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Home field advantage loomed large.
The story of the day to open the 2019 World Championships was the massive impact the Asian countries had on the first four Greco weights. Nearly half (7 of 16) semifinalists came from the UWW Asian Continental with 3 of 8 of tomorrow's finalists hailing from Asia.
And if you consider the bulk of Russia lies in Asia, it certainly seemed like geographic proximity was a precursor, including both Kazakhstan and neighbor Uzbekistan each putting 2 of 4 in semis.
Three of the finals are Euro vs. Asia with one all-Euro tilt.
The final tallies of finalists, semifinalists, and those qualified for repechage are below, followed by the highlight moments from each weight and how the Americans fared.
55 kg: Khorlan Zhakansha (KAZ) vs Nugzari Tsurtsumia (GEO)
63 kg: Stepan Maryanyan (RUS) vs Shinobu Ota (JPN)
72 kg: Aram Vardanyan (UZB) vs Abuyazid Mantsigov (RUS)
82 kg: Lasha Gobadze (GEO) vs Rafik Huseynov (AZE)
UWW's Match of The Day
Team USA Results
55 kg: Max Nowry
WIN Fabian Schmitt (GER), 10-1
LOSS Khorlan Zhakansha (KAZ), 3-2
Repechage vs Abdelkarim Fergat (ALG)
63 kg: Ryan Mango
WIN Julinnho Corriea Diu (POR), 11-0
LOSS Rahman Bilici (TUR), 7-4
72 kg: Raymond Bunker
WIN Yogesh (IND), 6-5
LOSS Aik Mnatsakanian (BUL), 6-2
82 kg: John Stefanowicz
LOSS Lasha Gobadze (GEO), 7-0
Repechage vs Haitao Qian (CHN)
55 KG Highlights
Earlier in the day, Nomad and I shook our head in awe of how good Azerbaijan's defending World Champ Azizli looked. In the semis, Kazakhstan's Khorlan Zhakansha had the crowd louder than they had been all day. Zhakansha put up points, then put up some more. No fear. Awesome performance.
Kazakhstan's Khorlan ZHAKANSHA knocks off reigning world champion Eldaniz AZIZLI (AZE) & will look to become the host nation's first GR world champion since 1999. He'll wrestle last year's U23 world champion Nugzari TSURTSUMIA (GEO) in Sunday's gold-medal bout. #WrestleNurSultan pic.twitter.com/Nm96f0z0Ky— United World Wrestling (@wrestling) September 14, 2019
Max Nowry got put down early but then rolled to a tech over Schmitt (GER) via and arm throw and a gut. In the quarters, he held a 2-1 late and got put down with around 2:00 to go. Zhakansha (KAZ) was able to get a gut to go to take a 3-2 lead that he held on to.
63 KG Highlights
Kebispayev's (KAZ) run came to an end at the hands of Rio Silver Shinobu Ota (JPN) in the semis. But in the quarters, his late match unconventional scramble lit the crowd on fire. He beat the #2 seed Tuo (CHN), and returning World Bronze in Turkey's Bilici before falling to Ota.
Ryan Mango opened forced par terre early and trap armed his way to a quick tech of Julinho Correia (POR) in Round 1. In Round 2, after being put down, Mango took a brief lead against Bilici (TUR) with a four-pointer. It was all Bilici after that though as he was able to consistently get to his hooks.
72 KG Highlights
In the first round, Iuri Lomadze (GEO), who has never medaled at a major event, knocked off one of the top rising stars; Iran's Amin Kaviyani, the owner of two Cadet and one Junior World titles fell to Lomadze, 9-1 in the first period.
Returning World Silver medalist, Mateusz Bernatek (POL) and last year's World Junior Champ Malkhas Amoyan (ARM) clashed in the first round with Amoyan scoring a lift early and jumping out to a 7-0 lead, which proved to be the final score.
Ray Bunker won a war with India's Yogesh in his first bout. Bunker got out to an early 4-0 lead but trailed at one point 5-4. Yogesh was gassed and Bunker took it 6-5. Bunker lead top-seeded Aik Mnatsakanian (BUL) 2-0 at the breat on a passivity and push out. Mnatsakanian went to work in the 2nd period however with 6 unanswered.
82 KG Highlights
China's Qian pinned top seeded Emrah Kus (TUR) in the first round! Kus was last year's Silver.
This year's Euro Champ Radjek Bisultanov (DEN) survived an opening round scare against Zoltan Levai (HUN), earning a C+2 with 0:04 left to win 3-3.
Unheralded Nurek Khashimbekov (UZB) rag dolled Bisultanov in the quarters before pinning him.
John Stefanowicz fell to former Bronze medalist Lasha Gobadze (GEO), 7-0.