Akgul on Target for No.4 on First Day of FS Events at Paris World C'ships
Friday, August 25, 2017 - 14:31 By William May
PARIS (August 25) – World and Olympic Games champion Taha AKGUL (TUR) rolled over three opponents on the opening day of freestyle events at the Paris 2017 Wrestling World Championships and appears on target for his fourth world-level title.
Akgul made short work of Spanish Grand Prix titlist Nick GWIAZDOWSKI (USA), 10-0, in the semifinals at AccorHotels Arena and will take on Rio 2016 bronze medalist Geno PETRIASHVILI (GEO) in the 125kg championship final Friday evening.
Akgul will be making a bid for his fourth world-level title in a row – the first super heavyweight to do so since Soslan ANDIEV (URS) from 1975 to 1978.
Petriashvili, wrestling in his third senior world meet, notched three technical falls in the qualification rounds to advance to his first world championship final – after winning bronze medals in 2013 and 2015.
World and Rio 2016 champion at 57kg Vladimir KHINCHEGASHVILI (GEO) was less successful in his bid for a title in a heavier category as he stumbled, 6-3, in the quarterfinals at 61kg to European under-23 champion Gadshimurad RASHIDOV (RUS).
Rashidov advanced to the finals with an 8-2 win over Cengizhan ERDOGAN (TUR) and will face Rio 2016 bronze medalist at 61kg Haji ALIEV (AZE) with a chance for his first world title. Aliev will be seeking his third world crown at 61kg after titles in 2014 and 2015.
With Rashidov’s trip to the gold medal round, Khinchegashvili was pulled into the consolation round where he defeated 2016 world champion Logan STIEBER (USA) and will face Erdogan for a bronze medal.
Before the world championships, Thomas GILMAN (USA) said he had to prepare for a wrestler from Japan, but his opponent in the 57kg gold medal bout will not be the wrestler he assumed.
Gilman, who had been referring to Rio 2016 Olympic silver medalist Rei HIGUCHI (JPN), will instead have to face Asia champion Yuki TAKAHASHI (JPN). Both wrestlers will be seeking their first world titles.
Semifinal Results & Medal Final Pairings
57kg (29 entries)
Gold – Thomas GILMAN (USA) v Yuki TAKAHASHI (JPN)
Bronze – Andriy YATSENKO (UKR) v JONG Hak-Jin (PRK)
Bronze – ERDENEBAT Bekhbayar (MGL) v Vladimir DUBOV (BUL)
Semifinal – Thomas GILMAN (USA) df. JONG Hak-Jin (PRK), 5-4
Semifinal – Yuki TAKAHASHI (JPN) df. Vladimir DUBOV (BUL), 7-2
61kg (31 entries)
Gold – Gadshimurad RASHIDOV (RUS) v Haji ALIEV (AZE)
Bronze – Vladimir KHINCHEGASHVILI (GEO) v Cengizhan ERDOGAN (TUR)
Bronze – Rinya NAKAMURA (JPN) v Yowlys BONNE RODRIGUEZ (CUB)
Semifinal – Gadshimurad RASHIDOV (RUS) df. Cengizhan ERDOGAN (TUR), 8-2
Semifinal – Haji ALIEV (AZE) df. Yowlys BONNE RODRIGUEZ (CUB) by Fall, 2:13 (10-0)
86kg (34 entries)
Gold – Hassan YAZDANI CHARATI (IRI) v Boris MAKOEV (SVK)
Bronze – Aleksander GOSTIEV (AZE) v Vladislav VALIEV (RUS)
Bronze – Mihail GANEV (BUL) v J’den COX (USA)
Semifinal – Hassan YAZDANI CHARATI (IRI) df. Vladislav VALIEV (RUS), 4-0
Semifinal – Boris MAKOEV (SVK) df. J’den COX (USA), 6-3
125kg (25 entries)
Gold – Taha AKGUL (TUR) v Geno PETRIASHVILI (GEO)
Bronze – NATSAGSUREN Zolboo (MGL) v Nick GWIAZDOWSKI (USA)
Bronze – Anzor KHIZRIEV (RUS) v Levan BERIANIDZE (ARM)
Semifinal – Taha AKGUL (TUR) df. Nick GWIAZDOWSKI (USA) by TF, 10-0, 2:21
Semifinal – Geno PETRIASHVILI (GEO) df. Levan BERIANIDZE (ARM) by TF, 12-2. 3:38