Georgia Inserts Four into Day 2 U23 European Finals

By Eric Olanowski

NOVI SAD, Serbia (March 4) – Georgia, led by defending U23 world and European champions Nugzari TSURTSUMIA and Zviadi PATARIDZE inserted four wrestlers into Tuesday night’s Greco-Roman U23 European finals. 

At 55kg, Tsurtsumia and his finals opponent Florin TITA (ROU) scored first-period technical superiority victories and will meet in Tuesday night's gold-medal bout.  

Tsurtsumia, the returning 55kg U23 world and European champion, quickly scored the 11-2 victory in his semifinals match to breeze past Russia's Viktor VEDERNIKOV.

His finals opponent Tita pounced Hungary's Bence KOVACS 12-2 and locked up his 55kg finals spot, improving on his bronze-medal finish from the 2018 U23 European Championships.

Zviadi Pataridze, the six-time age-group world champion, easily handled Estonia's Artur VITITIN and picked up the 9-0 technical superiority victory. Pataridze's Monday night win helped insert himself in his second consecutive U23 European finals and gave the Georgian big man his third overall U23 European medal. He also finished with a bronze medal back in 2017.

To win his second straight U23 European gold medal, Pataridze will have to defeat Romania’s Lenard BEREI (ROU) in the 130kg gold-medal match. Berei trailed 3-0 in his semifinals bout against Russia’s Oleg AGAKHANOV but used a four-point throw to reach the finals with the 4-3 advantage.

Georgia’s third finalist Levani KAVIARADZE will meet Armenia's Slavik GALSTYAN for the 63kg gold medal. 

Kavjaradze scored the 7-2 victory over Erik TORBA (HUN) to seal up his spot in the 63kg finals. He’ll wrestle Slavik Galstyan, who trailed 2-0 in his semifinal bout, but outscored Ukraine’s U23 world bronze medalist Oleksandr HRUSHYN 13-2 and locked up his spot in the 63kg finals with a 13-4 victory.  

Gurami KHETSURIANI was the fourth and final Georgian who reached Tuesday’s finals. He did so by stopping Martynas NEMSEVICIUS from becoming the second ever Lithuanian wrestler from reaching the U23 European finals with a 4-0 win.

Khetsuriani will have to defeat Russia’s Gazi KHALILOV in the gold-medal bout if he hopes to walk away as the 87kg champion. Khalilov trailed 6-3 in his semifinals bout against Ivan HUKLEK before catching the Croatian wrestler on his back and picking up the fall. 

The only Day 2 finals matchup that won’t feature a Georgian wrestler is at 77kg, where Russia’s reigning junior world champion Islam OPIEV (RUS) will take on Turkey’s Serkan AKKOYUN (TUR) for the gold. 

Opiev was awarded a passivity point in his semifinal bout and edged Beka MAMUKASHVILI (GEO), 1-1. His finals opponenet Akkoyun used a four-point second period to stop Tamas LEVAI (HUN), 5-1, to reach the 77kg gold-medal bout.  

Wrestling resumes on Tuesday at 11:30 (local time). The Day 2 finals are set to begin at 18:00. 

Tuesday (March 5) 
9:30 - Weigh-in GR – 55-63-77-87-130kg
9:45 - Medical Examination & Weigh-in GR – 60-67-72-82-97kg
11:30 - Qualification rounds GR – 60-67-72-82-97kg
11:30 - Repechage GR – 55-63-77-87-130kg
14:30 - Draw WW – 50-55-59-68-76kg
16:45 - Opening Ceremony
17:15 - Semi Final GR – 60-67-72-82-97kg
18: 00 - Finals GR – 55-63-77-87-130kg

Wednesday (March 6) 
9:30 - Weigh-in GR – 60-67-72-82-97kg
9:45 -  Medical examination & Weigh-in WW – 50-55-59-68-76kg
11:30 - Qualification rounds WW – 50-55-59-68-76kg
11:30 - Repechage GR – 60-67-72-82-97kg
14:00 - Draw WW – 53-57-62-65-72kg 
17:15 - Semi Final WW – 50-55-59-68-76kg
18: 00 - Finals GR – 60-67-72-82-97kg

Thursday (March 7)
9:30 - Weigh-in WW – 50-55-59-68-76kg
9:45 - Medical examination & Weigh-in WW – 53-57-62-65-72kg
11:30 - Qualification rounds WW – 53-57-62-65-72kg
11:30 - Repechage WW – 50-55-59-68-76kg
14:00 - Draw FS – 57-65-70-79-97kg
17:15 - Semi Final WW – 53-57-62-65-72kg
18: 00 - Finals WW – 50-55-59-68-76kg

Friday (March 8) 
9:30 - Weigh-in WW – 53-57-62-65-72kg
9:45 - Medical examination & Weigh-in FS – 57-65-70-79-97kg
11:30 - Qualification rounds FS – 57-65-70-79-97kg
11:30 - Repechage WW – 53-57-62-65-72kg
14:00 - Draw FS – 61-74-86-92-125kg
17:15 - Semi Final FS – 57-65-70-79-97kg
18: 00 -  Finals WW – 53-57-62-65-72kg

Saturday (March 9) 
9:30 - Weigh-in FS – 57-65-70-79-97kg
9:45 - Medical examination & Weigh-in FS – 61-74-86-92-125kg
11:30 - Qualification rounds FS – 61-74-86-92-125kg
11:30 - Repechage FS – 57-65-70-79-97kg
17:15 - Semi Final FS – 61-74-86-92-125kg
18: 00 -  Finals FS – 57-65-70-79-97kg

