BUDAPEST (September 18) – Olympic and world champion Jordan BURROUGHS (USA) rolled to his third straight world-level title at 74kg in men’s freestyle while Iran came from behind for the team title Wednesday, September 18, at the senior wrestling world championships.
BURROUGHS racked up five wins at Papp Laszlo Budapest Sports Arena for the 74kg title, but it was the second-place effort of Essadollah AKBARI (IRI) that gave Iran the chance to win its first men’s freestyle title outside of Iran in 47 years.
Iran entered the final day of men’s freesytle trailing Russia, 44-37, in the team rankings. But, Russia’s entry at 74kg Kakhaber KHUBEZHTY (RUS) was eliminated with a loss in his first bout, opening the door for Iran.
AKBARI, who needed to finish with at least a bronze medal for Iran to take the team title, clawed and scratched his way into the championship final to secure the team title for Iran.
Iran won with 46 points from two champions, AKBARI’s silver, and two bronze medals. Russia came second with 44 points (2-0-3) while Georgia with only one bronze medalist accumulated 29 points with points from each team member.
The women’s freestyle competition also got under way on Wednesday with two silver medalists from a year ago – Eri TOSAKA (JPN) and SUN Yanan (CHN) – making the final step to the top of the medals podium at 48kg and 51kg.
TOSAKA and SUN won their silver medals at a special world championships for women’s freestyle held after the Olympic Games since three of the women’s categories were not contested in London.
Wrestling in women’s freestyle continues Thursday, September 19, in three categories – 55kg, 59kg and 63kg – with three-time Olympic Games gold medalists Saori YOSHIDA (JPN) and Kaori ICHO (JPN) taking to the mat.
74kg – Defending champion Jordan BURROUGHS (USA) picked away patiently against challenger Essadollah AKBARI (IRI), whose low stance seemed to confound the champion. BURROUGHS, however, scored a pair of force-outs and then a snap-down and spin behind for a 4-0 triumph.
BURROUGHS had earlier knocked Kakhaber KHUBEZHTY (RUS) out of the tourney with a second round win over Narsingh Pancham YADAV (IND), who had upset the Russian national champ by technical fall in their opening bout.
In the bronze medal matches, Ali SHABANOV (BLR) scored an early single-leg takedown and landed on top a front headlock and turn by 2010 Asia champion YADAV on his way to a 6-1 win.
Asia champion Rashid KURBANOV (UZB) surrendered an early single-leg but answered back with three different takedowns on his way to an 11-4 technical fall win over Yakob MAKARASHVILI (GEO).
48kg – Eri TOSAKA (JPN), eager to make up for her second-place finish a year ago, struck for a single-leg takedownand then added a quick knee-pick for a four-point lead over Mayelis CARIPA CASTILLO (VEN) in the first 20 seconds of their championship bout.
TOSAKA secured her first world title by going behind the 33-year-old veteran for the technical fall at 1:44.
In the bronze medal matches, XU Cheng (CHN) struck for a takedown midway through the first period, then rolled to a technical fall win with a series of gut wrenches against Anna LUKASIAK (POL).
Alyssa LAMPE (USA) wasted no time getting behind Melanie LeSSAFRE (FRA) and launching her with a back-arching throw and then cranking LeSAFFRE over with an arm bar for the fall — only 46 seconds into the bout.
51kg – SUN Yanan (CHN) dove right into a double-leg attack in the championship bout with Sumiya ERDENECHIMEG (MGL) for three points and then followed up with back exposure and a gut wrench to end the match at 44 seconds.
SUN avenged her loss in last year’s world meet with a technical fall triumph over defending champion Jessica MacDONALD (CAN) in the semifinals.
In the bronze medal matches, SO Sim Hyang (PRK) scored a pair of takedowns and added a pair of gut wrenches for an 8-0 technical fall win over Victoria ANTHONY (USA) at 2:07. SO, the 2010 Asian Games gold medalist, also won a bronze medal at the 2009 world championships.
MacDONALD, meanwhile, had to battle from behind throughout her bronze medal bout with European silver medalist Yuliya BLAHINYA (UKR), but managed to score the go-ahead takedown just as time expired for an 8-6 win and the bronze medal.