Russia Advances Four into Freestyle Finals at European Juniors

By William May

ISTANBUL (June 23) – Youth Olympic Games gold medalist Ismail GADZHIEV (RUS) led the charge as Russia advanced four wrestlers into the finals on the opening day of the European Junior Wrestling Championships.

Gadzhiev, the 2014 European cadet champion, will be joined in the gold medal bouts at the Bagcilar Sports Complex by Yarygin Grand Prix runner-up Nachyin KUULAR (60kg), as well as Artem UMAROV (74kg) and Yuriy VLASKO (96kg).

Gadzhiev rolled up a pair of technical falls in the early rounds at 50kg, including an 11-1 drubbing of last year’s bronze medal winner Evgeni REBIKOV (BLR), but had a scare in the semifinals against local favorite Bekir SAHIN (TUR).

Shahin kept the semifinal close as crowd support began to grow, but Gadzhiev pulled away in the second period for a 10-2 triumph.

“We weren’t worried about Ismail; he’s a good wrestler,” coach Anvar MAGOMEDGADZHIEV (RUS) said. “But we were a little worried about the support of the people in the arena.  It was getting louder and that can have an effect on the wrestlers and the way a referee looks at a match.”

“We believe 100% that Gadzhiev will win but, you know, sometimes the future has its own plans,” the coach added.

Meanwhile, Kuular advanced to the 60kg final after a 15-12 free-for-all with Dzianis MAKSIMOV (BLR) and Vlasko rallied for three takedowns in the second period for a 6-3 win in the 96kg semifinals.

Umarov, a former cadet world bronze medalist, steamrolled his way into the 74kg final where he will face Ahmet ERTURK (TUR), the younger brother of last year’s European and world junior bronze medalist, Murat ERTURK (TUR).

The younger Erturk upset defending champion Tarzan MAISURADZE (GEO) with a takedown in the final second of the 74kg semifinal, giving the hosts a pair of wrestlers in the first day’s finals. Selim KOZAN (TUR), 2013 world cadet champion, will square off with Kuular in the 60kg final.

50kg (13 entries)
Gold – Ramzik MISAKYAN (ARM) v Ismail GADZHIEV (RUS)
Bronze – Viktor LYZEN (GER) v Dmytro NESVYATSYPASKA (UKR)
Bronze – Roberti DINGASHVILI (GEO) v Bekir SAHIN (TUR)

60kg (21 entries)
Gold – Nachyin KUULAR (RUS) v Selim KOZAN (TUR)
Bronze – Vurgun ALIEV (AZE) v Dzhianis MAKSIMOV (BLR)
Bronze –  Tomas BARASEVICIUS (LTU) v Dimitar IVANOV (BUL)

74kg (18 entries)
Gold – Ahmet ERTURK (TUR) v Artem UMAROV (RUS)
Bronze – Aron CANEVA (ITA) v Tarzan MAISURADZE (GEO)

96kg (20 entries)
Gold – Yuriy VLASKO (RUS) v Eric THIELE (GER)
Bronze – Jere HEINO (FIN) v Turkhan GURBANOV (AZE)
Bronze – Dmitri CECUSTA (MDA) v Dzanis KRAMIANKOV (BLR)