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We have arrived at the final day of Greco-Roman (sort of).
Starting today are the final three Olympic weights of 60kg, 77kg, and 130kg, with their finals tomorrow. Also today is repechage in the morning for 67kg, 87kg, and 97kg, with those finals coming in the evening session.
Heading into this Monday morning, Russia leads the team race by a wide margin over Georgia. There is a razor thin difference between third and eighth place, as they are separated by just seven points.
Just like yesterday, today is extremely important as 12 wrestlers will qualify their nation for next year's Olympic Games in Tokyo. Those who make the semis today secure a spot, along with those who make the bronze medal match tomorrow.
Wrestling for America is 2008 Olympian Ildar Hafizov at 60kg, Pat "The Honda Civic" Smith at 77kg, and world silver medalist Adam Coon at 130kg.
Nations Qualified For The Olympics Today
60kg: Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, Russia
67kg: Germany, Serbia
77kg: Armenia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Sweden
87kg: Belarus, Kyrgyzstan
97kg: Poland, Turkey
130kg: Cuba, Germany, Iran, Turkey
Starting off with repechage at all three weights. These guys are fighting for Olympic glory, as making the bronze medal match means their country has secured a quota for Toyko. Since these brackets were massive, each winner will have to win another two bouts to wrestle for third.
The first win of the day goes to Jahongir Turdiev (UZB), setting up a match with Tadeusz Michalik (POL). Neither country made the Olympics at 98kg in 2016.
Coming to Mat A is 2014 world champ Ivo Angelov (BUL) against Euro bronze Taleh Mammadov (AZE). An early passive against Mammadov, getting put down at the 4:59 mark. No turn and they are brought back up with 4:42 to go. Kerim Kamal (TUR) is on Mat D, he won three straight JR world titles and is in his first year of senior eligibility. Right now though he's getting bombed by Kyrgyzstan.
A Kamal head pinch brings it within one with two minutes left. And down goes Kamal to Kanybek Zholchubekov by a 15-7 tech. Also losing is Rio bronze Stig-André Berge.
Roman Vlasov (RUS) is up on A. The two-time Olympic champ replaced the reigning world champ from Russia at this weight. Lift for Vlaov right into a gut, up 4-0 and still in position. Two more guys and he gets an 8-0 tech in just 1:20.
The round of 32 is set at 60kg, and as we mentioned above a few big names already went down. The Pan Am region could pull off a big win on A as Cuero Munoz (COL) is trailing on criteria to Kolov champ Aleksandrov (BUL).
The 130kg wrestlers are starting to take the mat. Crowd seems a little subdued today, save for the KGZ group. The biggest name on the map is Heiki Nabi (EST) on Mat D.
Match 1 - Adam Coon vs Lingzhe Meng (CHN)
First Period: No scoring in the first minute. At 4:42 Meng gets put down, Coon looking high gut, dropping down to the hips. About 30 seconds in, Coon attempted a lift, then fell into a gut, but Meng reversed him. China then hit a gut of their own, and Coon tried to switch out of it. He got in a cow catcher position but couldn't finish. Meng leads 3-1 at the break.
Second Period: Coon holding center but no points so far. The Michigan grad continues to try to get his body lock but Meng isn't giving it up. Twice the whistle offered passive against Meng, but both times the judge and chair white paddled. Coon falls 3-1 and will now need a miracle to get pulled back in.
Meanwhile on Mat C, Riza Kayaalp with a huge four against 2017 bronze Yasmani Acosta Fernandez (CHI). Kayaalp is a nine-time world/Olympic medalist who may very well be the third best Greco heavyweight of all-time. Kayaalp holds on to win 4-0, and the former Cuban Acosta Fernandez is hoping to be pulled back into repechage.
On the other side, Oscar Pino Hinds (CUB) has Nabi, so looking ahead to US qualifying for the Olympics, we're rooting for Nabi to make the finals.
Match 2 - Ildar Hafizov vs Etienne Kinsinger (GER)
First Period: Hafizov gets put down but Kinsinger can't turn him. Hafizov with the takedown and right into a lift. He goes back arch but can't get Kinsinger around, but still gets the correct throw, America leads 4-1 at the break.
