Ibrahim Moustafa Ranking Series day one finals set

By Vinay Siwach

ALEXANDRIA, Egypt (February 23) -- The second Ranking Series event of the year, the Ibrahim Moustafa, gets underway in the historic city of Alexandria. More than 450 wrestlers are participating in the tournament and Greco-Roman will kick off proceedings.


The finals for the evening are set






Mohammadhadi SARAVI (IRI) vs. Roberti KOBLIASHVILI (GEO) 


15:00: Merey BEKENOV (KAZ) has ended HUSIYUETU (CHN)'s winning streak. Husiyuetu was leading 7-1 but a four-pointer and a full roll from par terre gave Bekenov a 9-7 win. He will face Joni KHETSURIANI (GEO) in the final. 

14:40: Leri ABULADZE (GEO) is so good from par terre. He gut wrenches Mukhamedali MAMURBEK (KAZ) for a 9-1 win and enters the 63kg final against Meysam DALKHANI (IRI).

14:15: Tamas LEVAI (HUN), a U23 world champion at 77kg, made his debut at 97kg in Zagreb and reached the final. But here in Alexandria, he runs into Mohammadhadi SARAVI (IRI) who beats him 5-2 in the semifinals.

14:00: Meysam DALKHANI (IRI) into the semifinals at 63kg. Not the easiest of bouts but he wins 2-1 against Madiyar MALTEKBAYEV (KAZ). All technical points in that bout.

13:45: Nicely done by Kerem KAMAL (TUR). He used the head pinch to great effect to win 8-0 against Nurmukhammet ABDULLAEV (KGZ). He was looking for the pin but let the pressure off to allow Abdullaev to spin which gave Kamal two more points for the win.

13:30: Fresh off winning the gold in Zagreb, HUSIYUETU (CHN) has stunned Niklas OEHLEN (SWE) with three power bombs. He got Oehlen in a front lock and executed three throws. 

13:15: That Alex KESSIDIS (SWE) vs Nursultan TURSYNOV (KAZ) bout at 87kg was never-ending. Kessidis was trailing 4-0 but then got the par terre and scored exposure before a four. Tursynov challenged the call and won it. Kessidis, leading 7-4, was put in par terre from which Tursynov scored a throw. No points were awarded so Kazakhstan challenged it again. A point for pushout. But Kessidis wins 7-5.

13:00: The first set of semifinals

Kerem KAMAL (TUR) vs. Nurmukhammet ABDULLAEV (KGZ)

12:30: A hotly contested bout between Victor CIOBANU (MDA) and Meysam DALKHANI (IRI) at 63kg. Dalkhani got a takedown which Ciobanu thought was only a stepout. He challenged it and lost. Dalkhani then got a point for passivity to lead 4-0 at the break. The second period was an absolute war but no wrestler managed to score. Dalkhani wins 4-0.

12:20: Nugzari TSURTSUMIA (GEO) and Marlan MUKASHEV (KAZ) on Mat A. Tsurtsumia starts with a four but Mukashev with a reversal for takedown and gut to make it 4-4 but Tsurtsumia leads on criteria. He is called for finger-grabbling right before the break. He challenges the call only to lose. Mukashev leads 7-4. After the break, Tsurtsumia managed to get behind Mukashev who hit a four. The referees call a pin. Kazakhstan challenges the call and wins the challenge. It was a leg foul by Tsurtsumia. Mukashev with a takedown to win 13-4

12:15: Mohammadhadi SARAVI (IRI) keeps both the passivity points in the bout to win 2-0 against Giorgi MELIA (GEO). Such a smart wrestler Saravi, controls the bout through.

11: 50: Metehan BASAR (TUR) has pulled out injured after a freak injury when he was trying to roll Artur OMAROV (CZE). He pushed his hand under Omarov but his finger got stuck and twisted. Omarov gets the win

11:30: Former world champion Meysam DALKHANI (IRI), who had defeated Abuladze in 2021 final and was injured last season, begins with a technical superiority win 8-0 over Syimyk MAKHMUDOV (KGZ). That gut wrench was strong.

11:20: Two-time world silver medalist and European champion Leri ABULADZE (GEO) with a typical Abuladze win. He trailed 2-0 but then makes a comeback in his slow style to win 6-2 against Dastan ZARLYKHANOV (KAZ).

