Freestyle Brackets Released for Sixth Day of #KaspEuro2018
Friday, May 4, 2018 - 13:45 By Eric Olanowski
KASPIISK, Russia (May 4) – Freestyle wrestling at the Palace of Sport and Youth continues on Saturday morning at 11:00 AM (local time) with the Russians looking to pick up where the left off after the first day of competition. The host nation's freestyle squad finished day five undefeated and placed all wrestlers into Saturday night’s finals.
Gadshimurad RASHIDOV (RUS), 2017 world finalist, 2016 Olympian Vladimir DUBOV (BUL) and 2015 European Games finalist Beka LOMTADZE (GEO) will be vying for the gold medal at 61kg.
At 74kg, the safe bet gold medal winner is between two-time world champion, Frank CHAMIZO (ITA), world and Olympic bronze medalist, Soner DEMIRTAS (TUR), and Khetik TSABOLOV (RUS).
Both Chamizo and Demirtas have multiple European titles under their belts, with Italian having a trio of golds and the Turk with a pair of championships. Meanwhile, Khetik TSABOLOV (RUS), 2017 world runner-up has never competed in a European Championship.
The must-watch match-up of the morning session is going to be Frank Chamizo and Khetik Tsabolov. That is if they both win their opening round matches.
Though 86kg reigning champion DAUREN KURUGLIEV (RUS) is not competing, returning medalists Aleksander GOSTIEV (AZE) and Istvan VEREB (HUN) return with hopes of improving their silver and bronze medals.
At 92kg, it’s Olympic champions in Abdulrashid SADULAEV (RUS) and Sharif SHARIFOV (AZE) vying for top honors. The last time these two met was in the semifinals of the 2016 Olympic Games where Sadualev came out on top with an 8-1 victory.
Sharifov, the 2012 Olympic champion followed up his London performance with a bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Games.
A victory for Sadulaev, the two-time world champion, and Olympic gold medalist would give the hometown favorite his fourth European Championship.
Taha AKGUL (TUR) has his sights on winning his fifth European 125kg title; but the 2016 Olympic champions will most likely have to upend longtime rival and 2017 world champion, Geno PETRIASHVILI (GEO).
Akgul and Petriashvili have accounted for every world or Olympic gold medal dating back to 2014, and every European title dating back to 2012. The pair’s 2017 world finals in Paris is considered the greatest freestyle heavyweight wrestling match in history.