World Olympic Qualifier Greco-Roman Paris Qualification Bouts Set

By Ken Marantz & Vinay Siwach

ISTANBUL, Turkiye (May 9) -- The first day of the World OG Qualifier, the last chance for wrestlers to earn a Paris 2024 spot, will see the six weight classes in Greco-Roman. Three wrestlers from each weight class will earn the spot for Paris from Istanbul.


Here are the Paris Qualification bouts for the evening session

Dahyun KIM (KOR) vs. Sadyk LALAEV (AIN)
Murad MAMMADOV (AZE) vs. Razvan ARNAUT (ROU)

Etienne KINSINGER (GER) vs. Valentin PETIC (MDA)
Ramaz ZOIDZE (GEO) vs. Lei LI (CHN)





17:12: In a marquee matchup to cap the seven-hour session, Iuri LOMADZE (GEO) got the best of Viktor NEMES (SRB), scoring a pair of 4-point moves in a 10-1 victory at 77kg. Trailing 1-0 in the second period and put into par terre, Lomadze hits a whirling 4-point throw. He then puts the match away by securing a body lock and taking Nemes to his back for 4.

17:04: Rui LUI (CHN) makes up for squandering an early lead by scoring a stepout with 1:03 left and holding on to defeat Idris IBAEV (GER) 5-5 at 77kg. Lui led 4-2 early in the first period when Ibaev went ahead 5-4 with takedown and stepout.

17:02: Young Pavel HLINCHUK (AIN) is looking unstoppable at 130kg, as he finishes off a 13-4 win over Elias KUOSMANEN (FIN) with an awesome underhook 4-point throw.

17:00: Sergey KUTUZOV (AIN) once again dominant on the mat! Per OLOFSSON (SWE) had no chance against Kutuzov who got the first par terre. Olofsson was docked for two points for leg could and Kutuzov scored a turn from par terre to lead 5-0. Few points in the second period but Kutuzov with an 8-2 win at 77kg.

16:51: Yuri NAKAZATO (JPN), looking to become the first Japanese in an upper weight class in Greco to make the Olympics since 2012, moved one step away by scoring two takedowns in a 6-0 victory over Felix BALDAUF (NOR) at 97kg. Standing in his way is Arvi SAVOLAINEN (FIN).

16:47: London Olympic silver medalist Heiki NABI (EST) is a win away from qualifying for the Paris Games. Nabi, 38, beats Oskar MARVIK (NOR) 5-1 in the quarterfinal at 130kg.

16:43: Lucas LAZOGIANIS (GER) knocks off two-time former world bronze medalist Mihail KAJAIA (SRB) at 97kg in another 1-1 match decided by the last of two passivity points. He will face Artur SARGSIAN (AIN) tonight for a ticket to Paris.

16:42: In a thriller at 60kg, Razvan ARNAUT (ROU) is trailing Justus PETRAVICIUS (LTU) 6-2 in the second period when he unleashes a lethal 4-point arm throw and pulls out a 6-6 win.

16:30: Artur SARGSIAN (AIN) barely manages to see off Vladen KOZLIUK (UKR) in the 97kg quarterfinals. Sargsian, who usually has a strong par terre, fails to perform against Kozliuk but gets the job done.

16:27: In one of the featured matches of what is officially the quarterfinals but what are de facto semifinals, Rafig HUSEYNOV (AZE)  scrapes to a 2-1 victory over Alex KESSIDIS (SWE) at 87kg. After Kessidis gets a passivity point, Huseynov goes ahead on criteria when he receives a point from an unsuccessful and somewhat misguided challenge. In the second period, Huseynov gains a stepout, although it was one the Azeris might have wished they could have challenged it.

16:25: Zagreb Open champion Sadyk LALAEV (AIN) ended the strong run of Georgij TIBILOV (SRB) at 60kg, scoring a second-period takedown that clinched a 6-2 victory.

16:12: Lasha GOBADZE (GEO) does just what he needs to do to get by Marcel STERKENBURG (NED) at 87kg, scoring a roll from par terre to win 3-3 on last-point criteria. He will either Rafig HUSEYNOV (AZE) or Alex KESSIDIS (SWE) for a ticket to Paris.

