Olympian Atli Leads Turkish Duo into Freestyle Finals at European U23 C’ships

By William May

SZOMBATHELY, Hungary (March 29) – Rio 2016 Olympian Suleyman ATLI (TUR) notched a pair of technical falls in the morning session Tuesday and joined teammate Haydar YAVUZ in the gold medal finals of the European Under-23 Wrestling Championships.

Atli, a 2013 junior world champion, rolled to a 13-0 victory over 2016 U23 bronze medal winner Ivan ZAMFIROV (MDA) in the semifinals, and will square off in the 57kg final at Arena Savaria against Azamat TUSKAEV (RUS), the 2014 junior world champ.

Joining Atli in the gold medal finals from Turkey will be Yavuz, who secured his first medal at a major international event by advancing to the 65kg championship bout opposite Teymur MAMMADOV (AZE), the 2015 junior world champ.

Mammadov kicked off his run to final with a 2-2 win over defending U23 champion Imam ADZHIEV (RUS), slipping behind for a two-point takedown in the final minute for the victory on criteria.

Adzhiev, a European junior champion, tore through the repechage rounds for a place in a bronze medal finals and will meet Marc DIETSCHE (SUI).

Meanwhile, Avtandil KENTCHADZE (74kg) and Givi MATCHARACHVILI (97kg) each booked places in the last two gold medal finals on Tuesday evening.

Kentchadze, runner-up at last November’s Golden Grand Prix Final in Baku, faces 2014 junior world champ Zelimkhan KHADJIEV (FRA) in the 74kg final. Khadjiev notched three wins by technical fall in the morning session.

Matcharachvili, a bronze medal at last year’s U23 meet in Bulgaria, squares off with 2014 junior world champ Georgi GOGAEV (RUS) in the evening’s finale. Gogaev also rolled up a pair of 10-0 technical falls on his way to the final.

Semifinal Results and Medal-Round Pairings


57kg (13 entries)
Gold – Suleyman ATLI (TUR) v Azamat TUSKAEV (RUS)
Bronze – Tamas ROMAN (HUN) v Ivan ZAMFIROV (MDA)
Bronze – Andrey YATSENKO (UKR) v Parviz IBRAHIMOV (AZE)

Semifinal – Suleyman ATLI (TUR) df. Ivan ZAMFIROV (MDA) by TF, 13-0, 2:32
Semifinal – Azamat TUSKAEV (RUS) df. Parviz IBRAHIMOV (AZE), 3-2

65kg (17 entries)
Gold – Haydar YAVUZ (TUR) v Teymur MAMMADOV (AZE)
Bronze – Ilman MUKHTAROV (FRA) v Iveriko JULAKIDZE (GEO)
Bronze – Imam ADZHIEV (RUS) v Marc DIETSCHE (SUI)

Semifinal – Haydar YAVUZ (TUR) df. Iveriko JULAKIDZE (GEO) by TF, 12-1, 4:21 
Semifinal – Teymur MAMMADOV (AZE) df. Marc DIETSCHE (SUI) by TF, 10-0, 2:16

74kg (17 entries)
Gold – Zelimkhan KHADJIEV (FRA) v Avtandil KENTCHADZE (GEO)
Bronze – Andrey KARPACH (BLR) v Ismail ABDULLAEV (AZE)
Bronze – Henri SELENIUS v Engin ISMAIL (BUL)

Semifinal – Zelimkhan KHADJIEV (FRA) df. Ismail ABDULLAEV (AZE) by TF, 10-0, 5:10 
Semifinal – Avtandil KENTCHADZE (GEO) df. Engin ISMAIL (BUL) by TF, 14-1

97kg (14 entries)
Bronze – Balasz JUHASZ (HUN) v Gennadi CUDINOVIC (GER)
Bronze – Murazi MCHEDLIDZE (UKR) v Yunus Emre DEDE (TUR)

Semifinal – Georgi GOGAEV (RUS) df. Gennadij CUDINOVIC (GER) by TF, 10-0, 2:18
Semifinal – Givi MATCHARACHVILI (GEO) df. Yunus Emre DEDE (TUR) by TF, 14-4, 3:10