Russians Sweep into Finals, Seek Gold Rush in European Junior Freestyle

By William May

BUCHAREST (June 25) – Russia’s quartet leading off the start of the freestyle events at the European Junior Wrestling Championships stormed to a perfect 12-0 record Saturday, indicating that a gold rush may be in the forecast for the evening.

Defending champion Yuri VLASKO (96kg) and junior world bronze medalist Zaur SIDAKOV (74kg) notched six wins, including five technical falls, by a combined score of 62-3, while newcomer Uruzbek TSOMARTOV (RUS) stunned three opponents, 32-0.

Only Georgi OKOROKOV (RUS) had to go the distance in a pair of bouts before rolling to his own technical fall, 10-0, over European cadet silver medalist Giorgi KHACHIDZE (GEO) in the semifinals at 50kg.

Okorokov, who may hold the key to a Russian sweep in the evening, will square off with local favorite Razvan KOVACS (ROU), who is on a roll at home after finishing ninth place at last year’s meet in Istanbul.

A sweep for the Russian wrestlers would not be unprecedented. Russia’s four lead-off wrestlers one year ago in Istanbul walked away with all four gold medals.

One wrestler from that quartet is Vlasko, who squares off in the day’s finale at 96kg against European under-23 bronze medalist Givi MATCHARACHVILI (GEO).

Sidakov, the Russian senior national champion at 70kg, meets U23 silver medalist Murad SULEYMANOV (AZE) in the 74kg final.

At 60kg, Tsomartov meets former cadet world champion Selim KOZAN (TUR), who will be seeking to improve on his silver medal at last year’s European junior meet in Istanbul.

In the semifinals, Tsomartov wrapped up George RAMM (GBR) by technical fall after Ramm notched a pair of technical falls himself in the first two rounds.

With the loss, Ramm drops down to the bronze medal matches where he will meet Patryk OLECZYN (POL) with a chance to become Britain’s first medalist in the junior European meet.



50kg (15 entries)
Gold – Razvan KOVACS (ROU) v Georgi OKOROKOV (RUS)
Bronze – Genadi MARINOV (BUL) v Kamil KERYMOV (UKR)
Bronze – Aliabbas RZAZADE (AZE) v Giorgi KHACHIDZE (GEO)

Semifinal – Razvan KOVACS (ROU) df. Kamil KERYMOV (UKR), 10-4
Semifinal – Georgi OKOROKOV (RUS) df. Giorgi KHACHIDZE (GEO) by TF, 10-0, 1:06 

60kg (22 entries)
Gold – Uruzbek TSOMARTOV (RUS) v Selim KOZAN (TUR)
Bronze – Patryk OLECZYN (POL) v George RAMM (GBR)
Bronze – Yaroslav HURSKYY (UKR) v Shmagi TODUA (GEO)

Semifinal – Uruzbek TSOMARTOV (RUS) df. George RAMM (GBR) by TF, 11-0, 1:15
Semifinal – Selim KOZAN (TUR) df. Shmagi TODUA (GEO) by TF, 12-1, 4:26

74kg (18 entries)
Bronze – Fazli ERYILMAZ (TUR) v Tigran MNATSKANYAN (ARM)
Bronze – Tariel GAPRINDASHVILI (GEO) v Andrius MAZEIKA (LTU)

Semifinal – Zaur SIDAKOV (RUS) df. Tigran MNATSKANYAN (ARM) by TF, 12-2, 3:35
Semifinal – Murad SULEYMANOV (AZE) df. Andrius MAZEIKA (LTU) by TF, 10-0, 1:41

96kg (15 entries)
Bronze – Feyzullah AKTURK (TUR) v Kristof WITTMAN (HUN)
Bronze – Ilja MATUHIN (GER) v Magomedrasul GAZIMAGOMEDOV (AZE)

Semifinal – Yuri VLASKO (RUS) df. Kristof WITTMAN (HUN) by TF, 12-1, 5:28 
Semifinal – Givi MATCHARACHVILI (GEO) df. Magomedrasul GAZIMAGOMEDOV (AZE), 5-2