World Championships day eight semis set

By Ken Marantz & Vinay Siwach

BELGRADE, Serbia (September 17) -- The World Championships have entered its business day and the final three weight classes will be in action on Saturday. Stars from 61kg, 65kg, and 97kg will take the mat.


The semifinals are set

Narankhuu NARMANDAKH (MGL) vs. Reza ATRI (IRI)

Haji ALIYEV (AZE) vs. Rahman AMOUZAD (IRI)

Kyle SNYDER (USA) vs. Mohammadhossein MOHAMMADIAN (IRI)

13:26: European bronze medalist Batyrbek TSAKULOV (SVK) wins a clash of relocated Russian-born wrestlers when defeats Vladislav BAITSAEV (HUN) 4-2 to make the 97kg semifinals. Tsakulov scores a stepout and activity point in the first period and adds a takedown in the second of a match in which he never trailed.

13:26: Givi MATCHARASHVILI (GEO) gives up a 4-pointer in the opening seconds at 97kg against Magomedgadji NUROV (MKD), but comes back with a back-trip takedown and gut wrench to tie it at 4-4 at the break. Trailing on criteria, Matcharashvili gets the point he needs with a stepout with :56 and, with 1 point for fleeing tacked on, he's into the semifinals with a 6-4 victory.

13:25: 97kg quarterfinals with Mohammdhossein MOHAMMADIAN (IRI) wrestling Mahamed ZAKARIIEV (UKR) on Mat C. Mohammadian gets on a double leg attack but Zakariiev pulls off an arm throw to get a huge four. A stepout to make it 5-0. Mohammdian comes back with a stepout and then exposure makes it 5-3. Such is the pace of the match that Zakariiev can't keep up. Mohammdian wins 8-5 for a semifinal against Kyle SNYDER (USA).

13:20: Kyle SNYDER (USA) going full throttle on Magomedkhan MAGOMEDOV (AZE) and he works all takedowns to win 10-0 and is back in the semifinals at 97kg.

13:15: Narankhuu NARMANDAKH (MGL), up 4-1 after the first period, muscles for a takedown and two gut wrenches to go up 10-1 at 65kg against four-time Asian medalist Ulukbek ZHOLDOSHBEKOV (KGZ). Zholdoshbekov rallies for 4, but Narmandakh reverses, and after another gut wrench, Zholdoshbekov stops, holding his side. He can't continue, and Narmandakh advances to the semifinals by injury default with 1:41 left and a 13-5 lead.

13:12: Reza ATRI (IRI) saves himself with a pair of takedowns over a 30-second span midway through the second period, propelling him to a 6-3 victory over European bronze medalist Georgi VANGELOV (BUL) and into the 65kg semifinals.

13:09: Seth GROSS (USA) scored a technical superiority over Suleyman ATLI (TUR) in Tunisia and he starts on the offensive in their 61kg quarterfinal here. Gross gets a takedown, stepout and a caution point to lead 4-2 against Atli at the break. Atli with a takedown to lead 4-4 on criteria. But Gross comes back with a takedown and exposure to retake the lead 8-4. A late takedown gives Gross a 10-4 win over Atli.

13:05: Rei HIGUCHI (JPN) absolutely dominates the quarterfinal against Arsen HARUTYUNYAN (ARM) and secures a 10-0 technical fall for a place in the semifinals.

13:01: Sebastian RIVERA (PUR), a product of Rutgers University in the U.S., keeps alive his bid to become Puerto Rico's second world medalist in history, scoring all of his points in the second period for an 8-1 victory over Tsogbadrakh TSEVEENSUREN (MGL) to advance to the 65kg semifinals.

12:58: Yianni DIAKOMIHALIS (USA) provides all of the offense in the 65kg quarterfinal clash with Olympic bronze medalist Bajrang PUNIA (IND), and it pays off, pretty much one point at a time. He gets four stepouts in the first period off his tackle attempts to lead 4-0 after one period. In the second period, Punia reaches over after Diakomihalis is in on a single, but the American tips him over for an exposure. A challenge, a proper takedown and one final stepout give Diakomihalis the 10-0 technical fall at 4:57.

