European OG Qualifier: Greco-Roman Paris 2024 qualification bouts set

By United World Wrestling Press

BAKU, Azerbaijan (April 5) -- European OG Qualifier kicks off in Baku, Azerbaijan with Greco-Roman. Six Olympic weight classes will run through on day one with 12 Olympic spots on offer. The six weight classes are -- 60kg, 67kg, 77kg, 87kg, 97kg and 130kg.

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Here are the Paris 2024 qualification bouts for the evening session


Krisztian VANCZA (HUN) vs Parviz NASIBOV (UKR)
Gevorg SAHAKYAN (POL) vs. Mamadassa SYLLA (FRA)

Alexandrin GUTU (MDA) vs. Burhan AKBUDAK (TUR)
Zoltán LÉVAI (HUN) vs. Jonni SARKKINEN (FIN)

Turpal BISULTANOV (DEN) vs. Aleksandr KOMAROV (SRB)

Mihail KAJAIA (SRB) vs. Mindaugas VENCKAITIS (LTU)


15:05: Milad ALIRZAEV (AIN) ends Exauce MUKUBU (NOR) entertaining campaign with a 10-2 win at 87kg. He will wrestle in the semifinals later tonight 

14:50: Anvar ALLAKHIAROV (AIN) beats Leri ABULADZE (GEO) 4-0 and will move into the semifinals at 60kg. Abuladze was called passive in both periods and Allakhiarov scored a turn as well, winning 4-0.

14:40: Alexandru GUTU (MDA) will wrestle in the 77kg as he beats Adlet TIULIUBAEV (AIN) 5-3 in the quarterfinals. Tiuliubaev scored only one turn from par terre in the second period and failed to get the lead.

14:35: Enes BASAR (TUR) dashes the hopes of local fans as he beats European champion Nihat MAMMADLI (AZE) 3-1 in the 60kg quarterfinals. He will be wrestling in the semifinals later today

14:30: Turpal BISULTANOV (DEN) doesn't leave anything to chance this time. He gets a chest wrap and rolls to a 9-0 win over Mihail BRADU (MDA) and moves into the semifinal at 87kg against European champion Aleksandr KOMAROV (SRB).

14:20: Victor CIOBANU (MDA) with another quick win at 60kg. He beats Justas PETRAVICIUS (LTU) 14-0 and moves into the semifinal for the evening session.

14:10: Burhan AKBUDAK (TUR) hits a front five-pointer over Antonio KAMENJASEVIC (CRO) before finishing the bout 11-0. He reaches the 77kg semifinals.

14:00: European champion Sergei SEMENOV (AIN) with a 1-1 win over Heiki NABI (EST) at 130kg. He moves into the semifinals for the evening session. One more win to earn a Paris 2024 quota

13:45: Is that the upset of the tournament so far? Lucas LAZOGIANIS (GER) beats European silver medalist Magomed MURTAZALIEV (AIN) 1-1 in the 97kg 1/8 finals. The result means that Murtazaliev will not be able to win a Paris 2024 quota from Baku

13:30: Victor CIOBANU (MDA) wastes no time beating Melkamu FETENE (ISR) 11-0 and advancing to the quarterfinals at 60kg. Typical Ciobanu big throws.

13:25: Two Norway wrestlers advance to the quarterfinals. Felix BALDAUF (NOR) beats Arvi SAVOLAINEN (FIN) 7-1 at 97kg and Exauce MUKUBU (NOR) wins 9-0 against Martynas NEMSEVICIUS (LTU) at 87kg

13:20: Local star and European champion Nihat MAMMADLI (AZE) on the mat for his first bout at 60kg. He is taking on Oleksii MASYK (UKR).  The first par terre advantage goes to Mammadli and he scores four. But Masyk manages to block the second attempt and gets a point for stepout. Mammadli leads 5-1 at the break. Maysk with a par terre advantage in the second period but no points were scored. Mammadli leads 5-2 and will win with that score.

13:15: Leri ABULADZE (GEO) with an effortless 9-1 win over Razvan ARNAUT (ROU). He scores all his points in the second period from par terre to win.

12:55: Ivan HUKLEK (CRO) would be kicking himself as he let go of a 5-0 lead against Aleksandr KOMAROV (SRB) and lost 7-5. Huklek got the first par terre advantage and two for caution as Komarov blocked his attack. He scored a turn to lead 5-0. But in the second period, Komarov brought out his gut wrench and won 7-5.

