Seven Storylines to Follow at Russia's Greco-Roman National C'ships

By Tigran Avanian

KALININGRAD, Russia (January 11) - Sergey EMELIN, Stepan MARYANIAN, Artem SURKOV, Alexander CHEKHIRKIN, Musa EVLOEV,  and Sergey SEMENOV, the six current Greco-Roman world champions, are exempted from the Russian Greco-Roman National Championships, which will be held in Kaliningrad, Russia, from January 17-21. But this does not make the upcoming competition less interesting, largely due to the fact that Olympic champions, Roman VLASOV and Davit CHAKVETADZE, will strive to regain their former positions. 

Roman VLASOV, Russia's two-time Olympic champion returns to the mat after suffering a knee injury before the 2018 World Championships. (Photo: Max Rose-Fyne) 

1. Roman Vlasov, Old and New Rivals 
At 77kg, the current world champion Alexander Chekhirkin was freed from the Russian National Championships, and the two-time Olympic champion Roman Vlasov, who missed the end of last season due to injury, is in line and intends to regain the title of the best wrestler in the country. 

He will be confronted by an old rival, 2014 world champion Chingiz LABAZANOV, and two new rivals, Islam OPIEV and Egor KADIROV, who are winners of the junior world and European championships, respectively. 

2. Possible Revenge For Davit Chakvetadze 
At last year's Russian National Championships, Olympic champion Davit Chakvetadze, who just returned from injury, suffered a crushing defeat to Bekkhan OZDOEV. Ozdoev, the silver medalist of the 2018 European Championships went to the 2018 World Championships but failed to medal.

EuIn Kaliningrad, Chakvetadze will strive for revenge, while there are a number of other ambitious wrestlers, including Alan OSTAEV, who has already defeated world and European champion Maxim MANUKYAN (ARM).

Alexander GOLOVIN celebrates after winning his second U22 World title. Golovin is one of the 97kg favorites. (Photo: Max Rose-Fyne)

3. Nikita Melnikov - Alexander Golovin 
The reigning world champion Musa EVLOEV will not wrestle at the Russian National Championships, however, there's high competition in his weight, and the match between 2013 world and 2016 European champion, Nikita MELNIKOV, and two-time U23 world champion Alexander GOLOVIN is expected to happen. 

We also single out junior world bronze medalists, Ruslan BEKUZAROV and Arthur SARGSYAN. 

4. Trio of Flyers 
There's interesting competition looming at 55kg. This category is only a year old - and the leaders here are Vasily TOPOEV and U23 world runner-up Vitaly KABALOEV.  But now, Emin SEVERSHAEV, who has been a leader on the junior team for a long time, is ready to join the fight. 

5. Adam Kurak - Abuazid Manzigov 
This confrontation is already becoming a landmark. Abuyazid MANTSIGOV, the 2017 European bronze medalist missed out on a medal at the 2018 World Championships, while Adam KURAK has taken bronze at the World Championships and won the European Championships twice. In their extreme match before the World Championships, Manzigov was stronger. 

How will it be this time? 

Aleksander KOMAROV has won four age-level world titles and would be among the favorites at 82kg - if he decides to compete on the senior level. (Photo: Max Rose-Fyne) 

6. Chance of Alekander Komarov 
Aleksander KOMAROV still remains on the junior team, where he can wrestle for one more year. But while there's time before the junior qualifiers, the time has come for the four-time age-level world champion to declare himself for the Senior Russian National Championships - especially with the country going through hard times at 82kg. 

After the injury to 2016 world champion Ramazan ABACHARAEV, and Imil SHARAFETDINOV not successfully performing at the 2018 World Championships, isn't it time for Alexander Komarov to take his shot at a non-Olympic weight spot?

7. Favorites in the absence of world champions 
In each weight, without mentioning above, there are favorites in the absence of world champions. 

At 60kg, without Sergey Emelin, the highest chance of winning goes to the 2012 London Olympic bronze medalist Mingiyan SEMENOV. 

In the weight up to 63kg, without Stepan MARYANIAN, the favorite is Ibragim LABAZANOV. 

For the third time in a row, in the absence of Artem Surkov at 67kg, Zaur KABALOYEV can win the Russian National Championships. 

At heavyweight, without Sergey Semenov, Vitaly SCHUR, the 2018 European runner-up, has the highest chance of success. 

This story was translated from wrestrus.ru. 


January 17 (Thursday) 
10:00 - Mandate Commission 
16:00 - Meeting of the panel of judges, representatives of the teams 
17: 30 - Draw and medical control of weight categories up to 55kg, 60kg, 63kg, and 67kg 

January 18 (Friday) 
7:00 - Opening of the entrance for athletes 
8:00 - Weighing, weight categories up to 55kg ,60kg ,63kg, and 67kg 
10:00 - Start of competition 
15:00 - Break 
16:00 - Draw and medical control of weight categories up to 72kg, 77kg, and 97kg 
17:00-  Semifinals in weight categories up to 55kg ,60kg, 63kg, and 67 kg 

January 19 (Saturday) 
7:00 - Opening of the entrance for athletes 
8: 00 - The second weighing for weight categories up to 55kg, 60kg, 63kg, and 67 kg 
8:15 - Weighing, weight categories up to 72kg, 77kg, and 97kg 
10:00 - Start of competition 
15: 00 - Break 

16: 00 - Draw and medical control for weight categories up to 82kg, 87kg, and 130 kg 
17:00 - Opening Ceremony
17:00 - Semifinals in weight categories up to 72kg, 77kg, and 97kg 
18:00 - Finals in weight categories up to 55kg ,60kg, 63kg, and 67 kg 

January 20 (Sunday) 
7:00 - Opening of the entrance for athletes 
8:00 - Second weighing for weight categories up to 60kg, 77kg, and 97kg 
8:15 - Weighing, weight categories up to 82kg, 87kg, and 130kg 
10:00 Start of competition 
15: 00 - Break 
17:00 - Semifinals in weight categories up to 82kg, 87, and 130 kg 
18:00 - Finals in weight categories up to 72kg, 77kg, and 97kg. 

