Cataraga Becomes First to Win Back-to-Back U23 World Titles

By Taylor Miller

Photo of Daniel CATARAGA (MDA) by Martin Gabor. 

BUCHAREST, Romania – Daniel CATARAGA (MDA) became the first two-time U23 World champion in history, winning the 77 kg weight class on Tuesday night at the U23 World Championships in Bucharest, Romania.

After winning the 2017 U23 World title at 71 kg, Cataraga bumped up to 77 kg to claim his second, putting together a solid tournament to do so.

In gold-medal match, Cataraga faced 2018 U23 European champion Rajbek Alvievich BISULTANOV (DEN).

The Moldova native threw up six quick points on the board before securing a fall and the crown in 2:45.

In the heavyweight finale,
Zviadi PATARIDZE (GEO) battled back from a five-point deficit against Osman YILDIRIM (TUR) to win gold at 130 kg.

Yildirim led 5-0 at the break before Pataridze slowly chipped away at the lead, drawing a passivity, two caution-and-twos and a step out point to win his sixth age-group World championship.

In addition to his U23 World gold, Pataridze is a three-time Junior World champion and two-time Cadet World champion. Last year, Pataridze won silver at the U23 Worlds in Poland.

At 55 kg, Nugzari TSURTSUMIA (GEO), who won a Senior World bronze medal in Budapest, Hungary, just two weeks ago, topped the U23 World podium with a steady 3-2 win over 2018 Russia Nationals champion Vitalii KABALOEV (RUS).

Tsurtsumia scored all of his points in the first period and held off an aggressive Kabaloev in the second period for his first World title and second World medal of 2018.

After taking 15th at Senior Worlds in Budapest, Katsuaki ENDO (JPN) dominated Alexandru BICIU (MDA) in the 63 kg finals, 8-0. Endo took advantage of a chance on top in par terre, where he scored five points after the initial passivity point. Endo closed out the match with a takedown late in the first period for the technical fall.

Semen NOVIKOV (UKR) claimed the 87 kg World title, besting 2018 Senior Pan American champion Daniel GRGEGORICH (CUB) with a 10-2 technical fall. Early in the second period, Novikov scored four points on a throw attempt from Gregorich, and moments later, the Ukrainian picked up a takedown to end the bout.

Finals results

Greco-Roman, 55 kg
GOLD – Nugzari TSURTSUMIA (GEO) dec. Vitalii KABALOEV (RUS), 3-2
BRONZE - Balbai DORDOKOV (KGZ) dec. Norayr HAKHOYAN (ARM), 7-3
BRONZE - Amangali BEKBOLATOV (KAZ) tech. fall Shota OGAWA (JPN), 8-0

Greco-Roman, 63 kg
GOLD – Katsuaki ENDO (JPN) df. Alexandru BICIU (MDA), 8-0
BRONZE – Mihai Radu MIHUT (ROU) df. Turabek TIRKASHEV (UZB), 11-2 
BRONZE – Oleksandr HRUSHYN (UKR) df. Meysam Karamali DALKHANI (IRI), 12-4

Greco-Roman, 77 kg
GOLD – Daniel CATARAGA (MDA) df. Rajbek Alvievich BISULTANOV (DEN), fall 2:45
BRONZE – Fatih CENGIZ (TUR) df. Khalid KERCHIYEV (SWE), 5-1  
BRONZE – Ismail SAIDKHASANOV (RUS) df. Sajan SAJAN (IND), 6-5  

Greco-Roman, 87 kg
GOLD – Semen NOVIKOV (UKR) df. Daniel GREGORICH (CUB), 10-2
BRONZE - Anton KURS (BLR) df. Gazi KHALILOV (RUS), 10-0
BRONZE - Islam ABBASOV (AZE) df. Mohamed METWALLY (EGY), 3-3

Greco-Roman, 130 kg
GOLD – Zviadi PATARIDZE (GEO) df. Osman YILDIRIM (TUR), 6-5
BRONZE - Abdellatif MOHAMED (EGY) df. Oskar MARVIK (NOR), 2-1

Team standings (top-six)
1. Georgia – 58
2. Russia – 51
3. Ukraine – 46
4. Moldova - 45
5. Japan – 35
6. Turkey – 35


Russia Wins Two Golds on Sunday, Claims #BuchaWrestU23 Team Title

By Taylor Miller

BUCHAREST, Romania – Russia claimed the men’s freestyle team title, producing two champions on Sunday night at the 2018 U23 World Championships in Bucharest, Romania.

2018 U23 European champion Magomedrasul IDRISOV (RUS) began the night with a gold medal for Russia, defeating Sean FAUSZ (USA), 11-1, in the 61 kg finals, fueled by three takedowns in the second period.

At 74 kg, Avtandil KENTCHADZE (GEO) made his second World finals appearance in just a few weeks after claiming silver at the 2018 Senior World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, last month.

This time, he topped the podium, sticking host country’s Maxim VASILIOGLO (ROU) in the first period at the 1:51 mark.

Winning the crown at 86 kg was Kamran GHASEMPOUR (IRI), a 2013 Cadet World bronze medalist. Ghasempour controlled the entire match, giving up only one point to 2017 Junior World champion Artur NAIFONOV (RUS) in a 4-1 win.

Scoring 10 points in the second period, 2018 U23 European champion Shamil ZUBAIROV (AZE) toppled Aslanbek SOTIEV (RUS) with a 13-8 comeback win for the World title at 92 kg.

In the last 90 seconds, Zubairov scored two takedowns plus exposure points to get ahead.

Ending the night with another gold medal for Russia was 2015 Junior World champion Said GAMIDOV (RUS), who pinned Youssif HEMIDA (USA) in 2:07 for his second age-group World title.

Sending five to Sunday’s medal matches, Iran went 4-1, picking up one gold and three bronzes to earn a spot on the podium, taking third with 105 points. Georgia finished second in the team race with 108 points. Rounding out the top five was Japan and USA.

Final results

61 kg
GOLD: Magomedrasul IDRISOV (RUS) df. Sean FAUSZ (USA), 11-1
BRONZE: Minghu LIU (CHN) df. Iman Mokhtar SADEGHIKOUKANDEH (IRI), 3-3

74 kg
GOLD: Avtandil KENTCHADZE (GEO) df. Maxim VASILIOGLO (ROU), fall
BRONZE: Timur BIZHOEV (RUS) df. Akhsarbek GULAEV (SVK), 5-2
BRONZE: Navid ZANGANEH (IRI) df. Andranik GABRIELYAN (ARM), 10-0

86 kg
BRONZE: Murad SULEYMANOV (AZE) df. Alexander MOORE (CAN), 10-0
BRONZE: Gankhuyag GANBAATAR (MGL) df. Arif OZEN (TUR), 4-1

92 kg
GOLD: Shamil ZUBAIROV (AZE) df. Aslanbek SOTIEV (RUS), 13-8
BRONZE: Bohdan HRYTSAY (UKR) df. Sargis HOVSEPYAN (ARM), 4-0

125 kg
GOLD: Said GAMIDOV (RUS) df. Youssif HEMIDA (USA), fall
BRONZE: Amin TAHERI (IRI) df. Kamil Tomasz KOSCIOLEK (POL), fall
BRONZE: Rolandi ANDRIADZE (GEO) df. Yasuhiro YAMAMOTO (JPN), 4-0

Team results
1. Russia – 181
2. Georgia – 108
3. Iran – 105
4. Japan – 93
5. USA – 92