Greco News

Monday Roundup: Euro Results; HUN No 60 KG; Pan-Am Camp

2024 european championships, malkhas amoyan
Malkhas Amoyan -- Photo: UWW

The 2024 European Championships are ongoing and will conclude Tuesday in Bucharest. Three of the non-Olympic (or “world”) weights have been decided. As for the Olympic categories, 60, 67, and 97 are nearly complete with only repechage, bronze, and gold rounds left to go.

’21 World Champion/two-time bronze Malkhas Amoyan (77 kg, ARM) garnered his first European gold by defeating (in order) Riccardo Abbrescia (ITA), Adlet Tiuliubaev (AIN), Alexandrin Gutu (MDA), and Yunus Basar (TUR). Amoyan was in firm command throughout much of the tournament, and in the final blanked Basar 7-0. Tiuliubaev eventually finished with bronze, as did Iuri Lomadze (GEO).

At 87, former age-group star, and former Russian representative, Aleksandr Komarov rose above the pack to, like Amoyan, come away with European Championships title #1. Now a competitor for Serbia, Komarov had twice earned bronze at the Euros under the RUS banner (for whom he had also won the U23 Worlds in ’21). After exiting the Grand Prix of Zagreb Open in third place last month, Komarov has now rid himself of any ring rust. In Bucharest, the 24-year-old claimed multi-time World/’20 Olympic champ Zhan Belenyuk (UKR) among his victims, and edged well-decorated Islam Abbasov (AZE) 3-1 in the semifinal. To close out, Komarov decisioned Ali Cengiz (TUR) 4-1.

’18 World Champion/two-time Olympic bronze Sergey Semenov (AIN) denied future Hall of Famer Riza Kayaalp (TUR) his 12th Euro title in dramatic fashion. Kayaalp had just taken a 2-0 lead in the second period of the heavyweight final when, on the next reset, Semenov locked over/under and torqued Kayaalp directly to the tarp. Once on top, Semenov held position and soon recorded the win via fall.

Below are the latest medal results from the ’24 European Championships as well as the finals pairings for the remaining weight categories.

not all roads lead to gold, parent edition, jim gruenwald

55 kg

GOLD: Artium Deleanu (MDA)
SILVER: Rashad Mammadov (AZE)
BRONZE: Denis Mihai (ROU)
BRONZE: Manvel Khachatryan (ARM)

63 kg

GOLD: Murad Mammadov (AZE)
SILVER: Oleksandr Hrushyn (UKR)
BRONZE: Edmond Nazaryan (BUL)
BRONZE: Anvar Allakhiarov (AIN)

77 kg

GOLD: Malkhas Amoyan (ARM)
SILVER: Yunus Basar (TUR)
BRONZE: Iuri Lomadze (GEO)
BRONZE: Adlet Tiuliubaev (AIN)

87 kg

GOLD: Aleksanr Komarov (SRB)
SILVER: Ali Cengiz (TUR)
BRONZE: Zhan Belenyuk (UKR)
BRONZE: Kiryl Maskevich (AIN)

130 kg

GOLD: Sergey Semenov (AIN)
SILVER: Riza Kayaalp (TUR)
BRONZE: Beka Kandelaki (AZE)
BRONZE: Danila Sotnikov (ITA)

Remaining Finals Pairings

60 kg: Victor Ciobanu (MDA) vs. Nihat Mammadli (AZE)

67 kg: Hasrat Jafarov (AZE) vs. Ruslan Bichurin (AIN)

72 kg: Selcuk Can (TUR) vs. Ulvi Ganizade (AZE)

82 kg: Alperen Berber (TUR) vs. Islam Aliev (AIN)

97 kg: Artur Aleksanyan (ARM) vs. Magomed Murtzazaliev (AIN)

FLOWrestling is carrying the broadcast of the 2024 European Championships in the United States. 

