Iran Wins Three Greco-Roman Golds, Leads Russia by Three Points

By Eric Olanowski

TRNAVA, Slovakia (September 18) – Iran went three-for-three in Greco-Roman gold medal bouts on Tuesday capturing a three-point team lead heading into the third and final day of Greco-Roman competition at the 2018 Junior World Championships in Trnava, Slovakia.

The trio of Amin MIRZAZADEH (IRI), Pouya NASERPOUR (IRI), and Mohammadhadi SARAVI (IRI) had the opportunity to carry their country’s flag around the mat after winning their first world titles. 

 In the 55kg gold-medal bout Naserpour, the junior Asian champion, gave up an early head pinch and trailed Tigran MINASYAN (ARM), 4-0 before going on a 9-0 run to claim his first junior world gold medal. 

Naserpour improved on his third-place finish from the 2017 Cadet World Championships with the 9-4 victory. 

Mohammadhadi SARAVI (IRI), 2018 junior world champion at 87kg. (Photo by Max Rose-Fyne) 

Saravi, this year’s junior Asian champion neutralized Ramon Rainer BETSCHART (SUI) in the 87kg finals, stopping Switzerland from winning its first-ever junior-level world gold. Saravi, who also won his first Junior world gold medal scored his five points from a passivity call and two gut wrenches. 

The third and final Iranian Asian champion to claim a world title on the second day of competition was Amin Mirzazadeh who shutout Armenia’s David OVASAPYAN, 5-0 in the 130kg gold medal match.  

Islam OPIEV (RUS) knocked off three world medalists on his way to the 77kg gold medal. (Photo by Max Rose-Fyne)

At 77kg, Russia’s Islam OPIEV capped off his improbable run to a junior world gold medal with three straight wins over a returning Tampere junior world medalists.  

Opiev had knocked off last year’s junior world silver medalist, Akzhol MAKHMUDOV (KGZ), 1-1 to make the semifinals where he stunned returning world champion Kamal BEY (USA), 7-1 to set up a finals date with India’s returning bronze medalist, Sajan SAJAN (IND). 

In his first world finals appearance, Opiev scored the first-period technical superiority victory, thumping Sajan, 8-0. 

In the opening 90 seconds, Sajan was hit with passivity and was thrown from the par terre position. With Sajan down, Opiev went to work, scoring six additional points from a pair of back-arches, followed by a feet over back exposure to take the 7-0 lead. 

The action was blown dead, and both wrestlers were brought up to their feet. In the standing position, Opeiv charged Sajan near the edge of the mat and picked up the match-ending eighth point, and the 77kg gold medal. 

Erbol BAKIROV (KGZ) does a backflip after winning the 63kg gold medal. (Photo by Max Rose-Fyne)

The final gold medal of the night went to Erbol BAKIROV (KGZ). After trailing 1-0, Bakirov put a sudden stop to the 63kg gold-medal bout, throwing Egypt’s Hassan Hassan MOHAMED to his back with a massive head-lock to win the gold medal. 

The final day of Greco-Roman action, along with the start of women’s wrestling, begins tomorrow morning at 10:30 AM local time. 


Team Scores
GOLD – Iran (75 points)
SILVER – Russia (72 points)
BRONZE – Kyrgyzstan (50 points)
Fourth – Armenia (50 points)
Fifth – India (47 points)

GR 55kg 
GOLD – Pouya Mohammad NASERPOUR (IRI) df. Tigran MINASYAN (ARM), 9-4

BRONZE - Vijay VIJAY (IND) df. Cihat LIMAN (TUR), via fall

GR 63kg  
GOLD - Erbol BAKIROV (KGZ) df. Hassan Hassan Ahmed MOHAMED (EGY), via fall. 

BRONZE - Azamat KAIROV (RUS) df. Hrachya POGHOSYAN (ARM), 3-1 
BRONZE Krisztian VANCZA (HUN) vs. Sagar SAGAR (IND), 9-0 

GR 77kg 
GOLD - Islam OPIEV (RUS) df. Sajan SAJAN (IND), 8-0 

BRONZE - Akzhol MAKHMUDOV (KGZ) df. Kamal Ameer BEY (USA), 8-1
BRONZE - Per KURE (NOR) df. Dmytro GARDUBEI (UKR), 4-1

GR 87kg
GOLD - Mohammadhadi SARAVI (IRI) df. Ramon BETSCHART (SUI)

