Asian Championships day one finals set

By Ken Marantz & Vinay Siwach

ASTANA, Kazakhstan (April 9) -- The Asian Championships are underway in Astana. Greco-Roman will kick off the continental championships with five weight classes. The tournament has same-day finals.


The finals are set. Like always, Greco-Roman threw some stunning bout. Here are the pairs

55kg - RUPIN (IND) vs. Poya DAD MARZ (IRI)
63kg - Iman Hossein Khoon MOHAMMADI (IRI) vs. Shermukhammad SHARIBJANOV (UZB) 77kg - Akzhol MAKHMUDOV (KGZ) vs. Amin KAVIYANINEJAD (IRI)
87kg - Naser Ghasem ALIZADEH (IRI) vs. Nursultan TURSYNOV (KAZ)
130kg - Amin MIRZAZADEH (IRI) vs. Lingzhe MENG (CHN) 

14:26: In the final semifinal match, Alikhan SYZDYKOV (KAZ) ran out of gas and lost his chance to defend his title after losing with three cautions to Zagreb Open bronze medalist Lingzhe MENG (CHN). Syzydkov was leading 3-0 in the second period when he had no energy to withstand Meng, who would have won anyway by technical fall as the score was 11-3 after Syzdykov received his third caution for fleeing during a stepout.

14:25: Amin MIRZAZADEH (IRI) with a par terre to gut wrench and wins his 130kg semifinal against Temurbek NASIMOV (UZB) 9-0.

14:15: Nursultan TURSYNOV (KAZ) has got the home crowd excited. He sends A. AZISBEKOV (KGZ) to two big throws and wins his 87kg semifinal 11-0. He will wrestle Naser ALIZADEH (IRI) for the gold.

14:12: The 7-point lead that Naser ALIZADEH (IRI) built up in the first period provided more than the cushion he needed when he gave up a second-period takedown to Sunil KUMAR (IND), and the 7-2 win gives him the chance a winning a second straight 87kg title. Kumar will have a chance for a second straight bronze.

14:04: World champion Akzhol MAKHMUDOV (KGZ) proved too much for Kodai SAKURABA (JPN), storming to a 9-1 technical fall in 2:41 to give him a shot at a third senior Asian title. Sakuraba will be wrestling for a second straight bronze. 

14:01: Demeu ZHADRAYEV (KAZ) led 1-0 at the break after the forced par terre position before Amin KAVIYANINEJAD (IRI) got the lead 1-1 for his par terre. He managed to roll Zhadrayev and lead 3-1. Kaviyaninejad was called for passivity but did not give up any points. He wins 3-1 to reach the final.

13:58: Shermukhammad SHARIBJANOV (UZB), the Asian U23 champion, will have a shot at the senior title after coming back with a dramatic victory by fall over Mukhamedali MAMURBEK (KAZ) in the other 63kg semifinal. Mamurbek had taken a 5-2 lead before Sharibjanov stormed back.

13:52: No surprises there as Iman Hossein Khoon MOHAMMADI (IRI) rolls Jinseub SONG (KOR) to a 9-0 win. He uses his gut wrench from par terre to reach the final at 63kg.

13:43: In a replay of the final at the Ranking Series Zagreb Open in February, Poya DAD MARZ (IRI) dispatched Ikhtiyor BOTIROV (UZ) 8-1 to advance to the 55kg final, assuring that he will improve on his bronze medal from 2021. 

13:40: RUPIN (IND) into the final at 55kg. He gets a gut wrench from par terre and then defends his par terre position to beat Haifeng ZHANG (CHN) 3-1 in the semifinal

We have the semifinals set. Here's how the order will be

Mat B
55kg - RUPIN (IND) vs Haifeng ZHANG (CHN)
63kg - Iman Hossein Khoon MOHAMMADI (IRI) vs. Jinseub SONG (KOR)
87kg - A. AZISBEKOV (KGZ) vs. Nursultan TURSYNOV (KAZ)
130kg - Amin MIRZAZADEH ((IRI) vs Temurbek NASIMOV (KAZ)

Mat C
55kg - Ikhtiyor BOTIROV (UZB) vs. Poya DAD MARZ (IRI)
63kg - Shermukhammad SHARIBJANOV (UZB) vs Mukhamedali MAMURBEK (KAZ)
77kg - Akzhol MAKHMUDOV (KGZ) vs Kodai SAKURABA (JPN)
87kg - Naser ALIZADEH (IRI) vs. Sunil KUMAR (IND) 
130kg - Alimkhan SYZDYKOV (KAZ) vs. Lingzhe MENG (CHN)

13:20: 2020 Asian champion Sunil KUMAR (IND) is in the semifinal. He will face defending champion Naser ALIZADEH (IRI) at 87kg on Mat C

13:13: Iran made it a perfect 5-for-5 for getting its wrestlers into the semifinals, but Amin KAVIYANINEJAD (IRI) cut it as close as possible at 77kg. Kaviyaninejad, the 2020 Asian champion at 72kg, squeezed out a 1-1 victory over Rui LIU (CHN) by resisting from the bottom of par terre in the final minute.  

