17 Countries Represented in U23 Greco-Roman World Semifinals
Monday, November 12, 2018 - 14:57 By Taylor Miller
BUCHAREST, Romania – Greco-Roman action opened the first day of the U23 World Championships on Monday in Bucharest, Romania. The first batch of semifinals are set and feature 17 different nations.
Highlighting the 55 kg semifinals is Nugzari TSURTSUMIA (GEO), who claimed a World bronze medal just two weeks ago at the 2018 Senior World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
To open his tournament, the Georgian defeated Norair Hakohoyan of Armenia, who was fifth in Hungary.
Tsutsumia will take on 2012 Cadet World bronze medalist Balbai Dordokov of Kyrgyzstan for a spot in the finals.
The other 55 kg semifinal will pit 2015 Junior World bronze medalist Amangali BEKBOLATOV (KAZ) against 2018 Russia Nationals champion Vitalii KABALOEV (RUS).
At 63 kg, hometown favorite Mihai MIHUT (ROU) advanced to the semifinals, defeating 2017 Junior World bronze medalist Magomed MAGOMEDOV (RUS) and two-time age-group World bronze winner SLavik GALSTYAN (ARM) in the morning session.
Mihut, a 2015 Junior World bronze medalist, will vie for a spot in the finals against Alexandru BICIU (MDA).
Meysam DALKHANI (IRI), who won Junior World bronze medal in 2016, advance to the 63 kg semifinals, where he will face Katsuaki ENDO (JPN).
There are two 2017 U23 World champions featured in the 77 kg semis, including World champ at 75 kg Fatih CENGIZ (TUR) and World champ at 71 kg Daniel CATARAGA (MDA).
Cengiz will take on 2018 U23 European champion Rajbek BISULTANOV (DEN), while Cataraga will face 2018 Junior World silver medalist and 2017 Junior World bronze medalist Sajan SAJAN (IND).
Three-time age-group World champion Islam ABBASOV (AZE) dominated his first bout of the day against Kanta SHIOKAWA (JPN), 9-0, before having to battle back from a late deficit against Gurami KHETSURIAN (GEO) in the quarterfinals to land a spot in the 87 kg semifinals.
Tonight, he will take on Semen NOVIKOV (UKR).
The other 87 kg semi features 2018 Pan American champion Daniel GREGORICH (CUB) vs. U23 European bronze medalist Gazi KHALILOV (RUS).
At 130 kg, three-time Junior World champion and two-time Cadet World champion Zviadi PATARIDZE (GEO) will face Konsta MAEENPAEAE (FIN) in the semifinals.
Pataridze took second at last year’s U23 Worlds, while Maeenpaeae finished with bronze.
Battling for the other finals spot at 130 kg is 2016 Junior World silver medalist and two-time Junior World bronze medalist Osman YILDIRIM (TUR) and Abdellatif MOHAMED (EGY).
The semifinals are set for 6 p.m. on Monday night. Fans can watch live on unitedworldwrestling.org.
Balbai DORDOKOV (KGZ) vs. Nugzari TSURTSUMIA (GEO)
Amangali BEKBOLATOV (KAZ) vs. Vitalii KABALOEV (RUS)
Katsuaki ENDO (JPN) vs. Meysam DALKHANI (IRI)
Alexandru BICIU (MDA) vs. Mihai MIHUT (ROU)
Rajbek BISULTANOV (DEN) vs. Fatih CENGIZ (TUR)
Sajan SAJAN (IND) vs. Daniel CATARAGA (MDA)
Semen NOVIKOV (UKR) vs. Islam ABBASOV (AZE)
Daniel GREGORICH (CUB) vs. Gazi KHALILOV (RUS)
Zviadi PATARIDZE (GEO) vs. Konsta MAEENPAEAE (FIN)
Osman YILDIRIM (TUR) vs. Abdellatif MOHAMED (EGY)