European Games

Maryanyan, Chekhirkin Headline Greco Semifinalists at European Games

By United World Wrestling Press

MINSK, Belarus (June 28) - A pair of returning world champions for Russia were among the dozen wrestlers to reach the semifinals on the opening day of Greco-Roman competition at the European Games in Minsk, Belarus.

Russian wrestlers Stepan MARYANYAN (60kg) and Aleksandr CHEKHIRKIN (77kg), world champions in Budapest, advanced to tonight's semifinals in Greco-Roman. 

Maryanyan, a European Games champion in 2015, faced some stiff competition in the opening session. In his first match, he wrestled returning world silver medalist and European champion Victor CIOBANU (MDA). The 27-year-old Russian proved to be too much for Ciobanu as he picked up a 9-1 technical superiority in the first period. 

Next up for Maryanyan was two-time junior world champion Kerem KAMAL (TUR). Maryanyan grinded out a 5-2 victory over Kamal. Tonight in the semifinals he will face Zhora ABOVIAN (UKR), who defeated 2013 world champion Ivo ANGELOV (BUL) in the quarterfinals.  Dato CHKHARTISHVILI (GEO), a 2016 junior world champion, will battle Erik TORBA (HUN) in the other semifinal at 60kg.

Chekhirkin was pushed in his first match against Daniel ALEKSANDROV (BUL), but prevailed 3-3 on criteria. He then shut out world No. 8 Alex KESSIDIS (SWE) 6-0 I the quarterfinals. Chekhirkin faces Yunus BASAR (TUR) in the 77kg semifinals.

Tamas LORINCZ (HUN), a 2012 Olympic silver medalist and three-time world medalist, reached the semifinals at 77kg with a 10-2 technical superiority in his first match followed by a 3-1 quarterfinal win over Pavel LIAKH (BLR).

At 67kg, Shmagi BOLKVADZE (GEO), a U23 world champion and junior world champion, earned his spot in the semifinals with a 2-0 win in the quarterfinals over world No.7 Mate NEMES (SRB). He meets Karen ASLANYAN (ARM), a gold medalist at the Henri Deglane Challenge, in the semifinals. 

Zaur KABALOEV (RUS) edged Soslan DAUROV (BLR) on criteria to reach the semifinals at 67kg, where he will face Oleksii KALINICHENKO (UKR).

Russia has the most semifinalists on Friday with three. Ukraine, Hungary, Georgia and Armenia all have a pair of semifinalists, while Turkey has one. 





Yunus BASAR (TUR) vs. Aleksandr CHEKHIRKIN (RUS) 
Tamas LORINCZ (HUN) vs. Karapet CHALYAN (ARM)

European Games

Olympic Champions Attract Gold, Attention at 2nd European Games in Minsk

By Tim Foley

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach and UWW President Nenad Lalovic, along with members of the UWW Bureau, take in the action at the European Games on Sunday in Minsk, Belarus.

MINSK, Belarus (July 1) – The second European Games attracted the best athletes from the continent, and nowhere was that clearer than the wrestling mats where a number of defending Olympic champions and medalists came to Minsk in search of a Euro Games gold.

Perhaps no star shone brighter than Olympic champion Abdulrashid SADUALEV (RUS) the defending 97kg world champion and 86kg Olympic champion from Rio 2016. Arguably the sport’s most recognizable name, the athletic Sadulaev cruised to a 97kg Europeans Games title on day three, upending Azerbaijan’s Nurmagomed GADZHIYEV (AZE).

In addition to their on-the-mat dominance, wrestling’s stars also attracted off-the-mat dignitaries. IOC president Thomas Bach was in attendance Sunday night as 2016 Olympic champion Artur ALEKSANYAN (ARM) lifted and tossed his way to his first European Games title at 97kg in Greco-Roman. The 27-year-old Armenian shut out local favorite Aliaksandr HRABOVIK (BLR) 5-0 in the gold-medal match.

Olympic bronze medalist, and recent mother, Sofia Mattsson, made a splash in her return to the mats winning her second European Games gold medal at 53kg in women’s wrestling, defeating Yulia KHAVALDZHY (UKR), 6-4.

Belarus experienced a brief gold rush on the competitions fourth day nabbing a pair of gold medals with Iryna KURACHKINA (BLR) upedned Mimi HRISTOVA (BUL), 10-0 at 57kg and Olympic bronze medalist Vasilisa MARZALIUK (BLR) dominated Francy RAEDELT (GER), 9-0 at 76kg.

The United World Wrestling calendar continues July 12-14 with the Yasar Dogu Ranking Series tournament in Istanbul. The tournament will be the last Ranking Series event of the year in freestyle and women’s wrestling.