MAHSHAHR, Iran (January 25) - The finalists of the Takhti Cup International Greco-Roman Wrestling Tournament were determined in the southern port of Iran, Mahshahr.
Turkey had a brilliant performance on the opening day, sending six wrestlers to the finals, outperforming Iran and Kazakhstan, which sent four wrestlers to the finals.
The tournament is the first UWW ranking series event in Greco-Roman.
55kg final: Bachana PUTKARADZE (GEO) vs. Ekrem OEZTUREK (TUR)
20-year-old wrestler Ekrem OEZTUREK from Turkey stormed to final match, earning 27 points during his three matches. Oezturek will meet Bachana PUTKARADZE (GEO) in the finals.
60kg final: Mehrdad MARDANI (IRI) vs. Uzur DZHUZUPBEKOV (KGZ)
Iranian Mehrdad MARDANI did a great job defeating 2017 world silver medal winner Meirambek AINAGULOV (KAZ) 4-0 in the semifinals, while, three-time Asian junior medal winner Uzur DZHUZUPBEKOV (KGZ) beat Dastan ZARLYKHANOV (KAZ).
Both finalists represented their countries at the 2017 World Championships in Paris.
63kg final: Kudaibergen TURSYNOV (KAZ) vs. Kaly SULAIMANOV (KGZ)
Former junior world champion Kaly SULAIMANOV (KGZ) proved himself in senior level competition, edging Iranian favorite Mohammad NOURBAKHSH 3-0 in the semifinals. He will meet Kudaibergen TURSYNOV (KAZ) in the finals.
67kg final: Fevzi MAMUTOV (UKR) vs. Almat KEBISPAYEV (KAZ)
The big surprise in this weight class came when Olympic and world champion Ismael BORRERO MOLINA (CUB) lost by fall to Ukranian Fevzi MAMUTOV in the quarterfinals. Borrero, who has moved up from 59kg to 67kg, was ahead in the match against Mamutov but lost the match in a moment.
Mamutov also downed returning Takhti Cup champ Mohammad ELYASI (IRI) by technical fall 12-2. Elyasi placed fifth at the 2017 World Championships.
Three-time world medalist Almat KEBISPAYEV (KAZ) is another finalist at 67kg. Kebispayev beat Turkish junior and U-23 team member Murat FIRAT 4-2. Kebispayev also had a tough match in the first round, beating 2017 world bronze medal winner Atakan YUEKSEL (TUR) 3-1.
72kg final: Demeu ZHADRAYEV (KAZ) vs. Murat DAG (TUR)
U-23 world bronze medalist Murat DAG (TUR) had a technical fall victory over Ibragim MAGOMADOV (KAZ), 8-0 in the semifinals. He will meet Demeu ZHADRAYEV (KAZ) in the finale.
Zhadrayev, a 2017 world silver medal winner, had a brilliant performance as he beat Goga GOGIBERASHVILI (GEO) by technical fall 14-6 and had a victory by fall against Iranian Farshad BELFEKE (RI) in the quarterfinals.
Dag also did a great job in the first round, beating former world bronze medal winner Afshin BYABANGAR (IRI), 7-3.
77kg final: Mohammadali GERAEI (IRI) vs. Serkan AKKOYUN (TUR)
World bronze medal winner Mohammadali GERAEI moved up from 71kg to 77kg and was successful in his new weight class. He downed Borouman ASLAN (IRI) 4-3 in the semifinals.
Serkan AKKOYUN (TUR) was another finalist at 77kg as he defeated Iranian Pejman PASHTAN in a narrow semifinal match. Akkoyun also won the match against 2017 U-23 world champion Fatih CENGIZ (TUR) in the first round.
82kg final: Emrah KUS (TUR) vs. Daniel ALEKSANDROV (BUL)
Daniel ALEKSANDROV was the only finalist for Bulgaria at the Takhti Cup, defeating Iranian Keyvan REZAEI in the semifinals 3-1. Aleksandorv, who placed fifth in Paris, defeated U-23 world champion Burhan AKBUDAK 4-0 in the quarterfinals.
