London 2012 Medalists Golden on First Day of Hungarian Grand Prix

By William May

SZOMBATHELY, Hungary (February 6) – London 2012 Olympic Games medalists Tamas LORINCZ (HUN) and Damian JANIKOWSKI (POL) turned in golden performances Saturday at the Hungarian Grand Prix Greco-Roman classic.

Lorincz, a silver medalist four years ago in London, defeated world champion Davor STEFANEK (SRB) on his way to the 66kg crown at Arena Savaria, while London bronze medalist Janikowski racked up three technical falls for the title at 85kg.

“Today was a great day for me,” Lorincz said, while adoring fans crowded around their hero.  “Of course, the biggest match for me was my semifinal with the world champion, but I had a little problem with my Japanese opponent (Tomohiro INOUE).”

“But, I solved that problem, so I felt pretty good about myself,” the three-time European champion said.

Looking ahead to the Rio 2016 qualification meet for Europe in April, Lorincz said “My brother (Viktor LORINCZ at 85kg) qualified in Las Vegas (at last September’s world championships), so I hope I can join him. It has always been our dream to go to the Olympics as family.”

Janikowski, who wrapped up 2013 world bronze medalist Javid HAMZATOV (BLR) in under three minutes in the 85kg final appears to have found his groove again.

“I have been training really hard and we have been working on new techniques,” Janikowski said with a wry smile. “But, I can’t tell you what they are because it’s a national secret.”

Asked for his thoughts on the Olympic qualifier, Janikowski, who finished seventh in Las Vegas – just outside the cutoff for the first phase of qualification in Las Vegas, said “I will continue to work hard and improve my technique – and then, I won’t have to worry about rivals.”

In Saturday’s other two finals, Chinese entries grabbed their fifth and sixth tournament victories of their European tour grabbing four gold medals last week at the Grand Prix of Paris.

YANG Bin (CHN), a silver medalist in Paris, defeated Mateusz WOLNY (POL) for an upgrade to gold at 75kg, while Asia silver medalist MENG Qiang (CHN) bagged his second gold medal of the tour after receiving a forfeit from fellow Asian Games bronze medalist Bashir BABAJANZADEH (IRI) at 139kg.

On his way to the final, Yang edged 2014 world silver medalist Neven ZUGAJ (CRO), 4-3, in the semifinals, while Meng scored a late takedown for a 6-4 victory over Beijing 2008 bronze medalist Mindaugas MIZGAITIS (LTU) in the quarterfinals.

Earlier at 75kg, 2014 world champ at 80kg Peter BACSI (HUN) suffered an 8-2 loss to Geordan SPEILLER (USA) in the quarterfinals and was knocked out of the competition when Speiller lost to Wolny, 3-2, in the semifinals.

Results from Saturday’s medal matches and semifinals:

66kg (27 entries)
Gold – Tamas LORINCZ (HUN) df. David KARECINSKI (POL), 7-0
Bronze – Davor STEFANEK (SRB) df. Mate NEMES (SRB), 6-5
Bronze – Artak MARGARYAN (FRA) df. ZHENG Pan (CHN) by Fall, 4:14 (7-0)
Semifinal – Tamas LORINCZ (HUN) df. Davor STEFANEK (SRB), 9-3
Semifinal – David KARECINSKI (POL) df. ZHENG Pan (CHN) by TF, 8-0, 2:06

75kg (24 entries)
Gold – YANG Bin (CHN) df. Mateusz WOLNY (POL), 4-0
Bronze – Neven ZUGAJ (CRO) df. Martin SZABO (HUN), 7-0
Bronze – Geordon SPEILLER (USA) df. Petr NOVAK (CZE) by injury default, 0:00
Semifinal – YANG Bin (CHN) df. Neven ZUGAJ (CRO), 4-3
Semifinal – Mateusz WOLNY (POL) df. Geordon SPEILLER (USA), 3-2

85kg (21 entries)
Gold – Damian JANIKOWSKI (POL) df. Javid HAMZATOV (BLR) by TF, 8-0, 2:51
Bronze – Yuri SHKRIUBA (UKR) df. Aleksandr KAZAKEVICH (LTU), 2-1
Bronze – Alexander KIKINOV (BLR) df. Chadorchi Davod ABEDINZADEH (IRI), 4-1
Semifinal – Damian JANIKOWSKI (POL) df. Aleksandr KAZAKEVICH (LTU), 4-1
Semifinal – Javid HAMZATOV (BLR) df. Alexander KIKINOV (BLR), 3-0

130kg (14 entries)
Gold – MENG Qiang (CHN) df. Bashir BABAJANZADEH (IRI) by injury default, 0:00
Bronze – Mindaugas MIZGAITIS (LTU) df. Ferenc ALMAZI (HUN) by TF, 8-0
Bronze – Stjepan LAVRIC (CRO) df. Lukasz BANAK (POL) by default, 2:30 (6-0)

Semifinal – MENG Qiang (CHN) df. Ferenc ALMAZI (HUN), 7-2
Semifinal – Bashir BABAJANZADEH (IRI) df. Stjepan LAVRIC (CRO), 3-0