Putkaradze upgrades silver to U17 world gold; Iran wins GR team title
Wednesday, July 27, 2022 - 19:58 By Vinay Siwach
ROME, Italy (July 27) -- Over the last year, Anri PUTKARADZE (GEO) has suffered a few heartbreaks. Out of them, the biggest was his 6-6 loss to Imed KHUDZHADZE (UKR) in the 65kg final at the '21 U17 World Championships in Budapest.
Last month, Putkaradze was the favorite to win the gold at the U17 European Championships but was shocked in the pre-quarterfinals as he suffered a 7-6 loss to Antal VAMOS (SRB).
In Rome, when the draw for 71kg at the U17 World Championships was released, he was in for some tough bouts. European champion Ibrahim OZDEMIR (TUR), Arvin KHOSRAVY (USA) and even Vamos were drawn on the same side of the bracket. As he navigated his way to the quarterfinals, his first big test came against Khosravy. He won the bout 10-0 to set up a semifinal against Ozdemir. The first 20 seconds witnessed Putkaradze getting a four but Ozdemir recoved with a reversal and gut wrench. Putkaradze led 6-3 at the break. Just when it seemed that Ozdemir will make a comeback, Putkaradze flung a body lock throw for four and secured the fall to enter the final for the second straight year.
A day later, Putkaradze wrestled European silver medalist Davud MAMMADOV (AZE) in the final. Putting his past heartbreaks behind and wrestling with some tactics, Putkaradze won the gold medal, the first of his career, with a 3-1 win against Mammadov.
The 17-year-old got the advantage when Mammadov was called passive in the first period. He then managed to roll the Azerbaijan wrestler and lead 3-0 at the break. Putkaradze had to defend his lead for two minutes.
In his previous finals, he had failed to do so but in Rome, Putkaradze gave up a point for passivity but defended from par terre to win the gold 3-1.
Gor AYVAZYAN (GEO) celebrates after winning the 92kg gold medal. (Photo: UWW / Kadir Caliskan)
Another Georgian wrestler who made amends from last year's medalless finish was Gor AYVAZYAN (GEO). He gave the nation a second gold of the night by winning the 92kg final. He was pinned despite leading in Budapest last year and finished eighth.
But he made sure there were no slip-ups in this edition. Wrestling European Championships bronze medalist Darius KIEFER (GER) in the final, Ayvazyan showed the gulf in class, finishing the bout with gut wrenches inside the first period.
He used the same technique to win his semifinal against Asian bronze medalist Hamidreza KESHTKAR (IRI) 5-3. After giving up a turn from par terre in the first period, Ayvazyan got two when Keshtkar was put in par terre.
Overall, the Georgian outscored his opponents 34-5 in four bouts.
Aytjan KHALMAKHANOV (UZB) pinned Mohammadreza GHOLAMI (IRI) in the 51kg final. (Photo: UWW / Kadir Caliskan)
Despite the two gold medals Wednesday, Georgia failed to defend its team title and finished third with 121 points. Iran won the top honors with 135 points while Europe's best team Azerbaijan finished second with 130 points.
Iran had one finalist Wednesday and could have locked up the team title if Asian champion Mohammadreza GHOLAMI (IRI) had defeated Aytjan KHALMAKHANOV (UZB). Instead, he got pinned when Khalmakhanov stopped his bearhug throw and kept him on the mat. Gholami tried to escape the fall but Khalmakhanov had perfect control with both hands behind his opponent's back.
This was Uzbekistan's fifth Greco-Roman title and first in four years at the U17 World Championships. Khalmakhanov has now joined Abror ATABAEV (UZB), Lazizkhon UZBEKOV (UZB), Elbek ERGASHEV (UZB) and Turabek TIRKASHEV (UZB) as the nation's U17 world champs.
Yevhen PKOVBA (UKR) added a U17 World gold to his European gold. (Photo: UWW / Martin Gabor)
Uzbekistan could have had a second world champion in Rome but European champion Yevhen POKOVBA (UKR) had different ideas.
