LIVE BLOG: Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series, Day One

By United World Wrestling Press

The first day of the Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series event is in the books. Musa EVLOEV (RUS) won his third RS gold medal while Istvan TAKACS (HUN) stopped fellow countryman Viktor LORINCZ (HUN) from claiming a record-extending seventh RS gold medal. Riza Kayaalp dominated the 130kg category and was crowned the champion. Kazakhstan once against showed their dominance in Greco-Roman and claimed six medals including two golds.

Friday, will be another action filled day with three more Greco-Roman categories and four women's freestyle weight categories in action.

The recap of all the action from Greco Roman

WATCH: Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series


55kg Viktor VEDERNIKOV (RUS) df Khorlan ZHAKANSHA (KAZ) 9-1
60kg Emin SEFERSHAEV (RUS) df Ahmet UYAR (TUR) via inj. def.
63kg Aidos SULTANGALI (KAZ) df Sultan ASSETULY (KAZ) via inj. def.
67kg Meiirzhan SHERMAKHANBET (KAZ) df Mate KRASZNAI (HUN) 12-2
87kg Istvan TAKACS (HUN) df David LOSONCZI (HUN) 4-1
97kg Musa EVLOEV (RUS) df Erik SZILVASSY (HUN) 8-0
130kg Riza Kayaalp (TUR) df Abdellatif Mohamed Ahmed MOHAMED (EGY) 7-0

2020 hrs: GOLD MEDAL! Riza KAYAALP (TUR) completes a 7-0 shutout victory over Abdellatif Mohamed Ahmed MOHAMED (EGY) and is crowed the champion at 130kg. That will close out the first day of action in Rome

2015 hrs: Abdellatif Mohamed thought he has two points against Kayaalp but Turkey challenge the call and the scores are 0-0. Mohamed is then warned for passivity. Opening for Kayaalp and he doesn't waste any time. He gets three exposures and is up 7-0 in the 130kg gold medal bout

2011 hrs: Final bout of the day and it's four-time world champion Riza KAYAALP (TUR) taking on Abdellatif Mohamed Ahmed MOHAMED (EGY)

2010 hrs: Bronze medals for  Zurabi GEDEKHAURI (RUS) and NAVEEN (IND). The Russian completes a 3-1 win while Naveen hangs on for 1-1 criteria win over David STEPHAN (CZE) 

2000 hrs: Final three medal bouts coming up in Rome. On Mat B, Yasmani ACOSTA FERNANDEZ (CHI) is wrestling Zurabi GEDEKHAURI (RUS) while on Mat A, Stepan DAVID (CZE) is up against NAVEEN (IND)

1955 hrs: GOLD MEDAL! Musa EVLOEV (RUS) with a big four-point throw and then comes back to claim the victory with a pushout! Technical superiority finish for him. A third Ranking Series gold medal for EVLOEV


#WrestleRome 97kg GR Medal Match Results
🥇Musa EVLOEV 🇷🇺df. Erik SZILVASSY 🇭🇺, 8-0
🥉Olzhas SYRLYBAY 🇰🇿 df. Ondrej DADAK 🇨🇿, 9-0
🥉Cenk ILDEM 🇹🇷 df. Luca SVAICARI 🇮🇹, 7-1

— United World Wrestling (@wrestling) March 4, 2021


1950 hrs: 97kg final! Two-time defending world champion Musa EVLOEV (RUS) takes on Erik SZILVASSY (HUN). This will be his third Ranking Series gold medal if he can finish in Rome

1947 hrs: Olzhas SYRLYBAY (KAZ) with a pushout and the win! He wins the bronze medal by a technical superiority win. Cenk ILDEM (TUR) also pockets the bronze medal with a 7-1 win

1945 hrs: Both bouts are the 30-second break point. Coincidentally, Syrlybay is leading by 7-0 on Mat B, same as Ildem on Mat A

1940 hrs: Bronze medal bouts in the 97kg weight category. On Mat B, Ondrej DADAK (CZE) is taking on Olzhas SYRLYBAY (KAZ) and on Mat A, it's Rio Olympics bronze medalist Cenk ILDEM (TUR) against Luca SVAICARI (ITA)

