Russia Sends Five to Saturday Nights #KaspEuro2018 Finals

By Eric Olanowski

KASPIISK, Russia (May 4) – Russia ended the semifinals the same way the entered them, undefeated. The host nation put all five wrestlers into the finals on the fifth day of competition at The Palace of Sport and Youth in Dagestan, Russia. 

2018 57kg European finalist, Zavur UGUEV (RUS). (Photo by Max Rose-Fyne) 

Giorgi EDISHERASHVILI (AZE) will go through Zavur UGUEV (RUS) if he plans on winning back-to-back European titles.

Uguev used three takedowns and two gut wrenches to pick up the 10-0 technical superiority victory on Levan METREVELI VARTANOV (ESP). 


Semifinal - Giorgi EDISHERASHVILI (AZE) df. Uladzislau ANDREYEU (BLR), 4-1 Semifinal - Zavur UGUEV (RUS) df. Levan METREVELI VARTANOV (ESP), 10-0 

Russia's Ilias BEKBULATOV is looking to win back-to-back 65kg European titles as he takes on the three-time world champion, Haji ALIYEV (AZE).

Haji ALIYEV (AZE), the three-time world champion will be tasked with stopping reigning European champion, Ilias BEKBULATOV (RUS) in Saturday night’s finals. 

Ilias Bekbulatov, the 2017 65kg European Champion scored two takedowns and a counter exposure to shut out 2016 Olympic champion and reigning 61kg European champion, Vladimer KHINCHEGASHVILI (GEO), 6-0 in the quarterfinals. 

He followed that up with a 12-0 routing of Poland’s Krzysztof BIENKOWSKI in the semifinals. 


Semifinal - Ilias BEKBULATOV (RUS) df. Krzysztof BIENKOWSKI (POL), 12-0 Semifinal - Haji ALIYEV (AZE) df. David HABAT (SLO), 3-0   Magomed KURBANALIEV (RUS) gets his hand raised after defeating Zurabi IAKOBISHVILI (GEO), 5-5 in the 70kg semifinals.

Poland’s Magomedmurad GADZHIEV, 2017 European runner-up will take on 2016 world champion, Magomed KURBANALIEV (RUS). 

Kurbanaliev nearly gave his finals spot away after losing a five-point lead with under two minutes left in his semifinal bout. Murtazali MUSLIMOV (AZE) scored five unanswered points to tie the match at five, but ultimately Kurbanaliev claimed the victory via criteria. 

GOLD - Magomedmurad GADZHIEV (POL) v. Magomed KURBANALIEV (RUS)

Semifinal - Magomedmurad GADZHIEV (POL) df. Murtazali MUSLIMOV (AZE), 3-2
Semifinal - Magomed KURBANALIEV (RUS) df. Zurabi IAKOBISHVILI (GEO), 5-5

Akhmed GADZHIMAGOMEDOV (RUS), 79kg finalist. (Photo by Max Rose-Fyne)

Russia’s Akhmed GADZHIMAGOMEDOV will take on Germany’s Martin OBST in the 79kg finals. Obst highest finished before these European Championships came back in 2016 when he placed eleventh. 

Gadzhimagomedov outscored 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Jabrayil HASANOV (AZE), 6-1 to close his semifinal bout and take the 6-4 victory.


Semifinal - Akhmed GADZHIMAGOMEDOV (RUS) df. Jabrayil HASANOV (AZE), 6-4
Semifinal - Martin OBST (GER) df. Mihaly NAGY (HUN), 2-1.

Vladislav BAITCAEV (RUS), finalist at 97kg. (Photo by Max Rose-Fyne)

Vladislav BAITCAEV (RUS) will look to continue his dominance as he battles Aliaksandr HUSHTYN (BLR) for the 97kg European crown. 

Baitcaev, now a three-time European top-three finisher has outscored his opponents 26-0, including a 11-0 semifinal hammering of Murazi MCHEDLIDZE (UKR). This is the first time the Russian has been to a European final since 2011 when he lost to the eight-time world and Olympic medalist, Khetag GOZIUMOV (AZE). 

Hushtyn reached the finals by outlasting U23 European champion, Nurmagomed GADZHIYEV (AZE), 7-7. 

GOLD - Aliaksandr HUSHTYN (BLR) vs. Vladislav BAITCAEV (RUS)

Semifinal - Aliaksandr HUSHTYN (BLR) df. Nurmagomed GADZHIYEV (AZE), 7-7
Semifinal - Vladislav BAITCAEV (RUS) df. Murazi MCHEDLIDZE (UKR), 11-0


Sadulaev Serves Russia Sixth Gold to Close out #KaspEuro2018 C'Ships

By Eric Olanowski

KASPIISK, Russia (May 6) – For the second day in a row, the Russian national anthem played a trio of times in Dagestan, Russia as the host nation closed out the 2018 European Championships with six of a possible ten gold medals.

