After 623 Days, World Championships Return with Cadets' in Budapest

By Vinay Siwach

BUDAPEST, Hungary (July 18) --- When the wrestlers take the mat Monday in Budapest, Hungary, it will mark the start of a World Championships for United World Wrestling after a gap of 623 days. The last time wrestlers descended for a World Championships was back in October, 2019, incidentally in Budapest.

Though the event in Budapest will be a cadet level, more than 500 wrestlers will fight for 30 gold medals on offer in the Hungarian capital from July 19 to 25.

With the Tokyo Olympics beginning in the middle of the cadet Worlds, it may serve as extra motivation for a few who will go on to represent their respective countries in the Olympics in Paris or Los Angeles over the next two Olympic cycles.

Since the start of this year, United World Wrestling has successfully conducted international events including four Olympic qualifying tournaments, three senior continental championships, and two continental championships at the cadet level. The World Championships will only add to the success story of wrestling competitions being organized with highest preventive measures in place during the pandemic.

Six countries are bringing a full squad for 30 wrestlers each for the tournament with defending team champion in freestyle Russian Federation leading the way. Greco-Roman champions from the 2019 tournament in Sofia, Iran will look to defend their title as well.

Two international women's powerhouses Japan and China decided to give the tournament a skip owing to COVID-19 related restrictions around the world. But this gives teams like USA, third in Sofia, Russia, India and others to lay their claim for the team title.

This tournament will also see two wrestlers from the United Arab Emirates competing at the cadet Worlds for the first time after one each at the 2015 and 2016 editions.

A special condition will see Musza ARSUNKAEV (UWW) wrestling at 80kg in men's freestyle. under the United World Wrestling flag.

While the dull of 2020 saw many cadet stars shift to junior and senior groups and continue their careers, a few medalists from Sofia landed in Budapest to repeat their achievement from two years ago.

The field will be led by the only returning world champion KOMAL (IND) who won the gold medal at 40kg two years back. She will be jumping up to 46kg in Budapest.

Amit ELOR USAAmit ELOR (USA) won a bronze medal at 69kg at the cadet World Championships in 2019. (Photo: UWW / Kadir Caliskan)

Amit ELOR (USA), a bronze medalist at 69kg from Sofia, will look to improve on her result from two years ago. She will once again wrestle at 69kg. She had lost in the semifinal last time.

With Japan and China missing from the field, the fight for the team title will be interesting especially with Ukraine women's wrestling seeing an unprecedented rise in recent times.

For that reason, all four medalists from five weight classes of cadet Euros are wrestling in Budapest. 33 medalists out of the 39 in Samokov will be in action in Hungary. All 10 gold medalists are entered.

At 40kg, Anastasiia POLSKA (UKR) won the gold at cadet Euros while her teammates from Ukraine -- Mariia YEFREMOVA (UKR)) and Iryna BONDAR (UKR) – won the top medals at 49kg and 61kg respectively .

Russia also had a few gold medalists as Millena VINOGRADOVA (RUS) won at 43kg, Natalia KHRAMENKOVA (RUS) won at 53kg and Mariia AKULINCHEVA (RUS) won at 73kg.

Belarus is sending 49kg gold medalist Sviatlana KATENKA (BLR) in a hope that she repeats her feat at the world level. The same will be expected from Viktoryia RADZKOVA (BLR) at 69kg.

Georgiana LIRCA (ROU) and Angelina PERVUKHINA (RUS) will hope for a rematch at 57kg as the Romanian came out on top in the last month's tournament.

The home country has pinned their hopes for a gold medal on Eniko ELEKES (HUN) who stunned the field at 65kg in Samokov to win the gold medal.

Kamronbek KADAMOV UZBKamronbek KADAMOV (UZB) won a silver medal at the 2019 cadet World Championships. (Photo: UWW / Kadir Caliskan)

In freestyle, the two biggest names are Kamronbek KADAMOV (UZB) who won a silver medal at 48kg at the Sofia Worlds but has jumped to 60kg now. The other name is Javid JAVADOV (AZE). He finished fifth in Sofia but he was a young cadet that year. Just a month ago, Javadov won the silver medal at the cadet European Championships at 51kg and will perform at 55kg in Budapest.

Out of the 40 medalists at the cadet Euros in May, 29 are entered to wrestle in Budapest with all four medalists at 80kg and 110kg sending their names.

