Abbasov, Cengiz Set to Renew Rivalry at European Jr. C’ships

By William May

BUCHAREST (June 22) – Defending champion Islam ABBASOV (AZE) and reigning world champ Ali CENGIZ (TUR) square off for “Abbasov-Cengiz III” as the Greco-Roman competition comes to a close Wednesday evening at the European Junior Wrestling Championships.

Abbasov won last year’s meeting with Cengiz at the European meet in Istanbul with a technical fall, while Cengiz avenged that loss with a 10-6 victory over Abbasov in the gold medal final at the junior world meet in Brazil last August.

“We think it will be a good match and there will be some good wrestling,” said coach Shaban DONAT (AZE) after being asked for his thoughts. “But, in the end, we believe that (Abbasov) will win.”

Abbas won all three of his bouts in Wednesday’s morning session by technical fall, while Cengiz went the distance in each of his three bouts at Polyvalent Hall Bucharest – but still dominated by a combined score of 16-2.

Meanwhile, junior world champs Ramaz ZOIDZE (GEO) and Zviadi PATARIDZE (GEO) also advanced to the gold medal bouts at 66kg and 120kg, respectively, while coaxing Georgia closer to a repeat as Greco-Roman team champions.

Zoidze, who defeated defending champion Murat FIRAT (TUR) in an early bout Wednesday, will face last year’s runner-up at 60kg in Istanbul Parviz NASIBOV (UKR) in the gold medal featherweight final.

Meanwhile, 19-year-old Pataridze will seek his sixth straight age-group title since winning the cadet world crown in 2013 when he squares off with Nikolai IZMAILOV (RUS) in the 120kg final.

Also, in the morning session, Nofal BABAEV (AZE) nearly missed a chance to wrestle for his second European junior crown when Teodor HORATAO (ROU) apparently won their seesaw semifinal at 55kg on criteria.

Tournament officials, however, caught the scorekeeping error – a “1 and 1” exchange was erroneously entered as “2” – giving Horatao the win on criteria. With the correction, Babaev was declared the winner much to the chagrin of the tournament hosts.

-- Semifinal Results & Pairings for the Medal Finals --


55kg (19 entries)

Gold – Zhora ABOVYAN (UKR) v Nofal BABAEV (AZE)

Semifinal – Zhora ABOVYAN (UKR) df. Ararat MANUCHARYAN (ARM), 2-1
Semifinal – Nofal BABAEV (AZE) df. Teodor HORATAO (ROU), 6-6

66kg (26 entries)

Gold – Parviz NASIBOV (UKR) v Ramaz ZOIDZE (GEO)
Bronze – Valeriu TODEREANU (MDA) v Sanan SULEYMANOV (AZE)
Bronze – Murat FIRAT (TUR) v Deyvid DIMITROV (BUL)

Semifinal – Parviz NASIBOV (UKR) df. Sanan SULEYMANOV (AZE), 7-7
Semifinal – Ramaz ZOIDZE (GEO) df. Deyvid DIMITROV (BUL) by TF, 8-0, 0:26

84kg (22 entries)

Gold – Islam ABBASOV (AZE) v Ali CENGIZ (TUR)
Bronze – Arian GUENEY (GER) v Ivan HUKLEK (CRO)
Bronze – Vladislav KULPA (RUS) v Gurami KHETSURIANI (GEO)

Semifinal – Islam ABBASOV (AZE) df. Ivan HUKLEK (CRO) by TF, 11-2, 3:21
Semifinal – Ali CENGIZ (TUR) df. Gurami KHETSURIANI (GEO), 5-2

120kg (13 entries)

Gold – Nikolai IZMAILOV (RUS) v Zviadi PATARIDZE (GEO)
Bronze – Artur VITITIN (EST) v Pavel RUDAKOV (BLR)
Bronze – Leonard BEREI (ROU) v Osman YILDIRIM (TUR)

Semifinal – Nikolai IZMAILOV (RUS) df. Pavel RUDAKOV (BLR), 9-2
Semifinal – Zviadi PATARIDZE (GEO) df. Osman YILDIRIM (TUR), 5-0