Novikov Avenges European C’Ships Loss to Defend U23 World Title

By Taylor Miller

Photo of Semen Novikov by Sachiko Hotaka.

BUDAPEST, HungarySemen NOVIKOV (UKR) successfully defended his World title on Saturday, winning the 87 kg gold at the U23 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

Novikov took on Gurami KHETSURIANI (GEO) in a rematch from the 2019 U23 European Championships that Khetsuriani won earlier this year, 3-1.

This time, Novikov had a big first period with a takedown and gut wrench, creating a lead too big for the Georgian to overcome for an eventual 6-1 victory.

The win gave the Ukrainian his second-straight U23 World title.

Winning the gold medal at 55 kg was Shota OGAWA (JPN), who stormed back from a 3-0 deficit to defeat two-time Junior World bronze medalist Emin SEFERSHAEV (RUS).

The Russian led 3-0 at the break from a passivity and gut wrench, but Ogawa responded in similar fashion in the second period to hold the lead on criteria. With less than a minute left, Ogawa scored on a step out to win an eventual 4-3 decision.

Ogawa wraps up a successful 2019 season, where he earned a bronze medal at the Senior World Championships in Kazakhstan and a U23 World title this weekend.

Photo of Meysam DALKHANI (IRI) by Kadir Caliskan.

Also recording a giant come-from-behind win was 2016 Junior World bronze medalist Meysam DALKHANI (IRI) at 63 kg.

Facing 2013 Cadet World bronze medalist Levani KAVJARADZE (GEO), Dalkhani fell to a 6-2 deficit in the second period, but with less than 30 seconds left, the Iranian put the Georgian to his back with a hip toss for four points and a 6-6 lead on criteria. Kavjaradze’s corner challenged the call, but it failed, resulting in a point for Dalkhani and securing a 7-6 win.

2018 Junior World champion Islam OPIEV (RUS) added another gold medal to his collection, winning the 77 kg title over Kodai SAKURABA (JPN), 3-1.

Opiev’s points came when he drew a passivity from Sakuraba and capitalized in par terre with a correct throw for the eventual victory.

At 130 kg, 2019 Junior World champion Aliakbar Hossein YOUSOFIAHMADCHALI (IRI) picked up his second World gold medal of the year, winning by injury default over five-time World champion Zviadi PATARIDZE (GEO).

The final day of the U23 World Championships begins Sunday at 3:30 p.m. local time live on unitedworldwrestling.org.

Finals results
55 kg
GOLD - Shota OGAWA (JPN) df. Emin SEFERSHAEV (RUS), 4-3
BRONZE - Zaur ALIYEV (AZE) df. Norayr HAKHOYAN (ARM), 7-2
BRONZE - Ekrem OZTURK (TUR) df. Maksym VYSOTSKYI (ISR), 9-0

63 kg
GOLD - Meysam DALKHANI (IRI) df. Levani KAVJARADZE (GEO), 7-6
BRONZE - Maksim NEHODA (BLR) df. Mehmet CEKER (TUR), 9-0
BRONZE - Fadis VALITOV (RUS) df. Erik TORBA (HUN), 6-3

77 kg
GOLD - Islam OPIEV (RUS) df. Kodai SAKURABA (JPN), 3-1
BRONZE - Serkan AKKOYUN (TUR) df. Sajan SAJAN (IND), 10-1

87 kg
GOLD - Semen NOVIKOV (UKR) df. Gurami KHETSURIANI (GEO), 6-1

130 kg
GOLD - Aliakbar Hossein YOUSOFIAHMADCHALI (IRI) df. Zviadi PATARIDZE (GEO), injury default


Elsayed Collects Second World Title in Less than Two Weeks at #WrestleBudapest

By Taylor Miller

Photo of Mohamed ELSAYED (EGY) by Kadir Caliskan.

BUDAPEST, Hungary – Mohamed ELSAYED (EGY) capped off an amazing two-week run that saw him travel to two different continents to compete at two World Championships events, which he won.

Elsayed, who won the World Military Games just 10 days ago, dominated his way to the crown at the 2019 U23 World Championships on Sunday in Budapest, Hungary.

The returning U23 World champion Elsayed faced 2018 Junior European champion and 2019 U23 European bronze medalist Aliaksandr LIAVONCHYK (BLR) in the 67 kg Greco-Roman title bout.

Elsayed used a strong first period to take a 5-0 lead into the break with a pair of gut wrenches after Liavonchyk was put down in par terre. Moments into the second period, Elsayed finished off the match with a takedown right into a gut wrench on the edge of the mat for a 9-0 victory.