Andranik AVETISYAN (ARM), who won the gold medal at cadet Euros will look to repeat that success at the world level as well at 55kg. Another Armenian Aren ISRAYELYAN (ARM) will be looking to do the same at 71k.

At 80kg, Oleksandr MAMROSH (UKR) will have challenges from his fellow podium finishers from Samokov, Bulgaria and a chance of rematch against Tornike SAMKHARADZE (GEO) as the two in the finals in Samokov.

Levan LAGVILAVA (FRA) will be out to prove that his cadet Euro gold at 110kg was no fluke as he also has his fellow podium finishers in the field. Add to them the champion from Pan Am Championships James MULLEN (USA).

Other Pan Am champions who are entered in the freestyle field in Budapest are Bowen BASSETT (USA) at 45kg, Luke LILLEDAHL (USA) at 48kg and Beau MANTANONA (USA) at 60kg.

A similar situation awaits in Greco-Roman. However, there is only one returning medalist from Sofia -- Tamazi GLONTI (GEO) who won a bronze at 45kg and will now compete at 55kg.

Tamazi GLONTI GEOTamazi GLONTI (GEO) won a bronze at 45kg at cadet World Championships 2019. (Photo: UWW / Kadir Caliskan)

While Iran has no returning medalist, the new team can still show why they are dubbed as the powerhouse of Greco-Roman wrestling. Along with Iran, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan will also be challenging the world.

But a host of medalists from cadet Euros will be in action. Four weight classes have all the four medalists competing in Budapest and a total of 31 medalists out of 40 from Samokov.

Rahim HASANOV (AZE) will be looking to win a world gold as well after winning the Euro gold medal. But in his path will be the three other medalists from the same tournament and Bassett from USA who also won the 45kg Greco-Roman gold in Mexico.

Azerbaijan entered European champ Faraim MUSTAFAYEV (AZE) at 48kg and he will also look for his second gold medal of the year. At 51kg, Borislav KIRILOV (BUL) is the continental champion looking for world glory.

Another Azerbaijani, Farid KHALILOV (AZE) is the European champ entered in Budapest but so is Brock BOBZIEN (USA) who is the champion of Pan Ams at 60kg.

Ukraine will have their Euro champ at 65kg Imed KHUDZHADZE (UKR) looking to win a gold medal at Worlds but Anri PUTKARADZE (GEO), a silver medalist from Samokov, is also entered.

71kg European champion Alexandru SOLOVEI (MDA) is joined by Alperen BERBER (TUR) and Ruslan NURULLAYEV (AZE), silver and bronze medalist from Samkovo respectively.

The field at 80kg makes Achiko BOLKVADZE (GEO) and his fellow medalist -- Mihai GUTU (MDA), Ivan TSYBANEV (UKR) and Maksim MASIUKEVICH (BLR) – face each other again in less than a month's time. Ryder ROGOTZKE (USA), the Pan Am champ will also try to spring a surprise.

At 92kg, a rematch of the Euros is a possibility as gold medalist Vladyslav LUB (UKR) and silver medalist Timur CHERNYSHEV (RUS) are entered along with the two bronze medalists

Two continental champions -- Daniil CHASOVNIKOV (RUS) and Mullen – are entered at 110kg along with other medalists from Europe.

Wrestling will begin Monday with freestyle action in 48kg, 55kg, 65kg, 80kg and 110kg and run through to Sunday with Greco-Roman capping off things.


USA Wins First WW Team Title; Georgia, Russia Dominate GR at #WrestleBudapest

By Vinay Siwach

Two days after India created history by winning its first-ever freestyle team title at cadet World Championships, USA finished at the top of the podium to win the women's team title for the first time in Budapest.

USA ended the tournament with three gold and four bronze medals to claim the title with 149 points, 10 more than second-placed India. Russia finished third with 134 points.

With top two teams from 2019 Worlds, Japan and China not entered at the tournament, it gave an opportunity for the other countries to rise and win the team title.

USA had three wrestlers competing for gold medals Friday and one for bronze. All four claimed their medals with much ease and dominance. India and Russia claimed the remaining two titles of the day as women's wrestling came to a close at the 2021 Worlds.

Fittingly, it was the gold medal of returning bronze medalist Amit ELOR (USA) that gave USA the title as she claimed her first world title. Wrestling against Yevheniia SIEDYKH (UKR) in the 69kg final, Elor once again showed her dominance and pinned her opponent in just a minute and 55 seconds, using her strength for takedowns and gut wrenches.

