Japan Wins Two Golds, Leads Russia Heading into Day Five

By Eric Olanowski

TRNAVA, Slovakia (September 20) – Japan leads Russia by 15 points heading into the final day of women’s wrestling at the 2018 Junior World Championships in Trnava, Slovakia. 

The most dominant women’s wrestling nation in the world, Japan, medaled in all five weight categories, winning a pair of golds, a silver and two bronze medals on the fourth day of wrestling at the City Sports Hall. 

Yui SUSAKI was the first Japanese wrestler to reach the top of the podium, burying her fourth straight opponent by technical superiority. 

In the finals, Susaki routed Ellen RIESTERER (GER), stopping Germany from winning their first women’s wrestling gold medal since Anita SCHAETZLE (GER) reached the top of the podium back in 2001. 

Susaki jumped out to a 4-0 opening period lead, scoring twice off a pair of snapdown spin-behinds. While on top, the 19-year-old dropped down to the ankles, scoring a pair of leg laces to command the 8-0 lead. She nearly ended the match with a third leg lace, but give credit to Riesterer for sacrificing her knees and not budging. 

A low single to a double ended the 50kg finals, giving Susaki her fifth straight world title across three age divisions, confirming her as one of the best wrestlers in the world, regardless of age, gender or style. 

Susaki’s next competition will be October’s senior-level World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

Saki IGARASHI (JPN) was the second Japanese wrestler to claim gold via technical superiority, blasting Khaliunaa BAYARAA (MGL), 10-0 in the 55kg gold-medal bout. 

Igarashi’s 2018 junior world gold medal is an improvement from her 2015 cadet world runner-up finish.

Meanwhile, last year’s runner-up Anastasia NICHITA (MDA) stopped Japan from winning their third straight gold medal of the day. Nichita built a four-point lead with two first period takedowns before fighting off a late Japanese rush, defeating Sae NANJO (JPN), 5-4 in the 59kg finals. 


The final two weights that did not feature a Japanese finalist were 68kg and 72kg. 

The 68kg finals pitted 2018 cadet world champion Macey Ellen KILTY (USA) and reigning junior world champion Khanum VELIEVA (RUS) against each other. But Velieva’s experience was on display as she shutdown Kilty for six straight minutes, limiting her opportunities to score on her way to winning her second junior world title in as many years.

The final gold medal of the night went to China’s HUANG Yuanyuan. Huang shot a high crotch in the opening period and dumped Russia’s Elmira KHALAEVA to her back and picked up the fall, giving China their first gold medalist of these Junior World Championships.  


Team Scores 
GOLD  – Japan (100 points)
SILVER  – Russia (85 points)
BRONZE – China (68 points) 
Fourth – Ukraine (50 points) 
Fifth – India (37 points)

GOLD - Yui SUSAKI (JPN) df. Ellen RIESTERER (GER), 10-0 

BRONZE -  Marina ZAKSHEVSKAYA (KAZ) df. Emanuela LIUZZI (ITA), 12-0 
BRONZE - Veronika GURSKAYA (RUS) df. Yumei ZHONG (CHN), via fall 

GOLD - Saki IGARASHI (JPN) df. Khaliunaa BAYARAA (MGL), 10-0

BRONZE -  Ekaterina VERBINA (RUS) df. Anju ANJU (IND), 12-2 
BRONZE - Jiajing HOU (CHN) df. Eunyoung PARK (KOR), 7-4 

GOLD - Anastasia NICHITA (MDA) df. Sae NANJO (JPN), 5-4

BRONZE -  Tetiana RIZHKO (UKR) df. Yekaterina FIRSTOVA (KAZ), via fall
BRONZE - Anshu ANSHU (IND) df. Alina KAZYMOVA (RUS),  11=5

GOLD -  Khanum VELIEVA (RUS) df. Macey Ellen KILTY (USA), 7-0 

BRONZE -  Miwa MORIKAWA (JPN) df. Hyeonyeong PARK (KOR), via fall 

GOLD - Yuanyuan HUANG (CHN) df. Elmira KHALAEVA (RUS), 6-0 

BRONZE -  Denise Sabina MAKOTA STROEM (SWE) df. Inkara ZHANATAYEVA (KAZ), 10-0 


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