Nokhodi, Sarlak earn trip to second Worlds
Sunday, July 17, 2022 - 22:17 By Vinay Siwach
TUNIS, Tunisia (July 17) -- Iran entered the Zouhaier Sghaier Ranking Series to finalize its World Championships team as it was left with two wrestlers at 57kg and 79kg after the Takhti Cup and the national selection trial.
Two World silver medalists -- Alireza SARLAK (IRI) at 57kg and Mohammad NOKHODI (IRI) at 79kg -- were fighting for their spot on the national team.
While Sarlak had lost to Ahmad MOHAMMADNEZHAD (IRI) at the Takhti Cup, Nokodhi was forced for a trial as Ali SAVADKHOUI (IRI) won the Asian Championships. Coincidentally, the two pairs were placed in the same pool of their brackets and faced each other in the first bout itself.
Savadkhoui won a tense opening bout 5-5 against Nokhodi and took a step closer to that world event. But in a shocking turn of events, Nokhodi won his remaining bouts in the Nordic bracket and made it to the final.
His loss to Savadkhoui became irrelevant as the Asian champion failed to qualify for the semifinal and lost his chance to represent the nation at the World Championships.
Iran coaches and management perhaps wanted to conduct the trial in an international event as that would give a better idea about a wrestler's chance against foreign opponents. Had it been a one-off bout during the Takhti Cup or the later trial, Nokhodi would have failed to go to his second senior World Championships.
But as the management predicted, he lost to Savadkouhi but dominated other international wrestlers. In the final, he faced Bolat SAKAYEV (KAZ) and scored 10 points against six to win the gold medal.
At 57kg, Sarlak and Mohammadnezhad faced in the opening round which Sarlak won 2-0. Mohammadnezhad was expected to bounce back as the two could have met again in the final. But he suffered a loss to UDIT (IND).
Sarlak won all his bouts in the group stage and qualified for the semifinal against world champion Thomas GILMAN (USA). The rematch of the World Championships did not disappoint, with Gilman securing an 11-7 win.
Gilman made the final but not before suffering a pin against Horst LEHR (GER) in the opening round. But Lehr then got injured and lost his semifinal to Udit 14-4
In the final, Gilman scored three takedowns to lead 7-2 but Udit made a come and came agonizingly close to beating Gilman who won 9-8.
Iran's third entry was Yones EMAMI (IRI) who will wrestle at the World Championships at 74kg. He dominated U17 world champion Sagar JAGLAN (IND) 11-0 in the Round 3 to win the gold.
The USA dominated the proceedings at 61kg and 70kg. Zain RETHERFORD (USA) did not give up a single point en route the 70kg gold, winning five bouts. In the final against Syrbag TALGAT (KAZ), Retherford continuously build the pressure and scored takedown after takedown.
Seth GROSS (USA) at 61kg also had an impressive performance. He will be representing the USA in Belgrade and warmed up with a gold medal after four wins including over Suleyman ATLI (TUR) and Aman SEHRAWAT (IND).
Kazakhstan won the gold medals at 86kg and 92kg. Asian champion Azamat DAULETBEKOV (KAZ) was far better than his two other opponents at 86kg while Abdimanap BAIGENZHEYEV (KAZ) won the 92kg gold after winning his three bouts.
The most he was challenged by was Viky CHAHAR (IND) but Baigenzheyev won that bout 4-2.
India's lone gold medal came at 65kg as SUJEET (IND) captured the gold after wins over Tokyo Olympian Agustin DESTRIBATS (ARG), 15-4, John DIAKOMIHALIS (USA), 8-2 and for U23 silver medalist Adlan ASKAROV (KAZ) 14-4.
The gold is Sujeet's third consecutive international gold in a month after he won the U23 Asian Championships in late June and U20 Asian gold a week back.
GOLD: Thomas GILMAN df. UDIT (IND), 9-8
BRONZE: Alireza SARLAK df. Horst LEHR (GER), via injury default
Round 3: Seth GROSS (USA) df. Nebi UZUN (TUR), via injury default
Round 3: Aman SEHRAWAT (IND) df. Suleyman ATLI (TUR), 12-2
GOLD: Seth GROSS (USA)
SILVER: Aman SEHRAWAT (IND)
BRONZE: Suleyman ATLI (TUR)
Round 3: SUJEET (IND) df. Agustin DESTRIBATS (ARG), 15-4
Round 3: John DIAKOMIHALIS (USA) df. Adlan ASKAROV (KAZ), 15-5
GOLD: SUJEET (IND)
SILVER: John DIAKOMIHALIS (USA)
BRONZE: Adlan ASKAROV (KAZ)
GOLD: Zain RETHERFORD (USA) df. Syrbaz TALGAT (KAZ), 10-0
BRONZE: Karan MOR (IND) df. Kossai AJIMI (TUN), 10-0
Round 3: Yones EMAMI (IRI) df. Sagar JAGLAN (IND), 11-0
GOLD: Yones EMAMI (IRI)
SILVER: Sagar JAGLAN (IND)
BRONZE: Cesar ALVAN (BRA)
GOLD: Mohammad NOKHODI (IRI) df. Bolat SAKAYEV (KAZ), 10-6
BRONZE: Chandler MARSTELLER (USA) df. Gourav BALIYAN (IND), 10-0
Round 3: Azamat DAULETBEKOV (KAZ) df. Sabri MNASRIA (TUN), 11-0
GOLD: Azamat DAULETBEKOV (KAZ)
SILVER: Osman GOCEN (TUR)
BRONZE: Sabri MNASRIA (TUN)
Round 3: Viky CHAHAR (IND) df. Imed KADDIDI (TUN),
Round 3: Abdimanap BAIGENZHEYEV (KAZ) df. Chiheb CHIHI (TUN), 10-0
GOLD: Abdimanap BAIGENZHEYEV (KAZ)
SILVER: Viky CHAHAR (IND)
BRONZE: Imed KADDIDI (TUN)