To Whom Belongs the Glory graphic

HUN Forgoing 60 KG

It would appear that heading into the European Olympic Games Qualifier, Hungary will not be entering an athlete at 60 kilograms. What’s more, Hungarian Federation director Peter Bacsi suggests that the 2024 Paris Olympiad will, certainly, not include a representative in the sport’s lightest weight category. Said Bacsi, “Unfortunately, in the smallest weight group, 57 (for freestyle) and 60 kg, we can’t field competitors, so we definitely won’t have competitors there at the Olympics.” Basci’s usage of the word “definitely” implies that the federation will also not enter a 60 kg athlete in the World Olympic Games Qualifier in May, which is the final opportunity nations have to gain quotas for Paris. Krisztian Kecskemeti competed on behalf of Hungary at both the ’21 and ’22 World Championships (at the latter of which he finished 5th). Hungary did not send an athlete in this weight category to the ’23 Worlds last September.

Hungary has thus far secured 87 kg for Paris due to David Losonczi‘s performance at Belgrade ’23 (silver elevated to gold). With 60 kg presumably not in the federation’s plans, that leaves five weight categories still to be determined. ’22 World silver Zoltan Levai claims ownership over 77 kilograms (this despite Robert Fritsch getting the start at the European Championships), and Dariusz Vitek is unchallenged at heavyweight. Tamas Levai is thought to be the front-runner at 97, whereas 67 offers several candidates, such as Levente Levai and Kriztian Vancza. The ’24 European Olympic Games Qualifier is scheduled for April 5 in Baku, Azerbaijan with the final World Olympic Qualifier slated for May 10 in Istanbul, Turkey.

USA in Pan-Am Camp

With the all-important Pan-American Olympic Games Qualifier coming up this month in Acapulco, Mexico, the United States Greco-Roman Seniors have fully converged in Colorado Springs for training camp. First is, of course, the Pan-Am Championships which is being held the week prior to the Olympic Qualifier — and it is a tournament bearing potentially-crucial implications. United World “Ranking Series” points are on the line at the Championships, and said points will influence seeding (top-4) at the following week’s event.

As has been reported, five of the six wrestlers who will represent Team USA at the OG Qualifier will indeed suit up for the Pan-Am Championships. They are: Alex Sancho (67 kg, Army/WCAP), Kamal Bey (77 kg, Army/WCAP), Spencer Woods (87 kg, Army/WCAP), Alan Vera (97 kg, NYAC), and Cohlton Schultz (130 kg, Sunkist). Ildar Hafizov (60 kg, Army/WCAP) is the outlier, as the multiple-time World Team member and two-time Olympian is sitting out of the continental championships. In his stead, ’22 Pan-Am Championships gold Randon Miranda (NYAC) will be gunning for title #2.

Interviews, Coverage, Etc.

A featured interview will be forthcoming spotlighting surging heavyweight contender Courtney Freeman (130 kg, Marines), who over the past year has skyrocketed both from a performance standpoint as well as statistically. Freeman — who only began competing in Senior Greco-Roman in the spring of ’21 — competed twice overseas during the summer (and came away with a gold from Spain) and has this season placed second at the Bill Farrell Memorial before taking third at the December Nationals. In what is a wide-ranging presentation of literary discourse, Freeman explains his beginnings in the sport, what it is like for him to manage Olympic aspirations with an MMA career, and the influence he has derived from several current athletes and coaches.

Speaking of coaches, the one and only Spenser Mango will be back with an edition of Fort Greco. The topics are all of a pressing nature. The recent winter overseas tour, preparing athletes for the Trials, and overviews of individual Army competitors serve as the primary subject fodder.

Episode 58 (Carl Banks) of the Five Point Move Podcast will bring two very intriguing guests: ’22 US Open runner-up and standout prospect Aidan Nutter (NYAC/NTS) and three-time US World Team rep Joe Rau (97 kg, TMWC). Rau, who at different stages of his career served as 5PM’s chief athlete correspondent, has not appeared on the show since just prior to the ’19 Worlds. It will be a segment to which most will certainly look forward to hearing.

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Listen to “5PM57: Kamal Bey and David Stepanyan” on Spreaker.

Listen to “5PM56: Rich Carlson and Spencer Woods” on Spreaker.

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