11:05: Victor CIOBANU (MDA) with a solid gut wrench! The former world champion at 60kg has been at 63kg for a while now. He begins with a technical superiority win over Ismail ETTALIBI (MAR).

10:50: Former Asian champion Sunil KUMAR (IND) with a late takedown to beat Noureldin HASSAN (EGY) 7-5 at 87kg. At the same time on Mat A, Alex KESSIDIS (SWE) beats Maimaiti KAISAIER (CHN) 3-1.

10:20: Here's the first big match of the day! Kerem KAMAL (TUR) is up against Razvan ARNAUT (ROU) at 60kg. Kamal gets the first position. He jumps to front par terre, jumps sides frequently and manages to spin Arnaut on the head. But that was clean as Arnaut never was in danger. Kamal leads 1-0. At the start of the second period, Kamal wraps Arnaut's arm around his head and rolls for a two and then a four. A takedown gives him a 9-0 win.

10:00: Welcome to Alexandria! The biggest Ranking Series event in Africa gets underway with Greco-Roman. Seven weight classes in action today are 55kg, 60kg, 63kg, 67kg, 87kg, 97kg, and 130kg. Big day coming up.


Shikhdzhamalov explains the mystery move in Alexandria

By Vinay Siwach

ALEXANDRIA, Egypt (March 5) -- Iakub SHIKHDZHAMALOV (ROU) is looking for a name for his move that broke the internet.

At the Ibrahim Moustafa Ranking Series tournament in Alexandria, Egypt last week, Shikhdzhamalpv won his 74kg semifinal against Soner DEMIRTAS (TUR) after trailing 3-0. Nothing was working for him until he hit a "scoop", an unofficial name for the same in the wrestling lingo.

However, Shikhdzhamalov says that he does not know what to call the move which has been shared and viewed by millions on social media.

"There is no name for this move," Shikhdzhamalov said. "I am now thinking of a name for this move. I guess it will be my personal move."

It is not the first time Shikhdzhamalov has performed the move, a mix of cut-back and outside trip. Over the years, he has used it in various competitions and even during training but Shikhdzhamalov says one cannot prepare to execute it.

"I’ve been using this move for quite a long time," he said. "Nobody showed it to me. I managed to do it once at the training around 7-8 years ago. My coach noticed that I was good at doing it, and we tried to practice it together, but it was not even possible to do it during the training bout. It only works during the real match when you are concentrated."

Shikhdzhamalov explained the setup and execution of the same. He stressed that a wrestler should perform it at a very high speed to catch his opponent by surprise.

"When the opponent is pushing you and putting his hand underhook, that’s the right moment to do it," he said. "It’s very difficult to explain the technical part of it and also difficult to show how to do it, but it really works well. The most important is the high speed while making the move." 

After the tournament, Shikhdzhamalov opened his social media and to his surprise, he received praise and feedback about the skill which he is proud of.

"Since I performed it at this tournament, there were so many comments and feedback about it," he said. It wasn’t just an occasional move. Yet, no one can do it. Even in my wrestling gym, the guys know that I can make this move, but no one can repeat it. If someone learns to do it, I would be really glad."

Training in Dagestan has helped Shikhdzhamalov improve his skills with the guidance of Gamid GAMIDOV and his personal coach Anvar MAGOMEDGADZHIEV.

After struggling at 79kg weight class last year where he failed to win a gold medal, Shikhdzhamalov has emerged as a contender for the gold at the European Championships.

"The 74kg weight class is preferable for my body," he said. "Last year I wrestled at 79kg because I had some health issues, I had to figure out what the problem was. The doctors advised me not to cut my weight at all. Last year my weight was about 77-78kg, although I wrestled at 79kg. This year I’ve solved all the problems and I went down to my weight class, since it’s more comfortable for me.

"I will wrestle for gold at the Europeans and the World Championships. I know most of the leaders in this weight class."

The European Championships in Zagreb, Croatia next month will be the first big test that Shikhdzhamalov will face before the World Championships. But after the gold medal in Alexandria, he hopes he can create more upsets in the weight class as the Olympics approach.

"Next tournament for me is the European championships," he said. "I don’t want to mention specific names that I would like to wrestle at 74kg, but for later tournaments, I am getting ready for the American, Iranian, Italian and all other leaders. I am getting ready to wrestle anybody and win. It's certainly interesting to wrestle against the top guys."