Wiebe, Gray to Meet in Semifinals; Mensah Dominates Soronzonbold

By Andrew Hipps

BUDAPEST, Hungary (October 23) -- Olympic champion Erica WIEBE (CAN) and three-time world champion Adeline GRAY (USA) both missed last year's World Championships. Both showed they are back by reaching the semifinals with come-from-behind victories in their quarterfinal matches on Tuesday at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

The two wrestlers will now meet in the semifinals at 76kg.

Wiebe trailed 2014 world champion Aline FOCKEN (GER) 4-2 with less than a minute remaining in the match before getting a takedown to take the lead on criteria. She added another takedown with 10 seconds remaining to seal the victory. 

Gray found herself in a 6-3 hole with a minute and 30 seconds remaining in her quarterfinal match against Elmira SYZDYKOVA (KAZ) before she secured a takedown and ran the Kazakhstan wrestler over for the fall with just over a minute remaining.

On the top side of the 76kg bracket, reigning world champion Yasemin ADAR (TUR) was unscored open in the opening session, picking up a 10-0 technical fall in her first match and following it up with a 7-0 victory in the quarterfinals over Hiroe MINAGAWA SUZUKI (JPN). She will face local favorite Zsanett NEMETH (HUN) in the semifinals.

Perhaps the most impressive performance of Tuesday's opening session came from Tamyra MENSAH (USA), who dominated two-time world champion Battsetseg SORONZONBOLD (MGL) 10-0 in the quarterfinals at 68kg. Mensah jumped out to an 8-0 lead after the opening period on the strength of three takedowns. She then put the match away early in the second period with another takedown.  Soronzonbold was coming off a 5-2 win over past world champion Jenny FRANSSON (SWE). 

Mensah now faces Koumba LARROQUE (FRA), who remains on track in her quest to add a senior gold medal to a resume that includes world golds at the U23, junior and cadet levels. Larroque opened her competition with two falls before earning an 11-3 victory over Olivia DI BACCO (CAN) in the quarterfinals. 

Alla CHERKASOVA (UKR) and Feng ZHOU (CHN), both past world bronze medalists, will meet in the semifinals in the top half of the bracket at 68kg. 

At 65kg, Top-seeded Petra OLLI (FIN) survived a scare in her first match as she snuck past Sofiya GEORGIEVA (BUL) 4-4 on criteria. She then punched her ticket to the semifinals with a 6-2 win over Ritu RITU (IND).

Her semifinals opponent will be Ayana GEMPEI (JPN), a world champion at the U23 and junior divisions. Gempei cruised to a 6-1 victory in the quarterfinals over Adela HANZLICKOVA (CZE). 

On the bottom side of the 65kg bracket, Danielle LAPPAGE (CAN), a 2010 junior world champion, picked up three takedowns en route to a 6-2 win over Forrest MOLINARI (USA). Lappage will now face Iryna NETREBA (AZE), who blanked Chuying TANG (CHN) 3-0 in the quarterfinals. 

Egypt has a semifinalist in women's wrestling in Samar HAMZA (EGY), who dominated Naruha MATSUYUKI (JPN) 12-1 in the quarterfinals at 72kg. Hamza is one win away from reaching the gold-medal match, but standing in her way is returning world bronze medalist Justina DI STASIO (CAN). Di Stacio is one of three semifinalists today for Canada, along with Lappage and Wiebe.

Three-time world bronze medalist Nasanburmaa OCHIRBAT (MGL) edged Buse TOSUN (TUR) 7-6 in the quarterfinals at 72kg, setting up a semifinal meeting with Juan WANG (CHN). Wang has been dominant thus far, picking up two technical falls and outscoring her opponents 23-1. 

The semifinals will take place at 4:45 p.m. local time. 

Semifinal Matchups

Women's Wrestling

Petra Maarit OLLI (FIN) vs. Ayana GEMPEI (JPN) 
Iryna NETREBA (AZE) vs. Danielle LAPPAGE (CAN)

Koumba LARROQUE (FRA) vs. Tamyra MENSAH (USA) 

Justina DI STASIO (CAN) vs. Samar HAMZA (EGY) 
Nasanburmaa OCHIRBAT (MGL) vs. Juan WANG (CHN)

Yasemin ADAR (TUR) vs. Zsanett NEMETH (HUN) 
Erica WIEBE (CAN) vs. Adeline GRAY (USA)


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