Russia and USA Put Multiple Wrestlers in #BuchaWrestU23 Finals

By Taylor Miller

Photo of Artur NAIFONOV (RUS) by Martin Gabor. 

BUCHAREST, Romania – In the final full day of the U23 World Championships in Bucharest, Romania, four Russians advanced to Sunday’s finals and the USA sent two to the finals.

Finalists for Russia include Magomedrasul IDRISOV (RUS), Artur NAIFONOV (RUS), Aslanbek SOTIEV (RUS) and Said GAMIDOV (RUS). USA’s finalists are Sean FAUSZ (USA) and Youssif HEMIDA (USA).

Both nations will go head-to-head in two finals.

At 61 kg, 2018 U23 European champion Idirisov will face Fausz, who took ninth at the 2013 Cadet World Championships.

Idrisov produced an 11-0 technical superiority over Nikolai OKHLOPKOV (ROU) to advance to the finals, and Fausz defeated two-time Junior World champion Iman SADEGHIKOUKANDEH (IRI) with a tight 2-0 win.

The other Russia-USA head-to-head features 2015 Junior World champion Gamidov and international newcomer Hemida.

Both wrestlers tallied 4-2 decisions in the semifinals. Gamidov defeated 2014 Junior World bronze winner Kamil KOSCIOLEK (POL), while Hemida took out 2011 World bronze medalist Rolandi ANDRIADZE (GEO).

Also heading to the finals from Russia is 2017 Junior World champion Naifonov who put up 14 points in a semifinals win over 2018 U23 European bronze medalist Murad SULEYMANOV (AZE).

Waiting for Naifonov on the other side is of the bracket is 2013 Cadet World bronze medalist Kamran GHASEMPOUR (IRI).

At 92 kg, Aslanbek SOTIEV (RUS) knocked off 2016 Junior World champion and 2012 Cadet World bronze medalist Hossein SHAHBAZIGAZVAR (IRI) with a 10-10 victory.

For gold, Sotiev will face 2018 U23 European champion Shamil ZUBAIROV (AZE), who edged out 2016 University World and 2012 Cadet World bronze medalist Bohdan HRYTSAY (UKR), 4-3.

On the top side of the 74 kg bracket, host country Romania sent an athlete to the finals as Maxim VASILIOGLO (ROU) defeated Andranik GABRIELYAN (ARM) by an 11-0 victory.

Vasilioglo is set to battle 2018 Senior World silver medalist and 2017 U23 World bronze medalist Avtandil KENTCHADZE (GEO).

To get to the finals, Kentchadze outlasted 2013 Cadet World bronze medalist Timur BIZHOEV (RUS), 4-2.

The finals are set for Sunday at 6 p.m. local time (11 a.m. ET) live on unitedworldwrestling.org.

Finals pairings
61 kg: Magomedrasul IDRISOV (RUS) vs. Sean Christian FAUSZ (USA)
74 kg:
86 kg: Kamran GHASEMPOUR (IRI) vs. Artur NAIFONOV (RUS)
92 kg: Aslanbek SOTIEV (RUS) vs. Shamil ZUBAIROV (AZE)
125 kg: Said GAMIDOV (RUS) vs. Youssif HEMIDA (USA)

Semifinals results

61 kg
Magomedrasul IDRISOV (RUS) df. Nikolai OKHLOPKOV (ROU), 11-0
Sean Christian FAUSZ (USA) df. Iman SADEGHIKOUKANDEH (IRI), 2-0 

74 kg
Maxim VASILIOGLO (ROU) df. Andranik GABRIELYAN (ARM), 11-1
Avtandil KENTCHADZE (GEO) df. Timur BIZHOEV (RUS), 4-2

86 kg
Kamran GHASEMPOUR (IRI) df. Gankhuyag GANBAATAR (MGL), 4-0
Artur NAIFONOV (RUS) df. Murad SULEYMANOV (AZE), 14-4

92 kg
Aslanbek SOTIEV (RUS) df. Hossein Lotfali SHAHBAZIGAZVAR (IRI), 10-10
Shamil ZUBAIROV (AZE) df. Bohdan HRYTSAY (UKR), 4-3

125 kg
Said GAMIDOV (RUS) df. Kamil KOSCIOLEK (POL), 4-2
Youssif HEMIDA (USA) df. Rolandi ANDRIADZE (GEO), 4-2


Russia Wins Two Golds on Sunday, Claims #BuchaWrestU23 Team Title

By Taylor Miller

BUCHAREST, Romania – Russia claimed the men’s freestyle team title, producing two champions on Sunday night at the 2018 U23 World Championships in Bucharest, Romania.

2018 U23 European champion Magomedrasul IDRISOV (RUS) began the night with a gold medal for Russia, defeating Sean FAUSZ (USA), 11-1, in the 61 kg finals, fueled by three takedowns in the second period.

At 74 kg, Avtandil KENTCHADZE (GEO) made his second World finals appearance in just a few weeks after claiming silver at the 2018 Senior World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, last month.

This time, he topped the podium, sticking host country’s Maxim VASILIOGLO (ROU) in the first period at the 1:51 mark.

Winning the crown at 86 kg was Kamran GHASEMPOUR (IRI), a 2013 Cadet World bronze medalist. Ghasempour controlled the entire match, giving up only one point to 2017 Junior World champion Artur NAIFONOV (RUS) in a 4-1 win.

Scoring 10 points in the second period, 2018 U23 European champion Shamil ZUBAIROV (AZE) toppled Aslanbek SOTIEV (RUS) with a 13-8 comeback win for the World title at 92 kg.

In the last 90 seconds, Zubairov scored two takedowns plus exposure points to get ahead.

Ending the night with another gold medal for Russia was 2015 Junior World champion Said GAMIDOV (RUS), who pinned Youssif HEMIDA (USA) in 2:07 for his second age-group World title.

Sending five to Sunday’s medal matches, Iran went 4-1, picking up one gold and three bronzes to earn a spot on the podium, taking third with 105 points. Georgia finished second in the team race with 108 points. Rounding out the top five was Japan and USA.

Final results

61 kg
GOLD: Magomedrasul IDRISOV (RUS) df. Sean FAUSZ (USA), 11-1
BRONZE: Minghu LIU (CHN) df. Iman Mokhtar SADEGHIKOUKANDEH (IRI), 3-3

74 kg
GOLD: Avtandil KENTCHADZE (GEO) df. Maxim VASILIOGLO (ROU), fall
BRONZE: Timur BIZHOEV (RUS) df. Akhsarbek GULAEV (SVK), 5-2
BRONZE: Navid ZANGANEH (IRI) df. Andranik GABRIELYAN (ARM), 10-0

86 kg
BRONZE: Murad SULEYMANOV (AZE) df. Alexander MOORE (CAN), 10-0
BRONZE: Gankhuyag GANBAATAR (MGL) df. Arif OZEN (TUR), 4-1

92 kg
GOLD: Shamil ZUBAIROV (AZE) df. Aslanbek SOTIEV (RUS), 13-8
BRONZE: Bohdan HRYTSAY (UKR) df. Sargis HOVSEPYAN (ARM), 4-0

125 kg
GOLD: Said GAMIDOV (RUS) df. Youssif HEMIDA (USA), fall
BRONZE: Amin TAHERI (IRI) df. Kamil Tomasz KOSCIOLEK (POL), fall
BRONZE: Rolandi ANDRIADZE (GEO) df. Yasuhiro YAMAMOTO (JPN), 4-0

Team results
1. Russia – 181
2. Georgia – 108
3. Iran – 105
4. Japan – 93
5. USA – 92