12:45: Selcuk CAN (TUR) cannot catch a break from come-from-behind victories. From the brink of defeat, he wins 10-7 against Ruslan BICHURIN (AIN) at 67kg. Bichurin scored three turns from par terre to lead 7-0 but as he was going for a fourth, Can blocked him and tried a pin. Bichurin fouled and was cautioned. Can, from par terre, scored a throw to make the score 7-6. In the second period, Can hit a four-pointer to win 10-7

12:30: Two wrestlers returning from shoulder surgeries, Turpal BISULTANOV (DEN) and Islam ABBASOV (AZE) at 87kg. Bisultanov gets blocked in par terre and Abbasov gets a 2-1 lead. Bisultanov gets close to scoring a takedown twice in the second period but he gets called passive. Abbasov leads 3-1 and scores three turns from par terre to win 9-1. Denmark challenges the call and on review, Abbasov is seen grabbing the singlet. Abbasov's lead back to 3-1. Bisultanov with a takedown to take a 3-3 criteria lead. He scores another takedown and extends the lead to 5-3 and will finish the bout with a win.

12:20: Parviz NASIBOV (UKR) is up against Abu AMAEV (BUL) and gets the first par terre advantage. He scores two turns to lead 5-0. Amaev gets the advantage in the second period but fails to score. Nasibov leads 5-1. He wins with the same score to advance at 67kg.

12:00: Burhan AKBUDAK (TUR) is now in the quarterfinals at 77kg. He beats Oldrich VARGA (CZE) 4-1 and is now two wins away from a Paris 2024 spot. On Mat C, the European champion at 130kg Sergei SEMENOV (AIN) beats Dzmitry ZARUBSKI (AIN) 4-0.

11:50: Alexandru GUTU (MDA) is on Mat B against Patryk BEDNARZ (POL) and he gets his trademark front headlock four-pointer to lead 5-0 at the break. He gets another point for offense in the second period and wins 6-0.

11:35: A 5-1 victory for Leri ABULADZE (GEO) at 60kg. The 63kg world champion is hoping to qualify Georgia for the Paris Games at the new weight class.

11:30: Nikoloz KAKHELASHVILI (ITA) takes out Alex SZOKE (HUN) with a 1-1 win. The wrestlers exchanged passivity points and Kakhelashvili got the advantage in the second period to claim the win

11:19: Two friends Exauce MUKUBU (NOR) and Marcel STERKENBURG (NED) up against each other at 87kg. Sterkenburg leads 1-1 at the break but Mukubu takes a 2-1 lead before adding a takedown and roll for a 6-1 victory.

10:55: Selcuk CAN (TUR) and Kristupas SLEIVA (LTU) are coming on Mat C. Sleiva with a four-pointer to begin the match but Can answers with one of his own. Can with a lift but Sleiva blocks his second action and gets two points. Can scores a takedown to take a 6-6 lead at the break. Can scores a takedown but Sleiva asks for a break. Sleiva challenges but the takedown is confirmed and he takes a 9-6 lead with 23 seconds left. Can will advance to the next round.

10:42: Burhan AKBUDAK (TUR) gets his campaign going with a 7-4 win over Riccardo ABBRESCIA (ITA) at 77kg. On Mat C, Deni NAKAEV (GER) drops his first bout to Ilie COJOCARI (ROU) and France's 72kg world champion Ibrahim GHANEM (FRA) fails to advance after a 5-1 loss to Adlet TIULIUBAEV (AIN).

10:30: Welcome to the European OG Qualifier in Baku. The competition will run on three mats with the winners of the semifinals qualifying their nations for the Paris Olympic Games. There will be no repechage, bronze or gold-medal bouts.


Golden hattrick for Kougiomtsidis, historic gold for Lefter at U23 Euros

By United World Wrestling Press

BAKU, Azerbaijan (May 25) -- Georgios KOUGIOUMTSIDIS (GRE) seems to enjoy competing against Azerbaijani wrestlers.

In September last year at the World Championships, the former European champion got the better of Turan BAYRAMOV (AZE) in the fifth-place bout to book his Paris Olympics quota. On Saturday, he underlined his preparedness for this summer’s Games by defeating another Azerbaijan wrestler, Ali TCOKAEV (AZE).

