Russian Nationals has come to an end, but their team for the world championships is not yet set. Here’s a look at the results from Sochi and how it sets up the next month.
As we mentioned in the preview, the six wrestlers who competed at Euro Games were released from having to wrestle at Nationals. So the Olympic weights are not yet set, but the four winners of the non-Olympic weights will be Russia's reps at the world championships in Kazakhstan in September.
Head coach Dzombalat Tedeev indicated all the winners will likely go to the Ziolkowski in Poland next month to determine their team. Below are the results for all 10 weights from this weekend.
Ramiz Gamzatov is perhaps the most unlikely Russian Nationals winner I can remember. One of six champs for Dagestan, Gamzatov is coached by Sheme Shemeyev and is training partners with world champ Zaur Uguev. Now they will compete for a world team spot against each other.
The 23-year-old wrestled for bronze at Nationals in 2018 and won the Intercontinental Cup in November, so he did have some results of note coming in. But he didn’t qualify for Yarygin and hadn’t competed at all in 2019, while his finals opponent Muslim Sadulaev won Yarygin and got silver at Euros. Gamzatov won a crucial scramble in the second period and added a stepout to make it 5-4 before Sadulaev went for broke.
GOLD: Ramiz Gamzatov (Dagestan)
SILVER: Muslim Sadulaev (Chechnya)
BRONZE: Hassanhusein Badrudinov (Dagestan)
BRONZE: Mikhail Ivanov (Moscow Oblast)
Magomedrasul Idrisov won his second straight Russian Nationals, and this time there is no Rashidov waiting to take his spot. The U23 world champ is looking to replicate that success on the senior level, which may be easier in a non-Olympic weight this year.
Idrisov capably handled Kezhik Chymba and avenged an Ali Aliev loss to Zelimkhan Abakarov to make the final, where he met fellow Dagestani Ramazan Ferzaliev. A chest wrap situation and gut wrench gave him his six points, all he needed to win the match. His performance at Euros should give American fans some solace that he might not place at worlds.
GOLD: Magomedrasul Idrisov (Dagestan)
SILVER: Ramazan Ferzaliev (Dagestan)
BRONZE: Dinislam Takhtarov (Dagestan)
BRONZE: Zelimkhan Abakarov (Dagestan)
Gadzhimurad Rashidov is one of the best pound-for-pound wrestlers Russia has. He’s difficult to score on, has a great gut wrench, and is an efficient leg attacker. Which is probably why he’s won a world medal all six times he’s represented Russia at the world level, four of which were as a Cadet and Junior.
Rashidov will now need to defeat world bronze medalist Akhmed Chakaev in Poland next month. Chakaev holds a 2-1 lead in the series, including the semis of this year’s Yarygin. But Chakaev was also banged up at Euro Games and Rashidov was not seriously challenged by either Bekkhan Goigereev or Nachyn Kuular.
GOLD: Gadzhimurad Rashidov (Dagestan)
SILVER: Nachyn Kuular (Tuva)
BRONZE: Murshid Mutalimov (Dagestan)
BRONZE: Julian Gergenov (Irkutsk Oblast)
I said in the preview beforehand that the youth might run this weight, and with world champ Magomedrasul Gazimagomedov going up to 74, that’s exactly what happened. The finals wound up being 2017 JR world champ David Baev against 2018 JR world silver Razambek Zhamalov in an instant classic.
Baev beat two-time RusNats finalist Israil Kasumov in the quarters, and then broke Evgeni Zherbaev in the semis. Zhamalov took out 2017 world teamer Kadimagomedov in the quarters, setting up a round three between he and Baev. The classic Dagestan vs Ossetia matchup went Baev's way in last year's bronze match, and then flipped to Zhamalov in the Yarygin bronze match. Baev has beaten James Green twice this season.
GOLD: David Baev (Ossetia)
SILVER: Razambek Zhamalov (Dagestan)
BRONZE: Chermen Valiev (Ossetia)
BRONZE: Evgeni Zherbaev (Buryatia)
With Zaurbek Sidakov not having to compete, the board was wide open for Khetik Tsabolov to try to re-assert himself. He looked the part on day one, scoring 35 points in four matches and frequently getting to his leg lace. His semifinal win over pre-tournament favorite Timur Bizhoev put him in the RusNats finals at 74kg for the third straight year.