12:57: Haji ALIYEV (AZE) and Abbos RAKHMANOV (UZB) were in a close battle at the break with Aliyev leading 4-3. In the second period, Aliyev goes behind and Rakhmanov for a four. A 10-3 win and Aliyev will wrestle Rahman AMOUZAD (IRI) in the semifinals.

12:50: Adil OSPANOV (KAZ) had Rahman AMOUZAD (IRI) on the back but Amouzad survived the attempted fall. Amouzad then sends a huge four with an underhook and builds a 9-2 lead. Amouzad with a big four and wins 13-2.

12:40: Vladislav BAITSAEV (HUN) puts on a defensive masterclass against Batzul ULZIISAIKHAN (MGL) as he hangs on for a 6-0 win and a spot in the 97kg quarterfinals. The final spot at 97kg is filled by Batyrbek TSAKULOV (SVK) as he wins 10-0 against Mucahit CELIK (TUR).

12:34: 2019 world bronze medalist Magomedgadji NUROV (MKD), trailing 4-2 against Tuerxunbieke MUHEITE (CHN) at 97kg, scores a takedown and a pair of gut wrenches to take the lead in the second period. He gradually adds the three takedowns he needs for a 14-4 technical fall, putting him into the quarterfinals.

12:33: Olympic silver medalist Kyle SNYDER (USA) may have taken it a bit slow against Zbigniew BARANOWSKI (POL), scoring only stepouts and passivity points. But he does well to win 4-1 for a place in the 97kg semifinals. 

12:31: European champion Magomedkhan MAGOMEDOV (AZE) with a technical superiority win over Erik THIELE (GER) and he moves into the quarterfinals with ease at 97kg.

12:26: Asian champion Mohammadhossein MOHAMMADIAN (IRI) stays on track for a possible semifinal clash with Kyle SNYDER (USA), cruising to a first-period 10-0 technical in his opening match over Samuel SCHERRER (SUI) to gain a spot in the 97kg quarterfinals.

12:25: Former U23 world champion Ulekbek ZHOLDOSHBEKOV (KGZ) up against Khamzat ARSAMERZOUEV (FRA) and gives up a takedown. But his unorthodox style is too much for Arsamerzouev as Zholdoshbekov wins 6-2 for a place in the quarterfinal at 61kg. 

12:21: At 61kg, Reza ATRINAGHARCHI (IRI) gets behind for a takedown with Islam BAZARGANOV (AZE) on the activity clock, then seconds later gets the activity point. In the second period, Atrinagharchi is put on the clock and he responds with a stepout. That's all the scoring and the Iranian is through to the quarterfinals with a 4-0 win.

12:10: Olympic bronze medalist Bajrang PUNIA (IND) brings some light to what has been a dark day for India, scoring two takedowns and an activity point in a 5-4 win over Alejandro VALDES (CUB) to advance to the 65kg quarterfinals.

12:08: The U.S. juggernaut continues to roll with back-to-back wins on Mat A. Vianni DIAKOMIHALIS (USA) powers to a 10-0 technical fall over Vladimir DUBOV (BUL) to make the quarterfinals at 65kg, and Seth GROSS (USA) follows with a 7-0 win over Russian-born Eduard GRIGOREV (POL) to advance at 61kg. 

12:07: Sebastian RIVERIA (PUR) shows his win at the Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series was not a fluke. He beats Ahmet CYAR (TUR) 11-1 and moves into the 65kg quarterfinals.

12:05: 2016 Olympic silver medalist Rei HIGUCHI (JPN) wrestling Islam DUDAEV (ALB) at 61kg. He has built a 4-0 lead and keeps working on the leg attacks to make it 6-0 before a big double for four confirms his technical superiority.

11:57: Iszmail MUSZUKAJAEV (HUN), who memorably defeated Takuto OTOGURO (JPN) in a contentious world bronze-medal match in Nursultan in 2019, can't get any offense going and falls 6-0 to Rahman AMOUZAD (IRI) in the second round at 65kg.

