Stefanek Rolls into Semifinals, Kazakhstan Wrestlers Stun Olympic Medalists

By Andrew Hipps

BUDAPEST, Hungary (October 26) -- Olympic champion Davor STEFANEK (SRB) looks primed for another shot at world gold.

The 33-year-old Serb needed just 19 seconds to earn a fall over Fredrik BJERREHUUS (DEN) in the quarterfinals of the World Championships at 67kg on Friday. He had two technical fall victories prior to the quarterfinals and did not surrender a point. 

Stefanek, a 2014 world champion, now faces Gevorg SAHAKYAN (POL), who also earned a fall in the quarterfinals. 

Kazakhstan advanced two wrestlers to the semifinals. Both stunned Olympic medalists in Friday's opening session. 

Meiirzhan SHERMAKHANBET (KAZ) picked up two technical falls and a fall to reach the semifinals at 67kg. The fall came in his second match over 2016 Olympic champion Ismael BORRERO MOLINA (CUB). The Cuban star jumped out to a 5-0 lead before Shermakhanbet stormed back to take the lead and eventually earn the fall. 

In the quarterfinals, he faced Mohammadreza GERAEI (IRI). Shermakhanbet used a four-point throw, which he followed up with a gut wrench, to take a 6-0 lead. He closed out the technical fall a short time later. Shermakhanbet's opponent in the semifinals will be two-time world bronze medalist Artem SURKOV (RUS).

Surkov, a European champion, topped Kamran MAMMADOV (AZE) 5-1 in the quarterfinals. The 25-year-old Russian trailed 1-0 at the break but scored with two gut wrenches in the final period after getting a passivity point. Many expected Surkov to face two-time world champion Hansu RYU (KOR), but he fell early to Denys DEMYANKOV (UKR). 

Aidos SULTANGALI (KAZ) stunned 2016 Olympic silver medalist Shinobu OTA (JPN) 7-5 in the round of 16 at 60kg. In the quarterfinals, Sultangali cruised to a 9-1 technical fall over Kaly SULAIMANOV (KGZ). He will now meet Sergey EMELIN (RUS), who blanked Se Ung RI (PRK) 7-0. 

Kristian FRIS (SRB), a 2007 world bronze medalist, earned his spot in the semifinals at 60kg by getting a fall over Luis Alberto ORTA SANCHEZ (CUB). Fris led 3-1 in the second period before throwing Sanchez to his back for the fall. In the semifinals he will face Victor CIOBANU (MDA).

Ciobanu edged Sailike WALIHAN (CHN) 6-6 on criteria in the quarterfinals. Walihan held a 5-2 lead in the second period before Ciobanu used a body lock for four points to take the lead. He held on for the victory.

Reigning world champion Metehan BASAR (TUR) edged returning world bronze medalist Roberti KOBLIASHVILI (GEO) 1-1 on criteria in the quarterfinals at 87kg. It sets up a semifinal meeting with Bekkhan OZDOEV (RUS). 

Ozdoev went up 6-0 early against Rustam ASSAKALOV (UZB) after a takedown and two turns. Assakalov would get back in the match but come up short.

Olympic silver medalist Zhan BELENIUK (UKR) trailed 2-0 in the second period of his quarterfinal match before throwing 2017 world bronze medalist Hossein Ahmad NOURI (IRI) for four points to take the lead. He held on for the 4-2 victory. He now faces Islam ABBASOV (AZE) in the semifinals. 

Like Beleniuk, Abbasov trailed after the opening period of his quarterfinal match against before grabbing the lead after a passivity and gut wrench, which was enough to take the 4-1 victory over returning world silver medalist Radzik KULIYEU (BLR) and earn a spot in the semifinals.

The semifinals are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. local time.

