Marin Portille Wins Cuba’s First Women’s Junior World Gold; Susaki Strikes World Gold for Seventh Time

By Eric Olanowski

TALLINN, Estonia (August 15) -- Milaimys de la Caridad MARIN POTRILLE (CUB) claimed Cuba’s first-ever women’s wrestling junior world titlle, while Yui SUSAKI (JPN) added a second consecutive junior world title to her resume that’s now littered with seven world gold medals. 

In the 76kg gold-medal bout, Marin Portille stopped Hui Tsz CHANG (TPE) from winning Chinese Taipei’s first-ever junior world title with a 10-6 victory. 

In the finals, Marin Portille trailed by three points late into the second period after giving up a four-point headlock, but quickly rebounded and gained two exposure points -- cutting Chang’s lead to one point. In dramatic fashion, Marin Portille scored a takedown with seven seconds left in the match and became Cuba’s first-ever women’s wrestling junior world gold medalist. Smiling from ear-to-ear, Marin Portille said, “I dedicate this win to the Cuban people. This win is very important because Cuba is a small island and I prepared very hard for this.” 

Still gleaming with joy, Marin Portille added, “I’m so emotional. I feel so good -- so nice. We won three medals at the Pan-Americans, but this is a step forward for Cuban women’s wrestling.” 

The newly minted junior world champion closed by saying she’ll be wrestling at the September’s Nur-Sultan World Championships.

Yui SUSAKI (JPN) downed Daria KHVOSTOVA (RUS), 10-0, and won her seventh world title. (Photo: Kadir Caliskan)

Meanwhile, Yui Susaki claimed back-to-back junior world titles after seizing a 10-0 victory over 2016 cadet world silver medalist Daria KHVOSTOVA (RUS). 

With her win on Thursday night, Susaki brought her grand total to seven overall world gold medals since appearing at her first World Championships in 2014. When asked where this world title stacks up on her list, Susaki said, “My final goal is an Olympic gold medal. I will do my best and I will try to practice towards my final goal.” 

Susaki's world championship record is now 31-0 – with 29 of those wins being shutout victories. Perhaps a more impressive stat is Susaki has now outscored her 31 world championship opponents 290-6 and only gave up points in two matches en route to reaching the top of the podium seven times.

She believes the reason she’s so successful is because of her strength and mind. She said, “The reason why I get the championships is my own strength and mind.” 

Sae NANJO (JPN) gets emotional after winning the 59kg world title with a 12-1 win over reigning junior world champion Anastasia NICHITA (MDA). (Photo: Kadir Caliskan)

Japan Collects Two Additional World Titles
In addition to Susaki’s gold medal, Sae NANJO (JPN) and Naruha MATSUYUKI (JPN) also won gold medals at 59kg and 68kg, respectively. 

In a rematch of last year’s 59kg junior world finals, Nanjo unseated reigning junior world champion Anastasia NICHITA (MDA), 12-1. 

Last year, Nichita scored a pair of takedowns -- which trumped Nanjo’s takedown and two one-point exchanges to win her first world title, 4-4.

But, Nanjo authored a much different story on Thursday night.

Much like last year, Nanjo surrendered the matches’ first points, but that was the last time the Moldovan wrestler would score. After Nanjo was hit with that inactivity point, she scored back-to-back takedowns and closed out the opening period in front by three points (4-1).  

Early in the second period, Nanjo stopped a Nichita duck under attempt and secured a takedown with a high crotch and led by five points (6-1). The Japanese wrestler quickly transitioned into a pair of leg laces off the right-sided high crotch and commanded the 10-1 lead. A flurry ending with Nanjo locking up in a cradle handed Japan their second gold medal of the day with the 12-1 victory. 

With her win on Thursday night, Nanjo now has two junior world titles on her resume. She also won the 2017 junior world title in Tampere, Finland. 

Naruha MATSUYUKI (JPN) was the third Japanese wrestler to claim gold on Thursday night. She took out Meerim ZHUMANAZAROVA (KGZ), 4-2 in the 68kg finals. (Photo: Kadir Caliskan)

Naruha Matsuyuki scored the match-deciding takedown with 31 seconds left in the 68kg finals to stop Meerim ZHUMANAZAROVA (KGZ) from winning Kyrgyzstan second-ever junior world gold medal. 

Matsuyuki, who represented Japan at the junior, U23 and senior World Championships last season, improved on her 2018 junior world bronze medal with a clutch counter offensive attack to give Japan their third gold medal of the day. 

