Alili Makes Macedonian History, Wins First-Ever Cadet European Title

By Eric Olanowski

FAENZA, Italy (June 22) -- Coming into Saturday's European finals, Macedonia had three wrestlers reach the gold-medal bout but never had a cadet wrestler win a continental title in any style. Besir ALILI (MKD) changed that after winning his nations first-ever cadet European title on the sixth day of wrestling in Faenza, Italy. 

For the second year in a row, Alili had an opportunity to do what his fellow countrymen, Boban DANOV (MKD) and Dejan Bogdanov (MKD), couldn’t do, and that was to come out on the winning end of a European gold-medal bout. That’s exactly what he did on Saturday night, rewriting a page in his nation’s history book with a 7-6 come-from-behind win against Harutyun HOVHANNISYAN (ARM) in the 48kg finals. 

The match couldn’t have started any worse for Alili, but he wasn’t going to be denied a gold medal. His Armenian opponent hit a slide by to start the match, and as Alili squared up, Hovhannisyan shot a fireman’s carry. With Alili’s arm trapped, Hovhannisyan came up to his feet and thunderously tossed the Macedonian to his back. The referrers awarded five points to Hovhannisyan for his spectacular throw, leaving Alili down 5-0 less than 30 seconds into the match. To end the exchange that left him behind 5-1, Alili was able to somehow worm his way on top for the reversal, cutting his deficit to four points. 

With under 30 seconds left in the first period, Alili pulled Hovhannisyan’s head down to the mat and locked up a front head pinch, rolling his Armenian opponent over his back three consecutive times. His six points from the front head pinches, coupled with the reversal, gave Alili the 7-5 lead heading into the break. 

From there, there was nothing flashy from Alili’s end, just sound defense and near perfect position that helped him cruise to the 7-6 victory after being down 5-0 to start the match. 

After the match, and before strolling around the mat with the Macedonian flag draped above his head, Alili celebrated sticking the perfect landing on his cartwheel to a backflip. 

Macedonia now has eight cadet European medals. They have Alili’s Day 6 gold, three silvers and four bronze medals. 

The final day of wrestling at the Cadet European Championships starts tomorrow at 18:00 (local time) and can be followed live onwww.unitedworldwretling.org


Team Scores 
GOLD – Russia (105 points)
SILVER – Azerbaijan (70 points)
BRONZE – Ukraine (56 points)
Fourth – Georiga (55 points)
Fifth – Turkey (38 points)

GOLD - Besir ALILI (MKD) df. Harutyun HOVHANNISYAN (ARM), 7-6 

GOLD - Simone Vincenzo PIRODDU (ITA) df. Muhammet KARAVUS (TUR), 5-0 
BRONZE - Ziraddin BAYRAMOV (AZE) df. Hayk ABRAHAMYAN (ARM), 8-6  
BRONZE - Magomed TAZHUDINOV (RUS) df. Burak DEMIR (GER), 12-1 

GOLD - Iman SHIKHSHABEKOV (RUS) df. Dzhabrail GADZHIEV (AZE), 4-0 
BRONZE - Davit PATSINASHVILI (GEO) df. Aliaksandr HULNIK (BLR), 11-0 
BRONZE - Narek POHOSIAN (UKR) df. Krystian Tomasz KRUPINSKI (POL), 13-2 

GOLD - Akhmedkhan TEMBOTOV (RUS) df. Denys SAHALIUK (UKR), 9-0 
BRONZE - Daviti KOGUASHVILI (GEO) df. Abduljalil SHABANOV (AZE), via fall
BRONZE - Rakhim MAGAMADOV (FRA) df. Nihat BEKTAS (TUR), 11-0

GOLD - Andrei BESTAEV (RUS) df. Georgi Lyubomirov IVANOV (BUL), 10-0 
BRONZE - Hamlet NASIBLI (AZE) df. Hubert WISNIEWSKI (POL), 4-0 
BRONZE - David MCHEDLIDZE (UKR) df. Marius UJA (MDA), 3-0 


Russian Cadets Match Junior Squad, Sweep European Team Races

By Eric Olanowski

FAENZA, Italy (June 23) – The Cadet European Championships came to a close on Sunday night with five different nations claiming individual freestyle golds, but it was the Russian Federation who grabbed the team title to pick up their second straight continental sweep. Their junior team also won the freestyle, Greco-Roman and women's wrestling team tiles two weeks ago in Pontevedra, Spain. 