“It feels amazing to win,” Elor said. “I am grateful to the coaches and everyone who helped me reach this title.”

Elor spent a total of just three minutes and 38 seconds on the mat during the tournament with only the final going into the second minute of the bout. She will now be looking for her second world title in a month's time in Ufa, Russia.

“The final was good because I was feeling nervous before but I tried to remain cool and do what I know,” she said. “I will be going to the junior Worlds. I am going celebrate by training more for Ufa.”

But it was all started by Erica PASTORIZA (USA) who defeated Alexandra VOICULESCU (ROU) in the 40kg final with a first-period fall.

Leading 2-1, Pastoriza tripped her opponent for four points and then exposed her and kept the shoulder to the mat to claim the pin.

“I was nervous [before the final] but I handled it,” said the wrestler from Arizona. “I feel amazing and so proud of myself.”

Katie GOMEZ USAKatie GOMEZ (USA) won the 53kg gold in Budapest. (Photo: UWW / Martin Gabor)

At 53kg, Katie GOMEZ (USA) continued her cruise as she defeated Natalia KHRAMENKOVA (RUS) 10-0 in the final with a minute and 22 seconds remaining.. She scored six points in the first period while the remaining four came in the second period.

“I was little nervous at the beginning but once I walked out on the mat I had the confidence that I can do it and I just wrestled,” Gomez said. “I will go home to my family and celebrate. I'll take some time off wrestling and then see.”

For India, returning world champion at 43kg, won the gold medal at 46kg to become a two-time world champion. She led Ruzanna MAMMADOVA (AZE) 3-0 when the Azerbaijan wrestler tried a big throw, earning her two points.

But Komal kept her defence and composure to keep the one point lead. Komal when went for a double leg which Mammadova tried to roll over but failed, giving up four points in the process and the win to Komal.

“I am feeling great,” Komal said. “The final was normal. It was not the best or the worst. She was a little scared I think. I will eat a lot of food and sweets because I am so happy."

Viktoriia KHUSAINOVA (RUS) Viktoriia KHUSAINOVA (RUS) claimed the title at 61kg. (Photo: UWW / Martin Gabor)

Russia claimed the gold medal at 61kg as Viktoriia KHUSAINOVA (RUS) defeated Sofi TENEVA (BUL) 6-0 in the final. The gold medal caps off a stunning tournament for the Russian as she outscored her opponents 31-0 in four bouts.

“I can’t even explain what I feel now. I have no words,” Khusainova said. “When I was on the mat, I was worried in the beginning but then it was easier.”

Russia coach and 2008 Olympic silver medalist said that it was an emotional moment for her ward.

“She is very emotional now,” she said. “We have been training for 10 years. We have been training a lot to get this gold medal. We had injuries., losses and so on, but anyways we achieved what we wanted. So we are just super happy. The secret of such preparations is a will. The will to work hard and win.”

Georgia, Russia enter 3 GR finals


Georgia and Russia enjoyed a successful day as Greco-Roman action began in Budapest. The two countries entered three wrestlers each in the five finals that were decided Friday.

Turkey, USA, Ukraine and Germany were the four other countries to enter one wrestler each to finish the line up for the finals.

At 48kg, Servet ANGI (TUR) avenged his cadet European Championships final defeat to Faraim MUSTAFAYEV (AZE). He defeated the Azerbaijan wrestler 4-1 in the quarterfinal before beating Otto BLACK (USA) 5-5 in the semifinal.

“It was hard for me as this is the World Championships,” 17-year-old Angi said. “I was confident despite not winning the challenge and I was fine. The support was good but 80 million people are behind me. I play for the flag.”

He will take on Luka JAVAKHADZE (GEO) who also claimed a criteria win in the semifinals over Yussuf ASHRAPOV 3-3.

Cory Daniel LAND (USA)

Two wrestlers – Cory LAND (USA) and Valerii MANGUTOV (RUS) -- who were at the 2019 Worlds in Sofia, reached the final at 55kg, up from 48kg two years back.

The two had contrasting semifinals as Mangutov sneaked past cadet Euros silver medalist Tamazi GLONTI (GEO) 4-3 while Land dominated Zhantoro MIRZALIEV (KGZ) 5-0.

While the two have not wrestled each other in the past, Mangutov said he will do everything to win the gold.

“The matches went well today, a bit tough,” the 16-year-old Mangutov said. “I have never seen his wrestling style. But I will prepare for my final as it is my last bout. We will see how it goes on the mat. No need to prepare in advance.”