And in doing so, he completed a rare golden hat-trick. A U23 European champion in 2022 and 2023, Kougioumtsidis completed the ‘three-peat’ in style. The 22-year-old needed barely five minutes to reach the semifinals, where he had to dig into his experience to overcome rookie wrestler Arsen BALAIAN (AIN).

Georgios KOUGIOUMTSIDIS (GRE)Georgios KOUGIOUMTSIDIS (GRE) won his third successive U23 European Championships gold medal. (Photo: United World Wrestling / Kadir Caliskan)

In the final, Kougioumtsidis was up against the local hero Tcokaev. Only 21, the Azerbaijan wrestler was looking for his first-ever gold medal in this competition. Like his opponent, Tcokaev looked sharp coming into the final and he was the one making all the early moves. But in a blink of an eye, the wrestler from Greece turned the 79kg final on its head.

Kougioumtsidis was placed on the passivity clock just over a minute into the bout. That call seemed to have woken him up from his slumber. As the clock ticked down, Kougioumtsidis first went for Tcokaev’s left leg but the Azerbaijani was quick to defend. He then went for the right. This time, not only did he successfully execute the single-leg attack, but Kougioumtsidis also tripped him for a four-pointer.

Tcokaev tried making a comeback but Kougioumtsidis used his long limbs to keep his opponent at bay and closed out the match 4-1, not scoring any more points.

It was a statement win. But it also broke the hearts of the home fans who were expecting to see their wrestlers turn on the style on the penultimate day of the championships. Instead, they had to witness two Azerbaijani defeats in the finals.

Inalbek SHERIEV (AIN)Inalbek SHERIEV (AIN) won the 70kg gold medal after beating Kanan HEYBATOV (AZE) in the final. (Photo: United World Wrestling / Kadir Caliskan)

Moments before Tcokaev lost to Kougioumtsidis, Kanan HEYBATOV (AZE) was defeated 6-2 by Inalbek SHERIEV (AIN) in the 70kg final.

Sheriev’s was one of the three Individual Neutral Athletes who won gold medals on Saturday. The finals session on the second last day of championships began with Artem GOBAEV (AIN) beating Muhammet KARAVUS (TUR) 8-3 for the 57kg gold medal.

Gobaev was dominant throughout the final, deftly evading Karavus’s moves and launching vicious counterattacks to give his Turkish rival no chance of winning and being crowned as the U23 continental champion for the first time.

Ibragim IBRAGIMOV (AIN)Ibragim IBRAGIMOV (AIN) captured the 65kg title after beating defending champion Khamzat ARSAMERZOUEV (FRA). (Photo: United World Wrestling / Kadir Caliskan)

If Gobaev was patient enough to capitalize on his opponent’s mistakes, Ibragim IBRAGIMOV (AIN) was like a flashy sports car that takes less than 10 seconds to go full throttle.

Since winning the U23 World Championship title last year, Ibragimov hasn’t had a lot to show from his fledgling wrestling career. Big wins and titles have both been missing. That drought ended in Baku.

Ibragimov had spent less than 10 minutes on the mat on Friday to reach the final, scoring 21 points and allowing just one. But in Khamzat ARSAMERZOUEV (FRA), he was up against the defending U23 European Championship gold medallist in the 65kg final.

He might not have won anything eye-popping of late, but Ibragimov didn’t look too overwhelmed by the quality of his opponent. The Frenchman was still to settle into the final when Ibragimov bent forward and got a grip of his leg for a swift two-point takedown.

The bout was only eight seconds old, but from that moment on, the writing was on the wall. Ibragimov kept chipping away constantly at his opponent to keep the scorecard ticking in his favor through a series of push-outs and passivity points Arsamerzouev conceded.

Eventually, in the battle between the U23 world champion, Ibragimov, and the U23 European champion, it was the former who prevailed 6-2.

Radu LEFTER (MDA)Radu LEFTER (MDA) celebrates after winning the 97kg gold medal, a first for Moldova at the U23 European Championships in Freestyle. (Photo: United World Wrestling / Kadir Caliskan)

Lefter wins historic gold

Radu LEFTER (MDA) will remember this day for a long time. Not only did he win his first gold medal at a championship, Lefter became the first wrestler from Moldova to win a Freestyle gold medal at the U23 European Championships after he defeated Soslan DZHAGAEV (AIN) in the final.

A two-time U23 World Championships silver medalist, Lefter got a huge baggage off his back after winning the gold in Baku. This was Lefter's fourth U23 European Championships where he has previously won a silver and two bronze medals. He also has a silver at the U20 and a bronze at the U17 European Championships.

