India Wins Historic Title; Eight Nations in #WrestleBudapest WW Finals

By Vinay Siwach

Ever since the cadet World Championships were reinstated in the wrestling calendar, only two countries have shared the team title. In the past nine tournaments, Russia and Iran shared the top honors with the former winning eight times while Iran won once in 2018.

But on Wednesday, that streak was broken as India claimed their first-ever freestyle team title at the cadet World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. This is the country's first freestyle team title at any Worlds.

India, USA and Russia were involved in a three-way battle but with India winning two medals on Wednesday and USA losing the 92kg bronze medal bout, India jumped ahead on the lead. Russia needed to win two of their three finals on Wednesday but they failed to capture even one, place them third behind USA.

Iran claimed the fourth spot after two gold medals while Kazakhstan ended at the fifth spot as freestyle wrestling came to and end in Budapest. Iran had two finalists on Wednesday and both won gold medals while USA, Uzbekistan and Turkey claimed the remaining three titles.

Ali KHORRAMDEL (IRI) and Seyedhassan ESMAEILNEZHAD ARCHI (IRI) captured the gold medals at 51kg and 71kg as Iran finished the tournament with three gold medals, the most for any country.

Ali Mahmoud KHORRAMDEL (IRI)Ali KHORRAMDEL (IRI) celebrates after winning the 51kg world title. (Photo: UWW / Martin Gabor)

In the 51kg final, Khorramdel overcame a stiff challenge from Nodirbek JUMANAZAROV (UZB) to claim a 2-0 win and the gold medal. He scored a takedown in the first period and maintained that lead going into the final few seconds.

Jumanazarov's continus attacks were too little too late to give him the gold as the young wrestler failed to control his emotions in the end.

Esmaeilnezhad Archi had a more convincing win in the final over Akhmed MUSAEV (RUS) as he wrestled back in the second period to win 3-1.

Musaev led 1-0 at the break after a step out point but gave up a takedown and push out to trail 1-3. With Musaev's energy running out, Esmaeilnezhad Archi managed to keep him away in the dying seconds.

Another disappointment for Russia came at 92kg as Rifat GIDAK (TUR) defeated Zhorik DZHIOEV (RUS) in a thrilling final. Dzhioev lead 3-0 after a stepout and takedown but as the second period began, Gidak paced up the bout.

Gidak got a takedown and then a stepout to lead on criteria and claim the win and the first gold medal for Turkey at this tournament.

“It was hard [in the final],” Gidak said. “But I prepared very well. I will now go back home with the gold medal, everybody is waiting for me there.”

Bowen William BASSETT (USA)Bowen BASSETT (USA) won the 45kg gold in Budapest. (Photo: UWW / Kadir Caliskan)

USA added a gold medal to the one from Tuesday as Bowen BASSETT (USA) maintained his perfect record of winning by fall or superiority.

In the 45kg final, Bassett and Alikhan ASHINOV (RUS) traded a takedown each before the USA wrestler defended a big double leg attack from Ashinov. He then scored two exposures and on the latest, managed to keep Ashinov on his back.

The 14-year-old, with his family watching in the stands, was expecting a tough challenge from Ashinov but was prepared for anything that came towards him.

“It feels amazing to be a world champion,” Bassett said. “My match went great. I expected it to be tough, a lot of respect to the guy from Russia, I knew he was well-prepared. But it’s great to win by pin, especially at the World Championships.”

Uzbekistan crowned a world champion as well as Kamronbek KADAMOV (UZB) defeated Jaskaran SINGH (IND) 6-2 in the final at 60kg.

Kamronbek KADAMOV (UZB)Kamronbek KADAMOV (UZB) won the gold medal at 60kg. (Photo: UWW / Martin Gabor)

The Uzbek went on the attack from the beginning as he countered Singh's trademark snap-down to go-behind takedown and instead got a takedown on the edge before a gut wrench made it four points.

Singh then tried to get his single leg attacks going but Kadamov held on to his defence and did concede any points. On once such attack, Singh ended giving up a point for step out.

With a 5-0 lead going into the second period, Kadamov took a step back and wrestled less aggressively. Singh got two points for head pinch exposure but then gave up a stepout in the final 20 seconds as Kamadov held on to a 6-2 win.