1930 hrs: GOLD MEDAL! Istvan TAKACS (HUN) caps of a stunning day for himself and Hungary with a gold medal in the 87kg final. He beats fellow countryman David LOSONCZI (HUN) 4-1 in the final. He had earlier stopped Lorincz from winning his record seventh gold medal by beating him in the semis

1920 hrs: Lorincz completes a 8-0 win over Fidelbo. His seventh medal at RS events but first which is not gold. In the second bronze medal bout, Bekkhan OZDOEV (RUS) steamrolls against Josef Patrick RAU (USA) for a 8-0 technical superiority win at 87kg

1915 hrs: This may well be an unfamiliar feeling for Viktor LORINCZ (HUN). He had won six gold medal in previous Ranking Series events but he is wrestling for the bronze in Rome. He is up against Simone FIDELBO (ITA)

1910 hrs: GOLD MEDAL! Meiirzhan SHERMAKHANBET (KAZ) adds a second Ranking Series gold and fourth medal overall as he completes a technical superiority 12-2 win over Mate KRASZNAI (HUN)

#WrestleRome 67kg GR Medal Match Results
🥇Meiirzhan SHERMAKHANBET 🇰🇿df.
Mate KRASZNAI 🇭🇺, 12-2
🥉Almat KEBISPAYEV 🇰🇿df. Enes BASAR🇹🇷, 3-2
🥉Nazir ABDULLAEV 🇷🇺df. Murat FIRAT 🇹🇷, 1-1

— United World Wrestling (@wrestling) March 4, 2021

1907 hrs: Final bout at 67kg. Mate KRASZNAI (HUN) is wrestling for the gold medal against Asian Championships silver and former World Championships bonze medallist Meiirzhan SHERMAKHANBET (KAZ)

1905 hrs: Challenge won! The score is back 3-1 for Kebispayev. 10 seconds still remaining in the bout. Basar tries a desperate move but only gets a pushout and a point. Kebispayev wins the bronze medal with a 3-2 win

1902 hrs: Nazir Rachidovitch ABDULLAEV (RUS) wins the bronze medal after holding on to a 1-1 win against Murat FIRAT (TUR). On Mat B, Almat KEBISPAYEV (KAZ) was leading 3-1 when Enes BASAR (TUR), went for a big throw. It was scored 4 points for the Kazakhstan wrestler. Turket with the challenge 

1900 hrs: Almat KEBISPAYEV (KAZ) wrestling for bronze at 67kg against Enes BASAR (TUR). On Mat A, Murat FIRAT (TUR) is leading Nazir Rachidovitch ABDULLAEV (RUS) in the second bronze medal bout of the category

#WrestleRome 63kg Medal Match Results
🥇Aidos SULTANGALI 🇰🇿 df. Sultan ASSETULY , inj. def.
🥉Neeraj NEERAJ 🇮🇳 df. Samuel JONES 🇺🇸, 6-4
🥉Mohammad ALAJMI 🇰🇼 df. Marat GARIPOV 🇷🇺, via inj. def.

— United World Wrestling (@wrestling) March 4, 2021

1850 hrs: GOLD MEDAL! Two Kazakhstan wrestlers in the final of 63kg and it's Aidos SULTANGALI (KAZ) winning the gold medal after Sultan ASSETULY (KAZ) withdraws via injury default

1845 hrs: Both Neeraj and Jones exchanges points but it's the former with a 5-4 lead after Jones failed to complete a throw. USA has challenged the call. Challenge lost and Neeraj leads 6-4 with 22 seconds to go. He will hang on to the lead and will take home a bronze medal from Rome

1835 hrs: NEERAJ (IND) and Samuel Lee JONES (USA) are wrestling on Mat B for the bronze medal at the 63kg weight category. In the other bronze medal bout, Mohammad F Kh M J ALAJMI (KUW) is the winner via injury default against Marat Maksumovitch GARIPOV (RUS)

1830 hrs: GOLD MEDAL! Russia's U23 World Championships silver medallist Emin Narimanovitch SEFERSHAEV (RUS) is the champion at 60kg via injury default from Ahmet UYAR (TUR)

1825 hrs: What a finish! Hafizov tried a head-pinch but gives up two of his own. Sarsenbiyev increases his lead by two points. Final six seconds left and Hafizov gets going with head lock exposure for two. He challenges it but it is lost. Zhanserik SARSENBIYEV (KAZ) takes the bronze medal at 60kg.

