ISTANBUL (September 12) – A trio of new champions were crowned in greco-roman as the senior wrestling world championships got under way in Istanbul while the top six wrestlers in each weight category earned berths in next year's Olympic Games in London.
Rovshan Bayramov (AZE) won his first world title after being a silver and bronze collector in recent years with a workmanlike performance against European bronze medalist Elbek Tazhyiev (BLR)
Bayramov, a two-time European champ, is also the first new world champion at 55kg since 2005 when Hamid Soryan (IRI) began his run of five straight world titles.
Soryan, who reportedly was having trouble with his weight, did not enter this year's meet and will now have to earn an Olympic berth at the Asian qualifying meet in Kazakstan next spring.
At 66kg, Asian Games gold medalist Saied Mourad Abdvali (IRI) won his first world title by edging Manuchar Tskhadaia (GEO) who was trying to improve on his second place in the 2009 world meet.
Earlier, defending champ Ambako Vachadze (RUS) was upended by Danijel Janecic (CRO) and last year's runner-up Armen Vardanyan (UKR) fell to Hugo Passos (POR), both by 1-2 scores, in the first round of bouts at 66kg.
Elis Guri, who represented Albania at the 2008 Olympics, won his first world crown at 96kg and earned an Olympic berth for his new country of Bulgaria. Guri stopped an earnest bid by Jimmy Lidberg (SWE) to improve on his silver and bronze medals in 2009 and 2010.
55kg (37 entries)
F1 – Rovshan Bayramov (AZE) df. Elbek Tazhyiev (BLR), 2-0 (3-0, 1-0)
F3 – Li Shujin (CHN) df. Peter Modos (HUN) by TF, 2-0 (7-0, 6-0)
F3 – Bekhan Mankiev (RUS) df. Yun Won-Chol (PRK), 2-1 (1-0, 0-1, 1-0)
SF – Bayramov (AZE) df. Li (CHN), 2-0 (3-0, 2-0)
SF – Tazhyieu (BLR) df. Mankiev (RUS), 2-1 (0-1, 2-1, 2-0)
66kg (52 entries)
F1 – Saeid Mourad Abdvali (IRI) df. Manuchar Tskhadaia (GEO), 2-0 (1-0, 2-0)
F3 – Kim Hyeon-Woo (KOR) df. Frank Stabler (GER), 2-0 (1-0, 2-0)
F3 – Pedro Isaac Mullen (CUB) df. Justin Lester (USA), 2-0 (1-0, 1-0)
SF – Abdvali (IRI) df. Kim (KOR), 2-1 (1-0, 0-3, 2-0)
SF – Tskhadaia (GEO) df. Lester (USA), 2-0 (4-0, 4-0)
96kg (44 entries)
F1 – Elis Guri (BUL) df. Jimmy Lidberg (SWE), 2-0 (1-0, 1x-1=last)
F3 – Rustam Totrov (RUS) df. Mohamed Abdel Fatah (EGY), 2-1 (3-0, 0-2, 2-0)
F3 – Cenk Ildem (TUR) df. Timofej Dzeinichenka (BLR), 2-0 (3-0, 1-0)
SF – Guri (BUL) df. Abdel Fatah (EGY), 2-1 (0-3, 1-0, 2-0)
SF – Lidberg (SWE) df. Ildem (TUR), 2-1 (0-1, 1-0, 2-0)