Ramazan BAGAVUDINOV (RUS) had been touted as the next big thing out of Dagestan and Russia but his previous international outings had resulted in only a bronze medal at the 2019 European Championships.
But that changed Tuesday as the young Russian clinched the junior world title in a stunning comeback win over Muhammed KARAVUS (TUR) in the 57kg final. Winning the title in front of his home crowd in Ufa, Russia made it extra special.
Five freestyle world titles were awarded on the second day of the Junior World Championships which began in Ufa Monday with Russia and Iran winning two each while the USA also claimed one title.
Azerbaijan, which had three finalists Tuesday, failed to win the gold medal and returned with three silver medals which left the coaches disappointed. Turkey also failed to win a gold medal despite having two finalists. Karavus was a point away from winning the gold but Bagavudinov scripted a win for the ages.
The second gold medalist for Russia came at 65kg as Shamil MAMEDOV (RUS) defeated Ziraddin BAYRAMOV (AZE) 4-1 in the gold medal bout. In contrast to the win of Bagavudinov, Mamedov had a controlled final and put on a defensive masterclass against Bayramov.
Iran’s performance on Tuesday more or less confirmed the team title for them. They also made it to four out of the five remaining finals which will be played on Wednesday. The performance will give them their first-ever team title win since 2015.
Two-time cadet world champion Rahman AMOUZADKHALILI (IRI) led the way with a victory via fall over Fedor BALTUEV (RUS) in the 61kg final. He will face two-time cadet bronze medalist RAVINDER (IND) who won 12-2 over Levik MIKAYELYAN (ARM).
Iran will have a chance to win a gold at 92kg as Mahdi HAJILOUEIANMORAFAH (IRI) made it to the final and will face Rocky ELAM (USA). The Iran wrestler won 10-0 Nicolaas DE LANGE (RSA) while Rocky ELAM (USA) defeated Ivan KIRILLOV (RUS) 5-3 in the other semifinal.