By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade
Junior World Wrestling Championships 2019 was held in Tallinn, Estonia, from August 12 to August 18.
Two Azerbaijani Greco-Roman wrestlers became runners up at the Championships. The first silver medalist, Zaur Aliyev in the category of 55 kg, on his way to final defeated Nurmukhammet Abdullayev (Kyrgyzstan, 8:0), Artium Deleanu (Moldova, 10:0), and Ken Matsui (Japan, 4:0). However, in the final Aliyev lost to Russian contender Anvar Allakhiarov.
Another national wrestler Ulvi Ganizade, competing in the category of 72kg, also took the second podium place. Starting his path with victories over Samvel Grigoryan (Armenia, 5:2) and Gergely Bak (Hungary, 9:0), Ganizade then managed to beat strong Mohammadreza Mahmoud Rostami (Iran, 2:1) and Ismail Gun (Turkey, 4:1). In the unfortunate final, Azerbaijani wrestler faced Russian Sergei Stepanov and had to admit defeat.
In addition, Azerbaijani Greco-Roman wrestler Asgar Alizada brought bronze medal in the category of 60 kg for the national wrestling team.
Earlier, other Azerbaijani freestyle wrestlers won three bronze medals of the tournament. Competing in the category of 74 kg, the national freestyle wrestler Hajimurad Hajiyev gained a bronze medal by winning Russia’s David Betanov with a score of 7:0.
The second bronze was gained by Turan Bayramov in the category of 65kg. He beat Amiran Vakhtangashvili (Georgia, 6: 0) and Yahya Abdullah Thomas (the U.S., 9: 1), but lost to Iranian Amirhossein Azim Maghsoudi (7: 7, defeat in the number of penalty points) in the quarterfinals. In the match for bronze, Bayramov beat Ahmet Salim Yigit from Turkey with a score of 8:0.
The third bronze medal was won by Abubakr Abakarov. In the weight category of 79 kg, he beat Aaron Brooks (the U.S., 5: 3), but then was defeated by Amakhad Tashukhadzhiev (Russia, 3: 5).
Then, in the repechage stage, Abakarov beat Salvatore Diana (Italy, 15:1) and Yudai Takahashi (Japan, 10:0). The Azerbaijani wrestler grabbed bronze after a victory over Armenian Arman Avagyan (6: 4).
Wrestling remains the most popular sport in Azerbaijan and it is overseen by the National Wrestling Federation established in 1993.
The Rio Games opened a new page in wrestling of Azerbaijan. The country became one of the two nations continuously increasing the number of medals achieved in the last five consecutive Games.
Azerbaijan left Rio de Janeiro with a total of 18 medals - nine of them came from the Azerbaijani wrestling team.
Mirsaid Ibrahimzade is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @MirsaidIbrahim1
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