Second Period: Whistle and they are cleaning up Germany. Hafizov holding center well and not likely to get put down. A late takedown ices it, Hafizov up 6-1 now. Hafizov moves on and will have last year's 63kg bronze Lenur Temirov (UKR) next.
After pulling the upset in round one, Zholchubekov trails 3-2 to China at the break. He takes the lead on criteria and may be setting himself up to make a deep run in this bracket. Walihan forces a stepout and Zholchubekov loses 4-3. He'll face Angelov of Bulgaria next round.
Huge one on B as Kim Hyeon-Woo takes on Geraei of Iran. Wow, huge flurry and Geraei pulls him back for four. Korea rolls through a headlock, but Geraei again comes out on top and it's 6-0. Geraei is looking to close it out. Hyeon-Woo narrowly avoids giving up the takedown, but in typical Iranian finish Geraei mows through him to close it out.
Elmurat Tasmuradov (UZB) is up 6-0 at the break on C. He wins 7-0 and the round of 16 is set at 60kg, which has been more fun that 67kg was yesterday.
A few updates from the repechage: Mate Nemes has qualified Serbia for the Olympics at 67kg and will wrestle for bronze. Mikalai Stadub has qualified Belarus for the Olympics at 87kg and will wrestle for bronze. Tadeusz Michalik has qualified Poland for the Olympics at 97kg and will wrestle for bronze.
Roman Vlasov up on A against Aleksandrov. This was supposed to be the Kolov final but Vlasov did not wrestle. Aleksandrov put down at 4:42 an Vlasov gets him up in the air, but he slips down. Again up in the air and Vlasov goes side arch for four. A few seconds later he tosses him again and wins 9-0. One of the most exciting Greco wrestlers of all-time.
Two-time Olympic champion Roman VLASOV 🇷🇺 tosses his way into the third round with a second consecutive technical superiority victory.— United World Wrestling (@wrestling) September 16, 2019
—#uww #wrestling #unitedworldwrestling #grecoroman #WrestleNurSultan pic.twitter.com/WAJsTbn6yH
Match 3 - Pat Smith vs Roland Schwarz (GER)
First Period: Smith looking to avenge a loss from earlier in the year. Smith staying active and nearly gets to a bodylock. Smith is moving the Euro silver well. Smith get Schwarz put down at the 4:29 mark. He lines up left side and has a lift, but Schwarz squares up. Back on their feet. The Pan Am Games champ leads 2-0 at the break after a buzzer beating stepout.
Second Period: The match is stopped 38 seconds in to have Smith cleaned up. Back to action and Smith is withstanding a barrage from Schwarz, however, the German pummels into a takedown. Just kidding they called it a slip. With 1:36 to go, Smith gets put down. Smith tried fighting the lift but Schwarz rotates through for 4. Germany up 5-2 with just over a minute left. Caution+2 offered, but they just got step out. Huge call there as a takedown would have given Smith the win, now he needs three points. Smith falls 5-3.
Defending 130kg champ Sergey Semenov (RUS) up 4-1 at the break on Iran. Ghasemi mounts a comeback though and takes the lead 6-4 with 30 seconds remaining. And that'll do it, last year's gold medalist loses first match to Amir Ghasemimonjezi of Iran. Three of the four world medalists from 2018 have already lost.
Based on his draw, the way he's wrestling, and home field advantage, it's a mortal lock that 2017 world silver Meirambek Ainagulov (KAZ) qualifies for Tokyo. He tossed Lithuania for 4 but gave up a takedown late in the first period. Eduard Popp of Germany just completely gassed out Azerbaijan on A.
Defending world champ Emelin (RUS) up on Mat A. Meng is up on D against Kayaalp. Emelin techs Romania 9-0 in 1:39. Meng gets put down at 4:44 and gets a turn. Another stepout makes it 4-0 at the break. World silver Ciobanu (ROU) with an amazing throw against India on B. Kayaalp won so Coon is out.
