Komarov Wins Fourth European Junior Gold

By Eric Olanowski

ROME, Italy (August 1) - Russia inserted four wrestlers into gold medal bouts on the final day of Greco-Roman action at the 2018 European Junior Championships and won two gold medals, bringing their overall tournament total to four gold medals. 

Aleksandr KOMAROV (RUS) and Artur SARGSIAN (RUS) were the two Russians who were successful in their championship matches on the third day of wrestling in Rome. 

Komarov, the three-time age-level world champion and most dominant Junior in the world defeated Nicu Samuel OJOG (ROU), 5-2 in the 82kg gold medal bout. 

The four-time age-level European champion trailed 2-1 after surrendering a pair of step outs in the opening minute of the bout. Shortly after, the Russian stopped an arm-spin attempt and scored the match's first takedown, taking the 3-2 lead.

Komarov, who remains undefeated on his international career (cadet, junior and senior) scored his second takedown of the match and extended his lead to three points. Ultimately, his takedown to close out the opening period ended up being the final points of the bout which give Russia their third Greco-Roman gold medal of the competition. 

Artur Sargsian gave Russia their second gold medal of the day and fourth overall with a dominating 8-0 shutout performance over Markus RAGGINGER (AUT) in the 97kg championship match. 

The Russians pace was too high for Ragginger to match, as he bolted out to a 6-0 lead, scoring a takedown along with a massive four points off a throw to end the first period with a six-point lead. 

Sargsian's shuck-by with 30 seconds left ended the match and gave him his first continental championship gold medal. 

Azerbaijan, Belarus, and Germany won the remaining three gold medals on the final day of Greco-Roman competition. 

At 60kg, Germany’s 2015 cadet world bronze medalist, Andrej GINC (GER), rolled over Abu AMAEV (RUS), 11-1 to win his second age-level continental medal. 

Ginc scored the match's first takedown with a head-pinch after back peddling for nearly 30 seconds, ultimately controlling the 2-1 lead.

After a short break for clock issues, last year’s European Championship 12th place finisher scored an enormous five-point move, extending his lead to 7-1. He followed that up with a four-point throw, ending the match 11-1 and giving Germany their first Greco-Roman gold medal since Hannes Wagner’s (GER) gold medal in 2015. 

After giving up the final takedown, Aliaksandr LIAVONCHYK (BLR) hung on to beat Joni KHETSURIANI (GEO), 5-3 in the 67kg finals. 

The two traded a pair of passivity points before Liavonchyk opened the match up with two turns, taking the 5-1 lead. The action was blown dead, and the finalists were brought up to their feet where Khetsuriani scored a takedown, closing the gap in the score to 5-3.  But, time was on Liavonchyk’s side, and he was able to hold on to take the match, 5-3. 

In the plodding 72kg finals, Ulvu GANIZADE (AZE) and Magomed YARBILOV (RUS) traded passivity points before Ganizade was awarded two points for a correct throw, winning the championship bout, 3-1. 

European Junior Greco-Roman Team Scores
GOLD – Russia (195 points)
SILVER - Georgia (113 points)
BRONZE – Armenia (101 points)
Fourth – Belarus (91 points)
FIFTH – Ukraine (80 points)

GOLD – Andrej GINC (GER) df. Abu Muslim Aptievitch AMAEV (RUS), 11-1

BRONZE –  Jacopo SANDRON (ITA) df. Ivan CHERKAS (UKR), 5-0 

GOLD –  Aliaksandr LIAVONCHYK (BLR) df. Joni KHETSURIANI (GEO), 5-3 

BRONZE – Miakhdi Abubakarovitch IAKHIAEV (RUS) df. Mahammadali HASANOV (AZE), 8-0 
BRONZE –  Ismail GUN (TUR) df. Haavard JOERGENSEN (NOR), 8-0 

GOLD – Ulvu GANIZADE (AZE) df. Magomed YARBILOV (RUS), 3-1 

BRONZE –  Malkhas AMOYAN (ARM) df. Nikoloz TCHIKAIDZE (GEO), 9-1 
BRONZE –  Tamas LEVAI (HUN) df. Anthony Ezra SANDERS (GER), 9-0 

GOLD –  Aleksandr Andreevitch KOMAROV (RUS) df. Nicu Samuel OJOG (ROU), 5-2 

BRONZE –  Kiryl MASKEVICH (BLR) df. Erik ELOYAN (ARM), 8-0

GOLD – Artur SARGSIAN (RUS) df. Markus RAGGINGER (AUT), 8-0 

BRONZE –  Arvi Martin SAVOLAINEN (FIN) df. Michail IOSIFIDIS (GRE), 9-0 
BRONZE –  Luca SVAICARI (ITA) df. Damian VON EUW (SUI), 8-6 


Russia Squeaks past Azerbaijan, Wins Freestyle Euro Team Title

By Eric Olanowski

ROME, Italy (August 5) - Thanks to impeccable performances by Akhmed SHOKUMOV (RUS) and Azamat ZAKUEV (RUS), Russia added two additional European Championship gold medals and brought their overall tournament total to thirteen gold medals. In addition to the thirteen individual gold medals, Russia also obtained team titles in freestyle, Greco-Roman and women’s wrestling. 

