Abbasov Edges Belenyuk; Azerbaijan Advances Five to GR C’ship Bouts at GGP Final

By William May

BAKU (November 26) – Junior world champion Islam ABBASOV (AZE) edged Rio 2016 silver medalist Zhan BELENYUK (UKR) on Saturday and host Azerbaijan advanced five wrestlers to the gold medal bouts on the last day on the Golden Grand Prix Final.

Abbasov, a bronze medalist in the GGP Final one year ago, battled Belenyuk for a 3-1 win in the 85kg semifinals at Baku Sports Hall to book his place in the middleweight finals opposite German Grand Prix winner Tadeusz MICHALIK (POL).

Abbasov received the key points in the semifinals on a head-blocking penalty early in the second period and held on against the 2015 world champion for the win.

In Saturday evening’s medal matches, Belenyuk faces 2014 world silver medalist at 80kg Evgeny SALEEV (RUS) for one of the bronze medals as the curtain comes down on the three-day event.

Among the others from Azerbaijan battling for the gold medals in the classic style, 2010 world champion Hasan ALIYEV (AZE) edged European runner-up Aleksandar MAKSIMOVIC (SRB), 2-1, in the semifinals at 71kg and will face European Games silver medalist Balint KORPASI (HUN)

The 75kg gold medal final will feature a pair of Rio 2016 Olympians and  European Games finalists Elvin MURSALIEV (AZE) and Viktor NEMES (SRB), won by Mursaliev 5-1 in front of a hometown crowd.

Mursaliev also finished in seventh place in Rio de Janeiro while Nemes followed at No.8

A total of 10 national wrestling federations will be represented in Saturday’s gold medal finals – with only Russia and Belarus, other than Azerbaijan, having more than one wrestler going for the gold. 

At 66kg, 2015 world bronze medalist Artem SURKOV (RUS) will square off with Rio 2016 bronze medal winner Shmagi BOLKVADZE (GEO).

Semifinal Results and Pairings for Saturday evening’s medal matches:

59kg (14 entries)

Gold – Kenichiro FUMITA (JPN) v Firuz TUKHTAEV (UZB)
Bronze – Taleh MAMMADOV (AZE) v Kanybek ZHOLCHUBEKOV (KGZ)
Bronze – Karim JAFAROV (AZE) v Mingiyan SEMENOV (RUS)

Semifinal – Kenichiro FUMITA (JPN) df. Kanybek ZHOLCHUBEKOV (KGZ), 4-1
Semifinal – Firuz TUKHTAEV (UZB) df. Mingiyan SEMENOV (RUS), 10-8

66kg (13 entries)

Gold – Shmagi BOLKVADZE (GEO) v Artem SURKOV (RUS)
Bronze – Nurtay NURGALIEV (KAZ) v Rovshan TAGHIYEV (AZE)
Bronze – Mohammad MORAD ELYASI (IRI) v CHOI Gi-Uk (KOR)

Semifinal – Shmagi BOLKVADZE (GEO) df. Rovshan TAGHIYEV (AZE), 2-0
Semifinal – Artem SURKOV (RUS) df. CHOI Gi-Uk (KOR), 5-1

71kg (13 entries)

Gold – Hasan ALIYEV (AZE) v Balint KORPASI (HUN)
Bronze – Jair CUERO MUNOZ (COL) v Aleksandar MAKSIMOVIC (SRB)
Bronze – ZHANG Ridong (CHN) v Jahid NAJAFOV (AZE)

Semifinal – Hasan ALIYEV (AZE) df. Aleksandar MAKSIMOVIC (SRB), 2-1
Semifinal – Balint KORPASI (HUN) df. Jahid NAJAFOV (AZE), 5-0

75kg (14 entries)

Gold – Elvin MURSALIEV (AZE) v Viktor NEMES (SRB)
Bronze – Jalgasbay BERDIMURATOV (UZB) v Ruslan TSAREV (KGZ)
Bronze – Mehraj KERIMOV (AZE) v Zurabi DATUNASHVILI (GEO)

Semifinal – Elvin MURSALIEV (AZE) df. Ruslan TSAREV (KGZ), 1-1
Semifinal – Viktor NEMES (SRB) df. Zurabi DATUNASHVILI (GEO), 4-0

80kg (12 entries)

Gold – Aslan ATEM (TUR) v Rafik HUSEYNOV (AZE)
Bronze – Roni SOSA (ARG) v Carlos MUNOZ JARAMILLO (COL)
Bronze – Daulet ZHAXYLYKOV (KAZ) v Samat SHIRDAKOV (KGZ)

Semifinal – Aslan ATEM (TUR) df. Carlos MUNOZ JARAMILLO (COL), 3-2
Semifinal – Rafik HUSEYNOV (AZE) df. Samat SHIRDAKOV (KGZ), 3-0

85kg (15 entries)

Gold – Islam ABBASOV (AZE) Tadeusz MICHALIK (POL)
Bronze – Evgeny SALEEV v Zhan BELENYUK (UKR)
Bronze – Sultan ISMAYILOV (AZE) v Daniel HECHAVARRIA (CUB)

Semifinal – Islam ABBASOV (AZE) df. Zhan BELENYUK (UKR), 3-1
Semifinal – Tadeusz MICHALIK (POL) df. Daniel HECHAVARRIA (CUB), 3-2

98kg (10 entries)

Gold – Musa EVLOEV (RUS) v Aliaksandr HRABOVIK (BLR)
Bronze – Cenk ILDEM (TUR) v Orkhan NURIYEV (AZE)
Bronze – Reinier ROMERO (CUB) v Amirhossein HOSSEINI (IRI)

Semifinal – Musa EVLOEV (RUS) df. Orkhan NURIYEV (AZE), 5-3
Semifinal – Aliaksandr HRABOVIK (BLR) df. Amirhossein HOSSEINI (IRI), 4-1

130kg (9 entries)

Bronze – Oscar PINO HINDS (CUB) v Damir KUZEMBAYEV (KAZ)
Bronze – Vasily PARSHIN (RUS) v Aleksander CHERNETSKI (UKR)

Semifinal – Oyan NAZARIANI (AZE) df. Damir KUZEMBAYEV (KAZ) by Disq., 4:37 (10-1)
Semifinal – Kiril GRISHCHENKO (BLR) df. Aleksander CHERNETSKI (UKR) by Disq., 4:28 (8-5)