Greco News

Monday Roundup: U23 Euro Update; USA Leaves for CRO

khasay hasanli, u23 european championships
Khasay Hasanli -- Photo: UWW

The 2024 U23 European Championships began on Monday morning in Baku, Azerbaijan and finals in five of the ten weight classes have been set.

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

Two recent champs from the event, Emre Mutlu (55 kg, TUR) and Khasay Hasanli (77 kg, AZE), are back in the finals. Both were gold medalists in ’22; Hasanli is now a three-time U23 Euro finalist after having also placed second last year. In the semifinal round, Hasanli exacted a measure of revenge against Alexandrin Gutu (MDA), who had defeated the Azer in the gold-medal match a season ago. In their match on Monday, Gutu was effectively “cautioned out” with the score at 7-0

At 87 kg, Norway’s Exauce Mukubu (U23 World gold in ’22) was on the wrong end of a 3-0 decision against ’23 U23 World champ Aues Gonibov (AIN) in the quarterfinal. Gonibov did advance to the final and on Tuesday will take on Achiko Bolkvadze of Georgia. This means that Mukubu has been pulled back into the tournament via repechage. Mukubu needs to defeat Nikolaos Iosifidis (GRE) first; if successful, he will then face Samet Yaldiran (TUR) for bronze. Last April, Mukubu was the runner-up to Jonni Sarkkinen (FIN) at the U23 European Championships, but in the 82 kg division.

Matthew 20 Graphic v2

The gold-medal match at heavyweight will involve Mykhailo Vyshnyvetskyi (UKR) and Koppany Laszlo (HUN). Laszlo went over Giorgi Tsopurashvili (GEO) before holding on for a 1-1 criteria nod at the expense of Dmitri Baboryko (AIN). ’22 U20 World champ/’23 U23 World runner-up Vyshnyvetskyi took out none other than similarly well-decorated age-group competitor Muhammet Bakir (TUR) in the semifinals. Earlier in the qualification round, Bakir edged Pavel Hlinchuk (AIN) — who just last weekend placed “true third” at the World Olympic Qualifier in Istanbul, TUR. Below are the finals match-ups for Day 2 at the ’24 U23 European Championships. On Tuesday, the remaining weight categories (60, 67, 72, 82, and 97 kg) will be contested.

2024 U23 European Championships

May 20-22 — Baku, AZE


55 kg: Emre Mutlu (TUR) vs. Giorgi Tokhadze (GEO)
63 kg: Zya Babashov (AZE) vs. Vitalie Eriomenco (MDA)
77 kg: Khasay Hasanli (AZE) vs. Yuksel Saricicek (TUR)
87 kg: Achiko Bolkvadze (GEO) vs. Aues Gonibov (AIN)
130 kg: Mykhailo Vyshnyvetskyi (UKR) vs. Koppany Laszlo (HUN)

USA Heads to Croatia

A familiar headline it has become. For the third time this calendar year, a contingent of United States Greco-Roman athletes will be traveling to Porec, Croatia for training. Only, this time it is a little different. The trip for the Americans, which launches on Wednesday, represents the first leg of their Olympic Games training cycle. The full schedule for the three-man Olympic Team was just released earlier today and stretches right up to when the delegation arrives in Paris for the Olympic Games.

Two-time World rep Dalton Roberts (60 kg, Army/WCAP) and multi-time World Team member/’12 Olympian Ellis Coleman (67 kg, Army/WCAP) are among those listed on the tour roster. Roberts and Coleman both prevailed at the ’24 Olympic Team Trials. At the World OG Qualifier just over a week ago, Roberts staged a furious rally in the qualification round opposed by Viktor Petryk (UKR) but ultimately fell 11-6. Coleman started off by logging a hard-fought criteria decision against Aliaksandr Liavonchik (AIN) before dropping his next match to Andreas Vetsch of Switzerland. Likewise, Kamal Bey (77 kg, Army/WCAP) had also triumphed at the Trials. In Turkey, Bey lost via cautions to Sergey Kutuzov (AIN) and wound up winning his following three bouts to impressively garner bronze — but was then defeated 3-0 by ’22 World runner-up Zoltan Levai (HUN) in the “Paris Olympic Playoff” (i.e., true third round). Bey is not traveling to Croatia in tow with Roberts and Coleman.

One more name added to the upcoming tour roster is Jesse Porter (77 kg, NYAC). Porter — who himself won the Olympic Trials in ’21 but was unable to qualify 77 for Tokyo — wrestled-back to earn a National Team spot last month in State College.

After the camp in Croatia, members of the US delegation will stay put in Europe and prepare for the Polyak Imre Memorial (Hungarian Grand Prix) on June 5-9 in Budapest.

*2024 Paris Olympian

60 kg: Dalton Roberts
67 kg: Ellis Coleman (Army/WCAP)
77 kg: Jesse Porter (NYAC)
*87 kg: Payton Jacobson (Sunkist/NTS)
*97 kg: Joe Rau (TMWC)
*130 kg: Adam Coon (NYAC/Cliff Keen)

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