#Zagreb2019

Starcevic Stuns Olympic Champion Kim, Makes Fifth Zagreb Open Finals Appearance

By Eric Olanowski

ZAGREB, Croatia (February 9) -  Bozo STARCEVIC, the Zagreb, Croatia native, stunned Olympic champion KIM Hyeonwoo (KOR), 8-2 in the quarterfinals and ultimately moved into the Zagreb Open finals for the fifth consecutive year. 

On Saturday, Starcevic avenged his 6-4 2016 Olympic bronze-medal bout loss to Kim, where the Korean wrestler claimed his second overall Olympic medal.

In their quarterfinals meeting on Saturday, Starcevic built a commanding 6-0 lead before Kim used an arm-spin to pick up his lone takedown, closing the deficit to 6-2. Starcevic somehow came away from Kim's arm-spin attempt with an exposure of his own and ultimately moved into the semifinals win an 8-2 victory.

In the semifinals, the hometown wrestler defeated Russia's Rafael IUNUSOV, 5-1 and locked up his fifth consecutive trip to the Zagreb Open finals. He's walked away victorious in each of his previous four trips to the Zagreb Open finals. 

Starcevic will wrestle Yunus BASAR (TUR) in tomorrow's 77kg gold-medal bout. Basar is one of four Turkish wrestlers who made it to Sunday night's Zagreb Open finals. Ekrem OZTURK, Kerem KAMAL, and Emrah KUS round out the other Turkish finalists. 

Ozturk went undefeated in the round-robin competition and will wrestle Iran's 2017 junior world champion Poya Soulat DAD MARZ for the 55kg gold medal. Both wrestlers were 2-0 on the day. 


Turkey's two-time junior world champion Kerem KAMAL made his first senior finals. He'll wrestle Iran's Milad Ali REZANEZHAD in the 60kg finals. (Photo: Kadir Caliskan) 

Turkey's two-time junior world champion Kerem Kamal outscored his three opponents 26-3 and made it to his first career senior finals. His best finish prior to making Sunday's Zagreb Open finals came at the 2018 Dan Kolov - Nikola Petrov Tournament when he finished with a bronze medal.

Kamal will wrestle Iran's Milad Ali REZANEZHAD in the 60kg finals. Sunday's gold-medal bout will be Rezanezhad's first senior finals appearance. 

Emrah Kus, the reigning 2018 world runner-up, rounds out the four Turkish finalists. Kus bulldozed his three opponents on the opening day of competition in Zagreb and snagged three straight technical superiority victories, outscoring his trio of opponents 25-0. 

He'll lace up against Bulgari's three-time European bronze medalist Daniel ALEKSANDROV for the 82kg gold medal. 


Reigning world runner-up Elmurat TASMURADOV (UZB) will wrestle defending Zagreb Open champion Mihai MIHUT (ROU)  in the 67kg finals. (Photo: Kadir Caliskan ) 

Meanwhile, Uzbekistan tallied the second most finalists with three.

They're led by reigning world runner-up and Rio Olympic bronze medalists Elmurat TASMURADOV (UZB). Tasmuradov will take on one of the sports brightest rising stars and defending Zagreb Open champion Mihai MIHUT (ROU) in the 67kg gold-medal bout.

Though he didn't place at last year's world championships, Mihut did win last year's U23 and senior European championships, and also claimed titles at the Thor Masters, the Kristjan Palusalu Memorial, and the Ion Corneanu & Ladislau Simon Memorial. 

Islomjon BAKHRAMOV and Muminjon ABDULLAEV are Uzbekistan's remaining pair of finalists. 

Bakhramon will see America's Xavier JOHNSON (USA) in the 63kg finals. 

At 130kg, Abdullaev scored huge back-to-back wins, giving Uzbekistan their third finalist. In the quarterfinals, Abdullaev scored a match-winning takedown with one minute left and knocked off 2017 world bronze medalist Yasmani ACOSTA FERNANDEZ (CHI), 2-2. He followed his quarterfinals win up by blasting U23 world silver medalist Osman YILDIRIM (TUR), 9-0 in the semifinals, setting up a finals date with Norway's Oskar MARVIK. 


Viktor LORINCZ (HUN) was one of two Hungarian finalists. He'll wrestle Sweden's Kristoffer BERG in tomorrow's 87kg finals. (Photo: Martin Gabor) 

Meanwhile, Hungary and Bulgaria each had two finalists. 

Bulgaria's pair of finalists were Daniel Aleksandrov (previously mentioned) and reigning world runner-up Kiril MILOV, who will take on Russia's lone finalist, Ilia BORISOV (RUS), for the 97kg gold medal. 

