BUDAPEST (December 10) – Logan STIEBER (USA) snared a pair of wins with last-second takedowns Saturday to advance to the 61kg freestyle final at the world championships for weight categories not contested at this summer’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Stieber stunned two-time Ali Aliev tournament winner Akhmed CHAKAEV (RUS) with eight seconds remaining in their quarterfinal bout for a 13-11 victory, then pulled another rabbit out of his hat – with one tick left on the clock – for a 9-8 triumph over two-time Asian silver medalist Behnam EHSANPOOR (IRI).
Stieber, making his debut at the senior world championships, squares off with 2015 European Games silver medalist Beka LOMTADZE (GEO), who finished in seventh place at the 2015 world championships in Las Vegas.
Lomtadze also had to rally in the second period of the semifinals with a series of turns from the chestlock position to defeat Golden Grand Prix Final winner Akhmednabi GVARZATILOV (AZE), 12-11.
In women’s wrestling, Irina OLOGONOVA (RUS) notched three of her four wins by technical fall to advance to the world championships final for the third year in a row.
Ologonova, who won her first European crown in March, will be seeking her first world title when she squares off with junior world champion Mayu MUKAIDA (JPN) in the women’s 55kg final. Mukaida owns a 5-1 win over the Russian at the Klippan Open in February.
Balint KORPASI (HUN), another European Games silver medalist, hammered his way into the Greco-Roman final at 71kg with a pair of technical falls, including an 8-0 win over Ilie COJOCARI (ROU) in the semifinals.
Korpasi will meet former European under-23 champion Daniel CATARAGA (MDA), ran over two former world medalists to reach the final. Cataraga defeated 2015 world bronze medalist Adam KURAK (RUS), 6-0, in the semifinals and then wore out 2010 world champ Hasan ALIYEV (AZE) for a 3-3 win in the semifinals.
With the win, Cataraga became Moldova’s first world championships finalist in Greco-Roman since 1995, when Sergej MURIEKO (MDA) took a silver medal at the world championships in Prague.
Cataraga also has a chance to become only the second wrestling world champion for Moldova, following the freestyle title at 82kg won by Lukman DSHABRAILOW (MDA) at the 1994 world championships in Istanbul.
Semifinal results and pairings for medal matches Saturday evening:
Freestyle 61kg (22 entries)
Gold – Logan STIEBER (USA) v Beka LOMTADZE (GEO)
Bronze – Akhmed CHAKAEV (RUS) v Behnam EHSANPOOR (IRI)
Bronze – Youri SIEMAKIN (FRA) v Akhmednabi GVARZATILOV (AZE)
Semifinal – Logan STIEBER (USA) df. Behnam EHSANPOOR (IRI), 9-8
Semifinal – Beka LOMTADZE (GEO) df. Akhmednabi GVARZATILOV (AZE), 12-11
Greco-Roman 71kg (29 entries)
Gold – Daniel CATARAGA (MDA) v Balint KORPASI (HUN)
Bronze – Adam KURAK (RUS) v Hasan ALIYEV (AZE)
Bronze – Aleksandar MAKSIMOVIC (SRB) v Ilie COJOCARI (ROU)
Semifinal – Daniel CATARAGA (MDA) df. Hasan ALIYEV (AZE), 3-3
Semifinal – Balint KORPASI (HUN) df. Ilie COJOCARI (ROU) by TF, 8-0, 2:37
Women’s Wrestling 55kg (17 entries)
Gold – Mayu MUKAIDA (JPN) v Irina OLOGONOVA (RUS)
Bronze – Ramona GALAMBOS (HUN) v Aiym ABDILDINA (KAZ)
Bronze – DAVAASUKH Otgontsetseg (MGL) v Katsiaryna HANCHAR (BLR)
Semifinal – Mayu MUKAIDA (JPN) df. Aiym ABDILDINA (KAZ) by TF, 10-0, 4:38
Semifinal – Irina OLOGONOVA (RUS) df. Katsiaryna HANCHAR (BLR) by TF, 12-2, 4:30