16:08: 2021 world silver medalist Kiryl MASKEVICH (AIN) continues his run at 87kg with a 7-2 win over Nicu OJOG (ROU) to advance to the Paris 2024 qualification bout.

16:02: Lei LI (CHN) rallies from a 5-point deficit to defeat Mateusz BERNATEK (POL) 10-5 and advance to Paris 2024 qualification match at 67kg. He will face Ramaz ZOIDZE (GEO), who came out a 9-4 winner in a contentious match with Din KOSHKAR (KAZ) on an adjacent mat.

15:50: Iuri LOMADZE (GEO) jumps out to a big lead against VIKAS (IND) at 77kg, using an arm throw for 2, then getting behind and nailing a 4-point throw. Lomadze then slips behind for a takedown that ends it at 8-0 with 25 seconds to spare in the first period.

15:45: Sergei KUTUZOV (AIN) looks the wrestler to beat at 77kg! He takes out Tsimur BERDYIEU (AIN) 8-0 to advance to the quarterfinals where he will face Per OLOFSSON (SWE).

15:39: Former world champion Viktor NEMES (SRB) forges ahead at 77kg, scoring a gut wrench in his second shot at par terre in the second period to sew up a 4-0 victory over Antonio KAMENJASEVIC (CRO).

15:29: Aik MNATSAKANIAN (BUL) prevails in an intense battle between former world medalists at 77kg, gaining a stepout in the first period and a passivity point in the second for a 2-1 victory over Zoltan LEVAI (HUN).

15:27: There's still plenty of life left in 38-year-old Heiki NABI (EST), holder of an Olympic silver from 2012 and five world medals won over a span from 2006 to 2019. He gets a pair of gut wrenches from par terre in the first period, then uses stepouts to finish off Aybegshazada KURRAYEV (TKM) 9-0 at 130kg.

15:19: Veteran Alin ALEXUC CIURARIU (ROU), finally taking the mat for the first time on a long day as he bids to make a fourth Olympics, gets a gut wrench from par terre in the first period and comes out a 4-0 winner over Eduard BABENOSHEV (TJK) at 130kg.

15:17: Tokyo Olympic silver medalist Iakobi KAJAIA (GEO) falls in the 1/8 finals against Elias KUOSMANEN (FIN) 130kg. Kuosmanen hit a front head lock for four at the start of the bout before getting a passivity point to lead 5-0. Kajaia got one point in the second period but that was all as Kousmanen won 5-1.

15:10: Mihail KAJAIA (SRB) beats Alex SZOKE (HUN) 1-1 at 97kg after the two exchanged passivity points. Szoke got the par terre on the third passivity but failed to score and Kajaia was happy to hold on to his criteria lead.

15:02: Sabah SHARIATI (AZE), a bronze medalist at the 2016 Rio Olympics, rolls to a 9-0 victory over three-time Asian bronze medalist Roman KIM (KGZ) at 130kg.

14:59: Felix BALDAUF (NOR) wins over no new friends in Istanbul after he knocked off local favorite Metehan BASAR (TUR) at 97kg, winning 1-1 on last-point criteria after both received a passivity point.

14:50: Yuri NAKAZATO (JPN) continues to surprise at 97kg, scoring a reversal from the bottom of par terre after landing on his feet during a throw -- which was upheld on challenge -- in a 3-1 victory over Murad AHMADIYEV (AZE).

14:48: In a clash of Tokyo Olympians, Arvi SAVOLAINEN (FIN) gets a passivity point in each period and comes out a 2-0 winner over Uzur DZHUZUPBEKOV (KGZ) at 97kg.

14:34: An impressive display by two-time world bronze medalist Murad MAMMADOV (AZE) to move closer to a ticket to Paris at 60kg. He reverses from the bottom of par terre against Christopher KRAEMER (GER), then scores two gut wrenches to make it 5-1. Mammodov finishes the proceedings with a twirling 4-point throw and, with an unsuccessful challenge, the final score is 10-1.