Sunday (March 10) 
9:30 - Weigh-in FS – 61-74-86-92-125kg
16:00 - Repechage FS – 61-74-86-92-125kg
18:00 - Finals FS – 61-74-86-92-125kg

GOLD - Florin TITA (ROU) vs. Nugzari TSURTSUMIA (GEO)
SEMIFINAL - Florin TITA (ROU) df. Bence KOVACS (HUN), 12-2

SEMIFINAL - Slavik GALSTYAN (ARM) df. Oleksandr HRUSHYN (UKR), 13-4 

GOLD - Islam OPIEV (RUS) df. Serkan AKKOYUN (TUR)
SEMIFINAL - Serkan AKKOYUN (TUR) df. Tamas LEVAI (HUN), 5-1 

SEMIFINAL - Gazi KHALILOV (RUS) df. Ivan HUKLEK (CRO), via fall 

GOLD - Zviadi PATARIDZE (GEO) vs. Lenard Istvan BEREI (ROU)
SEMIFINAL - Lenard Istvan BEREI (ROU) df. Oleg AGAKHANOV (RUS), 4-3 


Russia Closes out U23 European C'ships with Freestyle Team Title

By Eric Olanowski

NOVI SAD, Serbia (March 10) – The Russian Federation won four gold medals on the final day of wrestling at the U23 European Championships and brought their freestyle championship total to six. Russia closed out the competition in Novi Sad, Serbia, 77 points ahead of second place Turkey. 

Overall, Russia reached the finals in eight of ten freestyle weight classes and reached the top of the team podium thanks to their four Day 7 gold medal performances by Abasgadzhi MAGOMEDOV, Nikita SUCHKOV, Arsen-Ali MUSALALIEV, and Batyrbek TCAKULOV. 

At 61kg, reigning junior world champion Abasgadzhi Magomedov scored a takedown in each period to defeat Greece’s two-time cadet European champion and 2018 U23 European bronze medalist Georgios PILIDIS, 4-0. 


Nikita Suchkov claimed Russia’s second gold medal of the day with a win in the 74kg finals over Akhsarbek GULAEV (SVK).

Suchkov improved on his 2017 U23 European Championship finish of 17th place, cruising past Gulaev, 7-2. Sunday's loss made it the second year in a row that Gulaev lost to a Russian opponent in the U23 European finals. Last season, he fell short against eventual senior level world champion Zaurbek SIDAKOV in the U23 continental finals.  

Arsen-Ali Musalaliev, the reigning U23 European champion, won Russia’s third consecutive gold medal of the day with a 6-1 victory over Turkey’s Arif OZEN (TUR) in the 86kg finals. Musalaliev successfully defended his U23 European title by scoring a pair of takedowns and a gut wrench, closing out the European Championships by outscoring his four continental opponents 32-3. 

In the 92kg finals, last year’s U23 European bronze medalist Batyrbek Tcakulov collected four points from a takedown and a gut wrench and scored the 4-0 shutout win over Ukraine’s Vasyl SOVA, giving Russia their fourth and final gold medal of the day. 

The tournament’s remaining freestyle gold medal went to Belarus' 2017 U23 European finalist Vitali PIASNIAK. The Belarusian edged last year’s European junior runner-up Yurii IDZINSKYI (UKR), 2-2 to in the 125kg gold-medal match. 


GOLD - Russia  (209 points)
SILVER - Turkey (132 points)
BRONZE - Ukraine (110 points)

Fourth - Georgia (109 points) 
Fifth - Belarus (82 points)

GOLD - Abasgadzhi MAGOMEDOV (RUS) df. Georgios PILIDIS (GRE), 4-0 
BRONZE - Selehattin SERT (TUR) df. Valentyn BLIASETSKYI (UKR), 8-5

BRONZE - Asgar MAMMADALIYEV (AZE) df. Uladzislau KOIKA (BLR), 7-1 

GOLD - Nikita SUCHKOV (RUS) df. Akhsarbek GULAEV (SVK), 7-2 

BRONZE - Giorgi SULAVA (GEO) df. Fazli ERYILMAZ (TUR), via fall 
BRONZE - Khachatur PAPIKYAN (ARM) df. Eduard TATARINOV (GER), 10-3 

GOLD - Arsen-Ali MUSALALIEV (RUS) df. Arif OZEN (TUR), 6-1 

BRONZE - Zaur BERADZE (GEO) df. Arkadzi PAHASIAN (BLR), 4-2 
BRONZE - Gadzhimurad MAGOMEDSAIDOV (AZE) df. Johannes Martin DEML (GER), 8-4

GOLD -. Batyrbek TCAKULOV (RUS) df. Vasyl SOVA (UKR), 4-0 
BRONZE - Shamil ZUBAIROV (AZE) df. Aliaksei RUDZIANOK (BLR), 12-0

BRONZE - Erhan YAYLACI (TUR) df. Bendeguz TOTH (HUN), 6-6 

GOLD - Vitali PIASNIAK (BLR) vs. Yurii IDZINSKYI (UKR), 2-2 
BRONZE - Kamil Tomasz KOSCIOLEK (POL) df. Samhan JABRAILOV (MDA), 3-0 

BRONZE - Vitalii GOLOEV (RUS) df. Georgii NOGAEV (SVK), 2-1