Iran Takes Junior World Freestyle Title Despite Azerbaijan’s Triple Gold

By Tim Foley

SALVADOR, Brazil (August 16) –Mojitaba GOLEIJ (IRI) made easy work of Dzianis KHAMIANKOU (BLR) Sunday night at the CPJ Arean in Salvador to help hos native Iran edge Azerbaijan in the freestyle team race at the 2015 Junior World Championship.

Goleij looked brilliant in the night’s 84kg finals racking up four takedowns and an exposure to find the 12-2 technical fall in the second period. Khamiankou, this year’s Junior European bronze medalist, had a tough time getting offense going against Goleij who controlled the mat and the pace from start to finish.

Goleji’s championships was pone of two on the weekend for the Iranian freestyle team, who finished with an additional four silver medals.

Iran won the team title with 62 points, followed by Azerbaijan with 58 and Russia with 49.

In spite of Iran’s team victory, it was runner-up Azerbaijan who enjoyed a golden night, winning three titles on the final night of wrestling in Brazil.

Mahir AMIRASLANOV (AZE) started off the Azerbaijani run with an impressive day on the mats earning a first period technical fall over Ravi KUMAR (IND), 10-0 at 55kg. The young Azeri only ceded six points all day, a feat when considering he faced stiff competition from the Japanese, Russian and Iranian wrestlers in the opening rounds.

For his part, Kumar had clawed back from a pair of 8-2 deficits in his previous matches against Stevan MICIC (USA) and ZANDANBUD Zanabazar (MGL), but Amiraslaniv ‘s blistering takedown and transition into exposure was too much for Kumar who folded under the unrelenting offense of the wiry Azeri..

The title was Amiraslanov first world championship, having twice been a world runner-up at the Cadet level taking silver in 2013 and 2014.

Teymur MAMMADOV (AZE) kept Azerbaijan in the gold at 66kg, winning his second world title in as many years. The 2014 Cadet world champion and Youth Olympic Games champion bested Yuhi FUJINAMI (JPN) in a topsy-turvy 4-3 match that saw lots of scrambling, but few offensive points.

Mammadov continually sprinted at Fujinami while controlling a leg. But the 2013 Cadet silver medalist would olé , clear position and level change which helped him secure three pushouts. Despite his tactical approach it was Mammadov who scored final points, nabbing a shoelace takedown with 10 seconds remaining to secure the gold medal.

Fujinami, who placed second at the Cadet World championships in 2013, had earlier made his way past Sidakov ZAURBEK (RUS), 5-4 in the semifinals and picked up a pair of falls and technical superiority in qualification.

In their final gold medal performance Said GAMIDOV (AZE) got on the board in a hurry in the 120kg finals against Amin TAHERI (IRI) scoring back-to-back inside trips in the first minute of action. His first trip only scored a pair of points, but the second sent Taheri to his back and racked up an additional four points. The pair exchanged takedowns to make it 8-3 at the break, but within a minute of the start o f the second period Gamidov struck again with a four-point chest lock from his feet.

Gamidov took the gold on the final takedown, winning by technical fall, 14-3.

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Freestyle -- 55kg

GOLD:  Mahir AMIRASLANOV (AZE) df. Ravi KUMAR (IND) by TF, 10-0
BRONZE:  Stevan MICIC (USA) df. Zanabazar ZANDANBUD (MGL), 6-0

Freestyle -- 66kg

GOLD:  Teymur MAMMADOV (AZE) df. Yuhi FUJINAMI (JPN), 4-3
BRONZE:  Sidakov ZAURBEK (RUS) df. Avtabdil KENTCHADZE (GEO), 9-4
BRONZE:  Aaron PICO (USA) df. Enes USLU (TUR), 13-6

Freestyle -- 84kg

GOLD: Mojitaba GOLEIJ (IRI) df. Dzianis KHAMIANKOU (BLR) by TF, 12-2
BRONZE:  Musalaliev ARSEN ALI (RUS) df. Shota SHIRAI (JPN), 5-1
BRONZE:  Iliskhan CHILAYEV (KAZ) df. Krysztof SADOWIK (POL), 5-2

Freestyle -- 120kg

GOLD: Said GAMIDOV (AZE) df. Amin TAHERI (IRI) by TF< 12-2
BRONZE:  Yunus DEDE (TUR) df. Krivtsov RAVEL (RUS), 8-5
BRONZE:  Nathan BUTLER (USA) df. Kamil KOSCIULEK (POL), 2-1