14:31: Georgij TIBILOV (SRB) literally took down Goliath. The 2023 world bronze medalist at 63kg scored a takedown against five-time African medalist Romio GOLIATH (NAM), then reeled off four rolls for a 9-0 victory to advance at 60kg.

14:29: Alex KESSIDIS (SWE) reels off a 4-point throw from par terre in the second period and that makes the difference in a 5-4 victory over Jalgasbay BERDIMURATOV (UZB) at 87kg. Both wrestlers competed at the Tokyo Olympics at 77kg, but lost in the first round.

14:23: Marcel STERKENBURG  (NED) hangs on for a 3-2 win over Mihail BRADU (MDA) at 87kg. Sterkenburg scored a turn from par terre for a 3-0 lead. He challenged asking for two more points for the second turn. He lost that challenge as Bradu never came in danger position. Bradu got one point for par terre in the second period but failed to score any points.

14:15: Turpal BISULTANOV (DEN) with a big four-pointer, that was challenged by Martynas NEMSEVICIUS (LTU) but lost. Bisultanov then added a takedown and turn to earn a 9-0 win at 87kg.

14:14: Lasha GOBADZE (GEO) hangs on for a 5-4 victory over Gevorg TADEVOSYAN (ARM) at 87g.

14:09: Olympic bronze medalist Rafig HUSEYNOV (AZE) advances at 87kg by the slimmest of margins, overcoming a 3-1 deficit in the final seconds for an improbable 4-3 win over Sunil KUMAR (IND). With time running out, Huseynov got in on a body lock and forced Kumar over the edge for a stepout. But the Indian was assessed a 1-point penalty for fleeing, giving Huseynov a 3-3 win on criteria. An unsuccessful challenge added the final point.

13:57: Ramaz ZOIDZE (GEO), a 2021 world bronze medalist who would love nothing better than to get a chance to make up for a fifth-place finish in Tokyo, advances at 67kg with a 5-0 win over Niklas OEHLEN (SWE). Zoidze comes close but fails to complete a gut wrench from par terre in the first period, but pulls one off after a takedown in the second.

13:48: Valentin PETIC (MDA) scores a stepout on a throw attempt from par terre and comes out a 4-1 winner at 67kg over Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist Mohamed ELSAYED (EGY). He will face Andreas VETSCH (SUI) for a place in Olympic qualification match.

13:45: European bronze medalist Kiryl MASKEVICH (AIN) scores a victory by fall over Arkadiusz KULYNYCZ (POL) at 87kg. Trailing 1-1 on criteria, Maskevich pancakes his opponent to his back and applies a tight headlock for the fall. It was a rematch of Maskevich's 7-5 win at the 2021 World Championships, where he won the silver medal and Kulynycz took home a bronze.

13:36: Mateusz BERNATEK (POL), a world silver medalist back in 2017, gets a stepout in the first period and a gut wrench from par terre in the second, and he advances at 67kg with a 4-1 victory over Yong Jin RO (PRK).

13:32: European bronze medalist Iuri LOMADZE (GEO) scores a first-period takedown and has one in the second nullified on challenge, but it's enough for a 3-0 victory over Oliver KRUEGER (DEN) at 77kg.

13:17: Asian Games bronze medalist Rui LIU (CHN), who suffered a heartbreaking loss in the final match at the Asian Qualifier, starts out strong at 77kg with an 11-0 win over Georgios PREVOLARAKIS (GRE). Liu gets a pair of rolls from par terre, then finishes it off the match with a 4-point throw.

13:11: Tokyo Olympian Aik MNATSAKANIAN (BUL), a 2019 world bronze medalist, gets the gut wrench during his shot at par terre in the second period and that's enough for a 3-1 victory over Marcos SANCHEZ (ESP) to advance at 77kg, today's most populated weight class with 33 entries.

12:52: Sergey KUTUZOV (AIN), the 2021 world silver medalist at 72kg, chalks up an 8-0 victory over Kamal BEY (USA) at 77kg, which took a while to figure out. With a 2-0 lead, Kutuzov got behind with the two standing and hit a 4-point throw. The USA side challenged, but instead, Bey was assessed a 2-point foul, ending the match just before the end of the first period.