Singh failed to replicate his strong defence and sneak attacks that he used on Tuesday to reach the final. Kamadov said that it was the 'toughest bout of his career.'

“I feel great after my victory. I still can’t believe I have become the world champion,” Kamadov said. “It was a tough final. I can say that it was the toughest bout in my career. The Indian wrestler was very strong.”

The Uzbek now plans to move up to the junior age group and planning to wrestle the at the continental and world championships.

“My next competition will be among juniors in my country Uzbekistan,” he said. “Then we are planning to compete at the Asian championships and World championships.”

Eight nations in WW finals

Svenja JUNGO (SUI)Svenja JUNGO (SUI) became her country's first-ever cadet World finalist in women's wrestling. (Photo: UWW / Kadir Caliskan)

Women's wrestling began at the cadet World Championships in Budapest with five weight classes – 43kg, 49kg, 57kg, 65kg and 73kg -- getting their finalists, including a historic one for Switzerland.

Eight different nations qualified their wrestler for the finals as India and Belarus qualifying two each. Ukraine, Switzerland, Turkey, Sweden, Russia and Hungary were the other six countries to enter a finalists each.

Incidentally, the two wrestlers that India and Belarus advanced to the finals will face off against each other. Valeryia MIKITSICH (BLR) will take on TANNU (IND) in the 43kg final and PRIYA (IND) will face Kseniya PATAPOVICH (BLR) in the 73kg final on Thursday.

Svenja JUNGO (SUI) made history as she became Switzerland's first-ever medalist in women's wrestling at cadet Worlds. This also their first in 18 years at age group Worlds. In the last 39 years at cadet Worlds, no wrestler from Switzerland won a medal in any style until Jungo did it Wednesday.

She will now look to become Switzerland first-ever cadet world champion when she takes on Mariia YEFREMOVA (UKR) in the 49kg final Thursday.

Jungo defeated Audrey JIMENEZ (USA) in the semifinal 8-6, coming back every time Jimenez looked like taking the lead. She had defeated cadet European champion Delia VOICULESCU (ROU) 2-2 in the quarterfinals.

“I train in Switzerland and Germany,” Jungo said. “She did a leg attack and I defended. She scored some points and I thought I need to do more.

“I will train mentally and then looking forward to the final.”

But it won't be easy against Yefremova, who outscored her opponents 29-0 in the morning session. She made it to the final after beating Sevim AKBAS (TUR) 9-0 in the semifinal.

TANNU INDTANNU (IND) won the semifinal via fall at 43kg. (Photo: UWW / Martin Gabor)

At 43kg, Tannu made a mockery of her competition winning her three bouts via fall, technical superiroty and fall. In the three bouts, she did not let her opponents score a single point and herself scored 31. She will face Mikitsich who defeated local girl Liliana KAPUVARI (HUN) 6-2 in the semifinal.

15-year-old Mikitsich knows that it won't be easy for her in the final but she will leave no stone unturned to win the gold medal.

“The semifinal was tough.” Mikitsich said. “It is never easy at the World Championships. My opponent was well prepared. I will prepare for the final just like I did before. I will listen to some music in my headphones, I’ll concentrate, I’ll plan ahead the match.”

To the delight of the Hungarian team, Eniko ELEKES (HUN) reached the final as well. She will take on Ekaterina OLEINIKOVA (RUS) in the 65kg final. The cadet European champion prevented India from having a third finalist with a 4-2 win over VARSHA (IND).

Oleinikova, 15, had a close semifinal against Daria KONSTANTYNOVA (UKR) and pulled off a 4-4 win, thanks to her four-point move over the two takedowns of the Ukrainian.

Eniko ELEKES (HUN)Eniko ELEKES (HUN) will wrestle for the 65kg gold medal. (Photo: UWW / Martin Gabor)

“In last seconds of the match the score was 4-4, but I knew that I was still winning because the 4 point throw [fireman’s carry]saved me,” she said. “That’s one of my best techniques. I was so scared to lose everything after such a long preparation, I went through injuries, broken bones. I can’t believe I am in the final now.

“I’ll prepare for the final in a better way than I did for that match. I realize there is no way back.”

At 57kg, Tindra DALMYR (SWE) scored four points in the second period to beat Tancholpon KYBALBEKOVA (KGZ) 5-5 in the semifinal against book a final against Selvi ILYASOGLU (TUR).

