Iran's Foroutanrami Defends Junior World Title; Russia Leads After Day Two

By Eric Olanowski

TALLINN, Estonia (August 13) – Iran’s Abbas Ali FOROUTANRAMI successfully defended his junior world title from last year’s Trnava Junior World Championships, while the Russian Federation medaled in four of the five weights on Tuesday night and have control of the team race heading into the final day of freestyle wrestling at the Junior World Championships. 

Foroutanrami, backed by the defining Iranian chants pouring through the Tondiraba Hall, won his second consecutive junior world title with a punishing 10-0 win over Yonger BASTIDA POMARES (CUB).

Foroutanrami was clearly on another level than Bastida Pomares, and it was apparent from the opening whistle of the 97kg finals. The Iranian showed his power early and often, as he drove the Cuban wrestler to the out of bounds line and scored a one-point step out. Shortly after putting his first point on the board, Foroutanrami halted a high crotch attempt and capitalized on a counteroffensive opportunity -- giving him the 3-0 lead. He continued to push the pace and tacked on an inactivity point before using an underhook throw-by to score his second takedown of the opening period.

Foroutanrami’s smothering pace came back into display in the second period as Bastida Pomares back-peddled and tried to slow the match down but got hit for a caution-and-one. With the eight-point advantage, another counteroffensive takedown gave Foroutanrami the 10-0 victory, but also his second consecutive junior world title. 

Amirhossein MAGHSOUDI (IRI) improved on his silver-medal finish from last year's World Championships with an 8-4 win over Kurban SHIRAEV (RUS) in the 61kg finals. (Photo: Kadir Caliskan)

Amirhossein MAGHSOUDI (IRI) was the second Iranian who carried his nation's flag around the mat after an 8-4 win over Kurban SHIRAEV (RUS) in the 61kg finals. 

Maghsoudi was in front 4-0 after a takedown and right-sided gut wrench but nearly gave up the fall after he surrendered a four-point fireman’s carry to his Russian opponenet. Once the Iranian fought off his back, the challenge cube came in from the Russian corner, who was looking for more than four points from Shiraev's fireman’s carry. Russia didn’t get what they wanted and the failed challenge handed Maghsoudi the outright lead, 5-4.

Maghsoudi wrestled a tactical second period -- scoring on three one-point exchanges and improving on his second-place finish from a year ago with the 8-4 victory. 

Amkhad TASHUKHADZHIEV (RUS) was the lone Russian to win a world title on Tuesday. He defeated Bagrati GAGNIDZE (GEO), 7-1 in the 79kg finals. (Photo: Kadir Caliskan)

Meanwhile, the Russian Federation, who are cornered by 2014 world champion Abdusalam GADISOV (RUS), lead Iran by 16 points heading into the final day of freestyle wrestling at the Junior World Championships. 

Russia’s lone 25-point gold-medal winner was Amkhad TASHUKHADZHIEV (RUS), who tallied a rock-solid six-point victory over Bagrati GAGNIDZE (GEO) in the 79kg finals. 

Tashukhadzhiev scored a takedown and a step out in the opening period and carried the 3-1 lead into the second period. Early in the closing three minutes, the Russian launched a series of attacks and scored his second takedown of the bout. While holding onto the four-point lead, Tashukhadzhiev scored his third takedown with a snap down spin behind and reached the top of the world podium for the first time in his career with a 7-1 victory.

Russia also collected 20 points from Kurban Shiraev's 65kg second-place finish, and 30 combined points from Akhmed IDRISOV and Alan KUDZOEV bronze-medal finishes at 57kg and 70kg, respectively. 

The other pair of Day 2 gold medals were claimed by Toshiya ABE (JPN) and Erik ARUSHANIAN (UKR), who won titles at 57kg and 70kg, respectively. In the relatively slow-paced 57kg finals, Abe capitalized on a matches’ lone takedown with 15 seconds left to move past Vitali ARUJAU (USA), 2-2 on criteria, while Arushanian scored six unanswered points and edged last year's junior world bronze medalist Vasile DIACON (MDA), 6-5. 

Wrestling resumes tomorrow morning with the women's wrestling portion of the tournament kicking off at 10:30 (local time).  