1820 hrs: Sarsenbiyev gets a two and then exposes Hafizov for two more. 5-3 lead for the Kazak with two minutes left in the bronze medal bout. Hungary's Kecskemeti hangs on for a 2-1 win and the bronze medal

1815 hrs: The two bronze medal bouts at 60kg are underway. On Mat B, Zhanserik SARSENBIYEV (KAZ) had 1-0 lead before Ildar HAFIZOV (USA) got a point for passivity and an exposure to take 3-1 lead. On Mat A, Krisztian KECSKEMETI (HUN) leads Joshua Xavier MEDINA (PUR) 2-1.

1810 hrs: Both Viktor VEDERNIKOV (RUS) and Khorlan Zhakansha (KAZ) exchange passivity points but the former then launches a big four-point throw and three gut-wrenches to claim the gold medal at 55kg with a dominant 11-1 win via technical superiority

1750 hrs: We are just minutes are away from the medal bouts in Rome. The bouts will take place on Mat B and A with Viktor VEDERNIKOV (RUS) and Khorlan ZHAKANSHA (KAZ) battling it out for the 55kg gold on the former and Krisztian KECSKEMETI (HUN) vs Joshua Xavier MEDINA (PUR) fighting for the bronze medal at 60kg on the latter.

In case you missed the first session of the day, below is the recap of some upsets and Kazakhstan and Hungary advancing four wrestlers each to the finals

That'll wrap the first session of the day in Rome. The line-up for the finals is set and the second session will give us seven Greco-Roman champions at the Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series event. We will be back after a three-hour break

In the warm-up hall in Rome today, two of wrestling's biggest stars sparred. Theo Lowenstien was there to capture this epic moment

1350 hrs: With that, we have our finals set in seven Greco-Roman weight categories

                 55kg Viktor VEDERNIKOV (RUS) vs Khorlan ZHAKANSHA (KAZ)
                 60kg Ahmet UYAR (TUR) vs Emin Narimanovitch SEFERSHAEV (RUS)
                 63kg Aidos SULTANGALI (KAZ) vs Sultan ASSETULY (KAZ)
                 67kg Meiirzhan SHERMAKHANBET (KAZ) vs Mate KRASZNAI (HUN)
                 87kg David LOSONCZI (HUN) vs Istvan TAKACS (HUN)
                 97kg Erik SZILVASSY (HUN) vs Musa Evloev (RUS)
                 130kg Riza KAYAALP (TUR) vs Abdellatif Mohamed Ahmed MOHAMED (EGY)

1335 hrs: Defending world champion Musa EVLOEV (RUS) storms into the final of 97kg. He beats Rio Olympics bronze medallist Cenk Ildem (TUR) 6-0 and will wrestle Erik SZILVASSY (HUN) in the final

1330 hrs: Almat KEBISPAYEV (KAZ) is wrestling his countryman Meiirzhan SHERMAKHANBET (KAZ). He gets tossed early in the bout and down 0-6. He had a very good run so far but now in deep trouble 

1315 hrs: Riza KAYAALP (TUR) with a fall! The four-time world champion secures a place in the 130kg final against Abdellatif Mohamed Ahmed Mohamed (EYG), who defeated Naveen NAVEEN (IND) 3-1

1312 hrs: Give it to Istvan TAKACS (HUN)! He hands Viktor LORINCZ (HUN) his first defeat ever in Ranking Series events. He shuts out the defending champ 3-1. He moves into the 87kg final

1310 hrs: Viktor LORINCZ (HUN) is staring at his first defeat in Ranking Series events. He trains compatriot Istvan TAKACS (HUN) 1-3

