WATCH: Grand Prix Zagreb Open Greco-Roman Finals

By Vinay Siwach

ZAGREB, Croatia (January 31) -- Olympic silver medalist Parviz NASIBOV (UKR) led his country to three gold medals at the Grand Prix Zagreb Open Sunday, marking his comeback to the competition after Tokyo Olympics with a gold. Volodymyr YAKOVLIEV (UKR) at 77kg and Yaroslav FILCHAKOV (UKR) at 82kg were the other two gold medalists from Ukraine in the Croatian capital.

Turkey also had three gold medal winners which helped them claim the Greco-Roman team title with Ahmet UYAR (TUR), Murat FIRAT (TUR) and Osman YILDIRIM (TUR) finishing at the top of the podium. Mustafa YILDIRIM (TUR), Adullah TOPRAK (TUR) and Fatih BOZKURT (TUR) won silver medals.

Ukraine finished second with 129 points, 51 points short of Turkey. Norway was third in the team ranking as they collected 77 points. Romania and Sweden finished fourth and fifth respectively.

Apart from Turkey and Ukraine, Romania, Moldova, Belarus and Norway each had a champion.

After missing the home World Championships in Oslo last year, Felix BALDAUF (NOR) returned to win the 97kg gold medal by beating Mikalai STADUB (BLR) 4-0 in the final. He won a point for Stadub's passivity to lead 1-0 at the break. The Belarusian was again called passive in the second period which extended Baldauf's lead to 2-0. He fended off a desperate move from Stadub to win 4-0.

Young star Turpal BISULTANOV (DEN) had an unfortunate end to his dream run in the tournament as Radzik KULIYEV (BLR) pulled off a 1-1 win for the 87kg gold medal. The Belarusian had the criteria after six minutes of the bout.

Ukraine had the chance to win the fourth gold medal but Viktor PETRYK (UKR) pulled out of the 60kg final to finish with a silver and Vitalie ERIOMENCO (MDA) was named the champion.

Denis MIHAI (ROU) also denied a gold medal to Ukraine when he defeated Koriun SAHRADIAN (UKR) 11-6 after mounting a comeback in the 55kg Round 3 bout. Mihai was trailing 3-6 but stuck a arm-throw at the break to lead7-6. He kept on the pressure and ultimately scored two more takedowns in the second period. The weight class was played under the Nordic system and Mihai became the champion as he won both his bouts while Sahradin finished with a 1-1 record.

Uyar defeated compatriot Yildirim 5-3 in a back-and-forth 63kg title to win the gold medal. Yildirim lead 3-1 with two minutes remaining but Uyar scored a four-point throw with 41 seconds remaining.

At 67kg, Firat dominated proceedings in the final as he beat Morten THORESEN (NOR) 4-1. He was awarded a point for Thoresen's inactivity and then scored two points for a throw. A pushout gave him one more. Thoresen got a point in the second period but could take advantage of the par terre position.

Yakoliev defeated Albin OLOFSSON (SWE) 8-1 in a one-sided final at 77kg. Olofsson tried a headlock but Yakoliev finished on top and then got the turn to lead 4-0. The Ukraine wrestler was passive but Olofsson did not score any points from par terre. The two got in a body lock and Yakoliev threw for four more points, winning 8-1.

At 82kg, Filchakov spoiled the party for the home fans as he beat local star Filip SACIC (CRO) 3-1 in the final. Sacic got the first point but Filchakov scored from reversal and led 1-1 at the break. Sacic almost got a takedown in the second period but the Filchakov managed to reverse it before the Croatian took control. Two points were awarded to Filchakov as he won 3-1.

At 130kg, Turkey's Yildirim and Bozkurt were in for a tense battle but the latter had to forfeit because of injury just 18 seconds into the bout. Yildirim would claim the gold while Bozkurt finished with a silver medal.


55kg Denis MIHAI (ROU) df Koriun SAHRADIAN (UKR) 11-6
60kg Vitalie ERIOMENCO (MDA) df Viktor PETRYK (UKR) via injury
63kg Ahmet UYAR (TUR) df Mustafa YILDIRIM (TUR) 5-3
67kg Murat FIRAT (TUR) df Morten THORESEN (NOR) 4-1
72kg Parviz NASIBOV (UKR) df Abdullah TOPRAK (TUR) 2-1
77kg Volodymyr YAKOVLIEV (UKR) df Albin OLOFSSON (SWE) 8-1
82kg Yaroslav FILCHAKOV (UKR) df Filip SACIC (CRO) 3-1
87kg Radzik KULIYEU (BLR) df Turpal BISULTANOV (DEN) 1-1
97kg Felix BALDAUF (NOR) df Mikalai STADUB (BLR) 4-0
130kg Osman YILDIRIM (TUR) df Fatih BOZKURT (TUR) via injury


Zagreb Open Ranking Series day three finals set

By Vinay Siwach

ZAGREB, Croatia (February 3) -- The Zagreb Open enters day three with four women's wrestling and two Greco-Roman weight classes. The big names in GR 77kg and 87kg will be putting on a show along with women's 59kg, 62kg, 65kg and 68kg.


15:45: The finals are set for the evening session.

