Blades Helps USA Claim WW Team Title After Thrilling Race at #WrestleUfa

By Vinay Siwach

UFA, Russia (August 20) – It came down to the final bout of the day but Kennedy BLADES (USA) made sure they didn't have to wait for the full six minutes of the bout.

USA, India and Russia were locked in the women's wrestling team title race down to the wire but Blades secured a win via fall in 17 seconds to claim the top position for USA. This is USA's second team title inside one month after they won the cadet world title last month in Budapest after another close race with India.

USA finished top with 143 points while Russia and India finished with 134 points for the second and third positions respectively. Russia was second as it had two gold medals compared to none from India.

Blades, whose sister Korina won bronze at 65kg, was wrestling Lilly SCHNEIDER (GER) in the 72kg final and came out with a post double leg straight up to her feet and picked up the 17 second fall.

“I just wanted to go hard and my plan was to shoot a double leg because I like it," Blades said. "She ended up with her back and I wanted to hold her there and get it over with. It's awesome."

Blades went unscored on during the tournament which makes her the third wrestler from her team to not give up any points in her bouts. She is one of the four world champions from USA, the first time the country had multiple champions at women's wrestling at junior Worlds.

Going into the final day, India led USA and Russia in the team race but by the time Blades came to wrestle, USA just needed her to win the gold. At the back of her mind, she had the scenario but did not realize it on the mat.

“I wanted to win for myself and my team as well,” she said. “When I won, I didn't even realize the team won. When I realized I was like 'my gosh we all won'.”

Blades wrestled Olympic champion Taymra MENSAH STOCK (USA) at the Olympic team trials and later saw her win the medal in Tokyo. She said that inspired her to win big as well.

“One of my opponents Mensah, seeing her win gold at Olympics inspired me and I wanted to win something big like her," she said. "“I have been wanting to be a world champion for some time now."

Baldes will most likely feature on the US team to the senior World Championships in Oslo, Norway as she is entered the trials for tournament at 72kg. 

India had two finalists Friday but both failed to win the gold, extending India's wait for a women's junior world champion. Both Sanju DEVI (IND) and BHATERI (IND) were outclassed by their opponents in the 62kg and 65kg finals respectively.

At 62kg, junior European champion Alina KASABIEVA (RUS) wrapped up Devi 10-0 in the first period. She punched her first two of the match with a blistering knee pick. Then, she ended the match with an ankle pick to three leg laces to close the match with a technical superiority victory.

"I can’t describe my emotions," she said. "The tournament wasn’t really tough for me, it was important to be well-prepared mentally."

The 20-year-old said that it was her brother who introduced her to wrestling saying that there is girls wrestling. But when she arrived at the training hall, there were no girls wrestling.

"There were only the boys. It was a bit strange to train with the boys," she said. "Even now I train with the girls only at the training camps, back home I still train with the boys."

Irina RINGACIIrina RINGACI (MDA) won her first world title. (Photo: UWW / Kadir Caliskan)

Senior Euro champion Irina RINGACI (MDA) collected her first world title as she rolled past Bhateri 12-2 in the 65kg finals. She scored four points from a takedown and gut wrench in the first period.

Despite giving up a takedown in the second period, Ringaci scored an exposure off a turn attempt from Bhateri, then stopped an Indian shot attempt and scored a counter offensive takedown and led 8-2. She ended the match with a pair of laces and won world gold 12-2.

"I am really happy. I came for the belt, and today [Friday] my dream have come true," Ringaci said. "Since it’s my last junior year, I came here to win, and here is my belt."

After pocketing the junior world title, Ringaci, who began wrestling only at the age of 13 years, said she is keen on winning the other two Worlds remaining in the year -- senior and the U23 -- as well. 

Sweden came up with a stunning performance at 53kg to win the gold medal as Emma MALMGREN (SWE) defeated Mihaela SAMOIL (MDA) 7-4.

Emma MALMGRENEmma MALMGREN (SWE) won the gold medal at 53kg in Ufa. (Photo: UWW / Kadir Caliskan)

The compact Malmgren struggled to find an answer to the height of her Moldovan opponent in the first period in which she was denied on her three shot attempts. Then she failed to make a pair of single legs and a double but led 1-0 after an inactivity point was awarded.

After three failed attempts in the first period, Malmgren broke through with a four-point double leg, her go to move in tough situations. She came up to her feet on her shot and denied a judo-esk throw from Samoil and extended her lead to 5-0.

With a minute left, Malmgren worked on right-side underhook when Samoil jammed her hip in and slipped around – cutting the Swedish wrestlers lead to 5-3.

