TSURTSUMIA (GEO) df. Norayr HAKHOYAN (ARM), 9-0
SEMIFINAL - Ekrem OZTURK (TUR) df. Florin TITA (ROU), 8-0 

63kg
GOLD - Mihai Radu MIHUT (ROU) v. Alexandru BICIU (MDA)

SEMIFINAL - Mihai MIHUT (ROU) df. Leri ABULADZE (GEO), 9-6
SEMIFINAL - Alexandru BICIU (MDA) df. Slavik GALSTYAN (ARM), via fall. 

77kg
GOLD - Rajbek BISULTANOV (DEN) v. Ismail SAIDKHASANOV (RUS)

SEMIFINAL - Ismail SAIDKHASANOV (RUS)  df. Antonio KAMENJASEVIC (CRO), 7-1 
SEMIFINAL - Rajbek BISULTANOV (DEN) df. Fatih CENGIZ (TUR), via fall. 

87kg
GOLD - Ivan HUKLEK (CRO) v. Islam ABBASOV (AZE)

SEMIFINAL - Islam ABBASOV (AZE) df. Dariusz Attila VITEK (HUN), 7-1
SEMIFINAL - Ivan HUKLEK (CRO) df. Anton KURS (BLR), 9-6 

130kg
GOLD - Osman YILDIRIM (TUR) v. Zviadi PATARIDZE (GEO)

SEMIFINAL - Osman YILDIRIM (TUR) df. Oskar MARVIK (NOR), 5-3
SEMIFINAL - Zviadi PATARIDZE (GEO) df. Constantin HUTULEAC (ROU), 8-0