Lalovic Welcomes Ukraine’s Decision to Compete at European Wrestling C’ships

By Tim Foley

CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY, Switzerland (April 20) – United World Wrestling president Nenad Lalovic has welcomed today’s decision by Ukraine Minister of Youth and Sport to allow its nation’s wrestlers to attend the 2018 Senior European Wrestling Championships in Kaspiysk, Russia.

Earlier this month, the Minister of Youth and Sport in Ukraine banned athletes from competing in Russia, as a response to the two nation’s ongoing political conflict. However, the Ukrainian Wrestling Federation, supported by Lalovic, voted last week to attend the championships and was reinforced by today’s announcement.

“We welcome today’s decision by the minister,” Lalovic said. “Politics should never interfere with sport and we look forward to seeing the Ukrainian team compete in Kaspiysk.”

Lalovic, who is also a member of the IOC Executive Board, has been a vocal advocate for open sport. As head of the wrestling federation since 2013 Lalovic has been active in promoting positive interactions between nations both on and off the field of play.

The 2018 Senior European Wrestling Championships begin April 30th at the Ali Aliev Palace of Youth and Sports in Kaspiysk. Russia is the defending team champions in men’s freestyle and women’s wrestling, while Hungary captured the first-place team trophy in Greco-Roman.


Russia Bounces Back To Win Trio of Golds After Azerbaijan Snags Pair

By Eric Olanowski

KASPIISK, Russia - (May 5) - Azerbaijani’s Giorgi EDISHERASHVILI (AZE) and Haji ALIYEV (AZE) stunned the sold-out Palace of Sport and Youth after picking up buzzer beater takedowns on Russian opponents to win European gold medals. But, the Russian's bounced back to win the final three gold medals on the sixth day of competition at the 2018 European Championships.

Giorgi Edisherashvili stole his second 57kg European title by picking up a four-point throw with three seconds left to defeat last year’s European bronze medalist, Zavur UGUEV (RUS), 4-3. 

Edisherashvili, the back-to-back European champion seized his second crown with a lateral drop on the out of bounds line as he trailed the Russian by three points. 

“Even if you’re losing, you don’t have a right to give up. You have to wrestle until the end of the match. I wanted to wait until the end to take a risk, and that's what I did, risked it all at the end.” 

Haji ALIYEV (AZE), the reigning 61kg world champion gave Azerbaijan their second straight gold medal of the night with a last-second takedown to defeat reigning 65kg European champion, Ilias BEKBULATOV (RUS), 8-7. 

Magomed KURBANALIEV (RUS) gave Russia their first freestyle gold medal of the 2018 European Championships with a 3-1 win over Magomedmurad GADZHIEV (POL) at 70kg. 

“The score wasn’t high because my opponent was very experienced. The luck was just on my side today.” 

Kurbanliev, the 2016 world champion completed his run to his second European title by scoring three one point sequences. The 2014 European champion's lead was cut to 3-1 after being penalized for failing to score on the passivity clock but hung on to win his first European title in four years.

Akhmed GADZHIMAGOMEDOV (RUS) celebrating after defeating Germany’s Martin OBST in the 79kg gold-medal bout.  

Akhmed GADZHIMAGOMEDOV (RUS) locked up back-to-back gold medals for the Russian Federation with a 6-3 victory over Germany’s Martin OBST in the 79kg gold-medal bout. 

Gadzhimagomedov’s three-point first period proved to be the difference in the match as both wrestlers score three points in the final period. 

“Magomed Kurbanliev, Abdulrashid SADULAEV (RUS) and I are good friends and are living in the same hotel room. I was very happy for Magomed, and I hope Abdulrashid wins tomorrow so we can have a gold room.”

Vladislav BAITCAEV (RUS) closed out the sixth day of competition with a 6-0 shutout over Belarus’ Aliaksandr HUSHTYN. 

"Right now, I'm on top of my physical form like never before...I couldn't become a three-time runner-up, and this time I finally won the gold because of my coaches, family, and friends. We all won this together!" 

Also of note, at 57kg, Stevan MICIC (SRB) grabbed a bronze medal with a 10-0 pummeling of Levan METREVELI VARTANOV (ESP), giving Serbia their first European medal ever. 

GOLD -  Giorgi EDISHERASHVILI (AZE) df. Zavur UGUEV (RUS), 5-3 

BRONZE - Uladzislau ANDREYEU (BLR) df. Mihran JABURYAN (ARM), 8-1
BRONZE - Stevan MICIC (SRB) df. Levan VARTANOV (ESP), 10-0 

GOLD –  Haji ALIYEV (AZE) df. Ilias BEKBULATOV (RUS), 8-7

BRONZE -  Selahattin KILICSALLAYAN (TUR) df. David HABAT (SLO), 8-7 

GOLD – Magomed KURBANALIEV (RUS) df. Magomedmurad GADZHIEV (POL), 3-1 

BRZONE -  Murtazali MUSLIMOV (AZE) df. Azamat NURYKAU (BLR), 9-2

GOLD - Akhmed GADZHIMAGOMEDOV (RUS) df. Martin OBST (GER), 6-3

BRONZE - Jabrayil HASANOV (AZE) df. Muhammet Nuri KOTANOGLU (TUR), 10-4
BRONZE - Mihaly NAGY (HUN) df. Alexandru BURCA (MDA), 8-1 

GOLD - Vladislav BAITCAEV (RUS) df. Aliaksandr HUSHTYN (BLR), 7-0 

BRONZE - Elizbar ODIKADZE (GEO) df. Murazi MCHEDLIDZE (UKR), 5-2 
BRONZE - Nurmagomed GADZHIYEV (AZE) df. Magomedgadji Omardibirovich NUROV (MKD), 4-0