A late flurry, ending with Malmgren on top, put two points on the board for both wrestlers but it was the Swedish wrestler who topped the podium at 53kg with a 7-4 victory.

“It feels amazing. It's been a dream and I am finally standing on the top of the world. It's unreal,” she said.

Malmgren, who trains at Helsingborg which has given Sweden multiple World medalists and Olympians, is looking forward to being with her family.

“I just want to spend some time with them,” she said. “I was seven when I told my parents that I want to start wrestling.”

Nilufar RAIMOVANilufar RAIMOVA (KAZ) won against Aurora RUSSO (ITA) 8-6 in the 53kg final. (Photo: UWW / Kadir Caliskan)

In a historic final at 57kg, Nilufar RAIMOVA (KAZ) produced a comeback for the ages and erased a five-point deficit and stopped Aurora RUSSO (ITA) from winning Italy’s first-ever women’s wrestling world title.

Raimova trailed 2-1 when she shot a desperation double leg. She couldn’t finish the shot but came up to an underhook and surrendered a perfectly timed four-point headlock to her exposed right side. She fell into a 6-1 hole, but never stopped moving forward.

A stepout cut Raimova’s lead to 6-2. She scored two points from a picturesque double underhook throw, which was followed by a second takedown that stemmed from a ride-side dominant underhook.

She kept her pace high and with 25 seconds left forced Russo to take an ill-advised shot. Raimova picked up the match decided go-behind and claimed the 8-6 win.

Russia Sends 3 Into GR Finals

Local boy Adlan AMRIEV (RUS) rose to the expectations of the Ufa crowd and made it to the final at 87kg final as Greco-Roman wrestling began at the Ufa Arena. Amriev one of the three Russian wrestlers who reached the final Friday with seven other countries also sending one wrestler each in the final.

Amriev was wrestling Tansel ORTUCU (TUR) in the semifinal and began on a slow one and was called passive. But Ortucu didn't score any from the par terre position. In the second period, it was Amriev's turn to take advantage of the par terre position and he did so with a body lock and throw for two before continuing for a four-point throw. The 7-1 remained till the clock expired.

He will take on Tyrone STERKENBURG (NED) who confirmed Netherlands first Junior Worlds medal in 43 years after beating former cadet world champion Lachin VALIEV (AZE) 4-1.

Sterkenburg was called passive in the first period but he did not give any point from par terre and then scored a stepout to lead 1-1 in criteria. Valiev was then called passive in the second period which gave a 2-1 lead to Sterkenburg. Valiev, looking to score a winning takedown, pressured and took Sterkenburg to the danger zone before the Dutch used that momentum to go behind and score a takedown and win 4-1.

Two-time junior Euro champion Diego CHKHIKVADZE (GEO) is one step closer to capturing his first world title after he entered the final at 63kg with a dominating 6-0 win over Niklas OEHLEN (SWE). It was a rematch from the junior Euros this year where Chkhikvadze defeated Oehlen 3-1. I Ufa, the Georgian opened the scoring with a point from Oehlen's passivity. He then used a big four throw and a step out to complete the 6-0 win.

In the final, he will have Said BAKAEV (RUS) as he won over Manuel STOICA (ROU) 5-1. Bakaev was exceptional in his par terre defense and then used a gut wrench and a takedown to win the semifinal.

At 77kg, Islam ALIEV (RUS) made it to the final after a big and hard-fought win over junior European champ and former cadet world champ Alexandrin GUTU (MDA). Aliev won the first passivity call and then got a gut wrench over Gutu to lead 3-0.

It was only in the second period that Gutu got going. He tried a head pinch which failed but a chest wrap gave him two points. He gave up a point for reversal on the same move to trail 2-5. He scored via a stepout but lost 3-5.

Aliev will now take on Exauce MUKUBU (NOR) in the final. Mukubu finished with a gut wrench and beat Emad ABOUELATTA (EGY) 8-0 inside one minute of the semifinal.

An all-Asian final will be at 55kg as Alimardon ABDULLAEV (UZB) and Amirreza DEHBOZORGI (IRI) made it to teh final with controlled wins in the semis.

Abdullaev was under pressure when he was called passive and Aslamdzhon AZIZOV (TJK) got a gut wrench. But Abdullaev also get two for exposure and lead 3-3 on criteria. In the second period, she scored four points and one for a lost challenge to win 8-3.

Dehbozorgi scored six points in the first period and then held on to that lead for the second period and won 6-0 against Iskhar KURBAYEV (KAZ).

At 130kg, former cadet world champ and junior Euro champion Muhammet BAKIR (TUR) defeated Armen CHOLOKIAN (RUS) 4-0 to make the final. All for points were either passivity or stepouts.