In Baku, Lefter reached the final after two technical superiority wins but was challenged by Dzhagaev. He was put on the activity clock in the first period and trailed 1-0 at the break. But the second period was a completely different story.

Dzhagaev was put on the activity clock during which he hit a single-leg attack but Lefter countered it with exposure to get two points in addition to one after the activity clock expired to lead 3-1. With the clock ticking, Dzhagaev felt the pressure and made half-attacks, including an inside trip in the final 10 seconds which Lefter countered for a takedown and secure the historic win.

Dzhabrail GADZHIEV (AZE)2022 U23 European champion Dzhabrail GADZHIEV (AZE) will look to win his second title on Sunday. (Photo: United World Wrestling / Jake Kirkman)

Gadzhiev, Magamadov eye titles

On the final day of the competition, former U23 European champion Dzhabrail GADZHIEV (AZE) will face Kamil ABDULVAGABOV (AIN) for the bragging rights in the 74kg.

Abdulvagabov had to overcome a tough opening round where he was stretched all the way by Irahim YAPRAK (TUR) before winning 5-4. After that initial hiccup, Abdulvagabov had little trouble beating other opponents, winning the quarterfinal by technical superiority and scoring a 7-3 win over Krisztian BIRO (ROU).

Gadzhiev’s route was a lot more straightforward wherein he didn’t have to survive any scares, scoring 28 points so far and conceding only 6.

The battle in the 86kg weight class, too, promises to be a mouthwatering as defending champion Rakhim MAGAMADOV (FRA) will face Arslan BAGAEV (AIN). Only 20, Magamadov has a slew of titles to his name and will hope to add another U23 European title to his already impressive trophy cabinet.

In the 125kg class, Alen KHUBULOV (BUL) gave himself a fighting chance to win his first-ever gold medal at an international level after he reached the final, where he will face SOLOMON MANASHVILI (GEO).

Both wrestlers have had more or less an identical path to the final, with Khubulov playing an extra bout as he had to first compete in the qualifying round, which he convincingly won.



GOLD: Artem GOBAEV (AIN) df. Muhammet KARAVUS (TUR), 8-3

BRONZE: Luka GVINJILIA (GEO) df. Thomas EPP (SUI), 4-1
BRONZE: Vladyslav ABRAMOV (UKR) df. Herbert AKAPIAN (AIN), 8-3


BRONZE: Serghei CILCIC (MDA) df. Daniel KULCZYNSKI (POL), 4-0
BRONZE: Abdullah TOPRAK (TUR) df. Ayub MUSAEV (BEL), 3-2

GOLD: Inalbek SHERIEV (AIN) df. Kanan HEYBATOV (AZE), 6-2

BRONZE: Constantin CHIRILOV (MDA) df. Bohdan OLIINYK (UKR), 3-1


BRONZE: Radomir STOYANOV (BUL) df. Marius RETCO (MDA), 6-4

GOLD: Radu LEFTER (MDA) df. Soslan DZHAGAEV (AIN), 6-1

BRONZE: Rifat GIDAK (TUR) df. Ravan MUSAYEV (AZE), 2-2

Freestyle Semifinals


SF 1: Mykyta ABRAMOV (UKR) df. Nuraddin NOVRUZOV (AZE), 15-12
SF 2: Bashir MAGOMEDOV (AIN) df. Simone PIRODDU (ITA), 10-0


SF 1: Dzhabrail GADZHIEV (AZE) df. Luka CHKHITUNIDZE (GEO), 7-4
SF 2: Kamil ABDULVAGABOV (AIN) df. Krisztian BIRO (ROU), 7-3


SF 1: Arslan BAGAEV (AIN) df. Arsenii DZHIOEV (AZE), 5-1
SF 2: Rakhim MAGAMADOV (FRA) df. Emre CIFTCI (TUR), 11-0


SF 1: Adlan VISKHANOV (FRA) df. Mustafagadzhi MALACHDIBIROV (AIN), 10-4
SF 2: Gkivi BLIATZE (GRE) df. Ion DEMIAN (MDA), 4-2


SF 1: Alen KHUBULOV (BUL) df. Abdulla KURBANOV (AIN), 3-2
SF 2: Solomon MANASHVILI (GEO) df. Milan KORCSOG (HUN), 4-1