1255 hrs: We are set for the semi-finals on Day 1 in Rome

                 60kg (TUR) Ahmet UYAR vs (PUR) Joshua Xavier MEDINA
                 60kg (USA) Ildar HAFIZOV vs (RUS) Emin Narimanovitch SEFERSHAEV
                 63kg (KAZ) Aidos SULTANGALI vs (RUS) Marat Maksumovitch GARIPOV
                 63kg (USA) Samuel Lee JONES vs (KAZ) Sultan ASSETULY
                 67kg (KAZ) Almat KEBISPAYEV vs (KAZ) Meiirzhan SHERMAKHANBET
                 67kg (RUS) Nazir Rachidovitch ABDULLAEV vs (HUN) Mate KRASZNAI
                 87kg (RUS) Bekkhan OZDOEV vs (HUN) David LOSONCZI
                 87kg (HUN) Istvan TAKACS vs (HUN) Viktor LORINCZ
                 97kg (RUS) Musa EVLOEV vs (TUR) Cenk ILDEM
                 97kg (KAZ) Olzhas SYRLYBAY vs (HUN) Erik SZILVASSY
                 130kg (IND) Naveen NAVEEN vs (EGY) Abdellatif Mohamed Ahmed MOHAMED
                 130kg (RUS) Zurabi GEDEKHAURI vs (TUR) Riza KAYAALP 

1240 hrs: Nazir ABDULLAEV (RUS) with an upset! He takes out Tokyo Olympian Mohamed ELSAYED (EYG) 6-5 to move into the semi-finals at 67 kg

1230 hrs: Russian Championships runner-up Marat Maksumovitch GARIPOV (RUS) gets two four-point throws in the final 12 seconds to beat Aidos SULTANGALI (KAZ) and move into the 67kg semi-final

1225 hrs: Almat Kebispayev (KAZ) with a very close win! Trailing 2-4, he got a point for Jamel Rasheed JOHNSON'S (USA) passivity and then gets the exposure to lead 5-4. That remains the final score between the two.

1222 hrs: 2-0 win for Riza KAYAALP (TUR)! He moves into the semi-finals at 130kg. On Mat A, Kebispayev is in trouble as Johnson is leading 4-2 at the break in their 67kg quarter-final 

1217 hrs: Multiple-time world medallist Almat KEBISPAYEV (KAZ) is up on Mat A against Jamel Rasheed JOHNSON (USA). Meanwhile, Kayaalp is controlling the bout against Fernandez with a 2-0 lead

1210 hrs: Four-time world champion Riza KAYAALP (TUR) is wrestling against Yasmani ACOSTA FERNANDEZ (CHI) on Mat C in the 130kg quarter-final

1201 hrs: A comfortable win to start off his tournament! Viktor LORINCZ (HUN) scores a point for passivity, takedown, and pushout to seal a 4-0 win against Azamat Kustubayev (KAZ)

1200 hrs: Rio Olympics bronze medallist from Turkey Cenk ILDEM leads Yerulan ISKAKOV (KAZ) 3-0 at the break in their 97kg quarter-final on Mat A

1152 hrs: The six-time champion at Ranking Series tournaments Viktor LORINCZ (HUN) makes his way to MAT C for his first-round bout against Azamat KUSTUBAYEV (KAZ). The Hungarian is 23-0 so far in Ranking Series

1150 hrs: Emin Narimanovitch SEFERSHAEV (RUS) gives up a point for passivity but Zhanserik SARSENBIYEV (KAZ) could not capitalize. The Russian plays the clock well and will hold on for a 2-2 victory by criteria and advance to the semi-finals

1145 hrs: World Cup champion Emin Narimanovitch SEFERSHAEV (RUS) leads 2-1 at the break against Zhanserik SARSENBIYEV (KAZ) in their 60kg quarter-final. The Kazak also has a caution warning against him 

1133 hrs: Almat KEBISPAYEV (KAZ) holds on for a win! Kerem KAMAL (TUR), the defending champion from the 60kg weight category, goes down 3-3 in the first round of 67kg in Rome. What a stunning first hour we have had here