January 21 (Monday) 
7:00 - Opening of the entrance for athletes 
8: 00 -The second weighing for weight categories up to 82kg, 87kg, and 130kg 
10:00 - Start of competition 
12:00 - Finals in weight categories up to 82kg 87kg, 130kg. 

Attention! The program is subject to change.

European Games

Russia Goes 3-for-3 in Freestyle Finals on Day 2 of European Games

By United World Wrestling Press

MINSK, Belarus (June 26) - Russia shined on Day 2 of the European Games in Minsk, Belarus, going 3-for-3 in gold-medal finals matches in freestyle wrestling. 

Winning gold medals for Russia on Wednesday night were Zaurbek SIDAKOV (74kg), Dauren KURUGLIEV (86kg) and Anzor KHIZRIEV (125kg).

The other gold medal was won by Mahir AMIRASLANOV (AZE) at 57kg.

Sidakov, a returning world champion and world No.1, picked up a first-period fall in the 74kg final against Olympic and world medalist Soner DEMIRTAS (TUR). After scoring a takedown off a single leg, the 23-year-old Russian used a cradle to put Demirtas on his back. He secured the fall just over two minutes into the match. 

Kurugliev, a two-time Yarygin champion, edged four-time world medalist Ali SHABANAU (BLR) 3-2 for the gold medal at 86kg. Shabanau scored first off a passivity to take a 1-0 lead. In the second period, Kurugliev scored a passivity point of his own to take the lead on criteria. The two wrestlers continued to battle and with just under a minute remaining Kurugliev was placed on the activity clock. While on the activity clock, Kurugliev was able to secure a takedown with just over 30 seconds remaining to go up 3-1 and hold on for the victory.   

Khizriev claimed his gold medal at 125kg by defeating U23 world champion Givi MATCHARASHVILI (GEO) 8-2 in a hard-fought match until the end. After scoring first off a passivity, Khizriev scored a takedown in the second period to extend his lead to 3-0. With 1:15 remaining, the Georgian picked up a takedown of his own to cut the deficit to 3-2. In the last second of the match, Matcharashvili attempted a desperation move, which Khizriev countered and scored five additional points to win by six.

Amiraslanov, a European bronze medalist and 2015 junior world champion, opened the gold-medal matches with a convincing 9-1 victory over Stevan MICIC (SRB) at 57kg. Amiraslanov raced out to a 4-0 lead early in the match on the strength of a four-point, feed-to-back takedown. He added a step out and led 5-0 at the break. Amiraslanov was able to counter Micic's attacks in the second period and scored two more takedowns to pull away. 

World No.1 Suleyman ATLI (TUR) won a bronze medal at 57kg by defeating Taras MARKOVYCH (UKR) 12-9. The other bronze medal was won by returning world champion Zavur UGUEV (RUS), who cruised to a 10-2 win over Georgi VANGELOV (BUL).

Bronze medals at 74kg were won by Avtandil KENTCHADZE (GEO) and Khadzhimurad GADZHIYEV (AZE). Kentchadze, a world silver medalist, won 8-5 in the bronze-medal match against Azamat NURYKAU (BLR). Gadzhiyev rolled to a 9-1 win over Vasyl MYKHAILOV (UKR).

Myles AMINE (SMR) edged Alexander GOSTIYEV (AZE) 3-3 for bronze at 86kg, becoming San Marino's first-ever medalist at the European Games. Ahmed DUDAROV (GER) won the other medal at 86kg, beating world silver medalist Fatih ERDIN (TUR) 10-8.

Jammaladdin MAGOMEDOV (AZE) dominated Rares CHINTOAN (ROU) to claim a bronze at 125kg. The other bronze at 125kg was won by Oleksandr KHOTSIANIVSKYI (UKR) who defeated Faith YASARLI (TUR) 2-1. 


GOLD - Mahir AMIRASLANOV (AZE) df. Stevan MICIC (SRB), 9-1
BRONZE - Suleyman ATLI (TUR) df. Taras MARKOVYCH (UKR), 12-9
Bronze - Zavur UGUEV (RUS) df. Georgi VANGELOV (BUL), 10-2

GOLD - Zaurbek SIDAKOV (RUS) df. Soner DEMIRTAS (TUR) by fall at 2:04
BRONZE - Avtandil KENTCHADZE (GEO) df. Azamat NURYKAU (BLR), 8-5
BRONZE - Khadzhimurad GADZHIYEV (AZE) df. Vasyl MYKHAILOV (UKR), 9-1

BRONZE - Ahmed DUDAROV (GER) df. Fatih ERDIN (TUR), 10-8
BRONZE - Myles AMINE (SMR) df. Alexander GOSTIYEV (AZE), 3-3 

BRONZE - Jammaladdin MAGOMEDOV (AZE) df. Rares CHINTOAN (ROU), 12-2