French Favorites Come Up Short at Paris Grand Prix

By William May

PARIS (January 31) – World champions Melonin NOUMONVI (FRA) and Zelimkhan KHADJIEV (FRA) came up short for local favorites but still got the fans on their feet on the opening day of the Paris Grand Prix international wrestling tournament. 

Noumonvi, wrestling up a category, advanced the Greco-Roman finals at 98kg with three narrow victories and took a 1-1 tie-break advantage into the final 20 seconds of the final against Ardo ARUDSAAR (EST). Noumonvi, however, got caught leaning the wrong way and was shoved out of bounds for his second straight silver medal in Paris.

Junior world champ Khadjiev, meanwhile, fell in the semifinals to Osman ISAKOV (RUS), 5-5, on criteria but stormed back for a bronze medal by pinning Giorgi TIGISHVILI (GEO) at 4:39 of their third-place bout.

In all, nine countries shared in the 12 gold medals at the Robert Charpentier Sports Palace but Azerbaijan had the biggest day with three gold medals led by surprise winner at 65kg in freestyle, Magomed MUSLIMOV (AZE).

Muslimov, runner-up at the Golden Grand Prix Final last July, reversed the Baku loss to Brent METCALF (USA), 5-0, in the semifinals and then grabbed his first major international title with 6-3 win over world silver medalist Masoud ESMAEILPOUR (IRI).

Esmaeilpour, earlier, avenged his loss in the 61kg championship final in Tashkent to Haji ALIEV (AZE) with an 8-5 victory over the world champ in the semifinals opposite Muslimov and Metcalf.

Olympic Games gold medalist at 84kg Sharif SHARIFOV (AZE) notched only his second tourney triumph at 97kg since London while Elvin MURSALIEV (AZE), a bronze collector throughout most of 2014, opened his new campaign in Greco-Roman with a gold at 80kg.

China, meanwhile, bagged a pair of gold medals in female wrestling with 2013 world champion SUN Yanan (CHN) wrapping up world silver medalist Iwona MATKOWSKA (POL) in little over a minute in the 48kg final and DONG Jiahui (CHN) winning the 55kg crown.

Along with Esmaeilpour’s silver medal at 65kg, world bronze medalist Mohammad Hossein MOHAMMADIAN (IRI) finished with another silver behind Sharifov and newcomer Mohammad MAKTABDAR (IRI) grabbed a bronze medal at 74kg.

Meanwhile, five-time Africa champion Adama DIATTA (SEN) stopped both of Azerbaijan’s entries at 57kg, including junior world runner-up Mirjalal HASANZADE (AZE), to advance to the championship final where he fell to Tony RAMOS (USA).

Petra OLLI (FIN), a four-time junior European champion, won her first senior-level title outside of Scandinavia with a 4-2 triumph at 60kg over former European champion for Ukraine Natalya SINISHIN (AZE), who recently completed her transfer to Azerbaijan. 

Results – Medal Finals


Gold – Tony RAMOS (USA) df. Adama DIATTA (SEN), 4-0
Bronze – John PINEDA (CAN) df. Youssup DELIEV (FRA) by TF, 10-0 (2:18)
Bronze – Yashar ALIYEV (AZE) df. Mirjalal HASANZADE (AZE), 6-2

Gold – Magomed MUSLIMOV (AZE) df. Masoud ESMAEILPOUR (IRI), 6-3
Bronze –Haji ALIEV (AZE) df. Istvan NEMETH (HUN) by TF, 12-2, 3:20
Bronze – Brent METCALF (USA) df. YEERLANBIEKE Katai (CHN), 8-0

Gold – Rashid KURBANOV (UZB) df. Osman ISAKOV (RUS) by forfeit, 5:19 (10-2)
Bronze – Mohammad MAKTABDAR (IRI) df. Krystian BRZOZOWSKI (POL), 3-0
Bronze – Zelimkhan KHADJIEV (FRA) df. Giorgi TIGISHVILI (GEO) by fall, 4:39 (9-0)
Gold – Sharif SHARIFOV (AZE) df. Mohammad Hossein MOHAMMADIAN (IRI), 6-4
Bronze – Magomed MUSAEV (KGZ) df. Manjot SANDU (CAN), 8-4
Bronze – Pavlo OLIYNIK (UKR) df. CUI Xiaocheng (CHN) by TF, 10-0, 4:35

Female Wrestling

Gold – SUN Yanan (CHN) df. Iwona MATKOWSKA (POL) by TF, 10-0, 1:04
Bronze – WANG Lili (CHN) df. ERDENESUKH Narangerel (MGL) by TF, 10-0, 3:36
Bronze – Anna LUKASIAK (POL) df. Jessica BLASZKA (NED) by injury default, 0:00

Gold – DONG Jiahui (CHN) df. Alena KOLESNIK (AZE) by TF, 15-5, 2:49
Bronze – Sonia BAUDINE (FRA) df. Hilary HONORINE (FRA) by fall, 3:56 (13-8)
Bronze – PUREVDORJ Orkhon (MGL) df. Szimonetta JAGER (HUN) by fall, 4:48 (10-4)

Gold – Petra OLLI (FIN) df. Natalya SINISHIN (AZE), 4-2
Bronze – LUO Xiaojuan (CHN) df. Maite PIVA (FRA), 4-2
Bronze – Johanna MATTSSON (SWE) df. Ramona GALAMBOS (HUN), 6-1

Gold – Martina KUENZ (AUT) df. Laura SKUJINA (LAT), 8-5
Bronze – Pauline LECARPENTIER (FRA) df. Gilda OLIVEIRA (BRA), 5-1
Bronze – HONG Yan (CHN) df. Agnieszka WIESZCZEK-KORDUS (POL) by TF, 10-0 (2:00)


Gold – Mateusz BERNATEK (POL) df. Kamran MAMMADOV (AZE), 4-0
Bronze – Dawid KARENCINSKI (POL) df. Benedikt PUPPER (AUT), 4-3
Bronze – Artak MARGARYAN (FRA) df. Tarek Aziz BENAISSA (ALG), 4-1

Gold – Zakarias TALLROTH (SWE) df. Askhat ZHANBIROV (KAZ) by disq., 3:34 (5-0)
Bronze – Anthony DIZY (FRA) df.  Vojtech JAKUS (SVK), 2-0
Bronze – Ibragim MAGAMADOV (KAZ) df. Gregorz WANKE (POL) by injury default, 0:0

Gold – Elvin MURSALIEV (AZE) df. Alexander JERSGREB (SWE) by TF, 8-0, 3:29
Bronze – Roman YUSIPOV (RUS) df. Michael WAGNER (AUT) by fall, 4:35 (8-0)
Bronze – Mateusz WOLNY (POL) df. Julius MATUZEVICIUS (LTU), 4-0

Gold – Ardo ARUDSAAR (EST) df. Melonin NOUMONVI (FRA), 2-1
Bronze – Orkhan NURIEV (AZE) df. Robert AVANESYAN (ISR) by TF, 9-1, 4:07
Bronze – Vilius LAURINAITIS (LTU) df. Fredrik SCHON (SWE), 3-0