BRONZE - Nazarshah FATULLAYEV (AZE) df. Maimaiti KAISAIER (CHN), 5-1 

GOLD - Amin Mohammadzaman MIRZAZADEH (IRI) df. David OVASAPYAN (ARM), 5-0  

BRONZE - Franz RICHTER (GER) df. Beka MAKARIDZE (GEO), 10-0 
BRONZE - Cohlton SCHULTZ (USA) df. Ante MILKOVIC (CRO), 7-1 


Russia Wins Fifth Gold Medal, Junior World Team Title

By Eric Olanowski

TRNAVA, Slovakia (September 23) – Russia closed out the 2018 Junior World Championships winning the freestyle team title on the backs of five individual gold medals. Heading into the final day of wrestling, the Russian Federation led the second-place United States by 31 points and finished 67 points ahead of the returning champions. 

Russia grabbed a trio of gold medals on the sixth day of competition and seized championships from Abasgadzhi MAGOMEDOV (RUS) and Soslan KHINCHAGOV (RUS) on the seventh day of wrestling at Trnava’s City Sports Hall. 

Abasgadzhi Magomedov improved his 2015 cadet runner-up finish, ending the 61kg finals bout early, grabbing the 10-0 technical superiority victory over Georgia’s Ramaz TURMANIDZE. 

The 2016 junior European champion technically and tactfully scored three takedowns via short drags, and two gut-wrenches, ending the gold-medal bout in 2:50. 

Soslan KHINCHAGOV (RUS), who was competing in his first age-level world championship since claiming the silver medal at the 2015 Cadet World Championships, shutout Aly BARGHOUT (CAN), 7-0 in the 125kg finals, giving Russia their fifth and final gold medal of the tournament. 

Overall, Russia capped off the 2018 Junior World Championships with seven medalists. In addition to their five gold medals, they also won a silver and bronze medal. Though they had seven medalists a year ago, there five gold medals are an improvement from last year’s four gold medals. 

Meanwhile, in his third career freestyle tournament, Mekhi LEWIS (USA) sealed the team silver medal for the United States with a 5-1 win over Abubakr ABAKAROV (AZE) in the 74kg finals.

Lewis trailed 1-0 in the opening period, surrendering a passivity point before scoring a takedown and stepout, controlling a 3-1 lead into the final period. In the second period, Lewis scored a brutality point and a second stepout to give America their first champion across any division of the 2018 Junior World Championships. 

In the 86kg gold-medal bout, Arif OZEN (TUR) stopped Deepak PUNIA (IND) from winning India’s first freestyle junior world gold medal since 2001. 

The Turkish wrestler struck first, scoring an early takedown, which ended up being the match-deciding takedown. Ozen gave up a stepout as time expired, but won the match, 2-1, giving Turkey their first freestyle gold medal of these championships.

Abbas Ali FOROUTANRAMI (IRI) put on a takedown clinic in the 92kg championships bout, blanking Alisher YERGALI (KAZ), 11-0.

After three-minutes, Foroutanrami commanded the 3-0 lead before firing off four takedowns in the second period to end the match with the technical superiority victory.   


Team Scores 
GOLD – Russia (182 points)
SILVER – United States (115 points)
BRONZE –  Iran (98 points)
Fourth – Azerbaijan (91 points)
Fifth – India (84 points)

GOLD – Abasgadzhi MAGOMEDOV (RUS) df. Ramaz TURMANIDZE (GEO), 10-0 

BRONZE - Vazgen TEVANYAN (ARM) df. Abbos RAKHMONOV (UZB), 9 - 3
BRONZE - Syrbaz TALGAT (KAZ) df. Minsu CHO (KOR), 10-4 

GOLD - Mekhi Kevin LEWIS (USA) df. Abubakr ABAKAROV (AZE), 5-1 

BRONZE - Devid BETANOV (RUS) df. Sachin RATHI (IND), 11 - 1

GOLD - Arif OZEN (TUR) df. Deepak PUNIA (IND), 2-1 


GOLD - Abbas Ali FOROUTANRAMI (IRI) df. Alisher YERGALI (KAZ), 11-0 

BRONZE - Askhab HAMZATOV (AZE) df. Makhsud VEYSALOV (UZB), 9 - 3
BRONZE - Erhan YAYLACI (TUR) df. Khokh KHUGAEV (RUS), 7-3

GOLD - Soslan KHINCHAGOV (RUS) df. Aly Medhat Abde BARGHOUT (CAN), 7-0 

BRONZE - Khasanboy RAKHIMOV (UZB) df. Amir Nader YARI (IRI), 6 - 4
BRONZE - Samhan JABRAILOV (MDA) df. Rahid HAMIDLI (AZE), 3-1