Russia, Iran Share Two FS Titles to Deny Azerbaijan at #WrestleUfa
Tuesday, August 17, 2021 - 18:54 By Vinay Siwach
UFA, Russia (August 17) – Ramazan BAGAVUDINOV (RUS) had been touted as the next big thing out of Dagestan and Russia but his previous international outings had resulted in only a bronze medal at the 2019 European Championships.
But that changed Tuesday as the young Russian clinched the junior world title in a stunning comeback win over Muhammed KARAVUS (TUR) in the 57kg final. Winning the title in front of his home crowd in Ufa, Russia made it extra special.
“I am really happy that I could finally get the gold,” Bagavudinov said.
Five freestyle world titles were awarded on the second day of the Junior World Championships which began in Ufa Monday with Russia and Iran winning two each while the USA also claimed one title.
Azerbaijan, which had three finalists Tuesday, failed to win the gold medal and returned with three silver medals which left the coaches disappointed.
Turkey also failed to win a gold medal despite having two finalists. Karavus was a point away from winning the gold but Bagavudinov scripted a win for the ages.
It began with a exposure for Karavus and then two points for a takedown. He then exposed the Russian with two guts and added a stepout to lead 9-0. But then came the offensive onslaught.
Bagavudinov began with a big four-point throw and added a stepout to make it 9-5. A single takedown reduced the lead to 9-7 before he tripped Karavus for two more points to lead 9-9 on criteria.
“After I got the four-point throw, I was planning to keep pressing more as I knew he would get tired eventually,” he said.
With less than 30 seconds to go, he managed to defend all attacks from the Turkey wrestler who was running out of steam. But in one final effort, Karavus got a chest wrap and exposed Bagavudinov for two points but also gave up two points when he could not get out of the Russian's grip.
“Honestly, I thought they wouldn’t give the two points to the Turkish wrestler, but then I saw the scoreboard, it was 11-11, and then I realized that I won,” he said.
The 11-11 win got huge reception from the limited crowd in Ufa Arena as fans who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or can provide proof of a negative COVID-19 report using a RT-PCR method are allowed.
Shamil MAMEDOV (RUS) won the 65kg gold medal. (Photo: UWW / Kadir Caliskan)
The second gold medalist for Russia came at 65kg as Shamil MAMEDOV (RUS) defeated Ziraddin BAYRAMOV (AZE) 4-1 in the gold medal bout.
In contrast to the win of Bagavudinov, Mamedov had a controlled final and put on a defensive masterclass against Bayramov.
Bayramov opened the scoring when Mamedov gave up a point for being passive. But then the Russian upped his game and scored a takedown to lead 2-1. Bayramov managed to open scoring options but Mamedov's defense was on point throughout the match.
“I knew if I gave him a single leg, I would have still been able to defend, but a double leg would have been much tougher,” Mamedov said. “The final match was tough, as it always is. I was controlling the match and I managed to defend my lead, so I won.”
His ankle pick while defending a single leg gave Mamedov the two points and he defended another attack with a reverse lock to win 4-1.
Mamedov said winning the gold medal with his room partner Bagavudinov was a great experience and he had some nervous moments when his friend was trailing 0-9 in the 57kg final. But the comeback motivated Mamedov for his final as well.
“We are friends, We even stay in the same room. I am so happy we both won the gold medals,” he said. “I was watching him from the stands and I was worried a lot when the score was 9-0. When he won, it gave me more motivation to win.”
In the two Iran-Azerbaijan finals, both Iran wrestlers came out on top, ending Azerbaijan's day in disappointment.
Erfan ELAHI (IRI) stunned Dzharbrail GADZHIEV (AZE) in the 70kg final. (Photo: UWW / Kadir Caliskan)
Elahi was the first one to stun Dzharbrail GADZHIEV (AZE) in the 70kg final as he kept on the pressure and ultimately won 7-5.
Gadzhiev, a U23 European champion, began the scoring with a stepout but Elahi also scored a stepout. Gadzhiev scored a quick takedown to make it 3-1. Bur Elahi then managed three stepout against a tiring Gadzhiev to make it 4-3. Two stepouts from each wrestler changed the score to 6-5 but that was not enough for Gadzhiev. Iran got an extra point for a lost challenge from Azerbaijan.
Elahi said that his bouts were difficult but it was his training in Iran that helped him win in Ufa.
“I was on the mat for five matches and bouts were tough and high-pressure,” Elahi said. “I trained very hard before competition, even more than what I did on mat during competition.”