Asian champion Shakhzod RUZIOKHUNOV (UZB) tried all he could but was unable to break the defense of Pokovba in the 45kg final, as the Ukrainian won the gold with a thumping 9-0 win.
Pokovba got the advantage in the first period when Ruziokhunov was called passive. He got two turns from par terre to lead 5-0 at the break.
Seeing no other option, Ruziokhunov tried an arm throw but Pokovba stopped him midway and converted it into a takedown. He then got another turn to finish the bout with 1:29 remaining.
The final may have turned out to be easy for Pokovba but he was made to work hard to reach the gold medal bout.
Wrestling Asian silver medalist Payam AHMADI (IRI) in the semifinals, Pokovba was trailing 3-0 when he got a lucky chest wrap and two turns to lead 6-5 at the break. Ahmadi got the head-pinch for two but opened his hands at the last moment which resulted in two for Pokovba as well. Ahmadi's final attack came a second too late as Pokovba won 9-7.
Gaspar TERTERYAN (ARM) became only the third U17 Greco-Roman world champ from Armenia. (Photo: UWW / Martin Gabor)
The fifth gold of the night when to Armenia as Gaspar TERTERYAN (ARM) became the nation's third-ever U17 Greco-Roman world champion.
Karen KHACHATARYAN (ARM) won the title in 2018, ending a 25-year wait for the nation. Terteryan's gold also helped Armenia put behind a medalless show in Budapest.
While it was a moment to savor for Terteryan, he denied France a piece of history. Lucas LO GRASSO (FRA), the first-ever Greco-Roman U17 World finalist for France, was aiming to become the nation's first-ever world champion but fell short.
In the 60kg final, Lo Grasso was called passive and Terteryan managed to get a turn to lead 3-0 at the break. Lo Grasso went for the arm throw in the second period but had an awkward fall which did not count as a slip and Terteryan was awarded two points. He added another turn to make it 7-0.
Between the two moves, France had challenged for a slip but they lost the challenge and Terteryan got the winning point in the 8-0 win.
Sowaka UCHIDA (JPN) reached the 57kg final with 3 technical superiority wins and one fall. (Photo: UWW / Kadir Caliskan)
Japan sends 3 in WW finals
Women's wrestling also began at the U17 Worlds with gold medal bouts of five weight classes set. Japan, returning to the competition after skipping the previous edition, managed to enter three wrestlers in the gold medal bouts.
Sowaka UCHIDA (JPN) led the way for Japan as she destroyed her opponents to make the 57kg final. She is yet to give up a single point after four bouts as her wins include three technical superiority and one fall.
In the final, she will face European silver medalist Gerda TEREK (HUN) who avenged her Bucharest final loss to Tuba DEMIR (TUR) with a fall.
At 49kg, Mihoko TAKEUCHI (JPN) set up a gold medal bout with returning bronze and European champion Ruzanna MAMMADOVA (AZE).
Like Uchida, Takeuchi has also dominated the show with three technical superiority wins. But Mammadova may prove to be a tough opponent in the final.
Mammadov had a tough quarterfinal against Sevval CAYIR (TUR), an opponent she beat in Euros semifinal. A month ago, the score was 8-5 but Wednesday, Cayir closed the gap to one point, losing an extremely close bout 3-2.
Anju SATO (JPN) would consider her lucky to reach the final at 65kg against Maria PANTIRU (ROU). Sato was awarded points for a leg lace when Zharkynai NURLAN KYZY (KGZ) was well outside the zone in the semifinal. Sato won 6-5.
Pantiru avenged her European lost to Reka VAN OS (NED) with a fall and then made her way to the semifinal against Viktoria FOELDESIOVA (SVK). She controlled the bout and won 8-2.