11:57: Olympic silver medalist Haji ALIYEV (AZE) in the 1/8 final against Agustin DESTRIBATS (ARG). They exchange stepouts but Aliyev with a takedown to lead 3-1. Destribats with a takedown on the edge but Aliyev challenges for a singlet pull. Aliyev gets on a single leg in the second period and completes it with a stepout. A takedown and he will win 6-1.

11:45: Kaiki YAMAGUCHI (JPN) shows a problem rarely seen in the Japan camp. He led 5-1 against Abbos RAKHMONOV (UZB). But he gave up two takedowns in the second period as Rakhmonov took a 5-5 criteria lead and the win.

11:29: 2021 world U23 bronze medalist Assyl AITAKYN (KAZ) leaves it late, scoring a takedown with :05 left to edge Pankaj PANKAJ (IND) 5-4 at 61kg.

11:21: Another Iranian clears the first hurdle as 2019 Asian champion Reza ATRINAGHARCHI (IRI) scores 8 points in the first period, then finishes off an 11-1 technical fall over Besir ALILI (MKD) a minute into the second.

11:15: John DIAKOMIHALIS (USA) found a way when he needed it the most! He avenges his 2021 Oslo loss to Vazgen TEVANYAN (ARM) with a shutout 4-0 win at 65kg.

11:08: Two-time world bronze medalist Alejandro VALDES (CUB) rolls to a 10-0 technical fall over Shaohua YUAN (CHN) to advance at 65kg. He finishes the match in 1:50 with a series of gut wrenches.

11:05: Vladimir DUBOV (BUL), a world silver medalist in 2013 and bronze medalist in 2015, survives his first test at 65kg with a 3-0 victory over Alexander SEMISOROW (GER). The 34-year-old Dubov gets a takedown in the first period and an activity point in the second.

11:00: A winning start for Asian champion Rahman AMOUZAD (IRI). Junsik YUN (KOR) had no answers to Amouzad's underhooks and gave stepouts. Amouzad fixes a 1/8 final against Izsmail MUSZUKAJEV (HUN)

10:50: A start that was a little unexpected! Agustin DESTRIBATS (ARG) shows he is still working hard to be counted among the best at 65kg. He picks up a 9-1 win over Beka LOMTADZE (GEO)

10:47: In a qualification-round clash at 65kg between two world junior champions from 2019, Asian bronze medalist Kaiki YAMAGUCHI (JPN) puts on a second-period surge, including a 4-point tackle, to top Erik ARUSHANIAN (UKR) by 12-2 technical fall. In 2019 in Tallin, Yamaguchi won 61kg and Arushanian at 70kg.

10:29: Welcome to all from Belgrade. Today will be the final morning session of the tournament. After a handful of repechage matches, competition will get underway in the three remaining freestyle weight classes, 61kg, 65kg and 97kg, taking us through the quarterfinals.


Belgrade to host 2023 World Championships

By United World Wrestling Press

CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY (November 14) -- The World Championships will return to Belgrade, Serbia for the second straight year as it was elected as the host for the 2023 edition on Monday.

United World Wrestling Bureau met Monday to pick the host for the World Championships and locked in Belgrade. Azerbaijan and Turkey also expressed their interest in hosting the mega event but fell short. UWW will continue to work with the national federations of these nations for future events.

UWW President Nenad LALOVIC (SRB) and Bureau members Rodica YAKSI (TUR) and Namig ALIYEV (AZE) did not participate in the voting due to a conflict of interest.

Belgrade, which hosted the 2022 World Championships with grand success, will host the tournament at the beginning of September 2023.

The dates for the tournament are subject to change from the original September 16 to 24 as it clashes with the Asian Games which are scheduled to begin on September 23 in Hangzhou, China.

The World Championships were scheduled to be held in Russia but since International Olympic Committee recommended sanctions on the nation, it became ineligible to host.

Wrestlers will get a chance to win 90 quotas for the 2024 Paris Olympics from the Belgrade Worlds. Any nation which participated in the 2023 continental championships will be eligible to participate in the World Championships.