There were :05 remaining. Five seconds. Or to be precise, :05.06. It wasn’t a domestic final, and as of press time the outcome’s consequences in general are still unclear. The only thing anyone knows right now is that Istvan Takacs (87 kg) flattened fellow Hungarian Erik Szilvassy following a last-gasp surge in the Ljubomir Ivanovic Gedza Memorial final on Saturday, immediately paving the way for more questions than answers with less than one month to go until the 2022 World Championships.
Takacs held a 1-0 passive advantage heading into Period 2 when Szilvassy received his own point along with an opportunity from par terre top. Takacs wouldn’t be turned, but Szilvassy had taken a criteria lead. The machinations from the pair through the rest of the frame unfolded in predictable fashion. They know each other too well. Aside from a Takacs high-dive look after a reset, Szilvassy had hardly been flustered. Not that the hand-checks and brief pummels lacked intensity, because they didn’t. Similarly, Takacs recognized Szilvassy’s tactical preferences with near-unerring accuracy. The simple truth is that the match was a grind, because all of their matches are. Given their respective styles and the immense degree of mutual familiarity, that is how their matches have to be.
The result was beginning to appear academic in the form of a 1-1 nod for Szilvassy as time escaped from the clock. Except Takacs was not buying into the concept of formalized surrender. Coming off of a hand-fighting exchange, he pounced — and managed to wrap his left arm around Szilvassy’s waist before swiftly latching an over/under that he used to garner four points. The scoring, however, became irrelevant in an instant. Szilvassy was decked upon impact and the official promptly called the fall. Takacs then hopped back to his feet, pumped his fist, and had his hand raised.
Since coming back down to 87 from 97 last year, Szilvassy has held the edge over Takacs in the eyes of the Hungarian program, this despite the latter’s impressive rise up the Senior ranks. Prior to Saturday, it had been assumed that HUN would tab Szilvassy for Belgrade ’22. Thus far, no public declaration has been made as to which athlete will get that start, or if the results from Gedza are a factor for World Team selection.
Three-time Junior World Champion/’20 Olympian Kerem Kamal (TUR) ran roughshod over a strong but limited 63 kilogram field to come away with gold. As was the case with several weight categories in Mladenovac, 63 was split into two qualifying pool groups in order to produce a semifinal round. This format provided Kamal with five bouts, four of which he won by technical superiority. Twice he faced Hungary’s Erik Torba. In the first round of pool competition, Kamal squeeze by with a 3-1 decision. In the final, the Turk bulldozed Torba to the tune of a 12-3 tech.
At 72 kilograms, Selcuk Can (TUR) went on a blitz in the opening round opposite reigning European Championships gold Robert Fritsch (HUN) for an 8-0 VSU. Can would eventually down ’17 World silver Mateusz Bernatek (POL) for the tournament victory but, in terms of relevant recent history, it was his dismantling of Fritsch that caught more attention. One weight class north, Zoltan Levai (HUN) edged ’17 World Champion Viktor Nemes (SRB) for the top spot. 77 at Gedza was not particularly crammed. Only seven competitors entered, and Yunus Emre Basar (TUR) bowed out due to injury after a first-round decision loss to Antonio Kamenjasevic.
Although talk of retirement surrounded Bozo Starcevic‘s (82 kg, CRO) appearances in both the Tokyo Games and ’21 Oslo, he remains in the hunt for a first-career World medal until further notice. Hence, his showing up to Gedza. Starcevic grabbed a win via injury default over Burhan Akbudak (TUR) and countryman Karlo Kodric to make the final. Once there, Tamas Levai (HUN) awaited to pour cold water on his performance. Levai cut Starcevic’s string with a takedown/straight lift combo that translated to an 8-0 VSU.
Two-time World champ Metehan Basar (TUR) has witnessed all of his career highs transpire at 85/87 kilograms, but he has on occasion bumped up to 97, including this season when he earned gold at the Bolat Turlykhanov Cup in Kazakhstan. Whether 97 is where TUR wants him for Belgrade is up in the air. If they do, and Gedza was a test/tune-up that mattered to their NGB, then Basar acquitted himself rather well. He did not square off against two-time bronze Mikheil Kajaia (SRB), who was also present in the bracket; but he did get two cracks at ’20 Olympic bronze Tadeusz Michalik (POL). Basar defeated Michalik 1-1 in the second round but was felled by the Polish star 4-3 with gold on the line.
2022 Ljubomir Ivanovic Gedza Memorial
August 13 — Mladenovac, SRB
GOLD: Ekrem Ozturk (TUR)
SILVER: Sabolc Losonc (SRB)
GOLD: Krisztian Kecskemeti (HUN)
SILVER: Mateusz Szewczuk (POL)
BRONZE: Michal Tracz (POL)
GOLD: Kerem Kamal (TUR)
SILVER: Erik Torba (HUN)
BRONZE: Ahmet Uyar (TUR)
GOLD: Mate Nemes (SRB)
SILVER: Sebastian Nad (SRB)
BRONZE: Murat Firat (TUR)
BRONZE: Ivo Iliev (BUL)
GOLD: Selcuk Can (TUR)
SILVER: Robert Fritsch (HUN)
BRONZE: Mateusz Bernatek (POL)
GOLD: Zoltan Levai (HUN)
SILVER: Viktor Nemes (SRB)
BRONZE: Antonio Kamenjasevic (SRB)
GOLD: Tamas Levai (HUN)
SILVER: Bozo Starcevic (SRB)
BRONZE: Karlo Kodric (CRO)
BRONZE: Filip Sacic (CRO)
GOLD: Istvan Takacs (HUN)
SILVER: Erik Szilvassy (HUN)
BRONZE: Szymon Szymonowicz (POL)
BRONZE: Svetoslav Nikolov (BUL)
GOLD: Tadeusz Michalik
SILVER: Metehan Basar (TUR)
BRONZE: Mikheil Kajaia (SRB)
GOLD: Fatih Bozkurt (TUR)
SILVER: Konsta Maenpaa (FIN)
BRONZE: Tomasz Wawrzynczyk (POL)
2022 U20 Greco-Roman World Championships Schedule
Friday begins the 2022 U20 Greco-Roman World Championships, hosted this year in Sofia, Bulgaria. FLOWrestling will carry the broadcast for the US audience with action beginning on August 19 at 11:00am local time/4:00am ET.
Friday, August 19
11:00am-3:30pm — Qualification round (55, 63, 77, 87, & 130 kg)
4:45pm-5:45pm — Semifinals
Saturday, August 20
11:00am-3:30pm — Qualification round (60, 67, 72, 82, & 97 kg)
11:00am-3:30pm — Repechage (55, 63, 77, 87, & 130 kg)
4:45pm-5:45pm — Semifinals (60, 67, 72, 82, & 97 kg)
6:00pm-8:30pm — Finals/bronze round (55, 63, 77, 87, & 130 kg)
Sunday, August 21
4:00pm-5:45pm — Repechage (60, 67, 72, 82, & 97 kg)
6:00pm-8:30pm — Finals/bronze round (60, 67, 72, 82, & 97 kg)
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