Semifinal Matchups


Kristian FRIS (SRB) vs. Victor CIOBANU (MDA) 


Metehan BASAR (TUR) vs. Bekkhan OZDOEV (RUS)


Russia Sweeps Greco Gold Medals on Final Day of World Championships

By Andrew Hipps

BUDAPEST, Hungary (October 28) -- Russia put the finishing touches on a world team title in Greco-Roman by sweeping the gold medals on the final day of the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. 

Aleksandr CHEKHIRKIN (77kg), Musa EVLOEV (97kg) and Sergey SEMENOV (130kg) came through to win gold medals in Greco-Roman for Russia on Sunday.

Russia finished with 178 team points in Greco-Roman, 89 points ahead of runner-up Hungary (89). Turkey finished third in the team standings with 75 points. 

Chekhirkin captured his gold medal by defeating crowd favorite Tamas LORINCZ (HUN) 3-1 in the gold-medal match at 77kg. The Russian led 1-1 on criteria after the opening period and added to his lead in the second period off a passivity and then scored a late step out to win by two. 

Evloev upgraded his world medal from silver to gold as he topped Kiril MILOV (BUL) 7-2 in the gold-medal match at 97kg. The Bulgarian scored the first point of the match off a passivity, but Evloev dominated the rest of the way. He came back with a takedown to lead 2-1 at the break. After extending his lead to 3-1, the 25-year-old Russian used a side lift to execute a four-point throw to extend his lead. 

Semenov dominated Adam COON (USA) 9-0 in the gold-medal match at 130kg. The 23-year-old Russian heavyweight used two four-point throws to cruise to the technical fall victory. Semenov was a gold medalist at the U23 World Championships last year and won two world gold medals as a junior. 

The bronze medals at 77kg were won by world champions Hyeonwoo KIM (KOR) and Viktor NEMES (SRB)

Kim, a multiple-time Olympic medalist, picked up a 3-1 win over Bilan NALGIEV (UZB). The Korean scored a two-point throw in the first period, which proved to be the difference in the match. 

Nemes won his second straight world medal by defeating Alex KESSIDIS (SWE) 6-2 for bronze. The Serb held a 2-2 criteria lead after the opening period and tacked on four more points in the second period.

In the first bronze-medal match at 97kg, Mihail KAJALA (SRB) won his first world medal and denied Balazs KISS (HUN) a fourth world medal. Kiss seemed to be in control early after scoring off a passivity and adding a takedown to grab a 3-0 lead at the break. But Kajala used a four-point arm throw to grab the lead midway through the second period and hung on to win on criteria, 4-4. 

Mahdi ALIYARIFEIZABADI (IRI) won the other 97kg bronze medal by forfeit.

At 130kg, Oscar PINO HINDS (CUB) won his second straight world bronze medal with a 3-1 victory over Heiki NABI (EST). Pino Hinds scored his first point off a passivity. Nabi grabbed the lead in the second period after getting a passivity point of his own. But the Cuban would add another passivity point along with a point for a failed challenge to win by two. 

Minseok KIM (KOR), a past junior world bronze medalist, claimed his first senior world medal as he hung on to defeat Eduard POPP (GER) 2-1 in the second bronze-medal match at 130kg. Kim scored a two-point exposure in the first period, which was enough to get him the victory. 

Final Results


GOLD: Aleksandr CHEKHIRKIN (RUS) df. Tamas LORINCZ (HUN) by VPO1, 3-1
BRONZE: Hyeonwoo KIM (KOR) df. Bilan NALGIEV (UZB) by VPO1, 3-1

GOLD: Musa EVLOEV (RUS) df. Kiril MILOV (BUL) by VPO1, 7-2
BRONZE: Mihail KAJALA (SRB) df. Balazs KISS (HUN) df. VPO1, 4-4

GOLD: Sergey SEMENOV (RUS) df. Adam COON (USA) by VSU, 9-0
BRONZE: Minseok KIM (KOR) df. Eduard POPP (GER) by VPO1, 2-1
BRONZE: Oscar PINO HINDS (CUB) df. Heiki NABI (EST) by VPO1, 3-1