The 17-year-old Turk defeated cadet Euros silver medalist Angelina PERVUKHINA (RUS) 4-2 in the semifinal.

“When there was a challenge in the last seconds, it was a very risky position, but I was confident, so I won, and now I have to win the gold medal tomorrow,” Ilyasoglu said.

At the super-heavyweight, Priya maintained a perfect record and defeated cadet European champion Mariia AKULINCHEVA (RUS) 9-0 in the semifinal. She will take on Patapovich in the final after the Belarusian defeated Lillian FREITAS (USA) 3-1 in her semifinal.

"I came here to just win the gold medal,” Priya said.

Wrestling will continue with remaining five women's weight classes – 40kg, 46kg, 53kg, 61kg and 69kg – on Thursday along with the medal bouts in the evening session.

INDIA BUDAPEST FSIndia won the freestyle team title with USA second and Russia third. (Photo: UWW / Kadir Caliskan)

RESULTS: FS Medal Bouts

GOLD: Bowen BASSETT (USA) df Alikhan ASHINOV (RUS), via fall

BRONZE: Imronbek RAKHMANOV (KGZ) df Shourya KUMAR (IND), 6-0


BRONZE: Nathanael JESUROGA (USA) df Tigran BUNIATYAN (ARM), 6-2

GOLD: Kamronbek KADAMOV (UZB) df Jaskaran SINGH (IND), 6-2

BRONZE: Abdulrahman IBRAHIMOV (AZE) df Mohammad Reza SHAKERI (IRI), 8-7
BRONZE: Alex GOMBOS (HUN) df Baris UNSAL (TUR), via fall


BRONZE: Yerkhan BEXULTANOV (KAZ) df Raul CASO (ITA), 8-3

GOLD: Rifat GIDAK (TUR) df Zhorik DZHIOEV (RUS), 3-3

BRONZE: Yusif DURSUNOV (AZE) df Roland ROSZ (HUN), 4-0

Tindra Olivia DALMYR (SWE)Tindra DALMYR (SWE) will wrestle for the 53kg gold medal. (Photo: UWW / Kadir Caliskan)

RESULTS: Women's Semifinals


SF 1: Valeryia MIKITSICH (BLR) df Liliana KAPUVARI (HUN), 6-2
SF 2: TANNU (IND) df Aida ALZHANOVA (KAZ), via fall


SF 1: Mariia YEFREMOVA (UKR) df Sevim AKBAS (TUR), 9-0
SF 2: Svenja JUNGO (SUI) df Audrey JIMENEZ (USA), 8-6


SF 1: Selvi ILYASOGLU (TUR) df Angelina PERVUKHINA (RUS), 4-2
SF 2: Tindra DALMYR (SWE) df Tancholpon KYBALBEKOVA (KGZ), 5-5


SF 1: Ekaterina OLEINIKOVA (RUS) df Daria KONSTANTYNOVA (UKR), 4-4
SF 2: Eniko ELEKES (HUN) df VARSHA (IND), 4-2


SF 1: PRIYA (IND) df Mariia AKULINCHEVA (RUS), 9-0
SF 2: Kseniya PATAPOVICH (BLR) df Lillian FREITAS (USA), 3-1


WATCH: 10 Greco-Roman Finals from European Championships

By Vinay Siwach

BUDAPEST, Hungary (April 7) -- The European Championships saw 10 Greco-Roman champions being crowned. One of them, Riza KAYAALP (TUR), won his 11th European title and is now two away from breaking the all-time record 12.

Azerbaijan won the team title over Turkey while Georgia finished third in the title race. Azerbaijan had all ten wrestlers in medal bouts with eight coming home with at least a medal. Only two wrestlers failed to win a medal in Budapest.

Watch all the 10 gold medal bouts from the European Championships.

55kg GOLD - Eldaniz Azizli (AZE) vs Nugzari Tsurtsumia (GEO)

Azizli wrestled his rival and world champion from 2019 Nugzari Tsurtsumia (GEO). Prior to this meeting, the two had wrestled each other four times with Azizli enjoying a perfect 4-0 record over Tsurtsumia. He extended that record to 5-0 when he won 8-2 in the 55kg final.

Azizli got the point for his opponent's passivity and a roll gave him a 3-1 lead. Tsurtsumia tried exposing with a head pinch but in turn, ended up giving two points. In the same action, Azizli scored two more and led 7-1 with two minutes remaining before closing out the bout 8-2.