Patrycja GIL (POL) gave Poland their first women's wrestling junior world title since 1999 with a 6-2 win over Ekaterina VERBINA (RUS) in the 55kg finals. (Photo: Kadir Caliskan)

Gil Gives Poland First Junior World Title Since 1999
Patrycja GIL (POL) became Poland’s third woman to win a junior world title and first gold medalist since Edyta WITKOWSKA (POL) won the 1999 Junior World Championships in Bucharest, Romania. 

On Friday night, Gil grabbed a first-period takedown, but conceded a takedown and trailed 2018 junior world bronze medalist Ekaterina VERBINA (RUS), 2-2. Mid-way through the second period, while trailing on criteria, the Polish wrestler picked up four points from a double leg takedown and closed out the match, 6-2, to win her country’s first junior world title in 20 years. 

GOLD - Yui SUSAKI (JPN) df. Daria KHVOSTOVA (RUS), 10-0 
BRONZE - Mariia VYNNYK (UKR) df. Lucia YEPEZ GUZMAN (ECU), 9-9 
BRONZE - Maria LEORDA (MDA) df. Natallia VARAKINA (BLR), 4-2

GOLD - Patrycja GIL (POL) df. Ekaterina VERBINA (RUS), 6-2 
BRONZE - Saki IGARASHI (JPN) df. Eunyoung PARK (KOR), 4-0 
BRONZE - Sezen Behchetova BELBEROVA (BUL) df. Anastasia BLAYVAS (GER), 8-0 

GOLD - Sae NANJO (JPN) df. Anastasia NICHITA (MDA), via fall
BRONZE - Kateryna ZELENYKH (UKR) df. Anshu ANSHU (IND), 12-1 

BRONZE - Morena DE VITA (ITA) df. Nazira MARSBEK KYZY (KGZ), 6-6 

BRONZE - Khanum VELIEVA (RUS) df. Jayden Leigh LAURENT (USA), 9-1 
BRONZE - Ewelina Weronika CIUNEK (POL) df. Delgermaa ENKHSAIKHAN (MGL), 4-2 

GOLD - Milaimys de la Caridad MARIN POTRILLE (CUB) df. Hui Tsz CHANG (TPE), 10-6
BRONZE - Yasuha MATSUYUKI (JPN) df. Qian JIANG (CHN), 2-1 
BRONZE - Bernadett NAGY (HUN) df. Eleni PJOLLAJ (ITA), 10-0  


Russia Wins Greco-Roman Team Title; Kamal Claims Third Junior World Gold

By Eric Olanowski

TALLINN, Estonia (August 18) – The Russian Federation joined their fellow freestyle countrymen as junior world team champions, while Kerem KAMAL (TUR) gained ownership of his third consecutive junior world title.

Russia entered the final day of wrestling in Tallinn, Estonia, with the seven-point team lead over Iran, and ended with winning the team title by 37 points. They closed out the Junior World Championships with three additional medals – bringing their overall total to seven junior world medal winners. In total, Russia had four world champs, a pair of silver medalists, and a bronze-medal finisher. 

Sergei STEPANOV (RUS) joined Greco-Roman teammates Anvar ALLAKHIAROV (55kg), Abu AMAEV (63kg) and Ilia ERMOLENKO (87kg) as junior world champs. 

Stepanov, who said the plan coming into the final “was to be first,” collected two points in the first period and one point in the second period and snatched his first world title with a gritty 3-1 victory over Ulvu GANIZADE (AZE). After his win, Stepanov said, “I can’t say (how I feel), I’m just so emotional.”

In the opening period of the finals, Stepanov scored two points from inactivity point and step-out point and carried the 2-0 lead into the closing period. The second period was scoreless until the 65-second mark when Stepanov was thrown down in par terre after being hit for inactivity. He escaped without surrendering a point and managed to tack on a point of his own after a failed leg-foul challenge from the Azerbaijani corner. Stepanov ultimately held on to win, 3-1 -- giving Russia their fourth Greco-Roman gold medal of the tournament, but more importantly, the team title. “Russia is so strong, and I am so happy to become team champions.” 

Kerem KAMAL (TUR) won his third junior world title with a 7-2 win over Sahak HOVHANNISYAN (ARM) in the 60kg finals. (Photo: Kadir Caliskan)

Meanwhile, Kerem Kamal held up three fingers to the crowd, signaling his possession of a third consecutive junior world title after he defeated Sahak HOVHANNISYAN (ARM), 7-2 in the 60kg gold-medal bout. “I’m very happy to win the third gold medal in the junior category. I was before in the cadet finals three times and I lost,” said Kamal.  