1130 hrs: Kerem KAMAL (TUR) gets a pushout and rewarded with two points to take a 4-3 lead but Almat KEBISPAYEV (KAZ) with a challenge to that call. Challenge won! 3-3 with 0:11 to go

1127 hrs: Almat KEBISPAYEV (KAZ) got the advantage after Kerem KAMAL (TUR) was warned for passivity. The Kazak wrestler gets a head pinch and a lead of 3-1 over the Turkish wrestler

1120 hrs: Match of the morning in Rome! Kerem KAMAL (TUR) is facing Almat KEBISPAYEV (KAZ) on Mat C. Kerem KAMAL (TUR) is the defending champion in Rome

1115 hrs: Eypgt's Tokyo Olympian Mohamed Ibrahim Elsayed Ibrahi ELSAYED gets going with a victory by fall in 67kg first round

1045 hrs: Four-time world champion Riza KAYAALP (TUR) begins with a comfortable 4-2 win over Mansur SHADUKAYEV (KAZ)

1030 hrs: All set for the first bouts in Rome! This will be the start of the new ranking cycle for all the wrestlers for 2021


USA closes out U17 Worlds with 3 golds, historic FS title

By Vinay Siwach

ROME, Italy (July 31) -- James GREEN (USA) was part of the USA team which won the freestyle team title for the first time in 22 years at the 2017 World Championships. The two-time world medalist won a silver medal in that edition.

Five years later, Green got another chance to hold the team trophy, this time as the chief coach of the USA team at the U17 World Championships in Rome on Sunday.

USA won a historic first U17 freestyle world title in Rome with nine out of their 10 wrestlers winning medals including four golds. It finished with 190 points which was more than enough to exchange places with defending champions India which finished with 126 points.

Azerbaijan, a nation that won the European team title, finished third with 122 points.

USA became the fourth nation to win the U17 world freestyle title after Russia, Iran and India since the U17 Worlds were reinstated in 2011. Russia won the title every year until 2018 when Iran broke that streak.

Russia won again in 2019 before India became only the third country to win the title in 2021.

USAUSA coach James GREEN, center, with the team title trophy. (Photo: UWW / Martin Gabor)

"It feels like it's straight out of a movie," he said. "It's like a reminiscent of 2017 when I was part of the world team that won the title for the USA after 22 years."

After finishing with a gold, three silver and a bronze medal on day six, the USA rocked again on the final day with three gold and a bronze to close out the tournament.

"I know how these guys are feeling," he said. "I am so excited to win this on my first trip and looking forward to more coaching."

Since 2011, the USA finished in the second spot five times in nine U17 Worlds with the latest being to India at the previous edition. But this year, all the USA wrestlers won their head-to-heads against India which ultimately proved to be the difference between who became the champions.

"The draw kind of worked in our favor," Green said. "We definitely had a gameplan not just for India but for everyone else including the Europeans as well.  But I can tell you one thing that our wrestlers wanted to get a hand on Indian wrestlers because we lost to them last time."

Luke LILLEDAHL (USA)Luke LILLEDAHL (USA), blue, upgraded his '21 silver to gold. (Photo: UWW / Martin Gabor)

Luke LILLEDAHL (USA) finished with a silver medal in 2021 after suffering a loss against Aman GULIA (IND) but there was no stopping Lilledahl this year as he upgraded to gold with a dominating 10-1 win over Mohammad Reza ASADI (IRI).

The 51kg final, pretty much controlled by Lilledahl, began with two exchanging stepout but then the USA wrestler switched levels after the break and scored takedowns whenever he found Asadi going for a half shot. He countered two of Asadi's attacks while he scored a takedown and added a leg lace in his 12-1 victory for the gold medal.

"Luke wrestlers at a hard pace," Green said. "He keeps a low head but is always moving and engaging. He takes the points as they come and doesn't rush into attacks."

Two other gold medalists for the USA on Sunday, Domenic MUNARETTO (USA) and Joseph SEALEY (USA), also impressed Green.

Munaretto won the 45kg gold medal by beating Bashir VERDIYEV (AZE), 2-0 in the final. Overall, the champion outscored his opponents 30-2 in the tournament.

