Belarus Crowns Three Champs, Armenia’s Tevanyan Keeps Hot Streak Alive

By Eric Olanowski

BUDAPEST, Hungary (March 19) --- Belarus crowned three freestyle champions at the European Olympic Qualifier, while Armenia’s Vazgen TEVANYAN (ARM) kept his hot streak alive and proved his serious contender to leave the Tokyo Olympic Games with gold around his neck.

Yesterday, Ali SHABANAU (BLR), Aliaksandr HUSHTYN (BLR) and Dzianis KHRAMIANKOU (BLR) bagged Olympic berths for Belarus, and today, they capped off the competition with golds at 86kg, 97kg, and 125kg, respectively.

Shabanau, the four-time world medal-winner, controlled his 86kg gold-medal match against Osman GOCEN (TUR with his patented left-side underhook. He stayed patient and calculated with his attacks off that hook, using it to pick up three takedowns in the finals, and after a lost Turkish challenge, he walked away with a 7-0 win and the 86kg gold medal.

At 97kg, Hushtyn had a fairly even battle with Suleyman KARADENIZ (TUR) but came up clutch with a short-time takedown to win back-to-back golds for Belarus. He defeated the Turkish wrestler, 5-4.

Dzianis KHRAMIANKOU (BLR) was Belarus' third champion on the day. He was awarded the 125kg title after his final opponenet Gennadij CUDINOVIC (GER) injury defaulted out of the title bout.

Meanwhile, Tevanayn turned heads again and continued to prove that he’s a true threat to leave Tokyo with Olympic gold.

He stunned three-time world champion Haji ALIYEV 9-0 in the 65kg finals.

Since December, he has wins over Olympic champion Vlad KHINCHEGASHVILI (GEO), world bronze medalist Ismail MUSUKAEV (HUN), two-time world medalist Magomedmurad GADZHIEV (POL), and now three-time world champion Aliyev.

Tevanayn was on the inactivity clock in the second period when he blew the doors on the match wide open. He snapped Aliyev down for a takedown and caught the Azeri's left arm in a trapped arm gut wrench. He rolled twice to his left with that trapped arm gut and led 7-0 before closing the match out with one final takedown to claim gold, 9-0.

Arsen HARUTYUNYAN (ARM) also claimed gold for Armenia on Friday night.

In the 57kg finals, Harutyunyan scored a takedown with a textbook head outside single and carried the one-point lead into the second period. The 21-year-old built a comfortable 8-1 lead after a counter-offensive go behind and a pair of below the hip exposures. Harutyunyan’s Bulgarian opponenet tried everything he could to close the gap, but the Armenian took the safe route out, conceding a late takedown and bellying out.  Harutyunyan won the match 8-3.

The final gold medal of the day went to Georgia's '18 world runner-up Avtandil KENTCHADZE. His 74kg finals opponent Khadzhimurad GADZHIYEV (AZE) injury defeated out of the finals, giving the Georgian the final freestyle gold of the competition.


GOLD - Arsen HARUTYUNYAN (ARM) df. Georgi Valentinov VANGELOV (BUL), 8-3
BRONZE - Andrii YATSENKO (UKR) df. Beka BUJIASHVILI (GEO), via injury default
BRONZE - Islam BAZARGANOV (AZE) df. Petru CRACIUN (MDA), via forfeit

GOLD - Vazgen TEVANYAN (ARM) df. Haji ALIYEV (AZE), 9-0
BRONZE - Vladimer KHINCHEGASHVILI (GEO) df. Magomedmurad GADZHIEV (POL), via injury default


GOLD - Avtandil KENTCHADZE (GEO) df. Khadzhimurad GADZHIYEV (AZE), via injury default

GOLD - Ali SHABANAU (BLR) df. Osman GOCEN (TUR), 7-0
BRONZE - Boris MAKOEV (SVK) df. Abubakr ABAKAROV (AZE), 7-5
BRONZE - Piotr IANULOV (MDA) df. Akhmed Adamovitch MAGAMAEV (BUL), 4-4

Aliaksandr HUSHTYN (BLR) df. Suleyman KARADENIZ (TUR), 4-3
Erik Sven THIELE (GER) df. Albert SARITOV (ROU), 4-3
Abraham de Jesus CONYEDO RUANO (ITA) df. Ahmed Sultanovich BATAEV (BUL), 3-0