Alexandrin GUTU (MDA) vs. Mohammadali GERAEI (IRI)

87kg: Naser ALIZADEH (IRI) vs Istvan TAKACS (HUN)

Grace BULLEN (NOR) vs. Sakura MOTOKI (JPN)

65kg: Mallory VELTE (USA) vs. Mahiro YOSHITAKE (JPN)

68kg: Koumba LARROQUE (FRA) vs. Adela HANZLICKOVA (CZE) 

15:25: Naser ALIZADEH (IRI) over Jalgasbay BERDIMURATOV (UZB) 5-0 in the semifinal and Istvan TAKACS (HUN) over David LOSONCZI (HUN) 5-4 in the other semifnal. The GR 87kg final will be Alizadeh vs Takacs.

15:15: Kumba LARROQUE (FRA) takes out Irina RINGACI (MDA) in the 68kg semifinal. Ringaci led 1-0 before got the takedown for two. Ringaci took the lead again with a takedown in the second period and led 3-2 with 10 seconds remaining. Larroque went for a double leg and managed to spin Ringaci for a four. Ringaci challenges the call but it stands. Larroque wins 7-4

15:05: Two big quarterfinals at 62kg. Sakura MOTOKI (JPN) pins Lais NUNES (BRA) while Grace BULLEN (NOR) proved that she belongs to the new weight class. Wrestling against Kayla MIRACLE (USA), she led 4-0 but Miracle got a takedown to gut to lead 4-4. However, Bullen got two stepouts to win 8-6  

14:45: Alexandrin GUTU (MDA) moves into the final at 77kg after a thrilling 4-3 win over Antonio KAMENJASEVIC (CRO). A critical stepout point with two minutes left proved to be the difference.

14:20: The other 62kg semifinal will see Sakura MOTOKI (JPN) take on Lais NUNES DE OLIVEIRA (BRA). Motoki defeated Bilyana DUDOVA (BUL) 11-1 while Nunes eked out a close 2-1 win over Ana GODINEZ (CAN)

14:00: Kayla MIRACLE (USA) with a late stepout to beat Jia LONG (CHN) 6-4 at 62kg. Great performance from the American wrestler. She will face Grace BULLEN (NOR) in the semifinals as she defeated Taybe YUSEIN (BUL) 11-0 in the quarterfinal.

13:50: What a bout we had! Jalgasbay BERDIMURATOV (UZB) and Erik SZILVASSY (HUN) left it all on the mat. Szilvassy gets the stepout and the passivity point in the first period. But Berdimuratov scores from par terre in the second to lead 3-2. A stepout for Szilvassy but not enough as Berdimuratov wins 3-3

13:35: The quarterfinals at 77kg are set

Alexandrin GUTU (MDA) vs. Amin Yavar KAVIYANINEJAD (IRI)
Mohammadali GERAEI (IRI) vs. Per KURE (NOR)
Aram VARDANYAN (UZB) vs. Johnny BUR (FRA)

13:20: The quarterfinals at 62kg are nothing less than the World Championships

Bilyana DUDOVA (BUL) vs. Sakura MOTOKI (JPN)
Grace BULLEN (NOR) vs. Taybe YUSEIN (BUL)
Kayla MIRACLE (USA) vs. Jia LONG (CHN) 

13:14: The Croatian fans are on their feet! Antonio KAMENJASEVIC (CRO) upsets World Championships silver medalist Zoltan LEVAI (HUN). Kamenjasevic trailed 3-0 at the break but Levai was put in par terre in the second period. Kamenjasevic scored a turn to lead 3-3 and won the bout

12:45: Sakura MOTOKI (JPN) builds an 8-0 lead before securing the fall over Viktoria VESSO (EST) at 62kg. She will now face Bilyana Zhivkova DUDOVA (BUL) in the quarterfinal

12:40: Grace BULLEN (NOR) looks so dominant in the new weight class. The 59kg World Championships silver medalist with a fall over Ariukhan JUMABAEVA (UZB) to reach the quarterfinals.  

12:25: World Championships silver medalist Jalgasbay BERDIMURATOV (UZB) with a monster five-pointer over Michael WAGNER (AUT) before adding a turn to win via technical superiority.

12:00: U23 European champion Marcel STERKENBURG (NED), wrestling at 87kg, with a four-pointer before adding a takedown to win 8-0 over Martynas NEMSEVICIUS (LTU). Great start for the young star

11:30: Turpal BISULTANOV (DEN) and Tamas LEVAI (HUN) now wrestling at 87kg. Bisultanov goes on top in the first period. He fails to score any points. Levai gets a point from par terre in the second period. No more action and Levai will win 1-1.

10:55: Halishan BAHEJIANG (CHN) with a good win over Exauce MUKUBU (NOR). He scored a turn from par terre before giving up one. Mukubu, however, could not find the winning point. 

10:35: This will hurt Sanan SULEYMANOV (AZE) a lot. In the opening bout against Amin KAVIYANINEJAD (IRI), he failed to get any par terre and ends up going down 3-0. Big win for Kaviyaninejad. 

10:30: Frantic action in women's 62kg as Sakura MOTOKI (JPN)Grace BULLEN (NOR)Jia LONG (CHN)Ana GODINEZ (CAN) and Taybe YUSEIN (BUL) pick up wins.

10:20: Upset? Xiaojuan LUO (CHN) with a 10-4 win over Aisuluu TYNYBEKOVA (KGZ). Luo with two big fours in either half. Tynybekova will be a little worried in this Paris Olympics qualifying year.  

10:00: Welcome to Zagreb! We start with 59kg round-robin bouts and world champion Anastasia NICHITA (MDA) picks up a quick win over Alyona KOLESNIK (AZE) at 59kg. In the second bout, Viktoria BORSOS (HUN) beats Nikolett SZABO (HUN) 6-6.