Familiar foes Sergey Emelin (60 kg, RUS) and Victor Ciobanu (MDA) represented the first of three Greco-Roman matches on the Moscow Cup card, and it was Emelin who triumphed in what was Friday evening’s most thrilling offering.
The pair of World Champions (Emelin in 2018, who defeated Ciobanu for gold; Ciobanu prevailed above the field this past October) were poised for a stiff showdown, a customary occurrence for whenever they happen to share mat space. Ciobanu — whose World gold in Norway catapulted him to a much higher profile than previously — received the first passivity/par terre chance and went to work on a reverse lift. Emelin arched his back and kept his head up to defend; eventually, his refusal to budge was rewarded in surprising fashion. Ciobanu did not want to yield his lock, choosing instead to pull over the hold, which opened a window for Emelin. Instinctively sensing vulnerability on the part of his opponent, the Russian star caught Ciobanu for a reversal. After gaining control on top, Emelin then cranked a gutwrench for two more points and a 3-1 lead entering Period 2.
An explosive level change from Ciobanu had Emelin on his heels to begin the second, with the follow-up pursuit forcing a step-out point. Moldova wanted more out of the exchange, so they challenged. The call was not overturned to give Emelin one more point in what later became a 5-2 decision. In their most recent clash prior to Friday, Emelin defeated Ciobanu for Olympic bronze in Tokyo.
In the event’s co-main event, Roman Vlasov (77 kg, RUS) did not require anything other than par terre in order to get past ’17 World gold Victor Nemes (SRB). The bout’s first passive was doled out to Nemes — and Vlasov chose a high lock to negotiate one turn before adjusting for another rotation and a crisp 5-0 margin. Those four points from PT amounted to all of the offensive scoring in the match as Vlasov took the nod 5-1. Elsewhere on the card, ’18 World Champion/two-time Olympic bronze Sergey Semenov (130 kg, RUS) edged countryman and Oslo silver Zurabi Gedekhauri 2-1. Semenov was originally slated to oppose multi-time World champ Riza Kayaalp (TUR), but Kayaalp was compelled to withdraw from participation due to injury.
Rules Will Remain In Place — Seemingly
The current rule-set for Greco-Roman might not be altered leading up to the next Olympiad — this according to United World Wrestling president Nenad Lalovic, who was on-hand at the Moscow Cup as a guest. When speaking to reporters, Lalovic said “There will be no significant changes in the rules until the Paris Olympics. We are pleased with what we saw at the Tokyo Games. I think the fight is going well now.”
The phrasing “no significant changes” is subjective and allows for flexibility should governance, in the eyes of UWW, necessitate adjustment. For example, last winter saw a third par terre opportunity introduced into the curriculum, along with a greater scope of availability regarding four-point maneuvers. Both rule updates were intended to increase scoring output without disrupting match format.
Also on Saturday was the annual Arvo Haavisto Cup in Ilmajokie, Finland. It was not a particularly well-attended event. Only 33 athletes competed, two non-Olympic weights were excluded (55 and 63 kilograms), and only 72 and 87 kilos had more than five entrants. Home country FIN enjoyed gold medalists in five of the eight contested weight categories.
GOLD: Helary Magisalu (EST)
SILVER: Aleksi Seppala (FIN)
GOLD: Nestor Mannila (FIN)
SILVER: Georgios Barbanos (SWE)
BRONZE: Adomas Grigailunas (LTU)
GOLD: Elmer Mattila (FIN)
SILVER: Erik Persson (SWE)
BRONZE: Joni Komppa (FIN)
GOLD: Matias Lipasti (FIN)
SILVER: Edvin Kin (EST)
GOLD: Otto Ketonen (FIN)
SILVER: Roni Purolainen (FIN)
GOLD: Mirco Minguzzi (ITA)
SILVER: Juho Pahikainen (FIN)
BRONZE: Simone Fidelbo (ITA)
GOLD: Richard Karelson (EST)
SILVER: Mindaugas Venckaitis (LTU)
BRONZE: Aleksandar Stjepanetic (SWE)
GOLD: Konsta Maenpaa (FIN)
SILVER: Artur Vititin (EST)
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