Greco News

Monday Roundup: Gedza Results; Paris Eligibility Issues

sebastian nad, 2024 ljubomir gedza memorial champion
Sebastian Nad -- Photo: UWW

On Saturday, the 2024 Ljubomir Ivanovic Gedza Memorial was held in Mladenovac, Serbia. The event was one of two Senior international tournaments contested this past weekend, as the Sassari City/Matteo Pellicone Memorial also took place, though Gedza was the principle attraction.

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The two most dominant performers in Mladenovac were ’22 World Champion Sebastian Nad, who earned the Gedza title at 67 kilograms, and ’21 U23 World gold/’21 Senior silver Artur Sargsian (AIN/RUS), who rose to the top in the 97 kg division. Both competitors received additional awards for their tournament triumphs. Nad was named the event’s “Best Domestic Wrestler” whereas Sargsian was crowned its “Best Foreign Wrestler”. Neither athlete surrendered a single point along their respective journeys to gold, and both won all of their matches via technical superiority.

For Nad, the triumph was especially significant. The annual Ljubomir Ivanovic Gedza Memorial (this year marked its 37th running) is Serbia’s home event, and it is where Nad had previously placed 3rd four times and silver once (’22). Saturday represented his first gold medal-winning performance at Gedza and he trucked over his opposition by a combined score of 28-0 in three matches.

Matthew 20 Graphic v2

Sargsian was not the only decorated Russian to come away with gold on Saturday. Joining him were ’19 U23 World champ Milad Alirzaev (87 kg) and ’18 World champ/two-time Olympic bronze Sergey Semenov (130 kg).

At 55 kilograms, 39-year-old Marat Garipov (BRA) had a big day. The native of Kazakhstan not only won his bracket, two of his victories were recorded via fall with the third and final match being logged as a pin.

Only two more Senior international Greco-Roman events reside on the calendar before the Olympic Games begin in Paris on August 5. Next weekend is the Wladyslaw Pytlasinski Memorial (Warsaw, POL); and on July 5 is the Grand Prix of Spain (Madrid).

*More on Alirzaev, Sargsian, and Semenov below.

2024 Ljubomir Ivanovic Gedza Results

June 15 — Mladenovac, SRB


55 kg

GOLD: Marat Garipov (BRA)
SILVER: Sabolic Losonc (SRB)
BRONZE: Simo Zeljkovic (SRB)

60 kg

GOLD: Sadyk Lalaev (AIN)
SILVER: Sebastian Kolompar (SRB)
BRONZE: Alesandar Berarov (SRB)

63 kg

GOLD: Dejan Berkec (SRB)
SILVER: Marko Fratric (SRB)
BRONZE: Bojan Doncic (SRB)

67 kg

GOLD: Sebastian Nad (SRB)
BRONZE: Luka Vuckocvic (SRB)

72 kg

GOLD: Adam Pohilec (HUN)
SILVER: Zalan Pek (SRB)
BRONZE: Igor Gavrilovic (SRB)

77 kg

GOLD: Adelt Tiuliubaev (AIN)
SILVER: Aleksa Ilic (SRB)
BRONZE: Ognjen Jakovljevic (SRB)

82 kg

GOLD: Branko Kovacevic (SRB)
SILVER: Antal Vamos (SRB)
BRONZE: Szabolcs Szinlay (HUN)

87 kg

GOLD: Milad Alirzaev (AIN)
SILVER: Nikola Simonvic (SRB)
BRONZE: Eleftheiros Pappas (GRE)

97 kg

GOLD: Artur Sargsian (AIN)
SILVER: Aleksandar Simonvic (SRB)
BRONZE: Tomislav Brkan (CRO)
BRONZE: Uros Krstin (SRB)

130 kg

GOLD: Sergey Semenov (AIN)
SILVER: Boris Petrusic (SRB)
BRONZE: Sabolic Horvat (SRB)

IOC AIN Eligibility Update

Just as the Gedza Memorial was getting underway in Serbia, the International Olympic Committee published a list of all Russian and Belarusian athletes (across all Olympic sports) who have been deemed eligible to compete in the ’24 Paris Games. They did not, however, present the names of those who either definitively are or might be ineligible, and now it appears that five Russian Greco-Roman wrestlers and two from Belarus — all of whom qualified for Paris — may not enter the Olympics.