12:45: Artur SARGSIAN (AIN), who broke his arm at the World Championships, returns for the last chance qualifier and beats Markus RAGGINGER (AUT) 7-1 at 97kg to keep his hopes of earning a Paris 2024 spot alive.

12:31: Pavel HLINCHUK (AIN), the 2023 world U23 champion at 97kg who has moved up to 130kg, advances with a fall over 2020 world U20 champion Mykhailo VYSHNYVETSKYI (UKR). Hlinchuk was leading 7-4 when Vyshnyvetskyi hit a lateral drop for 4. But Hlinchuk rolled through the move to come out on top and secure the fall.

12:17: Alex SZOKE (HUN), the 2021 world silver medalist who placed fifth at the Tokyo Olympics, knocks off Nikolaz KAKHELASHVILI (ITA) 10-1 at 97kg. Szoke gets a pair of rolls from par terre to build a 5-0 lead. On the bottom in the second period, Szoke stops a roll for 2, then gets on top and hits a gut wrench.

11:57: Metehan BASAR (TUR), six years removed from the second of his back-to-back world titles at 85/87kg, gets the home crowd going with a 2-0 win over Asian Games silver medalist Yiming LI (CHN) at 97kg. The 33-year-old Basar gains a passivity point in the first period and a stepout in the second.

11:56: Five-time Asian medalist and Tokyo Olympian Uzur DZHUZUPBEKOV (KGZ), who came up one win short at the Asian qualifier at home in Bishkek, stuffs a roll attempt by Kaloyan IVANOV (BUL) in par terre for 2 and advances at 97kg with a 3-1 victory.

11:38: Two-time world bronze medalist Murad MAMMADOV (AZE), the reigning European champion at 63kg, gets three rolls and an exposure from par terre to put away Aleksandrs JURKJANS (LAT) 10-1 as he tries to make his first Olympics at 60kg.

11:30: Munkh BATKHUYAG (MGL), a 2023 world U23 bronze medalist in freestyle (!), overwhelms Ibrahim BUNDUKA (SLE) 10-0 at 60kg as he launches his attempt to become just the second Mongolian in history to wrestle Greco at an Olympics and first since 1980.

11:21: Tokyo Olympic 77kg bronze medalist Rafig HUSEYNOV (AZE), aiming to make it to Paris at 87kg, gets a pair of passivity points and a challenge point and holds on for a 3-1 win over Ilias PAGKALIDIS (GRE).

11:20: Two-time world medalist and Tokyo Olympian Jalgasbay BERDIMURATOV (UZB) bear hugs Hannes WAGNER (GER) straight to his back for a spectacular 4-pointer from par terre and he advances at 87kg with a 5-1 victory.

11:10: Turpal BISULTANOV (DEN) uses his over-under position to score stepouts against Lukas STAUDACHER (AUT) and secures a technical superiority win at 87kg.

10:59: Another match is decided by which wrestler receives the last passivity point. In a battle of Tokyo Olympians, it was former world champion Lasha GOBADZE (GEO) gained a 1-1 victory at 87kg over four-time Pan Am champion Daniel GREGORICH (CUB). The loss by Gregorich at 87kg makes it difficult for Cuba to have wrestlers in all six Greco weight classes in Paris.

10:46: Veteran two-time world champion Hansu RYU (KOR) saw his bid to make a third Olympics end when a late takedown against Matias LIPASTI (FIN) was wiped out on challenge, giving Lipasti a 1-1 victory on last-point criteria -- he got the second of the passivity points awarded. Ryu had a second chance in par terre but couldn't turn Lipasti.

10:36: At 67kg, Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist Mohamed ELSAYAD (EGY) has to hang on for a nail-biting 9-8 victory over European bronze medalist Abu AMAEV (BUL). Elsayad gets a pair of 4-pointers to build up a 9-2, only to allow Amaev to nearly rally to victory.

10:35: Yong Jin RO (PRK) gets the gut wrench in his second stint in par terre in the second period, giving him a 3-2 victory at 67kg over the two-time world 72kg bronze medalist Selcuk CAN (TUR). 

