#Rome2018

Russia Squeaks past Azerbaijan, Wins Freestyle Euro Team Title

By Eric Olanowski

ROME, Italy (August 5) - Thanks to impeccable performances by Akhmed SHOKUMOV (RUS) and Azamat ZAKUEV (RUS), Russia added two additional European Championship gold medals and brought their overall tournament total to thirteen gold medals. In addition to the thirteen individual gold medals, Russia also obtained team titles in freestyle, Greco-Roman and women’s wrestling. 

Shokumov and Zakuev, Russia’s third and fourth freestyle champions each cruised to victories in their gold-medal matches, ending their bouts early by fall and technical superiority, helping Russia (141 points) squeak past second place Azerbaijan (136 points) and third place Armenia (135 points).

Akhmed SHOKUMOV (RUS) won one of Russia's two gold medals on the final day of wreslting at the Junior European Championships. (Photo by Max Rose-Fyne)

Akhmed Shokumov was manhandling Dzhemal Rushen ALI (BUL) in the 74kg title match before picking up the second-period fall. 

Shokumov grabbed a pair of opening period takedowns, shutting out Ali while controlling the 4-0 lead after the first three minutes. 

In the second period, a deflated Ali got to his offense and spun behind Shokumov, but was unable to get the Russian’s knee to touch, and the wrestlers were brought back up to their feet. 

Shortly after, the frustrated Ali looked for a homerun throw, but Shokumov pancaked him to his back and scored the fall, picking up Russia’s third freestyle title and their twelfth overall Junior European Championship gold medal. 

Azamat ZAKUEV (RUS) crused to a 10-0 win in the 92kg gold-medal bout. (Photo by Max Rose-Fyne) 

Returning European champion, Azamat Zakuev crushed Askhab HAMZATOV (AZE), 10-0 in the 92kg gold medal bout. 

Zakuev blazed out to an eight-point lead in the opening period, transitioning to a pair of gut wrenches from two separate takedowns. 

The Russian capped off his title run with a second period cross-ankle-pick, giving him the ten-point advantage and back-to-back junior continental championships.

Vazgen TEVANYAN (ARM) flexes after winning his first European title since 2016. (Photo by Max-Rose Fyne) 

Russia wasn’t the only nation busy winning a pair of gold medals on the seventh and final day competition , as Armenia’s Vazgen TEVANYAN (ARM) and Hovhannes MAGHAKYAN (ARM) were also crowned European champions. 

Vazgen Tevanyan, last year’s Cadet European Championship runner-up defeated Intigam VALIZADA (AZE), 5-2 in the extremely slow 61kg gold-medal bout. 

The opening period was filled with underhooks and fake shots, but Tevanyan was able to score the periods only point with a step-out that gave him the 1-0 lead into the break. 

Tevanyan added another step-out to open the second period but fell behind 2-2 on criteria after forfeiting a deep two-point double leg. 

The Armenian wrestler regained the lead with 90 seconds left, scoring his third step-out point of the match. He closed out the bout by stopping Valizada's throw attempt, scoring his first offensive points of the bout and winning his first European title since claiming the gold back in 2016.  

Hovhannes MAGHAKYAN (ARM) gave Armenia their second gold medal of the day after winning the 125kg weight class. (Photo by Max Rose-Fyne) 

In the 125kg gold medal bout, Hovhannes used a left-side underhook to slow down Yurii IDZINSKYI (UKR) and won the bout, 4-2. 

Maghaky gave up an early takedown and trailed 2-0 right out of the gate. The two-time age-level runner-up rebounded before the period ended and threw the Ukranian wrestler with a monstrous four-point throw, taking the 4-2 lead into the final three minutes. 

After a scoreless second period, the match ended 4-2 and Armenia, who finished one point behind Azerbaijan walked away with the third place team trophy. 