GOLD - Toshiya ABE (JPN) df. Vitali ARUJAU (USA), 2-2 
BRONZE - Vrezh GEVORGYAN (ARM) df. Adlan ASKAROV (KAZ), 9-7 
BRONZE - Akhmed IDRISOV (RUS) df. Vijay Bajirao PATIL (IND), 10-0 

GOLD - Amirhossein Azim MAGHSOUDI (IRI) df. Kurban SHIRAEV (RUS), 8-4 
BRONZE - Turan BAYRAMOV (AZE) df. Ahmet Salim YIGIT (TUR), 8-0 
BRONZE - Syrbaz TALGAT (KAZ) df. Vazgen TEVANYAN (ARM), 4-3 

GOLD - Erik ARUSHANIAN (UKR) df. Vasile DIACON (MDA), 6-5 
BRONZE - Mohmmadsadegh FIROUZPOURBANDPEI (IRI) df. Ashraf ASHIROV (AZE), 5-4 
BRONZE - Alan KUDZOEV (RUS) df. Omer Faruk CAYIR (TUR), 10-7

GOLD - Amkhad TASHUKHADZHIEV (RUS) df. Bagrati GAGNIDZE (GEO), 7-1  
BRONZE - Abubakr ABAKAROV (AZE) df. Arman AVAGYAN (ARM), 6-4

GOLD - Abbas Ali FOROUTANRAMI (IRI) df. Yonger Pauli BASTIDA POMARES (CUB), 10-0 
BRONZE - Makhsud VEYSALOV (UZB) df. Akash ANTIL (IND), 9-3 
BRONZE - Feyzullah AKTURK (TUR) df. Reheman RUSIDANMU (CHN), 11-1 


Russia Wins Greco-Roman Team Title; Kamal Claims Third Junior World Gold

By Eric Olanowski

TALLINN, Estonia (August 18) – The Russian Federation joined their fellow freestyle countrymen as junior world team champions, while Kerem KAMAL (TUR) gained ownership of his third consecutive junior world title.

Russia entered the final day of wrestling in Tallinn, Estonia, with the seven-point team lead over Iran, and ended with winning the team title by 37 points. They closed out the Junior World Championships with three additional medals – bringing their overall total to seven junior world medal winners. In total, Russia had four world champs, a pair of silver medalists, and a bronze-medal finisher. 

Sergei STEPANOV (RUS) joined Greco-Roman teammates Anvar ALLAKHIAROV (55kg), Abu AMAEV (63kg) and Ilia ERMOLENKO (87kg) as junior world champs. 

Stepanov, who said the plan coming into the final “was to be first,” collected two points in the first period and one point in the second period and snatched his first world title with a gritty 3-1 victory over Ulvu GANIZADE (AZE). After his win, Stepanov said, “I can’t say (how I feel), I’m just so emotional.”

In the opening period of the finals, Stepanov scored two points from inactivity point and step-out point and carried the 2-0 lead into the closing period. The second period was scoreless until the 65-second mark when Stepanov was thrown down in par terre after being hit for inactivity. He escaped without surrendering a point and managed to tack on a point of his own after a failed leg-foul challenge from the Azerbaijani corner. Stepanov ultimately held on to win, 3-1 -- giving Russia their fourth Greco-Roman gold medal of the tournament, but more importantly, the team title. “Russia is so strong, and I am so happy to become team champions.” 

Kerem KAMAL (TUR) won his third junior world title with a 7-2 win over Sahak HOVHANNISYAN (ARM) in the 60kg finals. (Photo: Kadir Caliskan)

Meanwhile, Kerem Kamal held up three fingers to the crowd, signaling his possession of a third consecutive junior world title after he defeated Sahak HOVHANNISYAN (ARM), 7-2 in the 60kg gold-medal bout. “I’m very happy to win the third gold medal in the junior category. I was before in the cadet finals three times and I lost,” said Kamal.  

In his finals match, the Turkish wrestler trailed after the first period, but he expected to be in that position. “The match plan was (to be) safe in the first (period)…Safety first.” The second period was pivotal for Kamal in grasping his third junior world gold. After playing it safe in the first period, Kamal said, “In the second period, I go full power.” And that’s exactly what he did. In the final three minutes, Kamal earned an inactivity point and got to work quickly -- smothering Hovhannisyan with a right-side gut wrench follow by a four-point lift from the right side and commanded the 7-1 lead. He conceded a second-period point but ended up carrying the Turkish flag around the mat at a Junior World Championships for the third consecutive year with a 7-2 victory. 