Match 4 - Ildar Hafizov vs Lenur Temirov (UKR)
First Period: Hafizov in red. Temirov looking to get head position and dig underhooks but Hafizov clears out. Hafizov put down at 4:36 mark. They go out of bounds and no turns, 4:19 to go. Ukraine challenged but might have waved it off. Body lock to the mat, and throw attempt but Temirov doesn't score. The refs are trying to figure out if Ukraine wants a challenge. They stopped it, and looks like USA won the challenge because Ildar has the lead on criteria. They called a leg foul on Ukraine as he was attempting a gut. Hafizov needs blood cleaned up. Ildar getting Gable wrapped with 7 seconds left in the period.
Second Period: Hafizov actually wrapped around the chin. Spenser Mango and Bruce Robinson, the WCAP coaches, in his corner. Whistle 14 seconds in, possible attention against Hafizov. Temirov gets put down at 2:05 and he leads outright now, 2-1. Huge mistake by Ildar there, looking for a turn and gives up a reversal, which Ukraine turns into a gut. From up 2-1 to down 4-2, Hafizov again getting cleaned up and there's 1:38 left. Double overs for Hafizov but Temirov clears it. Minute to go and Ukraine is staying in the pocket. Final 30 seconds and Hafizov can't get to front head. He does force a stepout, but still needs a takedown, 18 seconds left. Wow, somehow they called that straight arm. Hafizov falls and Ukraine has the defending world champ next.
Coon is out, but Pino Hinds beat Nabi. Schwarz falls to Galkinas of Lithuania. Pat Smith is eliminated from the tournament. Ivo Angelov into the quarters.
Staebler up 1-0 on Ryu after the passive but no turns. He nearly gets to rear standing, but continues fighting and pushes Ryu out, 2-0 lead. Ryu now getting his shot on top, 2:04 left. Geraei shut out Mursaliyev 7-0. Kenichiro Fumita (JPN) putting it on Tasmuradov on D. No points for Ryu, back to the center. Staebler holds on to win 2-1, and Fumita techs 9-1.
Kazakhstan going crazy, but their guy has Vlasov, so he's gonna need the home crowd energy. Wow! Dilmukhamedov chases him down and leads 2-0. The crowd is LOUD at the break. Last year's Asian champ at 82kg is holding the lead. KAZ holding center and the ref offers to put Vlasov down, but white paddled. Vlasov just got put down and the crowd is losing their minds. Short break to clean up blood, and they're back on their feet 1:17 to go. What an incredible environment, Vlasov goes down and Dilmukhamedov gets a standing O.
Turkey vs Iran for the 97kg Olympic spot. Kyrgyzstan vs China at 87kg for the Olympic spot. AZISBEKOV leads 4-0 at the break on D. Saravi of Iran put down at 4:45, but Cenk Ildem (TUR) can't turn him. Just kidding, they stopped it but he gets another chance after a Caution+2. China getting their chance on top now. 2018 Asian silver Azisbekov qualifies Kyrgyzstan at 87kg. Meanwhile, Saravi mounting a comeback, down 7-5 with 1:25 to go but on bottom. No Turn, back on their feet with 1:07 left. Ildem holds on and qualifies for Tokyo.
Americans should be rooting for Oscar Pino Hinds of Cuba on B and Riza Kayaalp of Turkey on D. That got dicey right away as KGZ hit a headlock but Pino reverses and guts two times to take back the lead 5-4. Kayaalp up 1-0 but can't turn Georgia. Hinds up 5-4, Kayaalp up 3-0 at the break. Hinds gets Ramonov put down. Kayaalp up 5-1 now. So far so good, Hinds wins and Kayaalp wins.
USA needs Ukraie to win on A. Great one on B between Fumita and Ciobanu. Emelin gets Temirov put down and gets three turns. Another takedown and he wins, Hafizov is out. Ainagulov with the lightning quick tech to qualify Kazakhstan. Last year's silver Ciobanu up 3-0 on 2017 champ Kenichiro Fumita but there is a challenge. Call is a leg foul, so Caution+2 to make it 5-0, back on the mat. Ciobanu attempts another reverse lift but Fumita gets the reversal to make it 5-1. Another Caution+2, this one for fleeing against Ciobanu. Challenge lost, so 5-4 now and a shot on top for Fumita, who immediately turns him for two. 6-5 Japan, 3:37 to go.
