In their last dual meets of group competition, both Russia and Azerbaijan experienced little trouble taking care of business. Now, the two teams that have been on a collision course over the two days of the 2017 Greco-Roman World Cup in Abadan, City, Iran will duke it out for all of the proverbial marbles.
Russia’s biggest strength for this year’s World Cup has been its incredible depth and it was on full display in a 7-1 dismantling of Germany. Stepan Maryanyan (RUS, world no. 14) led things off at 59 kilograms with a thin 3-1 decision over the improved Christoph Kraemer. But the ball had just started rolling. Following Aleksei Kiiankin‘s (66 kg, RUS) 5-1 defeat of Erik Weiss (GER), Russia’s next three bouts removed any hints of suspense that might have remained. Yuri Denisov (71 kg, world no. 9) scored a fall against an overmatched Maximilian Schwabe, while Chingiz Labazanov (75 kg, world no. 9) found little trouble cruising past Florian Neumaier 6-1.
One of Germany’s more well-known athletes, Pascal Eisele (80 kg, world no. 9) couldn’t seem to keep up with Adlan Akiev (world no. 13) and repeatedly found himself on the defensive in a surprisingly one-sided 10-4 loss. The German team did have one ray of sunshine peek through the clouds — popular vet Peter Oehler delivered a nice 2-1 upset victory over Maksim Safaryan (world no. 13), who has had his struggles since arriving in Iran. 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Sergey Semenov (130 kg, RUS, world no. 3) applied an exclamation point to the proceedings by coming through with a fall versus Germany’s number two, Christian John.
Azerbaijan stays a step ahead against Ukraine
While Azerbaijan does not sport the same degree of high-profile talent as the Russians, the nation can call on its talented understudies to get the job done, and a few of them did just that in the last Group B dual versus a depleted but up-and-coming Ukrainian squad. Taleh Mammadov (59 kg, AZE) was positively explosive in his bout with Zhora Abovian (UKR) as he raced out in front and never looked back en-route to a 9-1 technical fall.
2015 World Champion and 2016 Olympic bronze Rasul Chunayev (71 kg, AZE, world no. 3 at 66 kg) finally made his return to the mat and though he might have had just a little rust working early, he had no problem finding his groove, blitzing Ruslan Israfilov 7-0. At 75 kilograms, Elvin Mursaliyev (AZE, world no. 7) showed why he is one of the most underrated workers in the game. Mursaliyev exhibits a human chain of kinetic energy when he gets going, but it often takes a frighteningly physical approach to lead him there. That looked to be the case here but he got on a roll midway through the first and kept the momentum going in an 11-1 tech over Artem Martiash.
The Greco-Roman World Cup finals pitting Russia versus Azerbaijan begin at 6:00pm local time (10:30am EST) and can be viewed live on Trackwrestling.com.
2017 Greco-Roman World Cup Group Competition — Session III
RUSSIA — 7 GERMANY — 1
59 kg: Stepan Maryanyan (RUS) def. Christoph Kraemer (GER) 3-1
66 kg: Aleksei Kiiankin (RUS) def. Erik Weiss (GER) 5-1
71 kg: Yuri Denisov (RUS) def. Maximillian Schwabe (GER) via fall (4-0)
75 kg: Chingiz Labazanov (RUS) def. Florian Neumaier (GER) 6-1
80 kg: Adlan Akiev (RUS) def. Pascal Eisele (GER) 10-4
85 kg: Evgeny Saleev (RUS) def. Ramsin Azizsir (GER) 2-1
98 kg: Peter Oehler (GER) def. Maksim Safaryan (RUS) 1-1 (criteria)
130 kg: Sergey Semenov (RUS) def. Christian John via fall (4-0)
IRAN — 6 KAZAKHSTAN — 2
59 kg: Mohsen Haji Pour (IRI) def. Zhanserik Sarsenbiyev (KAZ) 2-1
66 kg: Ali Arsalan (IRI) def. Daniyar Kalenov (KAZ) 3-2
71 kg: Afshin Byabangard (IRI) def. Demeu Zhadrayev (KAZ) 1-1 (criteria)
75 kg: Maxat Yerezhepov (KAZ) def. Rasoul Garmsiri (IRI) 3-0
80 kg: Ramsin Taherisartang (IRI) def. Daulet Zhaxylykov (KAZ) 3-0
85 kg: Azamat Kustubayev (KAZ) def. Mahdi Fallahhmidabadi (IRI) 1-1 (criteria)
98 kg: Mahdi Aliyari Feyzabadi (IRI) def. Alimkhan Syzdykov (KAZ) 10-1, TF
130 kg: Benham Aryatapeh (IRI) def. Damir Kuzembayev (KAZ) 2-0
AZERBAIJAN — 5 UKRAINE — 3
59 kg: Taleh Mammadov (AZE) def. Zhora Abovian (UKR) 9-1, TF
66 kg: Parviz Nasibov (UKR) def. Kamran Mammadov (AZE) 2-2 (criteria)
71 kg: Rasul Chunayev (AZE) def. Ruslan Israfilov (UKR) 7-0
75 kg: Elvin Mursaliyev (AZE) def. Artem Matiash (UKR) 11-1, TF
80 kg: Dmytro Pyshkov (UKR) def. Rafik Huseynov (AZE) 3-1
85 kg: Islam Abbasov (AZE) def. Iurii Shrkiuba (UKR) 3-1
98 kg: Orkhan Nuriyev (AZE) def. Volodymyr Vasilyev (UKR) 1-1 (criteria)
130 kg: Mykola Kuchimi (UKR) def. Oyan Nazariani (AZE) 2-1
TURKEY — 6 BELARUS — 2
59 kg: Hammet Rustem (TUR) def. Maksim Kazharski (BLR) 2-1
66 kg: Enes Basar (TUR) won via forfeit
71 kg: Ilker Sonmez (TUR) def. Pavel Liakh (BLR) 2-1
75 kg: Emrah Kus (TUR) def. Yahor Kasiankou (BLR) 2-1
80 kg: Radzik Kuliyeu (BLR) def. Aslan Atem (TUR) 2-1
85 kg: Mikialai Stadub (BLR) def. Metehan Basar (TUR) 2-1
98 kg: Suleyman Demirci (TUR) def. Yahor Yaskavets (BLR) 8-0, TF
130 kg: Ali Arslan (TUR) def. Heorhi Chuashvili (BLR) 2-0