Azerbaijan Stuns with 3 Wrestlers in Finals at #WrestleUfa

By Vinay Siwach

UFA, Russia (August 16) – Two former world medalists were leading their nation's junior teams in Ufa but it was Jabrayil HASANOV's Azerbaijan that came out on top with three wrestlers reaching the final on the first day of the Junior World Championships Monday.

Abdulsalam GADISOV, the head coach of Russia, was disappointed with only two Russian wrestlers reaching the final out of the five possible in the freestyle weight classes. Iran and Turkey also had two wrestlers in the final while USA finished the lineup with one.

The Junior World Championships got underway with 57kg, 65kg, 70kg, 79kg, and 97kg weight classes with Azerbaijan dominating its semifinals.

Azerbaijan were led by a strong performance by U23 and Junior European champion Dzhabrail GADZHIEV (AZE) who denied Stanislav SVINOBOEV (RUS) a spot in the 70kg final with a 6-1 win.

Dzhabrail GADZHIEV (AZE)Dzhabrail GADZHIEV (AZE) entered the 70kg final. (Photo: UWW / Kadir Caliskan)

The former cadet world champion looked impressive throughout the day, winning his previous two bouts via technical superiority. He now has a chance to win his third title of the year.

“We came here to become champions. That’s the only goal I have,” Gadzhiev said. “All the opponents are really good, everything went well for me, we will keep working on our mistakes.”

He will be sure to not make any mistake when faces Erfan ELAHI (IRI), a silver medalist from the same cadet Worlds in 2019 as Gadzhiev won the gold in 65kg. He defeated Stanislav NOVAC (MDA) 8-3. He scored two stepouts to lead 2-0 but Novac scored a takedown.

Elahi then changed levels and scored a takedown and exposed Novac with an arm-trap to lead 6-2. Two more stepouts sealed the deal for him.

Another Azerbaijan-Iran bout will be held at 79kg as Mohammad NOKHODILARIMI (IRI) will take on Ashraf ASHIROV (AZE) in the final Tuesday.

Mohammad NOKHODILARIMI (IRI)Mohammad NOKHODILARIMI (IRI) defeated Gourav BALIYAN (IND) in the 79kg semifinals. (Photo: UWW / Kadir Caliskan)

While Nokhodilarimi had a strong 10-0 win over Gourav BALIYAN (IND) in the semifinal, Ashirov had some trouble before beating Makhambet NURZHAUBAYEV (KAZ) 11-3 in the last four.

Nokhodilarimi scored his 10-0 win in 3:31 seconds with a takedown and gut wrenches which gave him a 6-0 lead. His strength was far superior than Baliyan who gave up two more takedowns to lose.

In the other semifinal, Nurzhaubayev used a head lock to score two points and was ahead 4-3 but Ashirov came back strongly. He was awarded for caution and then he added a takedown and exposure to win 11-3.

But Ashirov said that wrestling the quarterfinal against Mukhammad ABDULLAEV (KGZ) was harder than the semifinal.

“The match with Kyrgyz wrestler was much harder than the semifinal,” he said. “I just felt a bit more responsibility

“My Iranian opponent is good, we will have to analyse his wrestling. With the help of God we will win the gold medal tomorrow.”

Russia also denied Azerbaijan a chance to qualify for another final as Ramazan BAGAVUDINOV (RUS) defeated Nuraddin NOVRUZOV (AZE) 7-0 in the semifinal at 57kg.The Russian has been guilty of underperforming at the international level but he stepped up his game Monday with a controlled win over Novruzov.

Ramazan BAGAVUDINOVRamazan BAGAVUDINOV (RUS) entered 57kg final. (Photo: UWW / Kadir Caliskan)

He scored his first point via stepout before a double leg takedown gave him a 3-0 lead. A single-leg lift was converted into a takedown before he defended a double leg attack and countered for his own to win 7-0.

But he will face a dynamic wrestler in Muhammet KARAVUS (TUR) who has outscored his opponents 28-4 in the tournament so far. The former Euro cadet silver medalist wrestled Manvel KHNDZRTSYAN (ARM) in the semifinal and won 8-4.

Karavus began with a quick takedown and then showed some strong defence to counter the attacks from Khndzrtsyan and lead 6-0. In the second period, the Armenian shot a quick double leg and managed to get a takedown. He then went for a duck-under but Karavus was ready for it and exposed Khndzrtsyan to lead 8-2. A consolation takedown for the Armenian did not matter much.

“My opponent [Karavus] in the final match is a good wrestler,” Bagavudinov said. “He is very enduring and fast. I am pretty confident I don’t feel any pressure yet.”

