Japan and China Dominate Field in First Day of Women's Freestyle at #BudapestWrestle

By Taylor Miller

Photo of Masako FURUICHI (JPN) by Sachiko Hotaka.

BUDAPEST, HungaryJapan and China combined for eight of Thursday night’s 10 women’s freestyle finalists at the 2019 U23 World Championships.

Japan sent all five of its Wednesday competitors to the gold medal match, all of which have won World titles previously, while China put three into the finals.

Leading the way for Japan is three-time Junior World champion, three-time Cadet World champion and 2019 Senior World bronze medalist Masako FURUICHI (JPN) at 68 kg.

For gold, Furuichi will face 2018 Cadet World champion and two-time Junior World silver medalist Macey KILTY (USA).

Japan and China will have gold-medal head-to-head matchups at 50 kg, 55 kg and 76 kg.

At 50 kg, Kika KAGATA (JPN), a 2017 Junior World champion and two-time Cadet World champion, will go against Ziqi FENG (CHN) for the title.

Photo of Macey KILTY (USA) by Kadir Caliskan. 

Representing Japan in the 55 kg final is reigning U23 World champion and 2018 Junior World champion Saki IGARASHI (JPN). On Thursday night, she will face 2018 Senior Asian Championships bronze medalist Lannuan LUO (CHN).

It will be a battle of World champions at 76 kg as 2019 Junior World champion Yuka KAGAMI (JPN) will challenge returning U23 World champion and 2019 Senior World bronze medalist Pahlia PAHLI (CHN).

Kagami is also a two-time Cadet World champion and a 2018 Youth Olympic Games champ.

In the other final, two-time Cadet World champion Yumeka TANABE (JPN) will face Anastasia NICHITA (MDA), who is a 2018 Junior World champion and three-time age-group World silver medalist.

Medal matches begin Thursday at 6 p.m. local time (noon ET) live on unitedworldwrestling.org.

Semifinals results
50 kg
Ziqi FENG (CHN) df. Mariia VYNNYK (UKR), 10-0
Kika KAGATA (JPN) df. Jyoti JYOTI (IND), 15-4

55 kg
Lannuan LUO (CHN) df. Marina SEDNEVA (KAZ), 12-2
Saki IGARASHI (JPN) df. Khrystyna Zoryana DEMKO (UKR), 4-3

59 kg
Yumeka TANABE (JPN) df. Alena SANGADIEVA (RUS), fall
Anastasia NICHITA (MDA) df. Yuliya PISARENKA (BLR), 8-3

68 kg
Masako FURUICHI (JPN) df. Natalia STRZALKA (POL), 11-0
Macey KILTY (USA) df. Yingying WANG (CHN), 11-0

76 kg
Yuka KAGAMI (JPN) df. Aiperi MEDET KYZY (KGZ), 8-3
Paliha PALIHA (CHN) df. Hui Tsz CHANG (TPE), 6-3

Finals matchups
50 kg: Ziqi FENG (CHN) vs. Kika KAGATA (JPN)
55 kg: Lannuan LUO (CHN) vs. Saki IGARASHI (JPN)
59 kg: Yumeka TANABE (JPN) vs. Anastasia NICHITA (MDA)
68 kg: Masako FURUICHI (JPN) vs. Macey KILTY (USA)
76 kg: Yuka KAGAMI (JPN) vs. Paliha PALIHA (CHN)


Elsayed Collects Second World Title in Less than Two Weeks at #WrestleBudapest

By Taylor Miller

Photo of Mohamed ELSAYED (EGY) by Kadir Caliskan.

BUDAPEST, Hungary – Mohamed ELSAYED (EGY) capped off an amazing two-week run that saw him travel to two different continents to compete at two World Championships events, which he won.

Elsayed, who won the World Military Games just 10 days ago, dominated his way to the crown at the 2019 U23 World Championships on Sunday in Budapest, Hungary.

The returning U23 World champion Elsayed faced 2018 Junior European champion and 2019 U23 European bronze medalist Aliaksandr LIAVONCHYK (BLR) in the 67 kg Greco-Roman title bout.

Elsayed used a strong first period to take a 5-0 lead into the break with a pair of gut wrenches after Liavonchyk was put down in par terre. Moments into the second period, Elsayed finished off the match with a takedown right into a gut wrench on the edge of the mat for a 9-0 victory.