13:02: World silver medalist Amin MIRZAZADEH (IRI) is into the semifinals at 130kg after brushing aside Roman KIM (KGZ) by technical fall. Mirzazadeh is looking to add to the senior Asian title he won in 2020. 

12:56: World U23 champion Poya DAD MARZ (IRI) looked clinical in rolling to an 8-0 technical fall over Taiga ONISHI (JPN) to gain a place in the 55kg semifinals.

12:51: Nursultan TURSYNOV (KAZ), looking for his first Asian medal since 2015, showed how experience counts in this sport when he shrugged off an 0-5 deficit and came back for an 11-5 win over 2022 silver medalist Jalgasbay BERDIMURATOV (UZB) in the quarterfinals at 87kg. Turynov topped off the win with a pair of gut-wrenches. 

12:48: Hyeonwoo KIM (KOR) with a stunning head pinch to throw Kodai SAKURABA (JPN) in the first half. But they have called it a foul. A challenge from Kim. Reviews show that he committed a leg foul. A big throw from Kim but it's two each for both the wrestlers. Sakuraba scores another move and it's 7-5 for him. Kim will bow out.

12:38: World champion Akzhol MAKHMUDOV (KGZ) begins his title defense at 77kg in style, rolling to a 9-0 technical fall over Jeyhun OVEZDURDYYEV (TKM) to advance to the semifinals. 

12:41: Another defending champion, Naser ALIZADEH (IRI) at 87kg, overcame the challenge of a gutsy Masato SUMI (JPN) to make the semifinals with a 1-1 victory. Neither wrestler could score from par terre, and Alizadeh got the win by last-point criteria. 

12:32: Defending 130kg champion Alimkhan SYZDYKOV (KAZ) gut-wrenched his way to a technical fall over Aybegshazada KURRAYEV (TKM) to book his place in the semifinals. 

12:26: At 130kg, world U20 bronze medalist Temurbek NASIMOV (UZB) fights out of a near go-behind takedown and hangs on for a 5-3 win over NAVEEN (IND) to make the semifinals.  

12:12: World U20 bronze medalist Taiga ONISHI (JPN), looking to keep the 55kg title in Japanese hands for the third straight year following the back-to-back golds by Yu SHIOTANI (JPN), cruised to a 5-0 victory over Mostafa ALQADE (JOR). Next up is world U23 champion Poya DAD MARZ (IRI). 

12:05: Masato SUMI (JPN) begins with a statement win. He moves to the quarterfinals with an 11-0 win over Shyhazberdi OVELEKOV (TKM).

12:01: 2022 bronze medalist Kodai SAKURABA (JPN) gets the big lift to finish off a technical fall over Lai Hsing YAO (TPE) at 77kg. That puts him into a quarterfinal clash with 34-year-old 5-time champion Hyeonwoo KIM (KOR).

11:58: Veteran Demeu ZHADRAYEV (KAZ), looking for his fifth career senior Asian medal, gets off to a good start with a technical fall over Amro SADEH (JOR) at 77kg. 

11:48: NEERAJ (IND), a bronze medalist in 2022, gets through his qualification round match at 63kg by holding on for a 7-6 win over Dastan KADYROV (KGZ) to advance to the quarterfinals. 

11:40: We did not expect that start! RUPIN (IND) wrestles back from 7-0 down to a 16-7 win over Sardarbek KONUSHBAEV (KGZ) as Rupin exposes Konushbaev's weak conditioning. 

11:30: Welcome to Astana for the start of the Asian Championships. We're kicking off the six days of action with five weight classes in Greco-Roman -- 55kg, 63kg, 77kg, 87kg, 130kg. There are three defending champions in action today, Akzhol MAKHMUDOV (KGZ) at 77kg, Naser ALIZADEH (IRI) at 87kg and Alimkhan SYZDYKOV (KAZ) at 130kg. Makhmudov is also the reigning world champion. 


WATCH: 10 freestyle finals from Asian Championships

By Vinay Siwach

ASTANA, Kazakhstan (May 9) -- Kazakhstan gave its best-ever performance at the Asian Championships in freestyle, winning the team title with ease. It won four gold medals out of 10. Six other nations -- Japan, Iran, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, India and Bahrain -- won a gold medal each at the competition.

Watch the 10 gold medal bouts from the Asian Championships.

GOLD: 57kg - AMAN (IND) vs. Almaz SMANBEKOV (KGZ)