Furuichi Wins Seventh World Gold, Paliha Defends U23 World Title at #WrestleBudapest

By Taylor Miller

Photo of Masako FURUICHI (JPN) by Sachiko Hotaka.

BUDAPEST, Hungary – Masako FURUICHI (JPN) won her seventh World title on Thursday in convincing fashion at the 2019 U23 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

Wrestling at 68 kg, Furuichi, a 2019 Senior World bronze medalist, wrestled 2018 Cadet World champion and two-time Junior World silver medalist Macey KILTY (USA) in the gold-medal finals.

Furuichi used three takedowns to give her a 7-2 victory and another World gold medal, which she added to her three Junior World titles and three Cadet World titles.

Japan won two other U23 gold medals on Thursday, coming from Kika KAGATA (JPN) at 50 kg and Yumeka TANABE (JPN) at 59 kg.

2017 Junior World champion and two-time Cadet World champion Kagata edged out Ziqi FENG (CHN) in a nail biter. Feng led by one point with less than a minute left, but Kagata pulled out a clutch takedown and held on for a 7-6 win.

At 59 kg, Tanabe, a two-time Cadet World champion, shut down 2018 Junior World champion and two-time Junior World silver medalist Anastasia NICHITA (MDA) in the gold match, 4-0.

Tanabe used a second-period takedown to separate herself from Nichita to win the title.

Photo of Paliha PALIHA (CHN) by Kadir Caliskan. 

China claimed gold medals at the other two weights.

Paliha PALIHA (CHN) defended her 2018 U23 World title with a 1-1 win on criteria in the 76 kg finals over Yuka KAGAMI (JPN), who was the 2019 Junior World champion and two-time Cadet World champion.

Paliha and Kagami traded passivity points, and it was Pahlia who earned the win on criteria by scoring the last point. She finishes off a successful international season with a Senior World bronze and a second-straight U23 World championship.

At 55 kg, 2018 Senior World bronze medalist Lannuan LUO (CHN) knocked off returning U23 World champion Saki IGARASHI (JPN) in a 2-2 criteria bout.

Luo struck first with a takedown near the edge from a single and took a 2-0 lead into the break. In the second period, Igarashi scored on passivity and caution-and-one against Luo, but it was not enough as Luo won on criteria, scoring a two-pointer.

Women’s freestyle action continues on Friday at 10:30 a.m. local time live on unitedworldwrestling.org.

Finals matchups                                                                              
50 kg
GOLD - Kika KAGATA (JPN) df. Ziqi FENG (CHN), 7-6
BRONZE - Jade DUFOUR (CAN) df. Mariia VYNNYK (UKR), 7-4
BRONZE - Nadezhda SOKOLOVA df. (RUS) Jyoti JYOTI (IND), 10-0

55 kg
GOLD - Lannuan LUO (CHN) df. Saki IGARASHI (JPN), 2-2
BRONZE - Andreea ANA (ROU) df. Khrystyna DEMKO (UKR), 8-6

59 kg
GOLD - Yumeka TANABE (JPN) df. Anastasia NICHITA (MDA), 4-0
BRONZE - Tianna KENNETT (CAN) df. Yuliya PISARENKA (BLR), 6-5
BRONZE - Anhelina LYSAK (UKR) df. Alena SANGADIEVA (RUS), 3-1

68 kg
GOLD - Masako FURUICHI (JPN) df. Macey KILTY (USA), 7-2

76 kg
GOLD - Paliha PALIHA (CHN) df. Yuka KAGAMI (JPN), 1-1
BRONZE - Hui Tsz CHANG (TPE) df. Bernadett NAGY (HUN), fall
BRONZE - Aiperi MEDET KYZY (KGZ) df. Ariunjargal GANBAT (MGL), 12-8



Elsayed Collects Second World Title in Less than Two Weeks at #WrestleBudapest

By Taylor Miller

Photo of Mohamed ELSAYED (EGY) by Kadir Caliskan.

BUDAPEST, Hungary – Mohamed ELSAYED (EGY) capped off an amazing two-week run that saw him travel to two different continents to compete at two World Championships events, which he won.

Elsayed, who won the World Military Games just 10 days ago, dominated his way to the crown at the 2019 U23 World Championships on Sunday in Budapest, Hungary.

The returning U23 World champion Elsayed faced 2018 Junior European champion and 2019 U23 European bronze medalist Aliaksandr LIAVONCHYK (BLR) in the 67 kg Greco-Roman title bout.

