To Our Friends in Wrestling Around the world


By William May
(Japan Amateur Wrestling Federation, Public Information Committee
Kyodo World Services, senior sports


HERNING, Denmark (September 20) ? Khadshimourad Gatsalov (RUS) won his fourth world title and Mehdi Taghavi Kermani (IRI) added a senior crown to his two junior world titles as the wrestling world championships got under way in central Denmark.

As the men’s freestyle events took to the mats at Messecenter Herning, Yang Kyong-IL (PRK) muscled his way past Sezar Akgul (TUR) in the 55kg final for North Korea’s first world championship title in over 20 years. North Korea’s last world champion was Kim Yong Sik, who won the 57kg crown in 1989, while Kim Il won the gold medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, also at 48kg.

For Gatsalov, it was business as usual after missing a chance to defend his Olympic champion title in Beijing last summer. After winning the gold medal in Athens in 2004, Gatsalov won three straight world titles before yielding to countryman Shirvani Muradov for the Beijing Games. In the 96kg final, Gatsalov dropped the first period to European champion Khetag Gazyumov (AZE) on a beautiful double-leg and lift, then also fell behind in the second period. He came back, however, for the last point in the second to force a third period.The third period went to the clinch, with Gazyumov winning the draw. Gatsalov, however, was able to free his leg and hang on for the win.

In a second-round bout, Gatsalov also turned away Georgi Gogshelidze with a go-behind and single-leg takedown -- 1-0, 1-0 -- in a match of former world champions.

Taghavi Kermani, showing a silky smooth quality to his technique, edged Rasul Djukaev (RUS) 1-0, 1-0 for the title at 66kg to add his triumph at the Asia championships in May. Taghavi Kermani upset Olympic silver medalist Andriy Stadnik in a second-round match, then won in the semifinals over Muhammed Ilkhan (TUR), filling in for defending world and Olympic champion Ramazan Shahin. Shahin defeated Taghavi Kermani last summer in Beijing, where the rising Iranian star had to settle for 10th place.

55kg (32 entries)
F1 ? Yang Kyong-Il (PRK) df. Sezar Akgul (TUR), 2-1 (2-1, 0-1=2:03, 4-2)
F3 ? Rizvan Gadzhiev (BLR) df. Krasimir Krastanov (GBR) by fall, 1P=1:00 (6-0)
F3 ? Victor Lebedev (RUS) df. Namig Sevdimov (AZE), 2-0 (1-0, 1-0)
SF ? Kang df. Gadzhiev, 2-0 (4-3, 2-0)
SF ? Akgul df. Lebedev, 2-1 (0-1, 1-0, 5-2)

66kg (34 entries)
F1 ? Mehdi Terghavi Kermani (IRI) df. Rasul Djukaev (RUS), 2-0 (1-0=2:07, 1-0)
F3 ? Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu (JPN) df. Sushil Kumar (IND), 2-0 (1-0, 4-0)
F3 ? Leonid Spiridonov (KAZ) df. Muhammed Ilkhan (TUR), 2-0 (1-0, 1-0)
SF ? Djukaev df. Kumar, 2-0 (1x-1, 7-1)
SF ? Taghavi Kermani df. Ilkhan, 2-0 (1-0, 5-0)

96kg (29 entries)
F1 ? Khadshimurad Gatsalov (RUS) df. Khetag Gazymov (AZE), 2-1 (0-2, 1x-1, 1-0=2:30)
F3 ? Balci Serhat (TUR) df. Ruslan Sheikhau (BLR), 2-0 (1-0, 1-0)
F3 ? Georgi Gogshelidze (GEO) df. Saeed Abrahimi (IRI), 2-0 (1-0, 1-0=1:05)
SF ? Gazymov df. Sheikhau, 2-0 (1-0, 1x-1)
SF ? Gatsalov df. Abrahimi (1-0, 0-1=2:30, 4-0)