In his finals match, the Turkish wrestler trailed after the first period, but he expected to be in that position. “The match plan was (to be) safe in the first (period)…Safety first.” The second period was pivotal for Kamal in grasping his third junior world gold. After playing it safe in the first period, Kamal said, “In the second period, I go full power.” And that’s exactly what he did. In the final three minutes, Kamal earned an inactivity point and got to work quickly -- smothering Hovhannisyan with a right-side gut wrench follow by a four-point lift from the right side and commanded the 7-1 lead. He conceded a second-period point but ended up carrying the Turkish flag around the mat at a Junior World Championships for the third consecutive year with a 7-2 victory. 

Giorgi SHOTADZE (GEO) defeated Shant KHACHATRYAN (ARM), 6-3 in the 67kg finals and captured his second age-group world title. His first came at the 2016 Cadet World Championships in Tbilisi, Georgia. 

Final Trio of Day Seven Champions
In the 67kg finals, Giorgi SHOTADZE (GEO) and Shant KHACHATRYAN (ARM) exchanged one-point sequences, but it was the Georgian who headed into the second period with the lead on criteria. A stepout 15 seconds into the second period, followed by a four-point throw with 25 seconds left gave the reigning European champion his second world title and first since winning the 2016 Cadet World Championship in Tbilisi, Georgia. 

Istvan TAKACS (HUN) scored 48 offensive points on his way to the 82kg title. (Photo: Kadir Caliskan)

Istvan TAKACS (HUN) stopped Russia from winning their second gold medal of the night with a 7-1 statement win over Aues GONIBOV (RUS) in the 82kg finals. “I came for the gold, and I got it,” Takacs said after the award ceremony.  

In the opening period, the Hungarian traded inactivity points with his Russian opponent but wasn’t too worried because it was all a part of his initial game plan. “The plan was to defend the first par terre position, then pick up my points.” He successfully defended the par terre, and when it was his turn, he capitalized on his opportunity -- scoring six points from a pair of two-point lifts and a leg foul.  

Takas closed out the Junior World Championships scoring 48 offensive points. When asked about his offensive efficiency, Takas said, “I thought about it before the matches. I wanted to win by one or two points, but in the matches, I felt good and the points just came... Everything clicked.” 

With his win on Sunday night, Takas became Hungary’s first junior world champion since 2012, when Baliant LAM won the 120kg title in Pattaya, Thailand. 

Gabriel ROSILLO KINDELAN (CUB) easily handled Patrick NEUMAIER (GER), 8-0 in the 97kg gold-medal bout. (Photo: Kadir Caliskan)

At 97kg, it only took 74 seconds for Cuba’s Gabriel ROSILLO KINDELAN to impose his will on Patrick NEUMAIER (GER) and pick up the technical superiority victory. The Cuban suplexed his way to a four-point lead, then stacked on a takedown and a gut wrench -- giving Cuba their first junior Greco-Roman world title since Yasmany LUGO CABRERA’S (CUB) 2009 world title run in Ankara, Turkey.


Final Greco-Roman Team Scores
GOLD - Russia (157 points)

SILVER - Iran (121 points)
BRONZE - Turkey (117 points)
Fourth - Georgia (91 points)
Fifth - Hungary (62 points)

GOLD - Kerem KAMAL (TUR) df. Sahak HOVHANNISYAN (ARM), 7-2
BRONZE - Georgii TIBILOV (RUS) df. Diego CHKHIKVADZE (GEO), 5-2 
BRONZE - Asgar ALIZADA (AZE) df. Talastan KANZHARBEK UULU (KGZ), 11-2 

GOLD - Giorgi SHOTADZE (GEO) df. Shant KHACHATRYAN (ARM), 6-3 
BRONZE - Peyton Louis OMANIA (USA)  df. Xin HUANG (CHN), 6-5 
BRONZE - Valentin PETIC (MDA) df. Abdul Samet BASAR (TUR), 3-1

GOLD - Sergei STEPANOV (RUS) df. Ulvu GANIZADE (AZE), 3-1 
BRONZE - Ihor BYCHKOV (UKR)  df. Rasmus Lilleman AASTROEM (SWE), via fall 
BRONZE - Mohammadreza Mahmoud ROSTAMI (IRI) df. Ismail GUN (TUR), 6-5 

GOLD - Istvan TAKACS (HUN) df. Aues GONIBOV (RUS), 7-1 
BRONZE - Dogan KAYA (TUR) df. Lucas Alexandros LAZOGIANIS (GER), 8-6 

GOLD - Gabriel Alejandro ROSILLO KINDELAN (CUB) df. Patrick NEUMAIER (GER), 8-0 
BRONZE - Uladzislau PUSTASHYLAU (BLR) df. Gerard Cyprian KURNICZAK (POL), 3-1 
BRONZE - Beytullah KAYISDAG (TUR) df. Alex Gergo SZOKE (HUN), 1-1