Second period, Ciobanu bullrushes, but Fumita moves out of the way, no stepout. Big throw off double overs, called a two and it's 8-5 now with two minutes remaining. Restart with 58 to go. Ciobanu throws a righty underhook. Fumita pushes back, trying to snap. Ciobanu jumps and Fumita catches him, plants him, but no two. Several more flying squirrel attempts and Fumita gets a four out of it to win 12-5.
Kazakhstan trying to get the job done here and qualify. Viktor Nemes of Serbia up 3-0, two minutes in. Challenge on D, and points are wiped off. Also wiped off on A. Liakh (BLR) leas 1-0 over Armenia on B. CHALYAN of Armenia with the takedown to a take a 2-1 lead. Geraei up 1-0 over Sweden. Lorincz gets Lithuania put down but can't turn him. The crowd erupts as KAZ gets a turn, but they had already blown the whistle. Here come the boos. Guess they didn't blow the whistle, points on the board. Nemes coming at him like a bat out of hell now. Serbia is not happy with the way this one is being officiated. I think they iare challenging for a headbutt. Challenge lost and KAZ leads 4-3. Another whistle and the Serbian coaches are gong nuts, 12 to go. They go out of bounds but it's ruled a straight arm push, and they've already lost their challenge.
Sergey Emelin (RUS) hammered Ainagulov in the first and leads 7-0 at the break. Nejati (IRI) got Fumita (JPN) put down and was up 1-0 at the break. A couple throw attempts by KAZ, all called slips. Nejati is not surrendering an inch to Fumita. Emelin closes it out with a stepout to make his second straight world final. Fumita finally getting his chance on top at 2:02. That was all he needed as Fumita rolls Nejati up four times to win 9-1.
Top side is Alex Kessidis (SWE) against Karapet Chalyan (ARM). Kessidis takes the lead on a stepout. They trade stepouts but Chalyan gets a second to take the 2-1 lead at the half. Second period has started, but no passives being offered with points on the board. Chalyan driving forward, but at the last second Kessidis with a belly to belly to take a 5-2 lead. That is how the match will end.
Bottom side is Tamas Lorincz (HUN) facing Askhat Dilmukhamedov (KAZ). The host nation got their chance on top, but Dilmukhamedov could not get a turn. Second period has started and they confirm passive, Lorincz gets his first shot on top. He goes reverse lift, falls and doesn't get KAZ to roll through. Lorincz holding center and the Cinderella story of Dilmukhamedov falls short of the finals, and once again Roman Vlasov will not medal.
Up top is Oscar Pino Hinds (CUB) against Amir Ghasemimonjezi (IRI). The Iranian is holding center and attempts a throw, but it called a slip. As expected, Pino gets put down but not turned. Cuba finishes the go behind to take a 2-1 lead 19 seconds in. After a Caution+2 for headbutting, Iran rushes in and forces the stepout, 4-2 now. Pino hits a throwby and wins 6-2 for his second world medal.
Down below is Eduard Popp (GER) facing Riza Kayaalp (TUR). Popp is also able to fight off the turn attempts of Kayaalp. Once again Popp goes down. This time Turkey gets a turn. A late stepout is not enough and Kayaalp makes another world final, his 10th career world or Olympic medal.
Mate Nemes (SRB) vs Fredrik Bjerrehuus (DEN) and we've got a slip right away. Right before they were going to call passive, Nemes took control of the match. A four point throw into a gut made it 6-0, then an arm throw on the edge finished it at 10-0.
U23 World champ Mohamed El Sayed (EGY) vs three-time world champ Frank Staebler (GER). El Sayed gets the first point and Staebler goes down at 4:40. Huge lift to the side arch and El Sayed is up 5-0. Back on their feet and the German is trying to take ground. He's attacking El Sayed's right side. Arm drag and El Sayed lost his footing, going out to make it 5-1. Another drag but Staebler can't get to rear standing and the period ends.
Back to action and El Sayed ties up Germany's left side. Staebler is hanging on the Egyptian's left wrist, then his right. He pushes forward, El Sayed tries to clear but slips and Staebler finishes the go behind. Missed it, but there was a Caution+2 and Staebler is on top, but trailing on criteria. No points but Staebler is pushing the pace with under two minutes to go. El Sayed keeps the lead on criteria but he may be fading. Arm drag leads to a stepout and the 6-5 lead for Staebler. Whistle with 10 seconds left and that'll do it, Staebler wins his fifth career medal.
