Japanese Women Win Six Golds, World Team Title

By Eric Olanowski

TRNAVA, Slovakia (September 21) -  For the eighth straight year, Japan left the Junior World Championships with the women’s wrestling team title. The most dominant women’s wrestling nation in the world finished 55 points ahead of second place Russia, and 88 points ahead of third place China. 

Japan closed out the fifth day of competition with four additional gold medals, bringing their tournament total to six overall individual champions. This is the fifth straight year that Japan has finished the Junior World Championships with at least four gold medalists. It’s also the most golds they’ve won since winning six golds at the 2016 Junior World Championships. 

They also won a silver and three bronze medals. In total, Japan medaled in all ten women’s wrestling weight classes. 

In the 53kg finals, Umi IMAI (JPN) blanked Aktenge KEUNIMJAEVA (UZB), 10-0, giving Japan their third women’s wrestling gold medal of the tournament. 

In the opening period, Iami scored a pair of takedowns and carried the 4-0 lead into the second period. 

The second period was short-lived, as Imai walked off the double underhooks of Keunimjaeva, shooting a high crotch, and finishing with a four-point double leg. Shortly after, Sawa gained the 10 point advantage with a right-side gut wrench. 

Andoriahanako SAWA (JPN) stuck Qi ZHANG (CHN) in the 57kg gold medal bout, giving Japan their fourth gold medal of the 2018 Junior World Championships. 

Sawa was leading 2-0 in the opening period after an early takedown but fell behind on criteria when Zhang took the lead with a smooth double leg. The Chinese wrestler transitioned into a gut-wrench, extending her lead to 4-2. Sawa caught Zhang on her back midway through a Chinese gut wrench attempt and scored the first-period fall. 

Atena KODAMA claimed Japan’s third gold medal of the night when Nabira ESENBAEVA (UZB) injury defaulted out of the 62kg gold-medal bout. 

Miyu IMAI (JPN) gave Japan their fourth gold medal of the day with a 13-3 technical superiority victory over Delgermaa ENKHSAIKHAN (MGL) in the 65kg finals. 

The final women’s wrestling gold medal went to four-time age-level world champion, Koumba LARROQUE (FRA). In the finals, Larroque overwhelmed Evgeniia ZAKHARCHENKO (RUS), 6-0. 

Larroque didn't give up an offensive point the entire tournament, outscoring her Junior World Championship opponents 33-0 on her way to winning her second junior world title. 


Team Scores 
GOLD - Japan (215 points)
SILVER – Russia (160 points)
BRONZE – China (127 points)
Fourth – Ukraine (73 points)
Fifth – Mongolia (67 points) 

GOLD - Umi IMAI (JPN) df. Aktenge KEUNIMJAEVA (UZB), 10-0 

BRONZE - Enkhtsetseg BATBAATAR (MGL) df. Alisha Sue HOWK (USA), 11-0 

GOLD - Andoriahanako SAWA (JPN) df. Qi ZHANG (CHN), via fall

BRONZE - Sara Johanna LINDBORG (SWE) df. Viktoriia VAULINA (RUS), 3-0 
BRONZE - Mansi MANSI (IND) df. Hannah Fay TAYLOR (CAN), 2-1 

GOLD – Atena KODAMA (JPN) df. Nabira ESENBAEVA (UZB), via inj. def

BRONZE - Daria BOBRULKO (RUS) df. Xinyuan SUN (CHN), 9-1 

GOLD - Miyu IMAI (JPN) df. Delgermaa ENKHSAIKHAN (MGL), 13-3

BRONZE - Iryna KOLIADENKO (UKR) df. Asli DEMIR (TUR), via fall 
BRONZE - Albina KHRIPKOVA (RUS) df. Veranika EISMANT (BLR), 9-3

GOLD - Koumba Selene Fanta LARROQUE (FRA) df. Evgeniia ZAKHARCHENKO (RUS), 6-0 

BRONZE - Fanwen SHEN (CHN) df. Kamila Czeslawa KULWICKA (POL, 6-4 
BRONZE - Naruha MATSUYUKI (JPN) df. Anastasiya ZIMIANKOVA (BLR), 3-1 


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