He will take on Sarkhan MAMMADOV (AZE) in a rematch of the 2018 cadet Worlds finals which Bakir won. Mammadov had a close semifinal against Nikolaos NTOUNIAS (GRE) but came out on top 3-2.

Greece got the first advantage when Mammadov was passive but could not capitalize from par terre. Azerbaijan then second a takedown to lead 2-1. But Ntounias was called passive in the second period which extended the lead to 3-1. Ntounis scored a pushout to trim it to 3-2 but with only 32 seconds left, Mammadov defend it to win the spot the in the final.

Results WW Medal Bouts

GOLD: Emma MALMGREN (SWE) df Mihaela SAMOIL (MDA), 7-4

BRONZE: Choigana TUMAT (RUS) df Jaslynn GALLEGOS (USA), via fall

GOLD: Nilufar RAIMOVA (KAZ) df Aurora RUSSO (ITA), 8-6

BRONZE: Elvira KAMALOGLU (TUR) df Maryia HULIDA (BLR), 9-0

GOLD: Alina KASABIEVA (RUS) df Sanju DEVI (IND), 10-0

BRONZE: Birgul SOLTANOVA (AZE) df Luisa SCHEEL (GER), via fall
BRONZE: Korina BLADES (USA) df Viktoria OEVERBY (NOR), 11-1


BRONZE: Amina CAPEZAN (ROU) df Khadija JLASSI (TUN), 6-3
BRONZE: Viktoria VESSO (EST) df Alara BOYD (USA), via fall

GOLD: Kennedy BLADES (USA) df Lilly SCHNEIDER (GER), via fall

BRONZE: Alexandra ZAITSEVA (KAZ) df Daniela TKACHUK (POL), via fall
BRONZE: Mariam GUSEINOVA (RUS) df SANEH (IND), via injury default

Semifinals GR Results


SF 1: Alimardon ABDULLAEV (UZB) df Aslamdzhon AZIZOV (TJK), 8-3
SF 2: Amirreza DEHBOZORGI (IRI) df Iskhar KURBAYEV (KAZ), 6-0


SF 1: Said BAKAEV (RUS) df Manuel STOICA (ROU), 5-1
SF 2: Diego CHKHIKVADZE (GEO) df Niklas OEHLEN (SWE), 6-0

GOLD: Exauce MUKUBU (NOR) vs Islam ALIEV (RUS)

SF 1: Exauce MUKUBU (NOR) df Emad ABOUELATTA (EGY), 8-0
SF 2: Islam ALIEV (RUS) df Alexandrin GUTU (MDA), 5-3


SF 1: Adlan AMRIEV (RUS) df Tansel ORTUCU (TUR), 7-1
SF 2: Tyrone STERKENBURG (NED) df Lachin VALIYEV (AZE), 4-1

GOLD: Muhammet BAKIR (TUR) vs Sarkhan MAMMADOV (AZE)

SF 1: Muhammet BAKIR (TUR) df Armen CHOLOKIAN (RUS), 4-0
SF 2: Sarkhan MAMMADOV (AZE) df Nikolaos NTOUNIAS (GRE), 3-2


Russia Wins GR Team Title after Five Golds at #WrestleUfa

By Vinay Siwach

At the last Junior Worlds Championships in 2019, Russia returned home with four gold, two silver and a bronze medal to claim the team title. Two years later, they repeated the same but with five gold, one silver and two bronze medals.

As the Junior World Championships concluded in Ufa, Russia, the Greco-Roman celebrated their title win at home with 183 points while Iran finished second with 130 points. Azerbaijan were third as they managed only 101 points.

Russia had finished second in both the freestyle and women's wrestling competition with Iran and USA winning those team titles respectively.

Dinislam BAMMATOV (RUS) and Evgeni BAIDUSOV (RUS) were the two gold medalists for Russia Sunday while three had won the top medal Saturday. Aleksei MILESHIN (RUS) was the only Russian wrestler to reach the final but not winning the gold.

A bit of history was also created at the Ufa Arena as Marcel STERKENBURG (NED) defeated Karen KHACHATRYAN (ARM) 6-3 in 82kg final and became the first wrestler from the Netherlands to win a junior Worlds gold in the last 43 years.

The final gold medal of the night was won by Pavel HLINCHUK (BLR) who looked in some serious form in the tournament with five dominating wins over the course of two days.