2013 world bronze medal winner Emrah KUS (TUR) edged Yaroslav FILCHAKOV (UKR), 2-1 in another semifinal match.
The big surprise Iranian world bronze medalist Yousef GHADERIAN losing to Rezaei 6-3.
87kg final: Saman AZIZI (IRI) vs. Khussein MUTSOLGOV (KAZ)
Saman AZIZI (IRI) and Khussein MUTSOLGOV (KAZ) defeated KATSANASHVILI (GEO) and SHIRDAKOV (KGZ) respectively to advance to the finals at 87kg.
2017 world champion Metehan BASAR (TUR) didn’t continue in the tournament after his first win against Arman ALIZADEH (IRI).
97kg final: Orkhan NURIYEV (AZE) vs. Cenk ILDEM (TUR)
The gold medal at 97kg will go to Turkey or Azerbaijan. Olympic bronze medal winner Jenk ILDEM (TUR) downed Dorin PIRVAN (ROM) 3-0 in the semifinals. Orkhan NURIYEV (AZE) beat Mohammad YEGANEH (IRI) 3-2.
It is not the first battle of Ildem and Huriyev. These wrestlers competed against each other in a match at the 2015 European Games, which Ildem won.
130kg final: Behnam MEHDIZADEH (IRI) vs. Osman YILDIRIM (TUR)
Two-time Asian champion Behnam MEHDIZADEH (IRI) had a narrow win over 2017 Iran team member Shahab GHOUREHJILI (IRI). He will meet Osman YILDIRIM (TUR) in the finals. Yildirim had a 4-1 victory over Alin ALEXUC (ROM) the semifinals.
The repechage and finals of the Takhti Cup will be held on Friday from 10 a.m. local time.
Bachana PUTKARADZE (GEO) df. Ibrahim NURULLAYEV (AZE), 3 – 1
Ekrem OEZTURK (TUR) df. Ziyad ZEYNALOV (AZE), 12 - 6
K. ZHOLCHUBEKOV (KGZ) TF. Dastan ZARLYKHANOV (KAZ), 11 - 1
Mehrdad MARDANI (IRI) df. Mirambek AINAGULOV (KAZ), 4 – 0
Kudaibergen TURSYNOV (KAZ) df. Khvicha TCHITAVA (GEO), 6 - 6
K. SULAYMANOV (KGZ) df. Mohammad NOURBAKHSH (IRI), 3 – 0
Fevzi MAMUTOV (UKR) TF. Mohammad ELYASI (IRI), 12-2
Almat KEBISPAYEV (KAZ) df. Murat FIRAT (TUR), 4-2
Murat DAG (TUR) TF. Ibragim MAGOMADOV (KAZ), 8 - 0
Demeu ZHADRAYEV (KAZ) TF. Goga GOGIBERASHVILI (GEO), 14 – 6
Mohammadali GERAEI (IRI) df. Boroomand aslan GHAREHDAGHI (IRI), 4 - 3
Serkan AKKOYUN (TUR) df. Pejman PASHTAM (IRI), 5 – 5
Emrah KUS (TUR) df. Yaroslav FLICHAKOV (UKR), 2 - 1
Daniel ALEKSANDROV (BUL) df. Keivan REZAEI (IRI), 3 – 1
Saman AZIZI (IRI) df. Giorgi KATSANASHVILI (GEO), 4 - 3
Khussein MUTSOLGOV (KAZ) df. S. SHIRDAKOV (KGZ), 4 – 1
Cenk ILDEM (TUR) df. Dorin constantin PIRVAN (ROU), 3 - 0
Orkhan NURIYEV (AZE) df. Mohammad YEGANEH (IRI), 3 – 2
Osman YILDIRIM (TUR) df. Ciurariu alin ALEXUC (ROU), 4-1
Behnam MEHDIZADEH (IRI) df. Shahab GHOUREHJILI