The chants of “Rashid” poured through the Palace of Sport and Youth as Abdulrashid SADULAEV (RUS) won the colossal match-up between Olympic champions, holding off Sharif SHARIFOV (AZE), 2-1 to win the 92kg European title. 

“My opponent was an Olympic champion. Not just a guy from the street...We train at the same gym, and we know each other’s style of wrestling. That’s why it was such a low scoring match.” 

Sadulaev's, lone takedown in the opening period proved to be the difference as “The Tank” snagged his fourth European championship.

At 61kg, Gadzhimurad RASHIDOV (RUS), the Kaspiisk native seized his second European championship by nearly shutting out Beka LOMTADZE (GEO), 4-1. 

“I only live 1km away from The Palace of Sport and Youth, so if I lost, I was heading home on foot.” 

Rashidov, the 2017 world finalist put the first point on the board after Lomtadze, the 2015 European Games runner-up was penalized for not scoring on the activity clock. The Russian followed that up with a takedown to end the opening period, leading 3-0. Rashidov, the two-time continental champion closed the match with step out to in the final period to win the match by three points. 

“I want to dedicate this win to my father. He sold everything he owned so I could wrestle, and he always supports me; whether I win or lose.”

Artur NAIFONOV (RUS), 86kg European champion. (Photo by Max Rose-Fyne) 

Artur NAIFONOV (RUS), the 20-year-old Russian defeated Azerbaijani’s 31-year-old Aleksandr GOSTIYEV (AZE), 1-1 on critiera after trading activity clock points in the 86kg finals. 

“Growing up, Gostiyev was a role model for me, as we’re from the same Republic. I'm pleased to match the level of a wrestler who was once an example for me!”

Five-time European champion, Taha AKGUL (TUR). (Photo by Max Rose-Fyne) 

Turkish wrestlers Taha AKGUL (TUR) and Soner DEMIRTAS (TUR) were the other two wrestlers who captured European golds. 

Akgul regained the 125kg top spot after avenging his loss from the 2017 World Championships to Geno PETRIASHVILI (GEO), 2-1. 

The Olympic champion added a fifth European title to his resume with two one-point exchanges to knock off the Georgian. 

Demirtas capped off his quest for back-to-back European gold medals by also using two one-point exchanges to defeated Zelimkhan KHADJIEV (FRA), 2-0. 

GOLD - Russia  (204 points)
SILVER - Azerbaijan (160 points)
BRONZE- Turkey (125 points)
Fourth - Georgia (110 points)
Fifth - Belarus (80 points)
Sixth - Poland (59 points)
Seventh - Ukraine (51 points)
Eighth - France (38 points)
Ninth - Germany(36 points)
Tenth - Italy (36 points)


GOLD - Gadzhimurad RASHIDOV (RUS) df. Beka LOMTADZE (GEO), 4-1
BRONZE - Recep TOPAL (TUR) df. Niurhun SKRABIN (BLR), 6-6 
BRONZE - Ivan GUIDEA (ROU) df. Mirjalal HASAN ZADA (AZE), 3-1

GOLD -  Soner DEMIRTAS (TUR) df. Zelimkhan KHADJIEV (FRA), 2-0 
BRONZE - Frank CHAMIZO MARQUEZ (ITA) df.  Akhsarbek GULAEV (SVK), 10-0
BRONZE - Andrei KARPACH (BLR) df. Zaur EFENDIEV (SRB), 10-0

GOLD - Artur NAIFONOV (RUS) df. Aleksandr GOSTIYEV (AZE), 1-1 
BRONZE - Sandro AMINASHVILI (GEO) df. Ahmed Ruslanovic DUDAROV (GER), 4-4 

GOLD - Abdulrashid SADULAEV (RUS) df. Sharif SHARIFOV (AZE), 2-1 
BRONZE - Kyrylo MIESHKOV (UKR) vs. Irakli MTSITURI (GEO), 6-6 
BRONZE - Serdar BOKE (TUR) vs. Nicolai CEBAN (MDA), 6-4 

BRONZE - Jamaladdin MAGOMEDOV (AZE) vs. Muradin KUSHKHOV (RUS), 3-0 
BRONZE - Robert BARAN (POL) df. Johannes LUDESCHER (AUT), 6-1