Bammatov, the Dagestan wrestler, defeated Saeid ESMAEILI LEIVESI (IRI) 7-3 in the 60kg final to get the Russian team going. He was awarded a point for the Iranian's passivity to open the scoring. In par terre, Bammatov lost top position after slipping off the right side gut wrench. He surrendered a reversal, but stopped an Iranian gut attempt, planting Esmaeili Leivesi on his back for the two exposure points. With the action back on their feet, Bammatov snapped Esmaeili Leivesi down and spun behind for a takedown. He went right into a gut wrench and carried the 7-1 lead into the second period.

Bammatov gave up two stepouts in the closing period, but capped off his run to the 60kg junior world title with a 7-3 victory.

The second gold medal for Russia was won by Evgeni BAIDUSOV (RUS) as he overcame Giorgi CHKHIKVADZE (GEO) in a tight final to win 3-2. In the most evenly matched finals of the night, Baidusov narrowly edged ahead when he struck first. He tried hitting a duck under early in the first period, but as Chikhikvadze defended the attempt from his knees, the Russian threw a headlocked and put two points on the board. His Georgian opponent reversed him to his back for the exposure and gained the 2-2 criteria advantage.

To the dismay of the Georgian fans in the second period, Baidusov toed the line and circle to the center before pushing Chkhikvadze out for the 3-2 lead.

Baidusov's medal winning celebrations were marred by some unruly behaviour from the Georgian fans in the stands which was brought to the attention of the organizing committee as well.

But Pavel HLINCHUK (BLR) ruined Russia's perfect final record in the 97kg finals as he handed Aleksei MILESHIN (RUS) an 11-0 thrashing to Belarus their first gold medal of the Greco-Roman competition.

He hit back-to-back guts after earning an inactivity point and controlled the comfortable five point lead. With less than 20 seconds left in the opening period, the Belarusian tossed Mileshin for two points and his lead grew to 7-0.

Before the whistle sounded in the first, he backed his heels to the edge of the mat and planted Mileshin on his back for four points and earned the 11-0 world-title winning victory.

The historic medal for the Netherlands won by Marcel STERKENBURG (NED) came after his brother failed to do the same Sunday. The twin brother Tyrone finished with a silver medal after suffering a defeat in the 77kg final.

But the 82kg final began with Karen KHACHATRYAN (ARM) scoring two points from a left-side gut wrench after being awarded a point for Sterkenburg’s inactivity.

But it was all Marcel STERKENBURG (NED) in the second period. He bolted out to an early takedown in the first period and cut Khachatryan’s lead to 3-2. At the two-minute mark, Sterkenburg scored a stepout and gained the 3-3 criteria lead before his Armenian opponent was hit with inactivity.

Leading 4-3, Sterkenburg gutted Khachatryan and increased his lead to 6-3, and ultimately gave the Netherland’s their first junior world title in the last 43 years.

The 67kg gold medal went to Hasrat JAFAROV (AZE) as the cadet world champion managed to shutout Sahak HOVHANNISYAN (ARM) 7-0 in the final.

The match was chippy and barred with referee stoppages. Jafarov earned top position in par terre after Sahak HOVHANNISYAN (ARM) was called for inactivity. He was unable to pick up exposure points, but scored two correct throw points and led 3-1 after the opening period.

A pair of accidental head butts slowed down the second period and brought medical attention for Jafarov. The first two were deemed accidental, but after a third headbutt in the period, Jafarov’s opponent was hit with a caution-and-two – giving the Azeri wrestler the 5-0 lead.

Shortly after, Jafarov pushed Hovhannisyan to the edge and stopped a double-overhook throw attempt and extended his lead to 7-0. He defended it until the clock expired.

The focus now shifts to the Senior World Championships which begins in Oslo from October 2 to 10.

Results GR Medal Bouts


BRONZE: Mert ILBARS (TUR) df Arslanbek SALIMOV (POL), 8-0
BRONZE: Nihat MAMMADLI (AZE) df Shermukhammad SHARIBJANOV (UZB), 5-1


BRONZE: Muslim IMADAEV (RUS) df Gagik SNJOYAN (FRA), 9-0


BRONZE: Attila TOESMAGI (HUN) df Amir ABDI (IRI), 9-6
BRONZE: Shant KHACHATRYAN (ARM) df Khasay HASANLI (AZE), via fall


BRONZE: Mohammad Aziz NAGHOUSI (IRI) df Mykyta ALIEKSIEIEV (UKR), 11-5

GOLD: Pavel HLINCHUK (BLR) df Aleksei MILESHIN (RUS), 11-0

BRONZE: Morteza ALGHOSI (IRI)  df Marcus WORREN (NOR), 5-3
BRONZE: Braxton AMOS (USA) df Arkyt OROZBEKOV (KGZ), 8-0