Elahi began as a gymnast before switching to wrestling and said that he will now look forward to winning the trial for Oslo World Championships and work towards the Paris Olympics by moving up to 74kg.
“This competition is one step for me for Norway so that I can enter the selection trials for the World Championship,” he said. “I will not remain in70kg because I am thinking about the Olympic Games and I will be 74kg for the Paris Games.”
Mohammad NOKHODILARIMI (IRI) won the 79kg gold after defeating Ashraf ASHIROV (AZE). (Photo: UWW / Kadir Caliskan)
At 79kg, Mohammad NOKHODILARIMI (IRI) defeated Ashraf ASHIROV (AZE) with an identical score of 7-5, giving Iran the second gold of the day.
Like Gadzhiev, it was Ashirov who began the scoring and got a takedown. But Nokhodilarimi reversed and got two points as well. He then went for a duck under but pulled out and scored a takedown to make 4-2. A gut wrench increased the score to 6-2.
Ashirov began the second period with a fake to the right leg then scored a takedown from the left to reduce the lead. But he gave up one stepout before scoring one at the end which was not enough for a win.
Nokhodilarimi said that he was the underdog against Ashirov which made the win a special one for him. “I was underrated to my opponent,” he said before adding, “and he was dangerous for me but God helped me to win.”
Braxton AMOS (USA) claimed the gold medal at 97kg for USA. (Photo: UWW / Kadir Caliskan)
The final gold of the went to Braxton AMOS (USA). He defeated Polat POLATCI (TUR) 11-4 in the 97kg final with ease. The two big wrestlers exchanged throws to keep the crowd on its feet but Amos' breathtaking five-point throw was the move of the day.
Amos began with five stepout in the first period but just before the break, he locked with Polatci who managed to throw him and score four.
In the second period, Polatci tried to trip Amos but the USA wrestler went for an outside trip of his own and made a perfect back-arch to get the five-point throw. A step out at the end gave him one more point and he won 11-4.
Amos said it was a risky move to throw for five but it was worth taking. The West Virginia native is not focused on winning a NCAA title back in America.
“It's hard to explain to be world champ,” Amos said. “It means everything to me and I am thankful to everybody. I can't express anything.
“When I threw him for five, it was either I was going on my back or he was. I had to go for it and whatever happened, happened. When I get home, it's back to work. I have an NCAA title to win.”
Iran Continues Stunning Run
Iran's performance on Tuesday more or less confirmed the team title for them. They also made it to four out of the five remaining finals which will be played on Wednesday. The performance will give them their first-ever team title win since 2015.
Two-time cadet world champion Rahman AMOUZADKHALILI (IRI) led the way with a victory via fall over Fedor BALTUEV (RUS) in the 61kg final. He will face two-time cadet bronze medalist RAVINDER (IND) who won 12-2 over Levik MIKAYELYAN (ARM).
Amouzadkhalili began with an exposure for two and a stepout to lead 3-0 but Baltuev lifted him for four and then an exposure to lead 6-3. Iran challenged the call but lost. In the second period, Amouzadkhalili pressed Baltuev towards the danger and then picked him for four points. Using her trademark whipovers, he managed to get the Russian in the grip and pinned him with 47 seconds remaining.
Ravinder worked hard for his 12-2 win over Mikayelyan. Both were tied 2-2 before Ravinder's pressure tired out the Armenian. A series of takedown and then a single leg for four finished the match 12-2.
He said it doesn't matter who he is facing in the final. “The world titles of the Iranian opponent don’t matter,” he said before adding, “I’ll just consider him as another opponent.”
At 74kg, Keegan OTOOLE (USA) created some outwardly moves to pin Idar KHATANOV (RUS). The Russian used cradle to exposure to lead 10-5 but Otoole used a cradle of his own to get a pin over Khatanov. In the quarterfinal, he stunned Turan BAYRAMOV (AZE) with a similar move despite trailing.
He will wrestle Nurdaulet KUANYSHBAY (KAZ) in the final after he won 11-1 Stambul ZHANYBEK UULU (KGZ) using a leg lace.
France will have a chance to win their first freestyle junior world title in seven years as Rakhim MAGAMADOV (FRA) made it to the final at 86kg. He defeated Emre CIFTCI (TUR) 4-2.
But his task will be cut out against Amirhossein FIROUZPOURBANDPEI (IRI) who is a cadet world champion from 2019. The Iran wrestler was in his element against Daviti KOGUASHVILI (GEO) to win 14-4.
