American Duo Repeat, But Come Up Short to Russia for FS Team Title at Cadet World C’ships

By William May

TBILISI (September 18) – Defending champions Yianni DIAKOMIHALIS (USA) and Gable STEVESON (USA) won handily in their gold medal matches Sunday evening, but the U.S. squad came up shorts in their quest for the freestyle title af the Cadet Wrestling World Championships.

Diakomihalis opened with a pair of takedowns early in the 63kg final at Tbilisi Sports Palace and cruised to an 8-0 win over 2015 European bronze medalist Stefan TONU (MDA).

Steveson capped the wrestling at the championships with a 5-1 victory over Adam BETERBIEV (RUS) in the 100kg final. Steveson was sent flying off the mat platform early in the first period, but answered back quickly with a takedown and gut wrench, then nursed the lead of the win.

Russia, meanwhile, crowned its second champion of the freestyle competition when Zagir SHAKHIEV (RUS) wrapped up a cross-ankle lock and turned it for an 8-0, then took Swapnil SHELAR (IND) down at 1:36 of the 46kg final. Petr KOPYLOV (RUS) won the gold medal at 50kg on Saturday.

Russia’s third entry in the finals Sunday, Kamil ABDULZHAMALOV (RUS) got in a wild and emotionally charged bout at 76kg with hometown favorite Miriani MAISURADZE (GEO). With the score tied a 1-1, Abdulzhamalov walked into a pair of four-point throws while security officials tried to clear the area around the mat.

Abdulzhamalov scored twice himself before the match ended, but it was too little, too late as Maisuradze held on for an 11-9  win.

Despite the two losses, Russia still had enough to slip past the U.S. for the team title 69-67. Azerbaijan and host Georgia were tied with 47 points, with Azerbaijan taking the third place trophy by virtue of the silver medal won by Mahir MAMMAZADA (AZE) at 42kg on Saturday.

At 54kg, Andrey DZHELEP (UKR), who has never finished in the top 10 in two trips to the European, scored an early go-behind takedown against European champion and world silver medalist Georgios PILIDIS (GRE) and made it stand for a 3-2 win.


46kg (20 entries)
Gold – Zagir SHAKHIEV (RUS) df. Swapnil SHELAR (IND) by TF, 10-0, 1:36

Bronze – Dogan KARA (TUR) df. Akbar KENZHEBEK UULU (KGZ), 9-7
Bronze – Marcell KOVACS (HUN) df. Hirai TANAKA (JPN) by Injury Default, 0:01 (0-0)

Semifinal – Zagir SHAKHIEV (RUS) df. Akbar KENZHEBEK UULU (KGZ) by TF, 10-0, 0:43
Semifinal – Swapnil SHELAR (IND) df. Hirai TANAKA (JPN) by Injury Default, 2:12 (6-0)

54kg (22 entries)
Gold – Andrey DZHELEP (UKR) df. Georgios PILIDIS (GRE), 3-2

Bronze – Ravinder RAVINDER (IND) df. Amiran VAKHTANGASHVILI (GEO), 11-0, 2:34
Bronze – Abzal OKENOV (KAZ) df. Arsen HARUTYUNYAN (ARM), 6-3

Semifinal – Andrey DZHELEP (UKR) df. Amiran VAKHTANGASHVILI (GEO) by Fall, 3:58 (10-4)
Semifinal – Georgios PILIDIS (GRE) df. Abzal OKENOV (KAZ), 11-7

63kg (23 entries)
Gold – Yianni DIAKOMIHALIS (USA) df. Stefan TONU (MDA), 8-0

Bronze – Inal DZJOPUA (AZE) df. Turgay FEVZI (BUL), 8-0
Bronze – Jintaro MOTOYAMA (JPN) df. Ulan TOLEGEN (KAZ), 9-2 

Semifinal – Stefan TONU (MDA) df. Turgay FEVZI (BUL), 7-3 
Semifinal – Yianni DIAKOMIHALIS (USA) df. Jintaro MOTOYAMA (JPN), 9-3

76kg (24 entries)
Gold – Miriani MAISURADZE (GEO) df. Kamil ABDULZHAMALOV (RUS), 11-9

Bronze – Andriy GYKA (UKR) df. Arman AVAGYAN (ARM), 7-7
Bronze – Travis WITTLAKE (USA) df. Shutaro YAMADA (JPN), 5-4

Semifinal – Miriani MAISURADZE (GEO) df. Arman AVAGYAN (ARM) by TF, 10-0, 2:47
Semifinal – Kamil ABDULZHAMALOV (RUS) v Shutaro YAMADA (JPN), 7-7

100kg (16 entries)
Gold – Gable STEVESON (USA) df. Adam BETERBIEV (RUS), 5-1

Bronze – Viky VIKY (IND) df. Ashot RUSHANYAN (ARM), 3-0 
Bronze – Ashkab HAMZATOV (AZE) df. Alisher YERGALI (KAZ), 5-0

Semifinal – Gable STEVESON (USA) df. Viky VIKY (IND), 5-1 
Semifinal – Adam BETERBIEV (RUS) df. Ashkab HAMZATOV (AZE), by TF, 10-0, 0:26

Team Standings, Freestyle (Top six)

1. Russia, 69 points (2 gold medals, 2 silver, 3 bronze)
2. United States, 67 (3-1-3)
3. Azerbaijan, 47 (1-1-2)
4. Georgia, 47 (1-0-2)
5. Japan, 42 (0-0-1)
6. India, 39 (1-1-2)