Now a two-time U23 World champion, Elsayed wraps up an impressive 2019 season with a U23 World title, a World Military Games title and a fifth-place finish at the 2019 Senior World Championships in September to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games.

Photo of Arvi Martin SAVOLAINEN (FIN) by Kadir Caliskan.

A pair of Junior World champions went to battle for the gold medal at 97 kg as 2018 Junior World champion Arvi Martin SAVOLAINEN (FIN) took on 2016 Junior World champion Giorgi MELIA (GEO).

Savolainen opened scoring with a four-point takedown, putting Melia to his back for a moment. Georgia challenged the call, but it stood, adding another point to Savolainen’s side of the scoreboard.

Later in the match, Melia scored a correct throw and was awarded a point for his opponent’s passivity, but it was not enough and Savolainen took the gold medal with a 5-3 victory.

At 60 kg, Armen MELIKYAN (ARM) knocked off 2018 Senior World silver medalist Zholaman SHARSHENBEKOV (KGZ) in the first gold-medal match on Sunday night.

Melikyan led 4-4 on criteria at the break, thanks to a big four-point takedown halfway through the first period. In the second period, Melikyan and Sharshenbekov traded the lead, each scoring on step outs, but the Armenian hit a throw for four points, giving himself a lead that the Senior World runner-up could not overcome for an eventual 11-7 decision.

Photo of Milad ALIRZAEV (RUS) by Sachiko Hotaka.

For the title at 82 kg, 2019 Russian Nationals bronze medalist Milad ALIRZAEV (RUS) topped 2016 Junior World silver medalist Vjekoslav LUBURIC (CRO) in a first-period technical fall.

Alirzaev got a chance on top in par terre. The two had a wild scramble that ultimately resulted in a gut wrench for the Russian, but among the action, Luburic executed an illegal move to get hit with a caution-and-two.

Croatia challenged the call, but it failed, and they restarted in par terre, where Alirzaev scored quickly on a gut wrench for an 8-0 win in just two minutes.

The gold-medal bout at 72 kg resulted in a shutout victory for 2019 Senior Asian champion Mohammadreza GERAEI (IRI), who defeated 2012 Cadet World bronze medalist Sanan SULEYMANOV (AZE).

Geraei was on the board early, drawing a passivity from Suleymanov and capitalizing in par terre with a correct throw to go up 3-0. Not long after, Geraei scored a four-point throw for a 7-0 lead at the break. With no scoring in the second period, Geraei secured the gold medal with a 7-0 win.

In the team race, Iran came out on top with 122 points, thanks to three individual Greco champions, edging out second-place Georgia’s 121 points. Taking third was Russia with 118 points.

Finals results
60 kg
GOLD - Armen MELIKYAN (ARM) df. Zholaman SHARSHENBEKOV (KGZ), 11-7
BRONZE - Mehdi Seifollah MOHSEN NEJAD (IRI) df. Krisztian KECSKEMETI (HUN), 9-5

67 kg
GOLD - Mohamed ELSAYED (EGY) df. Aliaksandr LIAVONCHYK (BLR), 9-0
BRONZE - Artur POLITAIEV (UKR) df. Katsuaki ENDO (JPN), 9-0

72 kg
GOLD - Mohammadreza GERAEI (IRI) df. Sanan SULEYMANOV (AZE), 7-0
BRONZE - Valentin PETIC (MDA) df. Nao KUSAKA (JPN), 6-3

82 kg
GOLD - Milad ALIRZAEV (RUS) df. Vjekoslav LUBURIC (CRO), 8-0
BRONZE - Yevgeniy POLIVADOV (KAZ) df. Arman VARDUMYAN (ARM), 16-7
BRONZE - Aivengo RIKADZE (GEO) df. Tamas LEVAI (HUN), 4-2

97 kg
GOLD - Arvi Martin SAVOLAINEN (FIN) df. Giorgi MELIA (GEO), 5-3
BRONZE - Dzmitry KAMINSKI (BLR) df. Ravi RAVI (IND), 8-0
BRONZE - Mohammadhadi SARAVI (IRI) df. Vladlen KOZLIUK (UKR), fall

Final team standings
1. Iran – 122
2. Georgia – 121
3. Russia – 118
4. Ukraine – 77
5. Belarus – 69
6. Japan – 65
7. Turkey – 65
8. Armenia – 64
9. Kazakhstan – 54
10. Hungary – 42