A rematch from the 2021 cadet European Championships was set at 65kg as Imed KHUDZHADZE (UKR) beat Ankit GULIA (IND) 4-3 and Anri PUTKARADZE (GEO) defeated Nihat KARA (TUR) 5-4 to reach the final.

The two had one-point victories over their semifinal opponents after dominating their way to the last four.

At 80kg, Kamaludin MAGOMEDOV (RUS) set up a clash against cadet European champion Achiko BOLKVADZE (GEO) in the final.

The Russian had a close semifinal against Hamza SERTCANLI (SWE) but came out on top 4-2 for the win.

Bolkvadze, who is yet to concede a point, scored a 8-0 technical superiority win over Joju SAMADOV (AZE). He will be looking to add the world title he missed in 2019.

“It was very tough today,” Bolkvadze said. “Thanks to God everything went well, and I’ll wrestle in the final match. The only thing that will make me feel satisfied is the gold medal.”


Another rematch from the 2021 cadet European Championships will be at 110 kg as Daniil CHASOVNIKOV (RUS) and Nikita OVSJANIKOV (GER) won their respective semifinals to set up the final.

The Russian won the gold medal at the continental level and will now to repeat that performance at the world level.

“[Today] was not an easy day for me,” Chasovnikov said. “The matches began well and now I concentrated for the semifinal match and won it. But I could have done even better. I can’t stop now. Tomorrow is the final and I have to win.”

He defeated Artur BOICHUK (UKR) 11- 0 in the semifinal and is now ready for the rematch against Ovsjanikov.

“I have wrestled against the German wrestler already in the European championships, I won 5-3,” he said. “I think he wants to take a revenge.”

No doubt that Ovsjanikov will like to avenge that loss from a month ago. He defeated Artur SARKISJAN (CZE) 4-0 in the semifinal.

Five more Greco-Roman weight categories will be in action apart from the medal bout of the finalists that were decided Friday.

RESULTS: WW Medal Bouts

GOLD: Erica PASTORIZA (USA) df Alexandra VOICULESCU (ROU), via fall

BRONZE: Anastasiia POLSKA (UKR) df Aizhan MURATBAY (KAZ), 8-0
BRONZE: Tana TIULIUSH (RUS) df. Elvina KARIMZADA (AZE), via fall


BRONZE: Sevval CAYIR (TUR) df Nicoleta BAJAN (ROU), 2-1
BRONZE: Ava WARD (USA) df Sviatlana KATENKA (BLR), 8-1

GOLD: Katie GOMEZ (USA) df Natalia KHRAMENKOVA (RUS), 10-0

BRONZE: Alina FILIPOVYCH (UKR) df Annatina LIPPUNER (SUI), via fall

GOLD: Viktoriia KHUSAINOVA (RUS) df Sofi TENEVA (BUL), 7-0

BRONZE: Ulmeken ESENBAEVA (UZB) df NITIKA (IND), via inj def
BRONZE: Kseniya TSIARENIA (BLR) df Yasmine SOLIMAN (HUN), 9-3

GOLD: Amit ELOR (USA) df Yevheniia SIEDYKH (UKR), via fall

BRONZE: Noemi OSVATH NAGY (HUN) df Harshita HARSHITA (IND), via fall
BRONZE: Viktoryia RADZKOVA (BLR) df Barbara SERE (ROU), 4-0

RESULTS: GR Semifinals


SF 1: Luka JAVAKHADZE (GEO) df. Yussuf ASHRAPOV (KAZ), 3-3
SF 2: Servet ANGI (TUR) df Otto BLACK (USA), 5-5


SF 1: Valerii MANGUTOV (RUS) df Tamazi GLONTI (GEO), 4-3
SF 2: Cory LAND (USA) df Zhantoro MIRZALIEV (KGZ), 5-0


SF 1: Imed KHUDZHADZE (UKR) df Ankit GULIA (IND), 4-3
SF 2: Anri PUTKARADZE (GEO) df Nihat KARA (TUR), 5-4


SF 1: Kamaludin MAGOMEDOV (RUS) df Hamza SERTCANLI (SWE), 4-2
SF 2: Achiko BOLKVADZE (GEO) df Joju SAMADOV (AZE), 8-0


SF 1: Daniil CHASOVNIKOV (RUS) df Artur BOICHUK (UKR), 11-0
SF 2: Nikita OVSJANIKOV (GER) df Artur SARKISJAN (CZE), 4-0