Greco News

U23 European Championships: Gurbanov Leads AZE

gurban gurbanov, u23 european championships
Gurban Gurbanov -- Photo: UWW

The 2024 U23 European Championships ended on Wednesday in Baku, Azerbaijan with one repeat titlist from last year, and another who won in ’22, bronzed in ’23, and has returned to the top spot once again.

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Up from 72 kg to 82 this year was Gurban Gurbanov (AZE), who completed his second-straight run to gold with an 8-2 decision over ’21 U20 World champ Islam Aliev (AIN). Aliev, who was runner-up to Alperen Berber (TUR) at the Senior edition of the continental tournament, had dominated en-route to Wednesday’s final round on the strength of a fall, a VSU, and a crisp 8-2 nod at the expense of Deni Nakev (GER). But Gurbanov was just as effective along the way, and had blanked all three of his opponents prior to the title match. In the end, the final was a caution-filled bout with both sides challenging calls due to perceived fouls. Gurbanov did score from par terre in the first period via gutwrench — but he also received two from a caution plus one more from an Aliev challenge. Nevertheless, the ’22 U20/’23 U23 World Champion reigned supreme as he looks to make a major impact as a Senior upon the dawn of the next Olympic cycle.

Matthew 20 Graphic v2

Chkhivadze With #2

In ’23, Gurbanov halted Giorgi Chkhivadze (GEO) from advancing to the gold-medal round — at 72 kg. Their meeting in Bucharest had been a tight affair with scoring by and large absent. Gurbanov prevailed on criteria 1-1 and went on to steamroll Irfan Mirzoiev (UKR) in the final.

Thus, ’24 was seen as Chkhivadze’s turn at 72 and his trek began in the only qualification-round match of the bracket. The Georgian Furkan Zirin, decisioned Krisztofer Klanyi (HUN), decimated Peter Gornyashki (BUL), and survived a scare against host country Azerbaijan’s Ruslan Nurullayev. His finals opponent was Vilius Savickas (LTU), who last year was bounced early in the tournament by Klanyi. Three hard wins on Tuesday escorted the Lithuanian into the showdown against Chkhivadze with gold on the line. But, he could not get going. Chkhivadze capitalized early and ran the string to the tune of an 8-0 VSU.

Chkhivadze was a U23 European Championships gold medalist in ’22 before falling to Gurbanov a season ago. Now a two-time champ from the event with three medals overall, Chkhivadze, like Gurbanov, is expected to be a significant force going forward in the Senior division.


Melhamu Fetene (60 kg) became Israel’s first U23 European Championships medalist in ’23 by earning silver. After this latest edition of the tournament, Fetene has also become Israel’s first two-time U23 Euro medalist. A defeat in the qualification round to eventual finalist (and champ) Mert Ilbars (TUR) provided an opportunity through the repechage, where Fetene defeated Yevhen Pokovba (UKR) via VSU. In the bronze round, Fetene decisioned Georgios Scarpello (GER) 4-3.

AZE Wins Team Title

Azerbaijan won the team title with 163 points. Second-place Georgia amassed 138, which was a mere three points better than Turkiye (135), and Moldova was far back in fourth with a total of 70 points.

2024 U23 European Championships

May 20-22 — Baku, AZE


55 kg: Giorgi Tokhadze (GEO) def. Emre Mutlu (TUR) 9-0, TF
60 kg: Mert Ilbars (TUR) def. Nihad Guluzade (AZE) 2-1
63 kg: Ziya Babashov (AZE) def. Vitalie Eriomenco (MDA) 3-0
67 kg: Daniial Agaev (AIN) def. Azat Sariyar (TUR) 11-1, TF
72 kg: Giorgi Chkhivadze (GEO) def. Vilius Savickas (LTU) 8-0, TF
77 kg: Khasay Hasanli (AZE) def. Yuksel Saricicek (TUR) 10-1, TF
82 kg: Gurban Gurbanov (AZE) def. Islam Aliev (AIN) 8-2
87 kg: Aues Gonibov (AIN) def. Achiko Bolkvadze (GEO) 7-0
97 kg: Magomed Murtazaliev (AIN) def. Abubakar Khslakhanau (AIN) 4-1
130 kg: Mykhailo Vyshnyvetskyi (UKR) def. Koppany Laszlo (HUN) via fall


55 kg

Adam Ulbashev (AIN) def. Leonid Moroz (MDA) 7-1
Rashad Mammadov (AZE) def. Ivan Stefanskyi (UKR) 7-0

60 kg

Melkamu Fetene (ISR) def. Georgios Scarpello (GER) 4-3
Dinislam Bammatov (AIN) def. Olivier Skrzypczak (POL) 6-3

63 kg

Mairbek Salimov (POL) def. Abere Fetene (ISR) 6-2
Bekir Ates (TUR) def. Aleksandr Andreev (AIN) 6-5

67 kg

Diego Chkhikvadze (GEO) def. Dmitar Georgiev (BUL) 9-1, TF
Oleg Khalilov (UKR) def. Yanis Guendez Nifri (FRA) 2-2 (criteria)

72 kg

Vasile Zabica (MDA) def. Giovanni Alessio (ITA) 5-4
Ruslan Nurullayev (AZE) def. Petar Gornyashki (BUL) 7-4

77 kg

Attila Toesmagi (HUN) def. Temuri Orjonikadze (GEO) 5-1
Alexandrin Gutu (MDA) def. Ismail Barakhoev (AIN) 3-2

82 kg

Vladimeri Karchaidze (FRA) def. Leon Rivalta (ITA) via fall
Deni Nakaev (GER) def. Alexandru Solovei (MDA) 4-1

87 kg

Exauce Mukubu (NOR) def. Samet Yaldiran (TUR) 10-0, TF
Lachin Valiyev (AZE) def. Ilya Mialeshcyhk (AIN) 4-1

97 kg

Anton Vieweg (GER) def. Luka Katic (CRO) 3-1
Murad Ahmadiyev (AZE) def. Aapo Viitala (FIN) 11-0, TF

130 kg

Giorgi Tsopurashvili (GEO) def. Dmitrii Baboryko (AIN) 9-1, TF
Muhammet Bakir (TUR) def. Marcel Albini (CZE) 4-1

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