Dzianis KHRAMIANKOU (BLR) df. Gennadij CUDINOVIC (GER) , via injury default
Shamil SHARIPOV (RUS) df. Johannes LUDESCHER (AUT), 8-0
Jamaladdin MAGOMEDOV (AZE) df. Paris KAREPI (ALB), 11-0



Semenov and Chekhirkin Claim Gold on Final Day of European OG Qualifier

By Eric Olanowski

BUDAPEST, Hungary (January 20) – Russian wrestlers Aleksandr CHEKHIRKIN (RUS) and Sergey SEMENOV (RUS) closed out the final day of the European Olympic Qualifiers with a pair of golds, while Kerem KAMAL (TUR) cruised to his second title of the ’21 season.

Semenov rolled past Lithuania’s Mantas KNYSTAUTAS (LTU) with a pair of second-period side headlocks after he collected an inactivity point. He claimed the 130kg gold, 5-1. Semenov's compatriot and fellow ’18 world champion Chekhirkin also won gold on Sunday night. He was awarded the 77kg gold after his finals opponent Bozo STARCEVIC (CRO) injury defaulted out of the gold-medal match.

Kamal reached the podium for the second time this season (he also won the Henri Deglane) with a four-point victory over Etienne KINSINGER (GER) in the 60kg finals. The match was tied in the opening period when Kamal peddled to the edge of the mat, jarred an underhook in, and tossed the German to his back for four points.

In the second period, Kamal kept his pace high and earned an inactivity point, putting Kingsinger down in par terre. The 21-year-old went for a right-side gut wrench but was stopped mid-way through and conceded a reversal. He stayed poised in the final minute and closed out the match victorious, 5-1.

The final two golds of the evening went to Ramaz ZOIDZE (GEO) and Islam ABBASOV (AZE). They were awarded the 67kg and 87kg golds, respectively, after their finals opponent’s injury defaulted out of the gold-medal matches.

That wraps up our coverage of the European Olympic Qualifier. The event calendar resumes with the African and Oceania Olympic Qualifier April 2-4 in Hammamet, Tunisia.

*Please note that wrestlers who won their semifinal matches at the European Olympic Qualifiers earned berths for their respective nations to the Tokyo Olympic Games. 

GOLD - Kerem KAMAL (TUR) df. Etienne KINSINGER (GER), 5-1
BRONZE - Ivan LIZATOVIC (CRO) df. Murad MAMMADOV (AZE), via injury default
BRONZE - Irakli DZIMISTARISHVILI (GEO) df. Erik TORBA (HUN), via forfeit

GOLD - Ramaz ZOIDZE (GEO) df. Balint KORPASI (HUN), via injury default
BRONZE - Artur POLITAIEV (UKR) df. Slavik GALSTYAN (ARM), via injury default
BRONZE - Deyvid Tihomirov DIMITROV (BUL) df. Donior ISLAMOV (MDA), 9-7

GOLD - Aleksandr CHEKHIRKIN (RUS) df. Bozo STARCEVIC (CRO), via injury default
BRONZE - Viktor NEMES (SRB) df. Aik MNATSAKANIAN (BUL), via injury default

BRONZE - Sanan SULEYMANOV (AZE) df. Oldrich VARGA (CZE), via injury default

GOLD - Islam ABBASOV (AZE) df. Lasha GOBADZE (GEO), via injury default
BRONZE -Metehan BASAR (TUR) df. Milad Valerikovitch ALIRZAEV (RUS), via injury default

GOLD - Arvi Martin SAVOLAINEN (FIN) df. Kiril MILOV (BUL), via injury default
BRONZE - Alex Gergo SZOKE (HUN) df. Artur OMAROV (CZE)

BRONZE - Pontus Johan LUND (SWE) df. Nikoloz KAKHELASHVILI (ITA)

GOLD - Sergey SEMENOV (RUS) df. Mantas KNYSTAUTAS (LTU), 5-1
BRONZE - Adam VARGA (HUN) df. Radoslav Plamenov GEORGIEV (BUL), 3-1

BRONZE - Rafal Andrzej KRAJEWSKI (POL) df. Marko KOSCEVIC (CRO), 11-5