RESULTS 
TEAM SCORES 
GOLD – Russia (141 points)
SILVER –Azerbaijan (136 points)
BRONZE - Armenia (135 points)
Fourth –Turkey (126 points)
Fifth – Ukraine (109 points)

61kg 
GOLD - Vazgen TEVANYAN (ARM) df. Intigam VALIZADA (AZE), 5-2

BRONZE - Ramaz TURMANIDZE (GEO) df. Leomid COLESNIC (MDA), 10-0 
BRONZE - Ihor NYKYFORUK (UKR) df. Arman ELOYAN (FRA), via fall 

74kg 
GOLD - Akhmed SHOKUMOV (RUS) vs. Dzhemal Rushen ALI (BUL), via fall 

BRONZE -  Ismail ABDULLAEV (AZE) df. Hrayr ALIKHANYAN (ARM), 10-5 
BRONZE -  Piotr CARASENI (MDA) df. Kevin LUCHT (GER), 10-6 

86kg
GOLD - Arif OZEN (TUR) df. Patrik SZUROVSZKI (HUN), 4-2 

BRONZE - Uri KALASHNIKOV (ISR) df. Ivan NEDEALCO (MDA), 6-3 
BRONZE - Demur MEGENEISHVILI (GEO) df. Mher MARKOSYAN (ARM), 8-4 

92kg 
GOLD - Azamat ZAKUEV (RUS) df. Askhab HAMZATOV (AZE), 10-0 

BRONZE - Ertugrul AGCA (GER) df. Beka NADASHVILI (GEO), 8-7 
BRONZE - Erhan YAYLACI (TUR) df. Gheorghe ERHAN (MDA), 14-4 

125kg
GOLD - Hovhannes MAGHAKYAN (ARM) vs. Yurii IDZINSKYI (UKR), 4-2 

BRONZE - Oktay GUNGOR (TUR) df. Samhan JABRAILOV (MDA), 4-4 
BRONZE - Rahid HAMIDLI (AZE) df. Jakub BRYLEWSKI (POL), 7-4

#Rome2018

Russia Reels in Eleventh Junior Euro Gold Medal

By Eric Olanowski

ROME, Italy (August 4) - After running through the Greco-Roman and women’s wrestling competition, Russia’s dominance trickled over to freestyle as they were able to capture two additional gold medals on the sixth day of competition at the Junior European Championships. 

Thus far, eleven Russian wrestlers have enjoyed hearing their national anthem begin played while standing atop of the podium, and will have three more opportunities to hear it being played on the final day of wrestling in Rome, Italy. 

The duo of Aznaur TAVAEV (RUS) and Chermen VALIEV (RUS) each seized gold medals, helping Russia command the team lead heading into the seventh day of competition. 

View this post on Instagram

TAVAEV (RUS) takes the 65kg Gold - #uww #wrestling

A post shared by Olympic Wrestling (@unitedworldwrestling) on

In the 65kg finals, Aznaur Tavaev walloped 2014 cadet world bronze medalist, Nicolai GRAHMEZ (MDA), picking up the 15-4 technical superiority victory to pocket his first continental championship. 

Tavaev trailed early after surrendering a takedown and an exposure but was able to erase the four-point deficit, taking the 4-4 lead on criteria into the second period by picking up a takedown and exposure of his own. 

The Russian exploded in the second period, scoring four-points off a defensive chest-wrap, followed by a failed Moldova challenge to take the imposing 9-4 advantage into the final minute of the match. 

After another defensive scoring sequence, Tavaev closed the match out with a snap-down spin-behind to a trapped-arm gut-wrench, ultimately winning 15-4. 

Chermen VALIEV (RUS) give Russia their eleventh Junior European gold medal. (Photo Max Rose-Fyne) 

Chermen Valiev used a pair of second-period takedowns to narrowly escape Khadzhimurad GADZHIYEV (AZE), 5-3 in the 70kg gold-medal bout. 

In the opening period, Valiev, the 2014 Cadet World team representative picked up a step-out point before conceding a takedown and a step-out to fall behind 3-1. 

Valiev rebounded in the final period and snatched the two-point lead with a pair of takedowns. The 2017 Ivan Yarygin runner-up narrowly held on to present Russia their second gold medal of the day and eleventh overall. 

Three other Russians will have the opportunity to compete for gold tomorrow, as the competition wraps up with the final freestyle medal match session starting at 6:00 PM (local time). 

RESULTS