Joseph SEALEY (USA)Joseph SEALEY (USA) outscored his opponents 55-1 in Rome. (Photo: UWW / Martin Gabor)

At 71kg, Sealey dashed local hopes to see a home champion by decimating Raul CASO (ITA), 12-0, in the gold medal bout.

Sealey, like his all other bouts, was wrestling at a completely different level and pace which Caso had no answer to. When Caso tried to engage in underhooks, he would get tripped by Sealey and when he tried to score a takedown, Sealey would easily stop any such attempts.

His two inside trips and two takedowns were enough to help Sealey win the crown and get some praise from coach Green.

"Sealey was very impressive," he said. "He wrestles like a senior athlete and can wrestle someone from that level. He conceded the least points in the whole tournament."

Sealey wrestled five bouts to win the gold and in an impressive record, scored 55 points and conceded only one.

Drawing experience from the title-winning run in 2017, Green had communicated to his team to 'have fun' during the tournament.

"I just told them that you are capable of being world champs and future Olympic champions," he said. "But more importantly I told them to have fun at this tournament. Most of these guys are wrestling for the first time and they can be hard on themselves so I didn't want that. And once we all met, they had the team chemistry and it clicked right away."

Ebrahim ELAHI (IRI)Ebrahim ELAHI (IRI), blue, pulled off a 5-4 win against Bilol SHARIP UULU (KGZ) in the 60kg final. (Photo: UWW / Martin Gabor)

The other gold medals of the night were shared between Iran and Kazakhstan.

At 60kg, Ebrahim ELAHI (IRI) defeated U17 Asian champion Bilol SHARIP UULU (KGZ), 5-4 to win the gold after trailing 3-1 at one point. Sharip Uulu scored the first points with a duck-under during the activity period against Elahi. It was initially awarded as four but Iran challenged the call and it was reversed to two points only.

But Elahi's constant moves towards Sharip Uulu's legs paid dividends as he leveled the score 3-3 and led on criteria. He then added a takedown against the tiring Kyrgyzstan wrestler to extend his lead to 5-3. He was warned for fleeing during the final 10 seconds which made the score 5-4 but did not change the result.

Elahi's gold was Iran's first of the tournament as it finished fifth in the team rankings.

Kamil KURUGLIYEV (KAZ)Kamil KURUGLIYEV (KAZ) won the 92kg gold, the second of the tournament for Kazakhstan. (Photo: UWW / Martin Gabor)

Returning bronze medalist Kamil KURUGLIYEV (KAZ) went all the way this year and captured his maiden world title, a month after he had won the U17 Asian title.

Musza ARSUNKAEV (HUN) had no answers to Kurugliyev's style of wrestling, inspired by his former world bronze medalist father and cousin-brother, European champion Duaren KURUGLIEV (RWF).

After a 3-0 lead in the first period, Kurugliyev began the second with a huge double-leg for four and then added two takedowns to close out a statement win in Rome.

The World Championships season will now move to Sofia, Bulgaria with the U20 Worlds beginning August 15.




GOLD: Domenic MUNARETTO (USA) df. Bashir VERDIYEV (AZE), 2-0

BRONZE: Arman HARUTYUNYAN (ARM) df. Amirmohammad NAVAZI (IRI), via fall
BRONZE: Nikoloz BOTCHORISHVILI (GEO) df. Constantin RUSU (MDA), 5-4

GOLD: Luke LILLEDAHL (USA) df. Mohammad Reza ASADI (IRI), 10-1

BRONZE: Nurdanat AITANOV (KAZ) df. Ben TARIK (MAR), 1-1

GOLD: Ebrahim ELAHI (IRI) df. Bilol SHARIP UULU (KGZ), 5-4

BRONZE: Taiga OGINO (JPN) df. Alessandro NINI (ITA), 3-1

GOLD: Joseph SEALEY (USA) df. Raul CASO (ITA), 12-0



BRONZE: Maxwell MCENELLY (USA) df. Sahil JAGLAN (IND), 2-1