60kg GOLD - Kerem Kamal (TUR) vs Edmond Nazaryan (BUL)

Kerem KAMAL (TUR) was third time lucky in the final as he won the gold after previously losing two finals in 2020 and 2021. But in his third final in three years, he defeated former European champ Edmond NAZARYAN (BUL) 5-0 to win at 60kg.


63kg GOLD - Leri Abuladze (GEO) vs Taleh Mammadov (AZE)

Georgia did have a gold medalist Saturday as U23 World champion Leri Abuladze (GEO) added a European title to his resume. He wrestled Taleh Mammadov (AZE) in the 63kg final and controlled it well. His one scoring action in par terre in the second period was enough to give him a 3-1 win over Mammadov, his first in two meetings.


67kg GOLD - Murat Firat (TUR) vs Krisztian Vancza (HUN)

Murat FIRAT (TUR) denied Krisztian VANCZA (HUN) a gold medal at home. In the close final, Firat used an exposure close to the zone to win 3-1. Vancza had his chance to take the lead when Firat was called passive but he did not manage to score any points from par terre in the second period.


72kg GOLD - Robert Attila Fritsch (HUN) vs Shmagi Bolkvadze (GEO)

Robert FRITSCH (HUN) upset Rio bronze medalist Shmagi BOLKVADZE (GEO), 3-2, at the 72kg final. In one of the closest bouts of the tournament, Bolkvadze led 1-0 at the break for a passivity point. But Fritsch bounced back with a gut wrench from par terre to lead 3-1. A reversal point for Bolkvadze but his lead to 3-2 but he managed to hang on for the win.


77kg GOLD - Malkhas Amoyan (ARM) vs Yunus Emre Basar (TUR)

Malkhas AMOYAN (ARM) won the 77kg European title. The world champion at 72kg was making his debut at 77kg and wrestled Yunus Basar (TUR) in the final. He was called passive and gave up a gut wrench to trail 3-0 at the break. But he got the same action using a chest wrap in the second period to lead 3-3 on criteria.

Turkey challenged the call asking for a leg foul but the judges found no negative wrestling which gave another point to Amoyan, extending his lead 4-3 with two minutes remaining.

The silver medalist from Warsaw European Championships was again called passive but this time Basar could not get any exposure from par terre as Amoyan let out a loud scream to celebrate his maiden gold at the continental championships.


82kg GOLD - Rafig Huseynov (AZE) vs Gela Bolkvadze (GEO)

In a historic feat, Rafiq HUSEYNOV (AZE) became the first-ever Azerbaijan wrestler to win three European titles. Wrestling Gela BOLKVADZE (GEO) in the 82kg final, Huseynov gave up a point for passivity but defended the par terre position. Georgia asked for a challenge for Huseynov's fleeing but lost it. Huseynov got the second point from Bolkvadze's passivity and kept the 2-1 lead to win the gold.


87kg GOLD - Turpan BISULTANOV (DEN) vs Nicu OJOG (ROU)

Bisultanov won the gold for Denmark at the European championship, outscoring his opponents 35-0 over two days and with his crowd-pleasing style became a fan favorite in Budapest. Wrestling Nicu Ojog (ROU) in the 87kg final, Bisultanov took only one minute and 13 seconds to finish the bout 8-0. In his four bouts, he did not wrestle the full six minutes in any, spending just over 13 minutes on the mat.


97kg GOLD - Kiril MILOV (BUL) vs Arvi SAVOLAINEN (FIN)

Kiril MILOV (BUL) upgraded from his silver in 2019. With fond memories of Budapest, he changed the color of his medal with an error-less performance in the final against Arvi SAVOLAINEN (FIN), 4-1. Milov got the match-deciding gut wrench in the second period to defeat the former U23 world champion Savolainen who won the title in Budapest three years ago.


130kg GOLD - Riza KAYAALP (TUR) vs Danila SOTNIKOV (ITA)

Riza Kayaalp (TUR) is on a mission to break Alexander Karelin (RWF) record of 12 European gold medals. He took another step closer to that by winning his 11th gold in Budapest. The four-time world champion defeated Danila Sotnikov (ITA), 4-0 in the 130kg final using a head-pinch exposure when the Italian was trying to push him out.