But Magomed Kurbanaliev, who like Tsabolov won a world title at the non-Olympic weight of 70kg, has looked like the best version of himself since rallying in his bronze medal match at the Ali Aliev. With an increased activity rate, the Dagestani is perfomring better than he has in years and justified his decision to no longer cut weight. He didn't have an easy road either, having to go through Ali Aliev runner-up Ahmed Usmanov, U23 Euro champ Nikita Suchkov, and his best friend and two-time world champ Gazimagomedov in the semis.
Check out his crazy (and controversial) finals win over Tsabolov below.
GOLD: Magomed Kurbanaliev (Dagestan)
SILVER: Khetik Tsabolov (Ossetia)
BRONZE: Magomedrasul Gazimagomedov (Dagestan)
BRONZE: Timur Bizhoev (Krasnodar Krai)
This bracket went to hell quickly. World bronze Akhmed Gadzhimagomedov is out until October after knee surgery, Alan Zaseev didn't wrestle, Magomed Ramazanov went up to 86kg, and Artur Bichenov was upset in the second round. Additionally, the final couldn't be contested due to Atsamaz Sanakoev getting hurt in the semis.
Alans champ Gadzhi Nabiev of Dagestan was the Junior world gold in 2015 and U23 world silver in November. He was runner-up to Tsabolov at RusNats in 2017 and was bronze last year, falling to Gadzhimagomedov in the quarters. Now he'll get his first opportunity to represent his country on the senior level.
GOLD: Gadzhi Nabiev (Dagestan)
SILVER: Atsamaz Sanakoev (Ossetia)
BRONZE: Kakhaber Khubezhty (Ossetia)
BRONZE: Khalid Yakhiev (Chechnya)
There have been three main guys for Russia at 86kg this quad: Vladislav Valiev, Dauren Kurugliev, and Artur Naifonov. When it became apparent Kurugliev wouldn't have to wrestle, that left the two Ossetians to do battle, and when the bracket came out, everyone knew that would be the final.
Naifonov came out on top, picking up his third win over the 2017 world bronze medalist (Alans 2017 and Kolov 2018). Over the past three years, Naifonov has won Junior worlds, gotten silver at U23 worlds, and won senior Euros. He's beaten Kurugliev at Yarygin last year and the Ali Aliev this year, so don't be surprised if ends up being the guy after Poland.
GOLD: Artur Naifonov (Khanty-Mansi)
SILVER: Vladislav Valiev (Ossetia)
BRONZE: Arsen-Ali Musalaliev (Dagestan)
BRONZE: Magomed Ramazanov (Dagestan)
Undoubtably the most wide open weight of the tournament, and it went haywire. Alikhan Zhabrailov has been hanging around all year, and picked the right time to peak. He was bronze here last year, and also made the finals of the Medved and Ali Aliev. He avenged multiple losses to Magomed Kurbanov from Yarygin and the Alans semis.
Kurbanov was the Yarygin champ in January. Anzor Urishev won his TWELFTH medal at Russian Nationals. Last year's champ Batyrbek Tsakulov won the other bronze.
GOLD: Alikhan Zhabrailov (Dagestan)
SILVER: Magomed Kurbanov (Dagestan)
BRONZE: Anzor Urishev (Kabardino-Balkaria)
BRONZE: Batyrbek Tsakulov (Ossetia)
With Abdulrashid Sadulaev sitting out, there was one obvious choice to win this weight. Vladislav Baitsaev was never seriously challenged and won his first Russian Nationals title. It's good for Team USA that Sadulaev refuses to go down to 92kg, because they would be better off with both he and Baitsaev in the lineup.
GOLD: Vladislav Baitsaev (Ossetia)
SILVER: Igor Ovsyannikov (Krasnoyarsk)
BRONZE: Shamil Musaev (Dagestan)
BRONZE: Georgiy Gogaev (Ossetia)
A four-time Yarygin finalist and two-time champ, Alan Khugaev gave Osssetia their third champ of the tournament. Khugaev has been around the block, representing Russia twice at Euros, with a silver in 2014, and three straight times at Military worlds, with titles in 2016 and 2017 and a bronze last year.
He beat Said Gamidov of Dagestan in the finals. Gamidov, who started his career in Azerbaijan, improved upon his third place finish from last year. He is the son of one of the most famous coaches in all of Russia, Gamid Gamidov.
GOLD: Alan Khugaev (Ossetia)
SILVER: Said Gamidov (Dagestan)
BRONZE: Pavel Krivstov (Moscow Oblast)
BRONZE: Zelimkhan Khizriev (Chechnya)