Hungary's pair of finalists were Robert FRITSCH (HUN) and Viktor LORINCZ (HUN). 

Fritsch picked up back-to-back wins over world bronze medalists to put himself in the Zagreb Open finals for the first time. In the quarterfinals, Fritsch edged reigning world bronze medalists Aik MNATSAKANIAN (BUL), 3-3 on criteria. Then, he beat U23 world bronze medalist Cengiz ARSLAN (TUR), 6-3 and locked up his spot in the 72kg finals with Ramaz ZOIDZE (GEO).

Hungary's second Zagreb finalist is Viktor Lorincz. Lorincz scored an extremely important 3-0 semifinals win over fellow Hungarian Erik SZILVASSY (HUN). Lorincz and Szilvassy, the 2017 U23 world champion, were in a tight battle for Hungary's 2019 Astana World Championship spot. Lorincz' semifinals win gives him a leg up on Szilvassy and some breathing room heading into the second Greco-Roman Ranking Series event, the Hungarian Grand Prix.  

Lorincz will meet Sweden's Kristoffer BERG in tomorrow's 87kg finals. 

The final day of wrestling at the Zagreb Open, United World Wrestling first Greco-Roman Ranking Series Event, beings on Sunday at 10:30, with the finals beginning at 17:30 (local time).

For news, interviews, highlights and behind-the-scenes clips, you can following United World Wrestling on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube. 

SCHEDULE

Sunday (February 10)

8:00 - 2nd-day weigh-in, all weight categories (No weight tolerance!) Sport Hall
10:30 - Repechage bouts and bronze medal matches (all categories)
17:30 - Opening ceremony and Final matches (all categories)

RESULTS

55kg (Round-Robin) 
GOLD -  Ekrem OZTURK (TUR) vs. Poya Soulat DAD MARZ (IRI) 

60kg 
GOLD - Kerem KAMAL (TUR) vs. Milad Ali REZANEZHAD (IRI) 

Semifinals - Kerem KAMAL (TUR) df. Ivan LIZATOVIC (CRO), 11-1 
Semifinals - Milad Ali REZANEZHAD (IRI) df. Erik TORBA (HUN)  , 6-3 

63kg 
GOLD - Islomjon BAKHRAMOV (UZB) vs. Xavier Tramain JOHNSON (USA) 

Semifinals - Islomjon BAKHRAMOV (UZB) df. Firuz TUKHTAEV (UZB) , 5-0
Semifinals -  Xavier JOHNSON (USA) df. Dawid ERSETIC (POL), 9-0

67kg
GOLD - 
 Mihai Radu MIHUT (ROU) vs. Elmurat TASMURADOV (UZB) 

Semifinals  -  Mihai Radu MIHUT (ROU) df. Danijel JANECIC (CRO)  , 5-1
Semifinals -  Elmurat TASMURADOV (UZB) df. Enes BASAR (TUR), 13-1 

72kg
GOLD - 
Ramaz ZOIDZE (GEO) vs. Robert Attila FRITSCH (HUN) 

Semifinals - Ramaz ZOIDZE (GEO) df. Mateusz BERNATEK (POL), 11-2 
Semifinals - Robert Attila FRITSCH (HUN) df. Cengiz ARSLAN (TUR), 6-3 

77kg
GOLD -  Bozo STARCEVIC (CRO) vs. Yunus BASAR (TUR) 

Semifinals -  Yunus Emre BASAR (TUR) df. Mohammad NAGHOUSI (IRI) , 10-0  
Semifinals -  Bozo STARCEVIC (CRO) df. Rafael IUNUSOV (RUS), 5-1  

82kg
GOLD - Daniel ALEKSANDROV (BUL) vs. Emrah KUS (TUR) 

Semifinals - Emrah KUS (TUR) df. Burhan AKBUDAK (TUR), 8-0 
Semifinals -  Daniel Tihomirov ALEKSANDROV (BUL) df. Aivengo RIKADZE (GEO), via injury default 

87kg
GOLD -  Viktor LORINCZ (HUN) vs. Kristoffer Zakarias BERG (SWE) 

Semifinals - Kristoffer Zakarias BERG (SWE) df. Yoan Danielov DIMITROV (BUL), 6-3 
Semifinals -  Viktor LORINCZ (HUN) df. Erik SZILVASSY (HUN), 3-0 

97kg
GOLD - Ilia BORISOV (RUS) vs. Kiril Milenov MILOV (BUL) 

