Takhti Cup

Olympic, World Medalists to Compete at Takhti Cup

By Ali Feiz

The southern port of Iran, Mahshahr, hosts the 38th Takhti Cup International Greco-Roman Wrestling Tournament. on Thursday and Friday. Thirteen countries are expected to participate in the event. 

The tournament is the first UWW ranking series event in Greco-Roman and best wrestlers will earn points for UWW ranking as follows:

1st place: 8 points
2nd place: 6 points
3rd place: 4 points
5th place: 2 points

Several Olympic and world medalists are expected to compete.

55kg: Former junior world champions in lightweight

The 55kg weight class is back in Greco-Roman. Many of the 59kg wrestlers have decided to move up to 60kg. At the Takhti Cup, two former junior world champions are among the favorites.

2014 junior world and European champion Ibrahim NURULLAEV(AZE) and former junior and cadet world champion Reza KHEDRI (IRI) are main rivals at 55kg. 

60kg: Olympic champion Borrero again on mat

Olympic and world champion Ismael Borrero Molina (CUB) competes at 60kg after a one-year break. He didn’t compete in Paris and Takhti Cup will be his first test under the new rules.

But Borrero has a tough rival as 2017 world silver medalist Meirambek AINAGULOV (KAZ) is expected to compete in Mahshahr.

U-23 world bronze medalist Sakit GULIYEV (AZE), former junior world champion Murat BAZAROV (AZE) and Iranian world team member Mehrdad MARDANI (IRI) are other wrestlers who could challenge for medals. 

63kg: New weight class

After increasing the weight categories to ten, 63kg will be a new weight category. Former junior world champion Serif KILIC (TUR) will compete against Iranians Mohammad NOURBAKHSH and Mostafa KAEIDKHORDEH for the title.

67kg: Kebispayev, Yueksel headline weight class

Three-time world medalist Almat KEBISPAYEV (KAZ) and Atakan YUEKSEL (TUR), a 2017 world bronze medalist, are the most credentialed wrestlers at 67kg, but several others could figure into the mix, including three-time European bronze medalist Kamran MAMMADOV (AZE), 2017 European bronze medalist Goga GOGIBERASHVILI (GEO) and Mohammad ELYASI (IRI), who placed fifth in Paris.

72kg: Zhadrayev, Byabangard among favorites

Demeu ZHADRAYEV (KAZ), who captured silver medal in Paris, will be a top contender in this weight class, but keep an eye one Afshin BYABANGARD (IRI), a 2014 world bronze medalist and 2016 Asian champion.

77kg: Both young, experienced wrestlers look to contend

Mohammadali GERAEI, a 2017 world bronze medalist at 71 kg, 2017 U-23 world champion Fatih CENGIZ (TUR) and 2016 Junior world champion Tamerlan SHADUKAEV (KAZ) are three young wrestlers expected to contend.  Experienced wrestlers to watch include former world champion Hasan ALIYEV (AZE), 2017 Asian champion Maksat YEREZHEPOV (KAZ) and world bronze medalist Emrah KUS (TUR).

82kg: Akbudak, Ghaderianm Huseynov in action

2015 world bronze medalist and former Asian champion Yousef GHADERIAN (IRI) is the best wrestler of the host country to win a gold medal. Other wrestlers to watch include Burhan AKBUDAK (TUR) and former European champion Rafik HUSEYNOV (AZE).

87kg: World champion experiences new rules

2017 world champion Metehan BASAR (TUR) will get a taste of the new rules, while U-23 world bronze medalist Islam ABASOV (AZE) will look to make his mark at the senior level. Two-time world junior medalist Arman ALIZADEH is the best wrestler of the host country at 87kg.

97kg: Olympic medalist vs. U-23 European champion

The most well-known wrestler at 97kg will be Cenk ILDEM (TUR), who took a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympic Games. Former junior world champion and U-23 European champion Orkhan NURIYEV (AZE) is also a strong contender in this weight class. 

130kg: Heavyweight surrounded by Iranians

The best heavyweight wrestlers in Iran step on the mat at the Takhti Cup. Two-time Asian champion Behnam MEHDIZADEH and Iran world team member Shahab GHOUREHJILI are top competitors at heavyweight. These two wrestlers battled for a spot in Paris, and Ghourehjili came out on top.

New rules at Takhti Cup

After announcement of new rules by UWW, Takhti Cup will be the first tournament with these rules.

 Key points with Greco-Roman rule modifications:

•    All cautions are worth 1 point.
•    Standing wrestling is principle element in Greco-Roman wrestling.
•    Interruption due to passivity is limited.
•    Ordered bottom wrestling only if wrestlers are nearly equal in standing.
•    Only one ordered bottom wrestling per period.
•    New way of ordered bottom wrestling (lying on the stomach).
•    Negative wrestling is prevented immediately.
•    Passivity is confirmed by the mat chairman, along with falls and cautions.