This is going to be bonkers. Ismael Borrero Molina (CUB) in blue taking on Artem Surkov (RUS) in red. Immediate chants of RU-SS-IA. Borrero buzzsawed his way into the finals and is trying to dominate Surkov here. Surkov hit for passive, Borrero goes up 1-0 at 4:33 and lines up right side. Surkov swimming forward, the Cuban bouncing, finally picks a side and hits a lefty gut to go up 3-0. Whistle blown at 3:40, calling for head up on Borrero. They'll head into the break with it still 3-0, though Surkov nearly finished a go behind as time expired.
Second period and Surkov maybe looking for front head. Borrero leading left and attempts an arm throw, white paddled. Surkov creeping forward and he gets one, Borrero goes down at 2:09. Even with 23 seconds on top Surkov couldn't create any scoring opportunities. Whistle at 1:28, and the chants start again. The ref offered to put Borrero down again even though you can't do that twice in one period. He blows it dead with 34 to go and Surkov gets blood cleaned off him.
Mikalai Stadub (BLR) in the red and Denis Kudla (GER) in the blue. Euro bronze Kudla takes the lead on passive at the 4:40 mark. No turn, back on their feet. A slip called, but nothing else of note and that's how the first period ends. Kudla, who was runner-up in 2017, is looking for his second world medal, to go along with his Olympic bronze. But Stadub gets on top at the 2:15 mark. The 2016 University silver can't get a turn but leads on criteria. Passive against Stadub and Kudla goes up 2-1. The result of their Euro bronze match is repeated, but that one went 3-1. Kudla wins 2-1.
Last one was two Euros, this one is two Asians. Rustam ASSAKALOV (UZB) is in the blue and Atabek AZISBEKOV (KGZ) is in the red. Assakalov winging some underhooks at Azisbekov. Arm throw attempt by Assakalov white paddled. He gets hit for passive. Up and out is Assakalov. They are looking to put Azisbekov down, and they do at the 2:33 mark. Assakalov attempts a lefty gut, gets himself in trouble and reversed to his back. He comes up pointing to his leg. KGZ challenges, saying they put him to his back. The challenge is won by UZB and they're back down. Slip call, up to their feet. Stepout for Azisbekov. A missed arm drag and Assakalov gets the takedown to make it 6-2. He gets back on the podium after not earning one since 2015, when he was silver in Vegas.
Viktor Lorincz (HUN) won two medals and wrestled for another last quad, but had yet to win one since Rio. His opponent Zhan Beleniuk (UKR) won in 2015, beating Lorincz 3-1 en route to this only title. He also won bronze in 2014 and was silver in Rio and last year in Budapest. Beleniuk on top at the 4:44 mark, looking low gut left, and almost gets it but Lorincz fights it off. Goes righty low gut, and fought off again, blown dead at 4:22. Beleniuk looking for a headlock but Lorincz fights out of it.
Second period starting. 2:19 passive against Beleniuk, Lorincz leading now. Lorincz doesn’t look particularly interested in risking his lead. Another minute goes by, and Lorincz gets hit for passive. Beleniuk holds on to win.
Poland vs Serbia coming up. Tadeusz Michalik went through repechage today to make it, while Mihail Kajaia made it to the semis and got teched by Musa Evloev. Kajaia has a definite size advantage, but it will be Michalik going on top first. Kajaia really defended that righty gut well, back on their feet. Kajaia makes the most of his shot on top, turning Michalik four times sewing up the bronze.
Cenk Ildem (TUR) vs Giorgi Melia (GEO). It is Ildem getting on top first, 4:35 left. No turns in 24 seconds and back to their feet. Melia's turn on top in the second. 1:52 left, Georgia leading on criteria. Another passivity and Ildem goes up 2-1 in the final minute. Throwby to rear standing and Ildem finishes it on the mat, 4-1 lead with 25 seconds remaining.
Great way to close out the night. Four-time world and Olympic champ Artur Aleksanyan (ARM) against last year's champ Musa Evloev (RUS). Just kidding. Never seen this before, but Evloev wins by medical forfeit in the finals. That's a wrap, see you tomorrow for the start of women's freestyle.