Elsayed used a strong first period to take a 5-0 lead into the break with a pair of gut wrenches after Liavonchyk was put down in par terre. Moments into the second period, Elsayed finished off the match with a takedown right into a gut wrench on the edge of the mat for a 9-0 victory.

Now a two-time U23 World champion, Elsayed wraps up an impressive 2019 season with a U23 World title, a World Military Games title and a fifth-place finish at the 2019 Senior World Championships in September to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games.

Photo of Arvi Martin SAVOLAINEN (FIN) by Kadir Caliskan.

A pair of Junior World champions went to battle for the gold medal at 97 kg as 2018 Junior World champion Arvi Martin SAVOLAINEN (FIN) took on 2016 Junior World champion Giorgi MELIA (GEO).

Savolainen opened scoring with a four-point takedown, putting Melia to his back for a moment. Georgia challenged the call, but it stood, adding another point to Savolainen’s side of the scoreboard.

Later in the match, Melia scored a correct throw and was awarded a point for his opponent’s passivity, but it was not enough and Savolainen took the gold medal with a 5-3 victory.

At 60 kg, Armen MELIKYAN (ARM) knocked off 2018 Senior World silver medalist Zholaman SHARSHENBEKOV (KGZ) in the first gold-medal match on Sunday night.

Melikyan led 4-4 on criteria at the break, thanks to a big four-point takedown halfway through the first period. In the second period, Melikyan and Sharshenbekov traded the lead, each scoring on step outs, but the Armenian hit a throw for four points, giving himself a lead that the Senior World runner-up could not overcome for an eventual 11-7 decision.

Photo of Milad ALIRZAEV (RUS) by Sachiko Hotaka.

For the title at 82 kg, 2019 Russian Nationals bronze medalist Milad ALIRZAEV (RUS) topped 2016 Junior World silver medalist Vjekoslav LUBURIC (CRO) in a first-period technical fall.

Alirzaev got a chance on top in par terre. The two had a wild scramble that ultimately resulted in a gut wrench for the Russian, but among the action, Luburic executed an illegal move to get hit with a caution-and-two.

Croatia challenged the call, but it failed, and they restarted in par terre, where Alirzaev scored quickly on a gut wrench for an 8-0 win in just two minutes.

The gold-medal bout at 72 kg resulted in a shutout victory for 2019 Senior Asian champion Mohammadreza GERAEI (IRI), who defeated 2012 Cadet World bronze medalist Sanan SULEYMANOV (AZE).

Geraei was on the board early, drawing a passivity from Suleymanov and capitalizing in par terre with a correct throw to go up 3-0. Not long after, Geraei scored a four-point throw for a 7-0 lead at the break. With no scoring in the second period, Geraei secured the gold medal with a 7-0 win.

In the team race, Iran came out on top with 122 points, thanks to three individual Greco champions, edging out second-place Georgia’s 121 points. Taking third was Russia with 118 points.

Finals results
60 kg
GOLD - Armen MELIKYAN (ARM) df. Zholaman SHARSHENBEKOV (KGZ), 11-7
BRONZE - Mehdi Seifollah MOHSEN NEJAD (IRI) df. Krisztian KECSKEMETI (HUN), 9-5

67 kg
GOLD - Mohamed ELSAYED (EGY) df. Aliaksandr LIAVONCHYK (BLR), 9-0
BRONZE - Artur POLITAIEV (UKR) df. Katsuaki ENDO (JPN), 9-0

72 kg
GOLD - Mohammadreza GERAEI (IRI) df. Sanan SULEYMANOV (AZE), 7-0
BRONZE - Valentin PETIC (MDA) df. Nao KUSAKA (JPN), 6-3

82 kg
GOLD - Milad ALIRZAEV (RUS) df. Vjekoslav LUBURIC (CRO), 8-0
BRONZE - Yevgeniy POLIVADOV (KAZ) df. Arman VARDUMYAN (ARM), 16-7
BRONZE - Aivengo RIKADZE (GEO) df. Tamas LEVAI (HUN), 4-2

97 kg
GOLD - Arvi Martin SAVOLAINEN (FIN) df. Giorgi MELIA (GEO), 5-3
BRONZE - Dzmitry KAMINSKI (BLR) df. Ravi RAVI (IND), 8-0
BRONZE - Mohammadhadi SARAVI (IRI) df. Vladlen KOZLIUK (UKR), fall

Final team standings
1. Iran – 122
2. Georgia – 121
3. Russia – 118
4. Ukraine – 77
5. Belarus – 69
6. Japan – 65
7. Turkey – 65
8. Armenia – 64
9. Kazakhstan – 54
10. Hungary – 42