Semifinals - Ilia BORISOV (RUS) df. Tracy Gangelo HANCOCK (USA), 3-1 
Semifinals - Kiril Milenov MILOV (BUL) df. Jahongir TURDIEV (UZB), 3-1  

130kg 
GOLD -  Oskar MARVIK (NOR) vs. Muminjon ABDULLAEV (UZB) 

Semifinals -  Oskar MARVIK (NOR) df. Marko KOSCEVIC (CRO), 4-1 
Semifinals - Muminjon ABDULLAEV (UZB) df. Osman YILDIRIM (TUR), 9-0  

#Zagreb2019

À voir : les cinq meilleurs combats de l'Open de Zagreb

By Eric Olanowski

De nombreux combats de qualité ont marqué les deux jours du premier événement de série de classement de lutte gréco-romaine de l'année, l'Open de Zagreb. Voici les cinq combats les plus - d'après nous - impressionnants du weekend.

82kg, FINALE - Le Bulgare Daniel ALEKSANDROV, mené 7 à 0 en première période, a inscrit 8 points d'affilée en seconde période pour retourner le combat en sa faveur face au dauphin du championnat du monde 2018 Emrah KUS (TUR) et remporter la médaille d'or de la catégorie des 82kg par 8-7. 

Aleksandrov était mené 7-0 après deux minutes seulement : sanctionné pour passivité et mis en position par terre, Kus en a profité pour engranger 4 points sur une ceinture à rebours et mener le jeu par 5-0, ajoutant deux mises en danger à son tableau. Aleksandrov se voit attribuer 1 point pour une sortie de tapis à la cloche de la première période.

Le Bulgare a ensuite tout lâché pour marquer 7 points d'affilée dans les trois dernières minutes, tenant son avance jusqu'à la cloche finale face à un médaillé mondial d'argent visiblement dépité.

97kg, FINALE - Ilia BORISOV (RUS) a écrasé le médaillé mondial d'argent Kiril MILOV (BUL) pour emporter le titre de la catégorie des 97kg de l'Open de Zagreb. Borisov, seul médaillé russe de la compétition, a facilement pris le dessus sur Milov, et obtient une victoire par supériorité technique 9-0 en première période. 

Borisov a pris la tête 1-0 après que Milov a été sanctionné pour passivité, avant d'obtenir 4 points pour une projection de Milov en position par terre. Deux clés en pont supplémentaires ont scellé le combat de la finale des 97kg par 9-0 et supériorité technique.

77kg, QUART DE FINALE - Le Croate Bozo STARCEVIC a sonné le champion olympique KIM Hyeonwoo (KOR) 8-2 en quart de finale, avant de remporter son cinquième titre consécutif de l'Open de Zagreb 

Starcevic a ainsi pris sa revanche sur sa défaite par 6-4 lors du combat pour la médaille de bronze des Jeux Olympiques de 2016 face à Kim, où le Coréen avait obtenu sa seconde médaille olympique.

Lors du quart de finale de samedi, Starcevic a d'abord pris une large avance de 6-0 avant que Kim n'use d'une rotation de bras pour marquer son seul amené à terre et réduire l'écart 6-2. Mais Starevic a vite repris la main pour mettre son adversaire en danger lui-même et sceller la victoire par 8-2. 

130kg, DEMI-FINALE - Muminjon ABDULLAEV (UZB) a réduit à néant les espoirs du médaillé mondial d'argent U23 Osman YILDIRIM (TUR) 9-0, engrangeant sa seconde victoire d'affilée sur un médaillé mondial - après celle obtenue en quart de finale de la même compétition face au médaillé de bronze 2017 Yasmani ACOSTA FERNANDEZ (CHI) par 2-2.

L'Ouzbek a ensuite vu la médaille d'or lui échapper d'un cheveu (1-0) en finale de la catégorie face au Norvégien Oskar MARVIK.

87kg DEMI-FINALE - Demi-finale 100% hongroise, ce fut l'une des rencontres les plus importantes de l'Open de Zagreb, puisque Viktor LORINCZ et Erik SZILVASSY luttaient tous deux pour la place de la Hongrie au championnat du monde d'Astana 2019.

Lorincz a pris le dessus 3-0 sur le champion du monde des U23 et inflige à son compatriote une projection sur ramassement de jambes - avant de le retrouver au deuxième événement de série de classement de lutte gréco-romaine de l'année, le Grand Prix de Hongrie.  

Lorincz a ensuite remporté sa finale 3-1 face au Suédois Kristoffer BERG.