Iran will have a chance to win a gold at 92kg as Mahdi HAJILOUEIANMORAFAH (IRI) made it to the final and will face Rocky ELAM (USA). The Iran wrestler won 10-0 Nicolaas DE LANGE (RSA) while Rocky ELAM (USA) defeated Ivan KIRILLOV (RUS) 5-3 in the other semifinal.
At 125kg, Ali AKBARPOURKHORDOUNI (IRI) can add a sixth gold to cap off a remarkable campaign for them. He scored a top-notch win over Wyatt HENDRICKSON (USA) 8-5. He will face 2021 junior Euro champion Lyova GEVORGYAN (ARM).
Gevorgyan scored another win over Aydin AHMADOV (AZE) 10-0 as he did in the junior European Championships final.
Women's wrestling will begin Wednesday with 50kg, 55kg, 59kg, 68kg and 76kg.
RESULTS FS Medal Bouts
GOLD: Ramazan BAGAVUDINOV (RUS) df Muhammet KARAVUS (TUR), 11-11
BRONZE: Assylzhan YESSENGELDI (KAZ) df Nuraddin NOVRUZOV (AZE), 12-6
BRONZE: Manvel KHNDZRTSYAN (ARM) df Abdymalik KARACHOV (KGZ), 6-2
GOLD: Shamil MAMEDOV (RUS) df Ziraddin BAYRAMOV (AZE), 4-1
BRONZE: Beau BARTLETT (USA) df Mustafo AKHMEDOV (TJK), 7-4
BRONZE: Bekzat YERMEKBAY (KAZ) df Seyedhassan EBADIMERMETI (IRI), 8-5
GOLD: Erfan ELAHI (IRI) df Dzhabrail GADZHIEV (AZE), 7-5
BRONZE: Stanislav SVINOBOEV (RUS) df Kevin MAKOTA STROEM (SWE), 12-1
BRONZE: Bryce ANDONIAN (USA) df Stanislav NOVAC (MDA), 18-8
GOLD: Mohammad NOKHODILARIMI (IRI) df Ashraf ASHIROV (AZE), 7-5
BRONZE: Gourav BALIYAN (IND) df Richard SCHROEDER (GER), 10-0
BRONZE: Mukhammad ABDULLAEV (KGZ) df Makhambet NURZHAUBAYEV (KAZ), 4-1
GOLD: Braxton AMOS (USA) df Polat POLATCI (TUR), 11-4
BRONZE: Alireza ABDOLLAHI (IRI) df Radu LEFTER (MDA), 5-4
BRONZE: DEEPAK (IND) df Milan KORCSOG (HUN), 3-2
GOLD: RAVINDER (IND) vs Rahman AMOUZADKHALILI (IRI)
SF 1: RAVINDER (IND) df Levik MIKAYELYAN (ARM), 12-2
SF 2: Rahman AMOUZADKHALILI (IRI) df Fedor BALTUEV (RUS), via fall
GOLD: Keegan OTOOLE (USA) vs Nurdaulet KUANYSHBAY (KAZ)
SF 1: Keegan OTOOLE (USA) df Idar KHATANOV (RUS), via fall
SF 2: Nurdaulet KUANYSHBAY (KAZ) df Stambul ZHANYBEK UULU (KGZ), 11-1
GOLD: Rakhim MAGAMADOV (FRA) vs Amirhossein FIROUZPOURBANDPEI (IRI)
SF 1: Rakhim MAGAMADOV (FRA) df Emre CIFTCI (TUR), 4-2
SF 2: Amirhossein FIROUZPOURBANDPEI (IRI) df Daviti KOGUASHVILI (GEO), 14-4
GOLD: Mahdi HAJILOUEIANMORAFAH (IRI) vs Rocky ELAM (USA)
SF 1: Mahdi HAJILOUEIANMORAFAH (IRI) df Nicolaas DE LANGE (RSA), 10-0
SF 2: Rocky ELAM (USA) df Ivan KIRILLOV (RUS), 5-3
GOLD: Ali AKBARPOURKHORDOUNI (IRI) vs Lyova GEVORGYAN (ARM)
SF 1: Ali AKBARPOURKHORDOUNI (IRI) df Wyatt HENDRICKSON (USA), 8-5
SF 2: Lyova GEVORGYAN (ARM) df Aydin AHMADOV (AZE), 10-0