10:30: Lei LI (CHN) with a quick takedown and four three rolls for an 8-0 win over Adomas GRIGALIUNAS (LTU) at Greco-Roman 67kg. China is looking to earn the three Greco-Roman spots that it has still not got.

10:00: Welcome to the first day of the World OG Qualifier in Istanbul. Greco-Roman action will kick off the tournament. Winners of the semifinal along with the winner of the playoff between the two bronze medalists will earn a quota for the Paris Olympics.


Valiev gets 74kg Paris 2024 spot; USA completes Olympic line-up

By United World Wrestling Press

ISTANBUL, Turkiye (May 12) -- A day after he was dealt with a heartbreaking loss, Cherman VALIEV (ALB) pulled off a stunning last-second win over Soner DEMIRTAS (TUR) to qualify for the Paris Olympics.

At the World Olympic Qualifier, the last chance to qualify for the Paris Olympics, Valiev lost to Viktor RASSADIN (TJK) in the 74kg semifinal on Saturday after he was docked for a singlet-pull. But 24 hours later, Valiev turned it around. Trailing 2-1 in the Olympic playoff between the two bronze medal winners, Valiev got a par terre position over Demirtas and turned him for two points with just a second left.

Demirtas challenged, asking for a block and two points as he stopped Valiev mid-turn, but blocking was not confirmed on review, giving Valiev another point for a lost challenge and a 4-2 win.

Apart from Valiev's dramatic win to earn Albania's third Freestyle quota for Paris, 70kg world champion Zain RETHERFORD (USA) won the 65kg spot for the United States to complete the line-up for Paris with all six spots. Spencer LEE (USA) won the 57kg spot on Saturday.

China earned two spots for Paris while Georgia and Hungary won a spot each. China won the spots at 57kg and 97kg, Georgia 86kg and Hungary will be represented in 125kg.

Retherford, who lost to Tulga TUMUR OCHIR (MGL) at 65kg, wrestled four bouts on Sunday with his bronze-medal bout against SUJEET (IND) being the closest. Sujeet scored a counter takedown in the first period and tried holding on to that lead in the second. But as he was pushing Retherford towards the zone, the American circled back and took Sujeet down and take a 2-2 lead which he held till the end.

In the Olympic playoff, Retherford got the better of Niurgun SKRIABIN (AIN), 7-0, and earned a sixth Paris 2024 spot for the U.S. Since Retherford won the trials before coming to Istanbul, he will be now going to Paris.

Wanhao ZOU (CHN) and Awusayiman HABILA (CHN) earned the two quotas for China. Zou was up against  Andrii YATSENKO (UKR) and had little trouble beating Yatsenko in the playoff.

Habila wrestled 38-year-old Magomed IBRAGIMOV (UZB) in the playoff at 125kg and came out on top 2-1. Ibragimov got a 1-0 lead after Habila was out on the activity clock but he failed to score. Ibragimov was put on the clock in the second period but he also failed to score giving Habila a 1-1 criteria lead. Ibragimov made a few attempts in the final seconds but failed to get any points.

Ibragimov challenged asking for fleeing but it was not confirmed on review. The Rio bronze medalist later left his shoes on the mat, symbolizing his retirement from the sport.

Vladimeri GAMKRELIDZE (GEO), who lost after giving up a late takedown, left nothing to luck on Sunday and defeated Vasyl MYKHAILOV (UKR), 8-2, giving Georgia its fourth qualification in Freestyle.

Hungary got its second Paris 2024 spot after Daniel LIGETI (HUN) pinned Jose DIAZ (VEN) in the playoff after building a 5-0 lead.

Paris 2024 Qualification Results

Wanhao ZOU (CHN) df. Andrii YATSENKO (UKR), 5-1

Zain RETHERFORD (USA) df. Niurgun SKRIABIN (AIN), 7-0

Chermen VALIEV (ALB) df. Soner DEMIRTAS (TUR), 4-2

Vladimeri GAMKRELIDZE (GEO) df. Vasyl MYKHAILOV (UKR), 8-2

Awusayiman HABILA (CHN) df. Magomed IBRAGIMOV (UZB), 2-1

Daniel LIGETI (HUN) df. Jose DIAZ (VEN), via fall...