In April of last year, the IOC released a series of stipulations under which athletes from Russia and Belarus would be permitted to participate in international sporting events. Perhaps the most recognizable of the availed parameters was the “Individual Neutral Athlete” (AIN) distinction reserved for Russian and Belarusian competitors in lieu of their regular IOC country codes. In addition to representing “AIN” instead of RUS or BLR, athletes from these nations were also considered subject to exclusion from competition, Olympic or otherwise, according to various other guidelines, such as (all language from source document located here):

Teams of athletes with a Russian or Belarusian passport cannot be considered.
Athletes who actively support the war cannot compete. Support personnel who actively support the war cannot be entered.
Athletes who are contracted to the Russian or Belarusian military or national security agencies cannot compete. Support personnel who are contracted to the Russian or Belarusian military or national security agencies cannot be entered.

One addendum noted in the IOC’s directives also stated that “no flag, anthem, colors or any other identifications whatsoever of these countries displayed at any sports event or meeting, including the entire venue.” All guidelines listed are enforced via oversight by the IOC, sports sanctioning bodies (United World Wrestling, as an example, and similar international federations for other sports), and the Individual Neutral Athlete Eligibility Review Panel (AINERP).

Wrestlers from Russia and Belarus were allowed entry into the ’23 World Championships, which was the first tournament to offer quotas for the Paris Olympics, thus providing them with three opportunities to secure Olympic berths (in conjunction with the European Olympic Qualifier in April and the World OG Qualifier last month in Istanbul, Turkyie).

Below is the list of AIN athletes who secured Olympic quotas followed by their weight categories, IOC code, and event at which it occurred.

Sadyk Lalaev (60 kg, RUS, World OG Qualifier)
Sergey Kutuzov (77 kg, RUS, World OG Qualifier)
Milad Alirzaev (87 kg, RUS, Euro OG Qualifier)
Kiril Maskevich (87 kg, BLR, World OG Qualifier)
Abubakar Khaslakhanau (97 kg, BLR, ’23 World Championships)
Artur Sargsian (97 kg, RUS, World OG Qualifier)
Pavel Hlinchuk (130 kg, BLR, World OG Qualifier)
Sergey Semenov (130 kg, RUS, Euro OG Qualifier)

Of these eight AIN Greco-Roman athletes who qualified, only Khaslakhanau appeared on the IOC’s eligible list (dated June 15).

But there are athletes on the eligible list who did not secure berths, namely Magomed Murtazaliev (97kg, RUS), Alan Ostaev (87 kg, BLR), and Dmitri Zarubski (130 kg, BLR). This is reportedly due to Russia and Belarus having been allowed to submit two names per (qualified) weight category back in March. Neither Murtazaliev, Ostaev, or Zarubski are #1 options in their weights for their respective countries.

In the wake of the IOC list’s release on Saturday, questions have swirled as to why certain athletes may have been found ineligible and if their perceived infractions transpired either before or after qualifying. To this end, United World Wrestling on Saturday published their own release which provided an informative, if non-specific explanation:

The AINERP reviewed the athletes in accordance with the IOC EB (executive board) decision and the principles established. The Panel was in a position to benefit from new information from various sources, in particular official lists of athletes affiliated with sports clubs of the military and the security forces published on official websites in Russia and Belarus.

“Out of the 16 approved wrestlers, 10 AINs are holders of Russian passports while six are holders of Belarussian passports. During the United World Wrestling qualifying events, AINs with Russian passports earned 16 quotas and holders of Belarussian passports won 10 Paris quotas.

Perhaps the most compelling component of this development is the ripple effect stemming from the ineligibility of Olympic-qualified AIN wrestlers. There are indeed several instances which could potentially result in wrestlers who fell just short of qualifying soon receiving official notice that they (or their nations) now own quotas in Paris.

According to the IOC, the number of eligible athletes may be lower than the number of earned quota places. In such cases, these quota places will be reallocated to athletes from other NOCs in accordance with the qualification system of the respective IF (international federation).”

These decisions, as well as how Russia and Belarus might respond, are expected later in the week.

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