Georgia Wins Quartet of Golds at U23 Euros

By Eric Olanowski

NOVI SAD, Serbia (March 6) – Georgia (115 points) went 5-0 in medal matches on the second day of wrestling at the U23 European Championships, grabbing four golds and a bronze and took the commanding 38 point lead over second-place Russia (77 points) into the third day of wrestling in Novi Sad, Serbia. 

Georgia’s quartet of champions were Nugzari TSURTSUMIA (GEO), Levani KAVJARADZE (GEO), Gurami KHETSURIANI (GEO), and Zviadi PATARIDZE (GEO). 

At 55kg, Nugzari Tsurtsumia shutout Romania’s Florin TITA, 9-0, and won his second straight U23 European title. 

The returning U23 world champion earned two early step-outs and a takedown before the first period ended and took the 4-0 lead into the closing frame. A second takedown, followed by a right side gut wrench gave Tsurtsumia the 8-0 advantage and his second consecutive 55kg U23 European title. 

In the 63kg finals, Levani Kavjaradze gassed Armenia’s Slavik GALSTYAN (ARM) and scored the 10-8 come-from-behind win in a match that saw four different lead changes. 

After a back and forth first period, Kavjaradze trailed 8-4 heading into the final three minutes of the gold-medal bout. The Georgian stayed offensive early in the second period and wore down the noticeably taller Armenian. Kavjaradze scored a takedown and a pair of step outs and controlled the 8-8 lead on criteria. With under a minute left, Kavjaradze scored the match-deciding takedown and won his first U23 European title. 

In the 87kg finals, Gurami Khetsuriani used his four-point lateral drop to break the 1-1 tie with Gazi KHALILOV (RUS), giving Georgia their third gold medal of the day. 

Georgia’s fourth and final gold medalist came at 130kg when six-time age-group world champion Zviadi Pataridze defeated Lenard BEREI (ROU), 5-0, and won his second consecutive U23 European title. 

The lone non-Georgia champion was Russia’s 2018 junior world champion Islam OPIEV (RUS), who trailed 3-0 with under two minutes to go, in the 77kg gold-medal bout, but scored a passivity point and a correct throw to defeat Serkan AKKOYUN (TUR), 3-2. 

Georgia owns the commanding 38 point lead over Russia into the third day of competition. Turkey (65 points), Romania (65 points), and Hungary (40 points) round out the top five respectively. 

The third day of wrestling in Novi Sad resumes tomorrow morning at 11:30 and can be watched live on www.unitdworldwrestling.org.


Team Scores 
GOLD - Georgia (115 points)
SILVER - Russia (77 points)
BRONZE - Turkey (65 points)
Fourth - Romania (48 points)
Fifth - Hungary (40 points)

GOLD - Nugzari TSURTSUMIA (GEO) df. Florin TITA (ROU), 9-0 
BRONZE - Viktor VEDERNIKOV (RUS) df. Ziyad ZEYNALOV (AZE), 11-2  
BRONZE - Artium DELEANU (MDA) df. Bence KOVACS (HUN), 12-4 

GOLD - Levani KAVJARADZE (GEO) df. Slavik GALSTYAN (ARM), 10-8
BRONZE - Erik TORBA (HUN) df. Nikalas Petrov SULEV (BUL), 9-0
BRONZE - Abdullah TOPRAK (TUR) df. Oleksandr HRUSHYN (UKR), 6-3

GOLD - Islam OPIEV (RUS) df. Serkan AKKOYUN (TUR), 3-2 
BRONZE - Tamas LEVAI (HUN) df. Paulius GALKINAS (LTU), 5-1

BRONZE - Ali CENGIZ (TUR) df. Martynas NEMSEVICIUS (LTU), 10-0 

GOLD - Zviadi PATARIDZE (GEO) vs. Lenard Istvan BEREI (ROU), 5-0 
BRONZE - Osman YILDIRIM (TUR) df. Artur VITITIN (EST), via fall 
BRONZE - Oleg Kahaberovitch AGAKHANOV (RUS) df. Boban ZIVANOVIC (SRB), 6-4 


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