Giorgi SHOTADZE (GEO) defeated Shant KHACHATRYAN (ARM), 6-3 in the 67kg finals and captured his second age-group world title. His first came at the 2016 Cadet World Championships in Tbilisi, Georgia. 

Final Trio of Day Seven Champions
In the 67kg finals, Giorgi SHOTADZE (GEO) and Shant KHACHATRYAN (ARM) exchanged one-point sequences, but it was the Georgian who headed into the second period with the lead on criteria. A stepout 15 seconds into the second period, followed by a four-point throw with 25 seconds left gave the reigning European champion his second world title and first since winning the 2016 Cadet World Championship in Tbilisi, Georgia. 

Istvan TAKACS (HUN) scored 48 offensive points on his way to the 82kg title. (Photo: Kadir Caliskan)

Istvan TAKACS (HUN) stopped Russia from winning their second gold medal of the night with a 7-1 statement win over Aues GONIBOV (RUS) in the 82kg finals. “I came for the gold, and I got it,” Takacs said after the award ceremony.  

In the opening period, the Hungarian traded inactivity points with his Russian opponent but wasn’t too worried because it was all a part of his initial game plan. “The plan was to defend the first par terre position, then pick up my points.” He successfully defended the par terre, and when it was his turn, he capitalized on his opportunity -- scoring six points from a pair of two-point lifts and a leg foul.  

Takas closed out the Junior World Championships scoring 48 offensive points. When asked about his offensive efficiency, Takas said, “I thought about it before the matches. I wanted to win by one or two points, but in the matches, I felt good and the points just came... Everything clicked.” 

With his win on Sunday night, Takas became Hungary’s first junior world champion since 2012, when Baliant LAM won the 120kg title in Pattaya, Thailand. 

Gabriel ROSILLO KINDELAN (CUB) easily handled Patrick NEUMAIER (GER), 8-0 in the 97kg gold-medal bout. (Photo: Kadir Caliskan)

At 97kg, it only took 74 seconds for Cuba’s Gabriel ROSILLO KINDELAN to impose his will on Patrick NEUMAIER (GER) and pick up the technical superiority victory. The Cuban suplexed his way to a four-point lead, then stacked on a takedown and a gut wrench -- giving Cuba their first junior Greco-Roman world title since Yasmany LUGO CABRERA’S (CUB) 2009 world title run in Ankara, Turkey.


Final Greco-Roman Team Scores
GOLD - Russia (157 points)

SILVER - Iran (121 points)
BRONZE - Turkey (117 points)
Fourth - Georgia (91 points)
Fifth - Hungary (62 points)

GOLD - Kerem KAMAL (TUR) df. Sahak HOVHANNISYAN (ARM), 7-2
BRONZE - Georgii TIBILOV (RUS) df. Diego CHKHIKVADZE (GEO), 5-2 
BRONZE - Asgar ALIZADA (AZE) df. Talastan KANZHARBEK UULU (KGZ), 11-2 

GOLD - Giorgi SHOTADZE (GEO) df. Shant KHACHATRYAN (ARM), 6-3 
BRONZE - Peyton Louis OMANIA (USA)  df. Xin HUANG (CHN), 6-5 
BRONZE - Valentin PETIC (MDA) df. Abdul Samet BASAR (TUR), 3-1

GOLD - Sergei STEPANOV (RUS) df. Ulvu GANIZADE (AZE), 3-1 
BRONZE - Ihor BYCHKOV (UKR)  df. Rasmus Lilleman AASTROEM (SWE), via fall 
BRONZE - Mohammadreza Mahmoud ROSTAMI (IRI) df. Ismail GUN (TUR), 6-5 

GOLD - Istvan TAKACS (HUN) df. Aues GONIBOV (RUS), 7-1 
BRONZE - Dogan KAYA (TUR) df. Lucas Alexandros LAZOGIANIS (GER), 8-6 

GOLD - Gabriel Alejandro ROSILLO KINDELAN (CUB) df. Patrick NEUMAIER (GER), 8-0 
BRONZE - Uladzislau PUSTASHYLAU (BLR) df. Gerard Cyprian KURNICZAK (POL), 3-1 
BRONZE - Beytullah KAYISDAG (TUR) df. Alex Gergo SZOKE (HUN), 1-1