Riesterer’s Road to Dethrone World Champ Susaki

By Eric Olanowski

TRNAVA, Slovakia (September 20) - On Thursday night, Ellen RIESTERER will try to become the first German women to win a junior world gold medal since Anita Schaetzle reached the top of the podium back in 2001. 

To do so, she’ll have to dethrone reigning senior-level world champion, Yui SUSAKI (JPN). Susaki, who is wrestling for the first time on the junior circuit is a three-time cadet world champion and last year's senior-level world champion. The Japanese superstar has never lost to a non-Japanese opponent.

“Yui Susaki is one of the best wrestlers in the world, but she’s only 19-years-old, and I have to remember that,” Riesterer said. “She doesn’t make a lot of mistakes, but maybe she’ll make one or two mistakes that I can use in my favor.” 

Riesterer is trying to get Germany back to their winning ways after dropping four straight gold-medal matches at the junior world championships. For that to happen, Riesterer, the European bronze medalist has to focus on listening to her coaches in the 50kg gold-medal bout.

Ellen RIESTERER (GER) scores a 6-2 semifinals win over Marina ZAKSHEVSKAYA (KAZ). (Photo by Max Rose-Fyne) 

“At the junior European championships, I wrestled with my headgear on, and I couldn’t understand my coaches well, so I was just doing my own thing.” Since then, Riesterer has removed the headgear and placed more of an emphasis on listening to her coaches. 

“I’ve worked so hard on listening better to what the coaches say because I’m such a mental wrestler. I need my coaches. My coaches help calm my nerves, and that helps me mentally.” 

Riesterer will have to check her nerves at the door of the City Sports Hall before the 50kg finals if she has hopes of stopping Susaki from reaching the top of the world podium for the fifth time. 

In a joking manner, Riesterer ended with, "I'm just glad I made the finals because my sister came all the way here to watch me wrestle. I told her that I wanted to get a medal because if I didn’t, she would have traveled all this way to see me cry.” 

The women's wrestling finals begin on Thursday night at 18:00. Riesterer and Susaki will be the second match up on Mat B.  


Russia Wins Fifth Gold Medal, Junior World Team Title

By Eric Olanowski

TRNAVA, Slovakia (September 23) – Russia closed out the 2018 Junior World Championships winning the freestyle team title on the backs of five individual gold medals. Heading into the final day of wrestling, the Russian Federation led the second-place United States by 31 points and finished 67 points ahead of the returning champions. 

Russia grabbed a trio of gold medals on the sixth day of competition and seized championships from Abasgadzhi MAGOMEDOV (RUS) and Soslan KHINCHAGOV (RUS) on the seventh day of wrestling at Trnava’s City Sports Hall. 

Abasgadzhi Magomedov improved his 2015 cadet runner-up finish, ending the 61kg finals bout early, grabbing the 10-0 technical superiority victory over Georgia’s Ramaz TURMANIDZE. 

The 2016 junior European champion technically and tactfully scored three takedowns via short drags, and two gut-wrenches, ending the gold-medal bout in 2:50. 

Soslan KHINCHAGOV (RUS), who was competing in his first age-level world championship since claiming the silver medal at the 2015 Cadet World Championships, shutout Aly BARGHOUT (CAN), 7-0 in the 125kg finals, giving Russia their fifth and final gold medal of the tournament. 

Overall, Russia capped off the 2018 Junior World Championships with seven medalists. In addition to their five gold medals, they also won a silver and bronze medal. Though they had seven medalists a year ago, there five gold medals are an improvement from last year’s four gold medals. 

Meanwhile, in his third career freestyle tournament, Mekhi LEWIS (USA) sealed the team silver medal for the United States with a 5-1 win over Abubakr ABAKAROV (AZE) in the 74kg finals.

Lewis trailed 1-0 in the opening period, surrendering a passivity point before scoring a takedown and stepout, controlling a 3-1 lead into the final period. In the second period, Lewis scored a brutality point and a second stepout to give America their first champion across any division of the 2018 Junior World Championships. 

In the 86kg gold-medal bout, Arif OZEN (TUR) stopped Deepak PUNIA (IND) from winning India’s first freestyle junior world gold medal since 2001. 

The Turkish wrestler struck first, scoring an early takedown, which ended up being the match-deciding takedown. Ozen gave up a stepout as time expired, but won the match, 2-1, giving Turkey their first freestyle gold medal of these championships.

Abbas Ali FOROUTANRAMI (IRI) put on a takedown clinic in the 92kg championships bout, blanking Alisher YERGALI (KAZ), 11-0.

After three-minutes, Foroutanrami commanded the 3-0 lead before firing off four takedowns in the second period to end the match with the technical superiority victory.   


Team Scores 
GOLD – Russia (182 points)
SILVER – United States (115 points)
BRONZE –  Iran (98 points)
Fourth – Azerbaijan (91 points)
Fifth – India (84 points)

GOLD – Abasgadzhi MAGOMEDOV (RUS) df. Ramaz TURMANIDZE (GEO), 10-0 

BRONZE - Vazgen TEVANYAN (ARM) df. Abbos RAKHMONOV (UZB), 9 - 3
BRONZE - Syrbaz TALGAT (KAZ) df. Minsu CHO (KOR), 10-4 

GOLD - Mekhi Kevin LEWIS (USA) df. Abubakr ABAKAROV (AZE), 5-1 

BRONZE - Devid BETANOV (RUS) df. Sachin RATHI (IND), 11 - 1

GOLD - Arif OZEN (TUR) df. Deepak PUNIA (IND), 2-1 


GOLD - Abbas Ali FOROUTANRAMI (IRI) df. Alisher YERGALI (KAZ), 11-0 

BRONZE - Askhab HAMZATOV (AZE) df. Makhsud VEYSALOV (UZB), 9 - 3
BRONZE - Erhan YAYLACI (TUR) df. Khokh KHUGAEV (RUS), 7-3

GOLD - Soslan KHINCHAGOV (RUS) df. Aly Medhat Abde BARGHOUT (CAN), 7-0 

BRONZE - Khasanboy RAKHIMOV (UZB) df. Amir Nader YARI (IRI), 6 - 4
BRONZE - Samhan JABRAILOV (MDA) df. Rahid HAMIDLI (AZE), 3-1