Incidentally, Russia and Azerbaijan will face each other in the final at 65kg. Ziraddin BAYRAMOV (AZE) will wrestle Shamil MAMEDOV (RUS) Tuesday in what can be a mouthwatering clash.

Shamil MAMEDOVShamil MAMEDOV (RUS) defeated Seyedhassan EBADIMERMETI (IRI) in the semifinal. (Photo: UWW / Kadir Caliskan)

Bayramov defeated Beau BARTLETT (USA) 6-2 to advance while Shamil MAMEDOV (RUS) had a tough day. He was trailing 0-5 against Seyedhassan EBADIMERMETI (IRI) before mounting a comeback and winning 14-8.

“I concentrated and won,” Mamedov said. “The semifinal was a bit tough. I was loosing 5-0, but then I pulled myself together and won it.”

On the other hand, after winning the European Championships, Bayramov wants to win his first World title as well.

“I am really excited becuase I was only European championships medalist and it’s the first time I’ll be in the world championship’s final. In final I’ll wrestle only for the gold medal,” Bayramov said.

The only final which does not have a name from Russia or Azerbaijan is the 97kg where Polat POLATCI (TUR) setup a final against Braxton AMOS (USA).

Polat POLATCI (TUR)Polat POLATCI (TUR) pulled off a big move at the buzzer against Ali ABDOLLAHI (IRI). (Photo: UWW / Kadir Caliskan)

Polatci, son of Olympic champion Aydin POLATCI, scored a stunning exposure to beat the buzzer and claim a 9-8 win against Ali ABDOLLAHI (IRI). The Iran wrestler was leading throughout the bout and going into the last 10 seconds lead 8-7. But he dropped his guard in the final one second in which Polatci got an exposure from the chest lock. Abdollahi was calling for time expiration but when action finished there was still time left on the clock.

Polatci will face Amos who defeated DEEPAK (IND) 9-1 in a exciting way. Amos scored a takedown before a stepout and two more takedowns and win.

RESULTS: Freestyle


SF 1: Ramazan BAGAVUDINOV (RUS) df Nuraddin NOVRUZOV (AZE), 7-0
SF 2: Muhammet KARAVUS (TUR) df Manvel KHNDZRTSYAN (ARM), 8-4


SF 1: Ziraddin BAYRAMOV (AZE) df Beau BARTLETT (USA), 6-2
SF 2: Shamil MAMEDOV (RUS) df Seyedhassan EBADIMERMETI (IRI), 14-8

GOLD: Dzhabrail GADZHIEV (AZE) vs Erfan ELAHI (IRI)

SF 1: Dzhabrail GADZHIEV (AZE) df Stanislav SVINOBOEV (RUS), 6-1
SF 2: Erfan ELAHI (IRI) df Stanislav NOVAC (MDA), 8-3


SF 1: Mohammad NOKHODILARIMI (IRI) df Gourav BALIYAN (IND), 10-0
SF 2: Ashraf ASHIROV (AZE) df Makhambet NURZHAUBAYEV (KAZ), 11-3

GOLD: Polat POLATCI (TUR) vs Braxton AMOS (USA)

SF 1: Polat POLATCI (TUR) df Ali ABDOLLAHI (IRI), 9-8
SF 2: Braxton AMOS (USA) df DEEPAK (IND), 9-1


Russia Wins GR Team Title after Five Golds at #WrestleUfa

By Vinay Siwach

At the last Junior Worlds Championships in 2019, Russia returned home with four gold, two silver and a bronze medal to claim the team title. Two years later, they repeated the same but with five gold, one silver and two bronze medals.

As the Junior World Championships concluded in Ufa, Russia, the Greco-Roman celebrated their title win at home with 183 points while Iran finished second with 130 points. Azerbaijan were third as they managed only 101 points.

Russia had finished second in both the freestyle and women's wrestling competition with Iran and USA winning those team titles respectively.

Dinislam BAMMATOV (RUS) and Evgeni BAIDUSOV (RUS) were the two gold medalists for Russia Sunday while three had won the top medal Saturday. Aleksei MILESHIN (RUS) was the only Russian wrestler to reach the final but not winning the gold.

A bit of history was also created at the Ufa Arena as Marcel STERKENBURG (NED) defeated Karen KHACHATRYAN (ARM) 6-3 in 82kg final and became the first wrestler from the Netherlands to win a junior Worlds gold in the last 43 years.

The final gold medal of the night was won by Pavel HLINCHUK (BLR) who looked in some serious form in the tournament with five dominating wins over the course of two days.

