Russia Rolls Through Opening Round, Puts All Five In Semifinals

By Eric Olanowski

TRNAVA, Slovakia (September 21) - The opening round of freestyle wrestling at the Junior World Championships kicked off at City Sports Hall in Trnava, Slovakia and Russia has five wrestlers vying for a spot in tomorrow night’s finals. 

The most intriguing Russian matchup comes at 79kg where Razambek ZHAMALOV (RUS) will meet 2016 junior European champion and this year’s junior European runner-up, Arman ANDREASYAN (ARM). 

In his two matches today, Zhamalov picked up a pair of technical superiority victories while outscoring his opponenets 25-4. 

Another match-up to watch featuring one of the five Russian semifinalists is the 92kg finals where Magomedkhan MAGOMEDOV (RUS) will take the mat against junior European champion and 2017 junior world bronze medalist, Feyzullah AKTURK (TUR). 

Meanwhile, the United States enter three wrestlers into the semifinals, while Azerbaijan and Moldova each have a pair of wrestlers wrestling for a shot at the finals. 

Of the three semifinalists from the United States’ roster, two of them are returning world champions. They are reigning cadet world champion Aaron BROOKS (USA) and 2017 junior world champion Daton FIX (USA). 

In the 79kg semifinals, Brooks will meet the two-time age-level world bronze medalist, Orkhan ABASOV (AZE), while Fix will take on India’s junior Asian runner-up, Naveen NAVEEN (IND). 

Vasile DIACON (MDA) and Nicolai GRAHMEZ (MDA) made the semifinals for Moldova. 

Junior European runner-up and 2015 junior world silver medalist Grahmez will take on  Iran’s 2016 cadet world champion Amirhossein MAGHSOUDI for a spot in the 65kg finals, and his teammate Vasile Diacon will compete against Khadzhimurad GADZHIYEV (AZE) in the 79kg semifinals.

The semifinals are set to being at 17:15, and the women’s wrestling finals will begin at 18:00. 


CHO Hyeonsu (KOR) vs. Akhmed IDRISOV (RUS) 
Daton FIX (USA) vs. Naveen NAVEEN (IND)

Nicolai GRAHMEZ (MDA) vs. Amirhossein Azim MAGHSOUDI (IRI) 

Khadzhimurad GADZHIYEV (AZE) vs. Vasile DIACON (MDA) 

Orkhan ABASOV (AZE) vs. Aaron Marquel BROOKS (USA) 
Hayato ISHIGURO (JPN) vs. Aslanbek GVARAMIIA (RUS)

Zachery Samuel ELAM (USA) vs. Serik BAKYTKHANOV (KAZ) 
Feyzullah AKTURK (TUR) vs. Magomedkhan MAGOMEDOV (RUS)


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