Russia Sends Three to Finals in Bid for FS Team Title, U.S. Pair Looks to Repeat at Cadet Worlds

By William May

TBILISI (September 18) – Russia advanced three wrestlers to the five final gold medal matches on Sunday and appear ready to stake a claim to the freestyle team title at the Cadet Wrestling World Championships.

The United States, however, has two defending champions – Yianni DIAKOMIHALIS (USA) and Gable STEVESON (USA) – looking to repeat as individual champions and improve on the team’s third-place finish last summer in Sarajevo.

Russia, which trailed the U.S. by a point in the team standings after Saturday, got solid performances from Zagir SHAKHIEV (46kg), Kamil ABOULZHAMALOV (76kg) and Adam BETERBIEV (100kg), who all advanced to the gold medal finals Sunday evening at Tbilisi Sports Palace.

Shakhiev notched a pair of technical falls, including a 10-0 triumph over Asian bronze medalist Akbar KENZHEBEK ULUU (KGZ) in the semifinals at 46kg, and will face Swapnil SHELAR (IND). Shelar advanced as top Asian entries Nurymbet ATABEKULY (KAZ) and Rustambek JURAEV (UZB) fell before the semifinals.

Aboulzhamalov, meanwhile, moved smoothly into the semifinals, but struggled through his bout with Shutaro YAMADA (JPN), securing the 7-7 victory on a last-second fleeing penalty. Aboulzhamalov will take on local favorite Miriani MAISURADZE (GEO), who finished in the seventh place at the European championships in July.

Beterbiev recorded a pair of technical falls to reach the finals, including a 10-0 win over European bronze medal winner Askhab HAMZATOV (AZE) in the semifinals at 100kg.

In the final, however, Beterbiev will face defending world champion Gable STEVESON (USA), who also notched a pair of technical falls in the morning session and appears ready to rumble.

Steveson broke open a 1-1 tie with Viky VIKY (IND) with a pair of takedowns in the second period for a 5-1 win over the Asian bronze medal winner.

Steveson’s teammate, Diakomihalis defeated Jintaro MOTOYAMA (JPN), 9-3, in the semifinals in a repeat of their championship match one year ago in Sarajevo. He takes on two-time European cadet medalist Stefan TONU (MDA) in the 63kg final.

At 54kg, European champion and world silver medalist Georgios PILIDIS (GRE) came from behind for an 11-1 win over Asian champion Abzal OKENOV (KAZ) and takes on Andrey DZHELEP (UKR) in the final.


46kg (20 entries)

Gold – Zagir SHAKHIEV (RUS) v Swapnil SHELAR (IND)
Bronze – Dogan KARA (TUR) v Akbar KENZHEBEK UULU (KGZ)
Bronze – Marcell KOVACS (HUN) v Hirai TANAKA (JPN)

Semifinal – Zagir SHAKHIEV (RUS) df. Akbar KENZHEBEK UULU (KGZ)
Semifinal – Swapnil SHELAR (IND) df. Hirai TANAKA (JPN) by Injury Default, 2:12 (6-0)

54kg (22 entries)

Gold – Andrey DZHELEP (UKR) v Georgios PILIDIS (GRE)
Bronze – Arsen HARUTYUNYAN (ARM) v Abzal OKENOV (KAZ)

Semifinal – Andrey DZHELEP (UKR) df. Amiran VAKHTANGASHVILI (GEO) by Fall, 3:58 (10-4)
Semifinal – Georgios PILIDIS (GRE) df. Abzal OKENOV (KAZ), 11-7

63kg (23 entries)

Gold – Stefan TONU (MDA) v Yianni DIAKOMIHALIS (USA)
Bronze – Inal DZJOPUA (AZE) v Turgay FEVZI (BUL)
Bronze – Ulan TOLEGEN (KAZ) v Jintaro MOTOYAMA (JPN)

Semifinal – Stefan TONU (MDA) df. Turgay FEVZI (BUL), 7-3
Semifinal – Yianni DIAKOMIHALIS (USA) df. Jintaro MOTOYAMA (JPN), 9-3

76kg (24 entries)

Bronze – Andriy GYKA (UKR) v Arman AVAGYAN (ARM)
Bronze – Travis WITTLAKE (USA) v Shutaro YAMADA (JPN)

Semifinal – Miriani MAISURADZE (GEO) df. Arman AVAGYAN (ARM) by TF, 10-0, 2:47
Semifinal – Kamil ABOULZHAMALOV (RUS) v Shutaro YAMADA (JPN), 7-7

100kg (16 entries)

Bronze – Ashot RUSHANYAN (ARM) v Viky VIKY (IND)
Bronze – Alisher YERGALI (KAZ) v Ashkab HAMZATOV (AZE)

Semifinal – Gable STEVESON (USA) df. Viky  VIKY (IND), 5-1
Semifinal – Adam BETERBIEV (RUS) df. Ashkab HAMZATOV (AZE), by TF, 10-0, 0:26