Greco-Roman, asia championships, Taiwan, Iran, Korea, Iran wrestling junior, Turkemenistan, Uzbekistan, Rezaei

Turkmenistan Grabs Historic Gold, Iran Wins Three

By Tim Foley

Tazayev Thrills En Route to Turkmenistan First-Ever Greco-Roman Gold

Turkmenistan’s Seydilla TAZAYEV made history Thursday night in Taipei, winning his country’s first continental gold medal since 1997, and its first-ever gold medal in Greco-Roman wrestling at the continental or world level.

The youngster had a tough road to the 60kg Greco-Roman finals, wrestling back from an early deficit in his quarterfinal and finals match. In the quarterfinals Tazayev was trailing by four points early, but came back to score 17 points on his way to a 17-10 victory.

In the finals Tzayev was trailing Keremat ABDEVALI (IRI) by three points with less than ten seconds remaining in the match, but found his way to a high dive takedown for four points and the gold medal.

FACT: Nadeshda JELTAKOVA was Turkmenistan’s last gold medalist winning the 68kg weight category in 1997. That tournament was also held in Taiwan.

Iran’s Kaviyaninejad and Balihamzehdeh Toss Their Way to 66kg, 84kg Titles

Trailing Kaviyaninejad 4-0 early in the night’s 66kg finals, Merey BEKENOV (KAZ) challenged a what would have been a match-ending four-point throw by Kaviyaninejad. The challenge was accepted and Bekenov, feeling renewed, led a spritied attack on the restart. But Kaviyaninejad would not be denied his spectacular throw -- after finding a quick takedown Kaviyaninejad immediately lifted Bekenov, repeated his original throw and took the gold medal via technical fall, 12-0.

Not to be outshined, teammate Mehdi BALIHAMZEHDEH capped an impressive performance with a five-point throw and eventual fall over Kalidin ASYKEEV (KGZ) in the 84kg gold medal finals. The Iranian champion had early pinned Ermatbek SHERMATOV (UZB) in the semifinal.

Rezaei Also Snags Top Spot

Iran’s Mohammad REZAEI (IRI) bested Zholaman SHARSHENBEKOV (KGZ), 4-4  in the 55kg finals to give his home country their first of three gold medals of the night.

Four Falls Gives Makhmudov First Junior Gold 

Akzhol MAKHMUDOV (KGZ) wasted no time in pinning Uzbekistan’s Jalgasbay BERDIMURATOV in the 74kg finals Thursday night in Taiwan. The most impressive wrestler on day one of wrestling in Tawian, Makhmudov’s overpowering, brutish style earned him four pins in four matches as well as the adoration of fans.

The Asian Championships were Makhmudov’s first junior-level tournament, having won the Cadet Asian Championships in 2015 and 2016 as well as the 2016 Cadet World Championship at 68kg.

Uzbekistan’s Mamajanov Claws to 96kg Gold

In the night’s final bout Uzbekistan’s Temur MAMAJANOV fought his way past Iran’s Amirmohammad NOROOZIPASAND, 2-0 to capture his first international medal. The Uzbek big man defeated India’s Sagar SAGAR (IND) 6-2 in the semifinals.