Bammatov, the Dagestan wrestler, defeated Saeid ESMAEILI LEIVESI (IRI) 7-3 in the 60kg final to get the Russian team going. He was awarded a point for the Iranian's passivity to open the scoring. In par terre, Bammatov lost top position after slipping off the right side gut wrench. He surrendered a reversal, but stopped an Iranian gut attempt, planting Esmaeili Leivesi on his back for the two exposure points. With the action back on their feet, Bammatov snapped Esmaeili Leivesi down and spun behind for a takedown. He went right into a gut wrench and carried the 7-1 lead into the second period.

Bammatov gave up two stepouts in the closing period, but capped off his run to the 60kg junior world title with a 7-3 victory.

The second gold medal for Russia was won by Evgeni BAIDUSOV (RUS) as he overcame Giorgi CHKHIKVADZE (GEO) in a tight final to win 3-2. In the most evenly matched finals of the night, Baidusov narrowly edged ahead when he struck first. He tried hitting a duck under early in the first period, but as Chikhikvadze defended the attempt from his knees, the Russian threw a headlocked and put two points on the board. His Georgian opponent reversed him to his back for the exposure and gained the 2-2 criteria advantage.

To the dismay of the Georgian fans in the second period, Baidusov toed the line and circle to the center before pushing Chkhikvadze out for the 3-2 lead.

Baidusov's medal winning celebrations were marred by some unruly behaviour from the Georgian fans in the stands which was brought to the attention of the organizing committee as well.

But Pavel HLINCHUK (BLR) ruined Russia's perfect final record in the 97kg finals as he handed Aleksei MILESHIN (RUS) an 11-0 thrashing to Belarus their first gold medal of the Greco-Roman competition.

He hit back-to-back guts after earning an inactivity point and controlled the comfortable five point lead. With less than 20 seconds left in the opening period, the Belarusian tossed Mileshin for two points and his lead grew to 7-0.

Before the whistle sounded in the first, he backed his heels to the edge of the mat and planted Mileshin on his back for four points and earned the 11-0 world-title winning victory.

The historic medal for the Netherlands won by Marcel STERKENBURG (NED) came after his brother failed to do the same Sunday. The twin brother Tyrone finished with a silver medal after suffering a defeat in the 77kg final.

But the 82kg final began with Karen KHACHATRYAN (ARM) scoring two points from a left-side gut wrench after being awarded a point for Sterkenburg’s inactivity.

But it was all Marcel STERKENBURG (NED) in the second period. He bolted out to an early takedown in the first period and cut Khachatryan’s lead to 3-2. At the two-minute mark, Sterkenburg scored a stepout and gained the 3-3 criteria lead before his Armenian opponent was hit with inactivity.

Leading 4-3, Sterkenburg gutted Khachatryan and increased his lead to 6-3, and ultimately gave the Netherland’s their first junior world title in the last 43 years.

The 67kg gold medal went to Hasrat JAFAROV (AZE) as the cadet world champion managed to shutout Sahak HOVHANNISYAN (ARM) 7-0 in the final.

The match was chippy and barred with referee stoppages. Jafarov earned top position in par terre after Sahak HOVHANNISYAN (ARM) was called for inactivity. He was unable to pick up exposure points, but scored two correct throw points and led 3-1 after the opening period.

A pair of accidental head butts slowed down the second period and brought medical attention for Jafarov. The first two were deemed accidental, but after a third headbutt in the period, Jafarov’s opponent was hit with a caution-and-two – giving the Azeri wrestler the 5-0 lead.

Shortly after, Jafarov pushed Hovhannisyan to the edge and stopped a double-overhook throw attempt and extended his lead to 7-0. He defended it until the clock expired.

The focus now shifts to the Senior World Championships which begins in Oslo from October 2 to 10.

Results GR Medal Bouts


BRONZE: Mert ILBARS (TUR) df Arslanbek SALIMOV (POL), 8-0
BRONZE: Nihat MAMMADLI (AZE) df Shermukhammad SHARIBJANOV (UZB), 5-1


BRONZE: Muslim IMADAEV (RUS) df Gagik SNJOYAN (FRA), 9-0


BRONZE: Attila TOESMAGI (HUN) df Amir ABDI (IRI), 9-6
BRONZE: Shant KHACHATRYAN (ARM) df Khasay HASANLI (AZE), via fall


BRONZE: Mohammad Aziz NAGHOUSI (IRI) df Mykyta ALIEKSIEIEV (UKR), 11-5

GOLD: Pavel HLINCHUK (BLR) df Aleksei MILESHIN (RUS), 11-0

BRONZE: Morteza ALGHOSI (IRI)  df Marcus WORREN (NOR), 5-3
BRONZE: Braxton AMOS (USA) df Arkyt OROZBEKOV (KGZ), 8-0