Erica PASTORIZA (USA), red, is one win away from her second world title. (Photo: UWW / Martin Gabor)
At 43kg, returning world champion Erica PASTORIZA (USA) will be eyeing her second world title. Just one win away, she will face Asian champion RITIKA (IND) in the final.
Ritika's semifinal against Anastasiia POLSKA (UKR) was the only time she could not get a victory via fall. She won 7-0 to enter the final.
Pastoriza used the ankle-pick to great effect throughout the day to reach her second straight U17 World final.
The defending champion at 73kg Priya MALIK (IND) will try to win her second straight gold after reaching the final. But she will have to beat European bronze medalist Mariia ZENKINA (UKR) for that.
Zenkina pinned Makoto KOMADA (JPN) to reach the final and will now hope to upset Malik.
GOLD: Yevhen POKOVBA (UKR) df. Shakhzod RUZIOKHUNOV (UZB), 9-0
BRONZE: Huseyn SAVADOV (AZE) df. Ionut MEREUTA (ROU), 9-0
BRONZE: Payam AHMADI BALOOTAKI (IRI) df. Beknur MUKAN (KAZ), 9-0
GOLD: Aytjan KHALMAKHANOV (UZB) df. Mohammadreza GHOLAMI (IRI), via fall
BRONZE: MANISH (IND) df. Ali SUMBUL (TUR), 8-0
BRONZE: Vadat GASIMLI (AZE) df. Anri KHOZREVANIDZE (GEO), 4-3
GOLD: Gaspar TERTERYAN (ARM) df. Lucas LO GRASSO (FRA), 8-0
BRONZE: Omar MOURAD (EGY) df. Emirlan DUISHENALIEV (KGZ), 7-2
BRONZE: Yussuf ASHRAPOV (KAZ) df. Abolfazl MIRSHEKAR (IRI), via fall (11-10)
GOLD: Anri PUTKARADZE (GEO) df. Davud MAMMADOV (AZE), 3-1
BRONZE: Maksym RADYK (UKR) vs. Ararat VARDERESYAN (ARM), 12-1
BRONZE: Ibrahim OZDEMIR (TUR) df. Arvin KHOSRAVY (USA), 5-3
GOLD: Gor AYVAZYAN (GEO) df. Darius KIEFER (GER), 9-0
BRONZE: Cody MERRILL (USA) df. Marcell GYURICZA (HUN), 3-1
BRONZE: Hamidreza KESHTKAR (IRI) df. Riccardo BUFIS (ITA), via fall
GOLD: Erica PASTORIZA (USA) vs RITIKA (IND)
SF 1: Erica PASTORIZA (USA) df. Arina ABDULLINA (KAZ), 12-2
SF 2: RITIKA (IND) df. Anastasiia POLSKA (UKR), 7-0
GOLD: Ruzanna MAMMADOVA (AZE) vs Mihoko TAKEUCHI (JPN)
SF 1: Ruzanna MAMMADOVA (AZE) df. Aiymgul ABYLOVA (KAZ), 10-0
SF 2: Mihoko TAKEUCHI (JPN) df. Fabiana RINELLA (ITA), 12-1
GOLD: Sowaka UCHIDA (JPN) vs Gerda TEREK (HUN)
SF 1: Sowaka UCHIDA (JPN) df. Ulmeken ESENBAEVA (UZB), via fall
SF 2: Gerda TEREK (HUN) df. Tuba DEMIR (TUR), via fall
GOLD: Anju SATO (JPN) vs Maria PANTIRU (ROU)
SF 1: Anju SATO (JPN) df. Zharkynai NURLAN KYZY (KGZ), 6-5
SF 2: Maria PANTIRU (ROU) df. Viktoria FOELDESIOVA (SVK), 8-2
GOLD: Mariia ZENKINA (UKR) vs Priya MALIK (IND)
SF 1: Mariia ZENKINA (UKR) df. Makoto KOMADA (JPN), via fall
SF 2: Priya MALIK (IND) df. Alina YERTOSTIK (KAZ), via fall