Bolton ‘Wanderer’ Grabs Britain’s 1st Medal in European Jr Wrestling

By William May

BUCHAREST (June 25) – Bolton native George RAMM (GBR) is a devoted fan of local football club, The Wanderers, so it may be more than fitting that this “wanderer” has been on the road most of the last nine months in search of wrestling success.

On Saturday, Ramm got a taste of international success when he claimed Britain’s first-ever medal at the European junior wrestling championships with a win in the bronze medal finals at 60kg.

“Words can’t describe what I’m feeling,” Ramm said after his triumph. “Some people don’t think we (the British) can compete in sports like wrestling, so words can’t describe (what the win means).”

Ramm explained that he and coach Anatoli KHARITONYUK (GBR) have been traveling around Europe since last September for training and competition in places like Ukraine and Germany. In February, Ramm earned a fifth place in the prestigious Ukraine International.

Asked about his low-level leg attack which resembles the likes of Olympic Games gold medalists John SMITH (USA) and Jordan BURROUGHS (USA), Ramm is quick to correct that impression: “It’s all Anatoli.”

He explained that 1975 world silver medalist Kharitonyuk for the now-defunct Soviet Union taught him some different angles of attack for the low-single that make the technique different from the Americans and “more effective for me.”

Earlier in the day, Ramm racked up a pair of technical falls on the strength of his low single and its variations, but could not get it going against eventual gold medalist Uruzbek TSOMARTOV (RUS), falling by technical fall.

In the bronze medal final, Patryk OLENCZYN (POL) tried to control Ramm with strong tie-ups to prevent any low-level attacks, but Ramm dumped his opponent to the back for four points in the first period and then played cat-and-mouse in the second for the 9-4 win.

Meanwhile, Tsomartov, who led the Russian quartet’s charge into the gold medal finals with three technical falls, raced out to an 8-0 lead against Selim KOZAN (TUR) in the gold medal final, but then struggled in the second to hold on for an 11-8 win.

Defending champion Yuri VLASKO (RUS) scored an early go-behind in the first period of the 96kg final, but European under-23 bronze medalist Givi MATCHARACHVILI (GEO) answered back in the second period before Vlasko scored a force-out point that stood for a 3-2 victory.

Russia’s hopes for four gold medals on the first day of freestyle at the European junior meet for a second year in a row were dashed when, ironically, senior national champion at 70kg Zaurbek SIDAKOV (RUS) came up short in the 74kg final.

European U23 silver medalist at 74kg Murad SULEYMANOV (AZE) scored a single-leg and gut wrench midway through the first period for a 4-0 lead and then frustrated Sidakov throughout the second for a 9-4 victory.

In the first gold medal final of the evening at 50kg, Georgi OKOROKOV (RUS), who struggled through a pair of one-point wins in the morning, struck with a double-leg takedown off the whistle and stacked Razvan KOVACS (ROU) for the fall at 31 seconds.

Results of Medal Finals & Semifinals:


50kg (15 entries)
Gold – Georgi OKOROKOV (RUS) df. Razvan KOVACS (ROU) by Fall, 0:31 
Bronze – Kamil KERYMOV (UKR) df. Genadi MARINOV (BUL) by TF, 10-0, 3:39 
Bronze – Aliabbas RZAZADE (AZE) df. Giorgi KHACHIDZE (GEO) by TF, 10-0, 3:17

Semifinal – Razvan KOVACS (ROU) df. Kamil KERYMOV (UKR), 10-4
Semifinal – Georgi OKOROKOV (RUS) df. Giorgi KHACHIDZE (GEO) by TF, 10-0, 1:06 

60kg (22 entries)
Gold – Uruzbek TSOMARTOV (RUS) df. Selim KOZAN (TUR), 11-8
Bronze – George RAMM (GBR) df. Patryk OLECZYN (POL), 9-4 
Bronze – Shmagi TODUA (GEO) df. Yaroslav HURSKYY (UKR), 5-3 

Semifinal – Uruzbek TSOMARTOV (RUS) df. George RAMM (GBR) by TF, 11-0, 1:15
Semifinal – Selim KOZAN (TUR) df. Shmagi TODUA (GEO) by TF, 12-1, 4:26

74kg (18 entries)
Gold – Murad SULEYMANOV (AZE) df. Zaurbek SIDAKOV (RUS), 9-4
Bronze – Tigran MNATSKANYAN (ARM) df. Fazli ERYILMAZ (TUR), 5-2
Bronze – Tariel GAPRINDASHVILI (GEO) df. Andrius MAZEIKA (LTU) by TF, 12-1, 1:33

Semifinal – Zaurbek SIDAKOV (RUS) df. Tigran MNATSKANYAN (ARM) by TF, 12-2, 3:35
Semifinal – Murad SULEYMANOV (AZE) df. Andrius MAZEIKA (LTU) by TF, 10-0, 1:41

96kg (15 entries)
Gold – Yuri VLASKO (RUS) df. Givi MATCHARACHVILI (GEO), 3-2
Bronze – Feyzullah AKTURK (TUR) df. Kristof WITTMAN (HUN), 6-3
Bronze – Magomedrasul GAZIMAGOMEDOV (AZE) df. Ilja MATUHIN (GER), 8-2

Semifinal – Yuri VLASKO (RUS) df. Kristof WITTMAN (HUN) by TF, 12-1, 5:28 
Semifinal – Givi MATCHARACHVILI (GEO) df. Magomedrasul GAZIMAGOMEDOV (AZE), 5-2