Lorincz Wins Third RS Gold of the Year; Kim Locks up No.1 Seed
Thursday, May 23, 2019 - 20:39 By Eric Olanowski
SASSARI, Italy (May 23) – Hungary's Viktor LORINCZ won his third Ranking Series gold medal of the year, while Korea's Olympic champion KIM Hyeonwoo locked up the No. 1 seed at the World Championships after winning the 77kg Greco-Roman gold medal at the Sassari City Matteo Pellicone Memorial on the Italian island of Sardinia.
Lorinz continued to further assert himself into the discussion as one of the most dominant Greco-Roman wrestlers in the world right now. Lorinz picked up four wins on Thursday, including a convincing 5-1 victory over Turkey's Dogan GOKTAS in the gold-medal match. The one point Lorinz conceded against Gorktas was the lone point the Hungarian surrendered through his four matches on the day.
With his four victories on Thursday, Lorinz improved his 2019 record to 13-0. Maybe more impressive, in those 13 matches this season, Lorinz has pitched eight shutouts and outscored his opponents 76-9.
Lorinz entered the tournament as the fifth-ranked wrestler in the world at 87kg but leaped Azerbaijan's Islam ABBASOV for the fourth spot with his 52 points. The Hungarian now has the world's top-ranking in his sights, as he sits 10 points behind first-ranked Zhan BELENIUK (UKR).
KIM Hyeonwoo locked up the No. 1 seed at the World Championships after winning the 77kg Greco-Roman gold medal. (Photo: Gabor Martin)
Another wrestler who has the resume to be considered one of the top Greco-Roman wrestlers in the world right now is Korea's London Olympic champion Kim Hyeonwoo. After a pair of Ranking Series bronze-medal finishes earlier this season, and his title-winning performance three weeks ago the Asian Championships in Xi'an, China, Kim reached the top of the podium in Sardinia on Thursday.
The Korean title-winning efforts cemented him the No. 1 seed at the World Championships. Kim, who had a ten point lead over Serbia's Viktor NEMES coming into the Sassari, grabbed 18 additional points and extended his lead to 26 points heading into the final Greco-Roman Ranking Series event of the year, the Oleg Karavaev (July 26-28).
En route to Thursday's gold, Kim kicked off his day off with an impressive 8-0 destruction of returning world runner-up Tamas LORINCZ (HUN). He followed that up with a 10-2 technical superiority win over Roman ZHERNOVETSKI (ISR), which set up the gold-medal match against Hungary's Zotlan LEVAI (HUN).
In the finals, Kim defensively threw Levai to his back and picked up four points while stuck in a Russian tie -- but that's not how the Hungarian corner saw it. Levai's coaches disagreed with the call on the mat and threw in the challenge brick. The challenge failed and gave Kim the 5-0 lead, and ultimately the match after a scoreless second period.
Osman YILDIRIM (TUR) defeated Balint LAM, 3-0 to win the 130kg gold medal. (Photo: Gabor Martin)
Turkey Wins Team Title WIth Three Champions
Turkey finished atop the team leaderboard that featured 18 other nations.
The Turkish squad inserted six into Thursday night's finals and walked away with three titles – which was good enough to push them 56 points ahead of second place Hungary.
Turkey's trio of champions was Hakan CANKAYA (55kg), Mehmet CEKER (63kg), and Osman YILDIRIM (130kg).
In the 63kg gold-medal bout, Mehmet Ceker used a spectacular throw in the closing seconds to erase a four-point deficit and steal the gold medal from Erik TORBA (HUN).
Ceker broke the ice in the first period with a stepout and led 1-0, but surrendered four unanswered points and trailed 4-1 heading into the final 15 seconds of the bout. In the closing seconds, the Turkish wrestler left his feet in what looked like a "flying squirrel" attempt, desperately trying to reach for a front headlock. With his feet dangling in the air, Ceker locked around Torba's body and tossed the Hungarian with a reverse lift. Though the mat official asked for five points, only four were awarded, and Ceker grabbed the one-point win as time expired.
Osman Yildirm, the heir apparent to nine-time European champion Riza KAYAALP (TUR), grabbed the 130kg title, scoring three one-point moves against Hungary's Balint LAM.
In the 55kg round-robin competition, Hakan Cankaya came out on top of a bracket where the trio of wrestlers went 1-1, but each gave up a fall in their losing efforts. Cankaya snuck past Giovanni FRENI (ITA) and Murat CANKAYA (TUR) on classification points after canning the Italian in the opening round and falling to his fellow Turkish teammate by technical superiority.
KIM Seunghak (KOR) was one of two Korean wrestlers who won a gold medal on the first day of wrestling in Sardinia. (Photo: Gabor Martin)
Kim Moves up to No. 2 After Winning His Second Ranking Series Title
KIM Seunghak (KOR) blanked Ahmet UYAR (TUR), 5-0 in the 60kg and claimed his second Ranking Series title of the year. His first Ranking Series title came in Gyor, Hungary, at the Hungarian Grand Prix. He also received points from a fifth-place finish at the Zagreb Open, where he lost to Croatia's Ivan LIZATOVIC, 4-3 in the bronze medal bout.
In the finals, Kim carried the 5-0 lead into the second after scoring a four-point throw and an inactivity point. After a scoreless second period, Kim walked away with the gold, 5-0.
Kim enters the final Ranking Series event as the second-ranked wrestler in the world with 46 points. He sits 14 points behind European champion Victor CIOBANU (MDA).
