T.R. Foley, FILA-Wrestling.com
NANJING, China (August 25) – Russia went two-for-two on the first day of wrestling at the 2nd Summer Youth Olympic Games, with Mark BEMALIAN and Arslan ZUBAIROV (RUS) each clawing their way to Greco-Roman gold.
Though dominant in their opening round matches, both wrestlers battled back from deficits in their respective finals at the Longjiang Arena in Nanjing to earn gold.
Zubairov was trailing 4-1 at the end of the first period to Zaven MIKAELYAN (ARM), but found three consecutive four-point throws to earn the 14-4 technical fall victory and the 58kg title.
Bemalian trailed Bulgaria’s Kiril MILOV 4-2 midway through the first period, but found his offense moments later with a reversal and consecutive trapped arm turns. The Russian 85kg wrestler would hold off Milov’s late efforts to win his country’s second Youth Olympic gold.
In the night’s other finals Seung RI (PRK) found an early headlock against Faith ASLAN (TUR), but was forced to hang on late against as the Turkish grappler returned the favor with only 15 seconds remaining in the match. Ri stayed on task, earning a reversal and turn with only moments remaining to take the gold at 42kg.
Ilkhom BAKHROMOV (UZB) put an end to Azerbijani Jabbar NAJAFOV ‘s hope of a clean sweep in 2014. Though Najafiv earned an impressive five pushouts, the Cadet world title holder found himself on the wrong end of Bakhromov’s creative two-point exposure and set of takedowns dropping the 50kg title, 6-5.
Cadet world bronze medalist Islambek DADOV (AZE) wore down cadet world freestyle gold medalist Mason MANVILLE in the 69kg to win gold, 1-0. The match, which carried no score after the first period, plodded forward in the second until Dadov earned a caution and found the one-point lift for the win.
In all wrestlers from 12 countries won a total of 15 medals with only Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran capturing two medals each.
Wrestling at the Youth Olympic Games resumes Tuesday at 10am in the Longjiang Arena with female wrestling action.
GOLD: Seung RI (PRK) df. Faith ASLAN (TUR), 9-6
BRONZE: Olesksii MASYK (UKR) df. Ravzatullo ISOEV (TJK), 4-2
FIFTH: Emilio PEREZ ALFONZO (MEX) df. Habib BELGHELAM (ALG), 6-0
SEVENTH: Jordan LEILUA (ASA)
GOLD: Ilkhom BAKHROMOV (UZB) df. Jabbar NAJAFOV (AZE), 6-5
BRONZE: Mohammedreza Alirea AGHANIACHARI (IRI) df. Houssem BOUNASRI (ALG), 7-0
FIFTH: Ugar BEYTEKIN (TUR) df. Calabe CORREIA (BRA) by TF, 8-0
SEVENTH: Dorin COJOCARI (MDA) df. Kaiser MULLER (MHL) by TF, 10-0
GOLD: Arslan ZUBAIROV (RUS) df. Zaven MIKAELYAN (ARM) by TF, 14-4
BRONZE: Keramat Morad ABDEVALI (IRI) df. Agustin DESTRIBATS (ARG), 4-2
FIFTH: Raiymbek KURNALALY (KAZ) df. Souleymen NASR (TUN) by TF, 8-0
SEVENTH: Matthew DOWNES (NZL) df. Nelson DE LOS SANTOS (DOM) by forfeit
GOLD: Islambek DADOV (AZE) df. Mason MANVILLE (USA), 1-0
BRONZE: Evgeny POLIDAVOV (KAZ) df. Karan MOSEBACH (GER), 4-4
FIFTH: Omar IBRAHIM (EGY) df. Nilton SOTO GARCIA (PER) by TF, 9-1
SEVENTH: Abubakr ALIMOV (UZB) df. Jordan MARSHALL (NZL) by TF, 9-0
GOLD: Mark BEMALIAN (RUS) df. Kiril MILOV (BUL), 9-6
BRONZE: Aly AHMED HASSAN (EGY) df. Tohirjon OKHONOV (TJK) by FALL
FIFTH: Shri PAL (IND) df. R. KHEHIRA (CAN) by TF, 9-0
SEVENTH: Jovan KALABA (SRB) df. Chey-Xyong Beau McMOORE (ASA) by TF, 8-0