Now a two-time U23 World champion, Elsayed wraps up an impressive 2019 season with a U23 World title, a World Military Games title and a fifth-place finish at the 2019 Senior World Championships in September to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games.

Photo of Arvi Martin SAVOLAINEN (FIN) by Kadir Caliskan.

A pair of Junior World champions went to battle for the gold medal at 97 kg as 2018 Junior World champion Arvi Martin SAVOLAINEN (FIN) took on 2016 Junior World champion Giorgi MELIA (GEO).

Savolainen opened scoring with a four-point takedown, putting Melia to his back for a moment. Georgia challenged the call, but it stood, adding another point to Savolainen’s side of the scoreboard.

Later in the match, Melia scored a correct throw and was awarded a point for his opponent’s passivity, but it was not enough and Savolainen took the gold medal with a 5-3 victory.

At 60 kg, Armen MELIKYAN (ARM) knocked off 2018 Senior World silver medalist Zholaman SHARSHENBEKOV (KGZ) in the first gold-medal match on Sunday night.

Melikyan led 4-4 on criteria at the break, thanks to a big four-point takedown halfway through the first period. In the second period, Melikyan and Sharshenbekov traded the lead, each scoring on step outs, but the Armenian hit a throw for four points, giving himself a lead that the Senior World runner-up could not overcome for an eventual 11-7 decision.

Photo of Milad ALIRZAEV (RUS) by Sachiko Hotaka.

For the title at 82 kg, 2019 Russian Nationals bronze medalist Milad ALIRZAEV (RUS) topped 2016 Junior World silver medalist Vjekoslav LUBURIC (CRO) in a first-period technical fall.

Alirzaev got a chance on top in par terre. The two had a wild scramble that ultimately resulted in a gut wrench for the Russian, but among the action, Luburic executed an illegal move to get hit with a caution-and-two.

Croatia challenged the call, but it failed, and they restarted in par terre, where Alirzaev scored quickly on a gut wrench for an 8-0 win in just two minutes.

The gold-medal bout at 72 kg resulted in a shutout victory for 2019 Senior Asian champion Mohammadreza GERAEI (IRI), who defeated 2012 Cadet World bronze medalist Sanan SULEYMANOV (AZE).

Geraei was on the board early, drawing a passivity from Suleymanov and capitalizing in par terre with a correct throw to go up 3-0. Not long after, Geraei scored a four-point throw for a 7-0 lead at the break. With no scoring in the second period, Geraei secured the gold medal with a 7-0 win.

In the team race, Iran came out on top with 122 points, thanks to three individual Greco champions, edging out second-place Georgia’s 121 points. Taking third was Russia with 118 points.

Finals results
60 kg
GOLD - Armen MELIKYAN (ARM) df. Zholaman SHARSHENBEKOV (KGZ), 11-7
BRONZE - Mehdi Seifollah MOHSEN NEJAD (IRI) df. Krisztian KECSKEMETI (HUN), 9-5

67 kg
GOLD - Mohamed ELSAYED (EGY) df. Aliaksandr LIAVONCHYK (BLR), 9-0
BRONZE - Artur POLITAIEV (UKR) df. Katsuaki ENDO (JPN), 9-0

72 kg
GOLD - Mohammadreza GERAEI (IRI) df. Sanan SULEYMANOV (AZE), 7-0
BRONZE - Valentin PETIC (MDA) df. Nao KUSAKA (JPN), 6-3

82 kg
GOLD - Milad ALIRZAEV (RUS) df. Vjekoslav LUBURIC (CRO), 8-0
BRONZE - Yevgeniy POLIVADOV (KAZ) df. Arman VARDUMYAN (ARM), 16-7
BRONZE - Aivengo RIKADZE (GEO) df. Tamas LEVAI (HUN), 4-2

97 kg
GOLD - Arvi Martin SAVOLAINEN (FIN) df. Giorgi MELIA (GEO), 5-3
BRONZE - Dzmitry KAMINSKI (BLR) df. Ravi RAVI (IND), 8-0
BRONZE - Mohammadhadi SARAVI (IRI) df. Vladlen KOZLIUK (UKR), fall

Final team standings
1. Iran – 122
2. Georgia – 121
3. Russia – 118
4. Ukraine – 77
5. Belarus – 69
6. Japan – 65
7. Turkey – 65
8. Armenia – 64
9. Kazakhstan – 54
10. Hungary – 42