Shokumov and Zakuev, Russia’s third and fourth freestyle champions each cruised to victories in their gold-medal matches, ending their bouts early by fall and technical superiority, helping Russia (141 points) squeak past second place Azerbaijan (136 points) and third place Armenia (135 points).

Akhmed SHOKUMOV (RUS) won one of Russia's two gold medals on the final day of wreslting at the Junior European Championships. (Photo by Max Rose-Fyne)

Akhmed Shokumov was manhandling Dzhemal Rushen ALI (BUL) in the 74kg title match before picking up the second-period fall. 

Shokumov grabbed a pair of opening period takedowns, shutting out Ali while controlling the 4-0 lead after the first three minutes. 

In the second period, a deflated Ali got to his offense and spun behind Shokumov, but was unable to get the Russian’s knee to touch, and the wrestlers were brought back up to their feet. 

Shortly after, the frustrated Ali looked for a homerun throw, but Shokumov pancaked him to his back and scored the fall, picking up Russia’s third freestyle title and their twelfth overall Junior European Championship gold medal. 

Azamat ZAKUEV (RUS) crused to a 10-0 win in the 92kg gold-medal bout. (Photo by Max Rose-Fyne) 

Returning European champion, Azamat Zakuev crushed Askhab HAMZATOV (AZE), 10-0 in the 92kg gold medal bout. 

Zakuev blazed out to an eight-point lead in the opening period, transitioning to a pair of gut wrenches from two separate takedowns. 

The Russian capped off his title run with a second period cross-ankle-pick, giving him the ten-point advantage and back-to-back junior continental championships.

Vazgen TEVANYAN (ARM) flexes after winning his first European title since 2016. (Photo by Max-Rose Fyne) 

Russia wasn’t the only nation busy winning a pair of gold medals on the seventh and final day competition , as Armenia’s Vazgen TEVANYAN (ARM) and Hovhannes MAGHAKYAN (ARM) were also crowned European champions. 

Vazgen Tevanyan, last year’s Cadet European Championship runner-up defeated Intigam VALIZADA (AZE), 5-2 in the extremely slow 61kg gold-medal bout. 

The opening period was filled with underhooks and fake shots, but Tevanyan was able to score the periods only point with a step-out that gave him the 1-0 lead into the break. 

Tevanyan added another step-out to open the second period but fell behind 2-2 on criteria after forfeiting a deep two-point double leg. 

The Armenian wrestler regained the lead with 90 seconds left, scoring his third step-out point of the match. He closed out the bout by stopping Valizada's throw attempt, scoring his first offensive points of the bout and winning his first European title since claiming the gold back in 2016.  

Hovhannes MAGHAKYAN (ARM) gave Armenia their second gold medal of the day after winning the 125kg weight class. (Photo by Max Rose-Fyne) 

In the 125kg gold medal bout, Hovhannes used a left-side underhook to slow down Yurii IDZINSKYI (UKR) and won the bout, 4-2. 

Maghaky gave up an early takedown and trailed 2-0 right out of the gate. The two-time age-level runner-up rebounded before the period ended and threw the Ukranian wrestler with a monstrous four-point throw, taking the 4-2 lead into the final three minutes. 

After a scoreless second period, the match ended 4-2 and Armenia, who finished one point behind Azerbaijan walked away with the third place team trophy. 

GOLD – Russia (141 points)
SILVER –Azerbaijan (136 points)
BRONZE - Armenia (135 points)
Fourth –Turkey (126 points)
Fifth – Ukraine (109 points)

GOLD - Vazgen TEVANYAN (ARM) df. Intigam VALIZADA (AZE), 5-2

BRONZE - Ramaz TURMANIDZE (GEO) df. Leomid COLESNIC (MDA), 10-0 
BRONZE - Ihor NYKYFORUK (UKR) df. Arman ELOYAN (FRA), via fall 

GOLD - Akhmed SHOKUMOV (RUS) vs. Dzhemal Rushen ALI (BUL), via fall 

BRONZE -  Ismail ABDULLAEV (AZE) df. Hrayr ALIKHANYAN (ARM), 10-5 
BRONZE -  Piotr CARASENI (MDA) df. Kevin LUCHT (GER), 10-6 

GOLD - Arif OZEN (TUR) df. Patrik SZUROVSZKI (HUN), 4-2 


GOLD - Azamat ZAKUEV (RUS) df. Askhab HAMZATOV (AZE), 10-0 

BRONZE - Ertugrul AGCA (GER) df. Beka NADASHVILI (GEO), 8-7 
BRONZE - Erhan YAYLACI (TUR) df. Gheorghe ERHAN (MDA), 14-4 

GOLD - Hovhannes MAGHAKYAN (ARM) vs. Yurii IDZINSKYI (UKR), 4-2 

BRONZE - Oktay GUNGOR (TUR) df. Samhan JABRAILOV (MDA), 4-4