Adam KURAK (RUS) shutout world runner-up Balint KORPASI (HUN), 3-0 in the 72kg gold-medal bout. (Photo: Gabor Martin)
Akhmedov and Kurak Give Russia Pair of Sassari Titles
Russia's Azamat AKHMEDOV (67kg) and Adam KURAK (72kg) made sure the defending Greco-Roman world champions didn't go home without a gold medal.
To win his second Ranking Series title, Akmedov stopped Turkey's Haci KARAKUS, 7-1.
The Russian fell behind 1-0 after giving up an inactivity point in the first 90 second - but he stopped a gut wrench attempt and fell into a pair of front-head pinches to take the 4-1 lead. Akhmedov closed the match out with a stepout, followed by a takedown, and reached the top of the podium for the first time since winning the Haparanda Cup back in 2017.
In a rematch from last year's European Championships, Adam Kurak again came out on top against 2018 world runner-up Balint KORPASI (HUN). This time, it was with a 72kg gold medal on the line. In a somewhat one-sided match, Kurak, the 2018 European champion, picked up a takedown and an inactivity point, and shutout the third-ranked wrestler in the world, 3-0.
Nikoloz KAKHELASHVILI (ITA) gave the host nation their long gold medal with a 5-0 win over Tracy Gangelo HANCOCK (USA) in the 97kg finals. (Photo: Gabor Martin)
Italy and India With Solo Gold Medalist
The host nation of Italy and Indian each had a wrestler win gold on the opening day of wrestling at the Sassari City Matteo Pellicone Memorial. Italy's Nikoloz KAKHELASHVILI won the 97kg gold medal, while India's Gurpreet SINGH was the top man of the 82kg bracket.
In the 97kg finals, Kakhelashvili closed out his day with a 5-0 shutout win over No. 3-ranked Tracy Gangelo HANCOCK (USA). The Italian picked up three one-point scores (inactivity, stepout, and a failed challenge) and two points from a guy wrench to win, 5-0.
At 82kg, Gurpreet Singh and Burhan AKBUDAK (TUR) traded takedowns in the first period – but the Indian wrestler trailed on criteria heading into the closing period. In the second period, Singh scored a pair of takedowns, one of which he tacked on an additional point for after the Turkish corner threw in the challenge brick, and ultimately won the bout, 7-2.
Wrestling resumes tomorrow at 10:00 and can be followed live on www.unitedworldwrestling.org.
GOLD - Turkey (184 points)
SILVER - Hungary (124 points)
BRONZE - Korea (104 points)
GOLD – Hakan Murat CANKAYA (TUR)
SILVER – Giovanni FRENI (ITA)
BRONZE – Dogus AYAZCI (TUR)
GOLD - Seunghak KIM (KOR) df. Ahmet UYAR (TUR), 5-0
BRONZE - Gyanender GYANENDER (IND) df. Florin TITA (ROU), 9-0
BRONZE - Jacopo SANDRON (ITA) df. Latuf MADI (FRA), 2-1
GOLD – Mehmet CEKER (TUR) df. Erik TORBA (HUN), 5-4
BRONZE – Kadir KAMAL (TUR) df. Kyunghoon KIM (KOR), 2-0
BRONZE – Andres Roberto MONTANO ARROYO (ECU) df. Eunbin KIM (KOR), 8-4
GOLD – Azamat AKHMEDOV (RUS) df. Haci KARAKUS (TUR), 7-1
BRONZE – Hansu RYU (KOR) df. Yasin OZAY (FRA), 9-1
BRONZE – Mihai Radu MIHUT (ROU) df. Mamadassa SYLLA (FRA), 2-1
72kg (Single bronze)
GOLD – Adam KURAK (RUS) df. Balint KORPASI (HUN), 3-0
BRONZE – Selcuk CAN (TUR) df. Ahmet YILMAZ (TUR), 3-1
GOLD – KIM Hyeonwoo (KOR) df. Zotlan LEVAI (HUN), 5-0
BRONZE – Georgios PREVOLARAKIS (GRE) df. Gil NUGUES (FRA), 10-0
BRONZE – Tamas LORINCZ (HUN) df. Roman ZHERNOVETSKI (ISR), 7-0
82kg (Single bronze)
GOLD – Gurpreet SINGH (IND) df. Burhan AKBUDAK (TUR), 7-2
BRONZE – George Vlad MARIEA (ROU) df. Matteo MAFFEZZOLI (ITA), 4-3
GOLD – Viktor LORINCZ (HUN) df. Dogan GOKTAS (TUR), 5-1
BRONZE – Erik SZILVASSY (HUN) df. Singh HARPREET (IND), 8-0
BRONZE – Gadzhimurad DZHALALOV (RUS) df. Ramon Rainer BETSCHART (SUI), 3-1
GOLD – Nikoloz KAKHELASHVILI (ITA) df. Tracy Gangelo HANCOCK (USA), 5-0
BRONZE – Balazs KISS (HUN) df. Armen GRIGORYAN (RUS), 2-0
BRONZE – Mihail KAJALA (SRB) df. Daigoro TIMONCINI (ITA), 3-1
GOLD – Osman YILDIRIM (TUR) df. Balint LAM (HUN), 3-0
BRONZE – Minseok KIM (KOR) df. Constantin HUTULEAC (ROU), 2-1
BRONZE – Yongmin KIM (KOR) vs. Lenard Istvan BEREI (ROU), via DSQ