Armenia Sweeps Greco Gold on First Day of German Grand Prix

By William May

DORTMUND, Germany – Armenia swept the first four gold medals in Greco-Roman on the first day of the German Grand Prix and Azerbaijan answered with three gold in men’s freestyle.

Lead by world and Olympic Games medal winners Arsen JULFALAKYAN (ARM) and Artur ALEKSANYAN (ARM), the Armenian entries stormed the field in Greco-Roman along with Artur SHAHINYAN (ARM) and Aram JULFALAKYAN (ARM) completing the sweep.

Among the wins for former European bronze medalist Shahinyan was a 2-1 triumph in the quarterfinals over European champion Zhan BELENYUK (UKR) at 85kg.

“This was our first visit to Dortmund and we thought we could do well, so we’re really happy with today’s results,” said 75kg winner Arsen Julfalakyan. “I’m also happy for my brother because a gold medal here means he will have a chance to challenge for our world team.”

Reigning world champion David SAFARYAN (ARM) tried to add a freestyle gold medal to the Greco-Roman haul for Armenia, but came up short in the 65kg final, where he fell to 61kg European champion Haji ALIEV (AZE).

The bout nearly ended with a red card when Safaryan slapped Aliev during some heated shoving and jostling.  But, cooler heads prevailed and the match continued with Aliev taking control with a series of single-leg attacks.

“David has missed a lot of training because of an injury to a muscle near his shoulder, but he won a bronze medal in Sassari last month and he looked even better today,” explained Julfalakyan. “He’ll be ready by the time we go to the world championships.”

Aliev’s triumph, meanwhile, sparked European championships silver medalist Yabrail HASANOV (AZE) at 75kg and last year’s Golden Grand Prix Final winner Gamzat OSMANOV (AZE) at 85kg to victory. 

The only gold medal to escape Armenia and Azerbaijan on the first day of the Grand Prix went to Ali Aliev tourney bronze medalist Radoslaw BARAN (POL) at 97kg.

Some 250 wrestlers representing 29 countries are competing in the two-day event at Helmut Kornig Hall in Dortmund.


Gold – Aram JULFALAKYAN (ARM) df. Azamat AKHMEDOV (RUS), 5-4
Bronze – Denys DEMYANKOV (UKR) df. Wladimir BERENHARDT (GER), 3-0
Bronze – Yaroslav KARDASH (BLR) df. Fevzi MAMUTOV (UKR), 5-1

Semifinal – Akhmedov df. Demyankov, 6-3
Semifinal – Julfalakyan df. Kardash, 3-1

Gold – Arsen JULFALKYAN (ARM) df. Seref TUFENK (TUR), 2-1
Bronze – Jan ROTTER (GER) df. Piotr PRZEPIORKA (POL) by TF, 12-2
Bronze – Valery PALENSKI (BLR) df. Florian NEUMAIER (GER), 2-1

Semifinal – Tufenk df. Rotter by TF, 8-0
Semifinal – Julfalakyan df. Palenski, 6-0

Gold – Artur SHAHINYAN (ARM) df. Kansu ILDEM (TUR), 5-3
Bronze – Javid HAMZATOV (BLR) Ramsin AZIZSIR (GER), 2-0
Bronze – Zhan BELENYUK (UKR) df. Metehan BASAR (TUR), 3-2

Semifinal – Ildem df. Hamzatov, 1-1
Semifinal – Shahinyan df. Basar, 7-3

Gold – Artur ALEKSANYAN (ARM) df. Cenk ILDEM (TUR) by TF, 10-1
Bronze – Rami HIETANIEMI (FIN) df. Ardo ARUSAAR (EST), 2-1
Bronze – Aleksander HRABOVIK (BLR) df. Timo KALLIO (FIN) by TF, 8-0

Semifinal – Aleksanyan df. Hietaniemi by fall
Semifinal – Ildem df. Hrabovik, 1-0

Men’s Freestyle

Gold – Haji ALIEV (AZE) df. David SAFARYAN (ARM), 5-2
Bronze – Azamat NURIKOV (BLR) df. Martin DAUM (GER), 10-1
Bronze – George BUCUR (ROU) df. Ibro CAKOVIC (SRB) by TF, 11-0

Semifinal – Safaryan df. Nurikov, 6-2
Semifinal – Aliev df. Bucur, 2-1

Gold – Yabrail HASANOV (AZE) df. Georg HARTH (GER) by TF, 13-0
Bronze – Luca LAMPIS (FRA) df. Xavier BEAUFORT (FRA), 3-0
Bronze – Jakub SCIRANKA (SVK) df. Christian ANGUIANA FLORES (MEX), 13-11

Semifinal – Hasanov df. Lampis, 6-1
Semifinal – Harth df. Sciranka by TF, 10-0

Gold – Gamzat OSMANOV (AZE) df. Zbigniew BARANOWSKI (POL), 6-2
Bronze – Gabriel SEREGELYI (GER) df. Akhmed AIBUEV (FRA), 5-1
Bronze – Armands ZVIRBULIS (LAT) df. Ville HEINO (FIN), 1-1

Semifinal – Osmanov df. Seregelyi, 4-1
Semifinal – Baranowski df. Zvirbulis, 11-4

Gold – Radoslaw BARAN (POL) df. Imants LAGODSKIS (LAT), 10-6
Bronze – Stefan KEHRER (GER) df. Rene MATEJOV (SVK), 10-2
Bronze – William HARTH (GER) df. Oldrik WAGNER (GER), 2-0

Semifinal – Baran df. Kehrer by fall
Semifinal – Lagodskis df. Harth, 4-2