Chamizo Grabs Freestyle Gold for Italy at Wrestling World Championships

By William May

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (September 10) – In the finest tradition of Las Vegas illusionists, Frank CHAMIZO (ITA) pulled a takedown out of his hat to grab Italy’s first-ever gold medal in freestyle at the Senior Wrestling World Championships on Thursday.

Chamizo surrendered a 3-2 lead to Ikhtiyor NAVRUZOV (UZB) with only 17 ticks of the clock remaining in the 65kg final at The Orleans Arena. Chamizo, however, reversed Navruzov and dropped his opponent to the mat with only seconds remaining for a 4-3 victory.

Throughout the six-minute thriller, Chamizo and Nazruzov had spectators on the edge of their seats with sleight-of-hand attacks and Houdini-like escapes with the final exchange bringing the fans to their feet.

“There are no words to describe what a winning a medal for Italy means to me,” Chamizo said after his triumph.

When asked to describe his style, the magician explained “There’s a ladder we’re always climbing, and my style is to keep climbing until there is no more ladder.”

Earlier in the day, Chamizo and Navruzov kicked off the freestyle events at the championships by pinning last year’s 65kg gold medal finalists in the semifinals.

Chamizo wrapped up world silver medalist and currently top-ranked Saeid Ahmad MOHAMMADI (IRI) at 2:52 on one mat, while Nazruzov ended the reign of defending champion Soslan RAMONOV (RUS) by stepping over a takedown attempt and holding for the fall.

Meanwhile, with the women’s events in full swing, Kaori ICHO (JPN) rolled up her fifth 10-0 technical fall of the day against Petra OLLI (FIN) in the 58kg final for her 10th overall world championship title.

Local favorite Adeline GRAY (USA) rolled up her own technical fall in the 75kg final by ZHOU Qian (CHN) for her third world championship crown.

Earlier, Helen MAROULIS (USA) picked apart Irini OLOGONOVA (RUS) at the non-Olympic weight category of 55kg for an 11-0 technical fall. The victory gave her a complete set of world championship medals after a silver in 2012 and a bronze in 2014.

SORONZONBOLD Battsetseg (MGL) also returned to the top of the medals  podium with a victory over Risako KAWAI (JPN) with a quick fall in the 63kg final. Soronzobold became Mongolia’s first world champion in women’s wrestling in 2010 by taking the 59kg crown.

Soronzonbold, who took a silver to Icho in 2013, said of her quick fall, “When you wrestle Icho, she doesn’t make any mistakes. So today I was happy to find a mistake (against Kawai).”

Wrestling continues Friday with action in the women’s 60kg category with freestyle getting into full swing with matches at 61kg, 86kg, and 97kg.


65kg (47 entries)
Gold – No.5 Frank CHAMIZO (ITA) df. Ikhtiyor NAVRUZOR (UZB), 4-3 
Bronze – No.8 Soslan RAMONOV (RUS) df. No.16 GANZORIG Mandakhnaran (MGL), 6-1
Bronze – No.1 Saeid Ahmad MOHAMMADI (IRI) df. No.3 Togrul ASGAROV (AZE) by TF, 15-5, 4:09

Women’s Wrestling

55kg (16 entries)
Gold – No.1 Helen MAROULIS (USA) df. No.4 Irina OLOGONOVA (RUS) by TF, 11-0, 4:29
Bronze – No.3 Evelina NIKOLOVA (BUL) df. No.15@53 PANG Qianyu (CHN) by Fall, 4:38
Bronze – No.9 Tatyana KIT (UKR) df. No.8 Katsiaryna HANCHAR-YANUSHKEVICH (BLR), 5-0

58kg (31 entries)
Gold – No.1 Kaori ICHO (JPN) df. No.5@60 Petra OLLI (FIN) by TF, 10-0, 5:30
Bronze –  No.5 Elif Jale YESILIRMAK (TUR) df No.5@63 Jackeline RENTERIA CASTILLO (COL), 3-2
Bronze – No.7@60 Yulia RATKEVICH (AZE) df. No.8@60 Johanna MATTSSON (SWE), 4-0

63kg (26 entries)
Gold – No.8 SORONZONBOLD Battsetseg (MGL) df. No.2@58 Risako KAWAI (JPN) by Fall, 0;36
Bronze – No.2 Yulia TKACH (UKR) df. No.10 Braxton STONE (CAN), 6-5
Bronze – No.1@60 Taybe YUSEIN (BUL) df. No.4 Anastasija GRIGORIJEVA (LAT) by TF, 13-2, 1:58

75kg (24 entries)
Gold – No.1 Adeline GRAY (USA) df. No.7 ZHOU Qian (CHN) by TF, 13-2, 5:32 
Bronze – No.9 Epp MAE (EST) df. No.19 Andrea OLAYA GUTIERREZ (COL), 8-2
Bronze – No.4 Vasilisa MARZALIUK (BLR) df. No.8 Aline FERREIRA (BRA), 5-1