Overall, through the three cadet, junior and senior European Championships, Russia has accumulated eight out of nine team titles. They swept the cadet and junior European Championships, while also finishing with two of three team titles at the Senior European Championships. So far, Ukraine’s women’s wrestlers are the only ones to dethrone the Russians in a team race. 

In Faenza, Russia’s freestyle team capped off their run to a third team title of the week with nine medals and were ten points shy of hitting 200 points. They welcomed their 190 points from four champions, a silver medalist, and four bronze medals. 

They had a trio of Day 6 champions and grabbed their fourth freestyle gold medal of the competition when Abdulkerim ABDULAEV (RUS) demolished Davit KUTCHUASHVILI (GEO), 10-0 in the 72kg gold-medal bout to close out the tournament. 

In the finals, Abdulaev dug his toes in the mat and pushed Kutchuashvili out of bounds shortly after being awarded an inactivity point and collected the two-point advantage over the Georgian heading into the final two minutes of the match. 

In the second period, Abdulaev halted Kutchuashvili’s knee pull single off the whistle and picked up a counter-offensive spin behind. This extended his lead to 4-0. Abdulaev quickly jumped to a left-sided gut wrench then hopped over, locking up a trap arm gut wrench. The Russian ended the match with a pair of turns and won his first European title since winning gold at the 2017 U15 European Championships in Belgrade, Serbia. 

Azerbaijan finished in second place with a solo champion, a pair of runner-ups, and four bronze-medal finishers. Their lone gold medalist came on Sunday night when Sabir JAFAROV (AZE) defeated Genik ASATRYAN (ARM), 6-1 in the 60kg finals. 

Georgia ended their tournament with 140 points, which was good enough for third in the team race. Nikolozi SANTELADZE (GEO) reached the top of the podium on Sunday with a 12-5 win against Murad HAGVERDIYEV (AZE) in the 45kg finals. They also had two wrestlers fall short in the finals and had to settle for a pair of silvers, while also finishing with three bronze medalists. 


Final Freestyle Team Scores 
GOLD – Russia (190 points)
SILVER – Azerbaijan (153 points)
BRONZE – Georgia (140 points)
Fourth – Armenia (102 points)
Fifth - Ukraine (87 points)

GOLD - Nikolozi SANTELADZE (GEO) df. Murad HAGVERDIYEV (AZE), 12-5 
BRONZE - Tolga OZBEK (TUR) df. Anzor MAZHIDOV (RUS), 8-4
BRONZE - Mikita BERAZUN (BLR) df. Stefan SHTERJOV (MKD), 4-2 

GOLD - Mykyta ABRAMOV (UKR) df. Giorgi GOGRITCHIANI (GEO), 16-6 
BRONZE - Kanan HEYBATOV (AZE) df. Ilya RAHOZAU (BLR), 10-0 
BRONZE - Umar UMAROV (RUS) df. Pavel GRAUR (MDA), 8-1 

GOLD - Sabir JAFAROV (AZE) df. Genik ASATRYAN (ARM), 6-1 
BRONZE - Ayub Muratovitch MUSAEV (BEL) df. Alexandru Ioan MATEA (ROU), 10-0 

GOLD - Abdulkerim ABDULAEV (RUS) df. Davit KUTCHUASHVILI (GEO), 10-0 
BRONZE - Muhammed Halit OZMUS (TUR) df. Gabriel IGLESIAS RAMOS (ESP), 10-0 
BRONZE - Menua YARIBEKYAN (ARM) df. Lilian BALAN (MDA), 6-4 

GOLD - Lyova GEVORGYAN (ARM) df. Islam KARTOEV (RUS), 6-3 
BRONZE - Sagadulla AGAEV (AZE) df. Redjep HAJDARI (MKD), 15-2