Schedule

Thursday, Jan. 25
Qualification rounds until semifinals for all weight categories

Friday, Jan. 26:
Repechage and final matches

Roster of the teams in Takhti Cup

Cuba
60kg- Ismael BORRERO MOLINA
77kg- Luis Enrique GUTIERREZ GOMEZ
82kg- Antonio DURAN ROBLES

Azerbaijan
55kg- Ziyad  ZEYNALOV – Ibrahim NURULLAEV
60kg- Sakit GULIYEV - Murat BAZAROV 
63kg- Taleh MAMMADOV
67kg- Kamran MAMMADOV
72kg- Ulvi GANIZADE - Sanan SULEYMANOV
77kg- Hasan ALIYEV - Nasir HASANOV
82kg- Rafik HUSEYNOV
87kg- Islam ABASOV
97kg- Turman EYYUBOV - Orkhan NURIYEV
130kg- No wrestler

Turkey
55kg- No wrestler
60kg- Abdurrahman ALTAN – Ahmet UYAR
63kg- Serif KILIC
67kg- Atakan YUEKSEL – Enes BASAR – Murat FIRAT
72kg- Cengiz ARSALAN – Murat DAG
77kg- Emrah KUS – Fatih CENGIZ – Serkan AKKOYUN
82kg- Burhan AKBUDAK
87kg-Metehan BASAR
97kg- Cenk ILDEM – Ebrahim TIGCI – Abdul Kadir CEBI - serkan OZDEN
130kg- Osman YILDIRIM

Iran
55kg- Reza KHEDRI – Moslem NADERI KHADEM – Hamidreza KHAMESI
60kg- Mehrdad MARDANI – Shirzad BEHESHTI TALA – Meysam DELKHANI
63kg- Mohammad NOURBAKHSH – Mostafa KAEIDKHORDEH – Reza ABBASI
67kg- Mohammad ELYASI – Hossein ASADI – Mohammadreza GERAEI
72kg- Farshad BELFEKE – Afshin BYABANGARD – Mohammad HOSSEINI
77kg- Pejman PASHTAM – Broumand ASLAN – Mohammadali GERAEI
82kg- Yousef GHADERIAN – Mehdi EBRAHIMI – Keyvan REZAEI
87kg- Saman AZIZI – Behrouz HEDAYAT – Arman ALIZADEH
97kg- Amir Hossein HOSSEINI – Ali Akbar HEYDARI – Mohammad YEGANEH
130kg- Behnam MEHDIZADEH – Shahab GHOUREHJILI – Abolfazl NAJAFI

Kirgizstan
55kg- Zholaman SHARSHENBEKOV
60kg- Kanybek JOLCHUBEKOV – Rustam TEIISHOV
63kg- Kaly SULAIMANOV – Urmatbek AMATOV 
67kg- Roman TSAREV
72kg- NURGAZY ASANGULOV
77kg-  Esen ASANOV - Kairatbek TUGOLBAEV
82kg-Atabek AZISBEKOV 
87kg- Samat SHIRDAKOV
97kg- Uzur DZHUZUPBEKOV
130kg- No wrestler

Georgia
55kg- Kakha IREMADZE – Bachana PUTKARADZE
60kg- Lasha MARIAMIDZE – Irakli DZIMISTARISHVILI
63kg- Khvicha TCHITAVA
67kg- Goga GOGIBERASHVILI – Joni KHETSURIANI
72kg-Giorgi KHUTCHUA
77kg- Bakuri GOGOLI
82kg- Aivengo RIKADZE – Rudolph OGANEZOV
87kg- Giorgi KATSANASHVILI – Gurami KHETSURIANI
97kg- Valerian MURVANIDZE
130kg- No wrestler

Kazakhstan
55kg- Amangali BEKBOLATOV - Bauyrzhan SADVOKASSOV – Khorlan ZHAKANSHA 
60kg- Meirambek AINAGULOV- Aidos SULTANGALI - Baglan ZHAKANSHA - Dastan ZARLYKHANOV
63kg- Kudaibergen TURSYNOV
67kg- Daniar KALENOV- Almat KEBISPAYEV - Meirzhan SHERMAKHANBET
72kg- Demeu ZHADRAYEV - Abylaikhan AMZEEV - Ibragim MAGOMADOV
77kg- Maksat YEREZHEPOV - Tamerlan SHADUKAEV
82kg- No wrestler
87kg- Azamat KUSTUBAEV - Khussein MUTSOLGOV
97kg-Yerulan ISKAKOV - Olzhas SYRLYBAI
130kg- Anton SAVENKO  

Bulgaria
60kg- Avgustin SPASOV
67kg- Deyvid DIMITROV 
72kg- Stoyan KUBATOV
82kg- Daniel ALEKSANDROV
87kg-Tarek ABDELSLAM

Tajikistan
60kg- Khasan SUFIEV
67kg- Azizbeki SHARIFZODA 
72kg- Loiqi AMIRKHONZODA - Suhrob HOJIEV
82kg- Sukhrob ABDULKHAEV 
97kg- Mirzo SAFAROV - Khabibullah ABDULLOEV
130kg- Sukhroj AZIZOV 

Ukraine
55kg- Viktor PETRIK 
67kg- Vitali FUGLAEV - Fevzi MAMUTOV- Dmitri KOSENOK
72kg- Artur POLITAEV 
82kg- Yaroslav FILCHAKOV
87kg- Yuri SKRYUBA 
97kg- Evgeni SAVETA
130kg- Nikolai KUCHMIY 

Romania
55kg- Florin TITA
87kg-Nicu Samuel OJOG 
97kg- Dorin Constantin PIRVAN
130kg- Alin ALEXUC- CIURARIU 

Finland
87kg- Rami HIETANIEMI  - Vili ROPPONEN
130kg- Tuomas LAHTI
Other wrestlers:
Jarno ALANDER
Nabard SIDIK ALI

Italy
60kg- Jacopo SANDRON
67kg- Davide CASCAVILLA
77kg- Luca DARIOZZI
82kg- Simone FIDELBO
97kg- Luca GODINO