When Mykhailo VYSHNYVETSKYI (UKR) saw his draw for the U23 World Championships, he had his task cut out.
In his first bout, he was pitted against the 2021 senior world champion Aliakbar YOUSOFI (IRI) and that made Vyshnyvetskyi the underdog. But unfazed by his opponent, the U20 world champion used a headlock throw before piling up the pressure on Yousofi to eke out a 7-1 and pull off the upset on day one of the tournament.
“I was preparing for the match because I knew he is a senior world champion,” Vyshnyvetskyi said. “I knew it wouldn’t be easy. However, his wrestling style quite suited me.”
With half the job done, Vyshnyvetskyi made sure he continued his good form and reached the final in 130kg as five gold-medal pairs were decided in Greco-Roman.
Vyshnyvetskyi wrestled Sarkhan MAMMADOV (AZE) in the quarterfinal and scored a 6-3 win. He will now wrestle U23 European silver medalist Fatih BOZKURT (TUR), who avenged his Euro loss to Dariusz VITEK (HUN).
“I have never wrestled him [Bozkurt] before, he said. “I hope to win because I came here to win the gold.”
Vitek would have fancied his chances against Bozkurt as he had defeated him in Plovdiv in February but the Turkey wrestler shut Vitek with top-class defense. Bozkurt won 6-1.
GOLD: Poya DAD MARZ (IRI) vs. Nihad GULUZADE (AZE)
SF 1: Poya DAD MARZ (IRI) df. Denis MIHAI (ROU), 9-4
SF 2: Nihad GULUZADE (AZE) df. Ken MATSUI (JPN), 8-0
GOLD: Iman Khoon MOHAMMADI (IRI) vs. Giorgi SHOTADZE (GEO)
SF 1: Iman Khoon MOHAMMADI (IRI) df. Ziya BABASHOV (AZE), 5-1
SF 2: Giorgi SHOTADZE (GEO) df. Maksym LIU (UKR), 5-2
GOLD: Alexandrin GUTU (MDA) vs. Malkhas AMOYAN (ARM)
SF 1: Alexandrin GUTU (MDA) df. Dmytro VASETSKYI (UKR), 11-1
SF 2: Malkhas AMOYAN (ARM) df. Nao KUSAKA (JPN), 9-5
GOLD: Istvan TAKACS (HUN) vs. Gevorg TADEVOSYAN (ARM)
SF 1: Istvan TAKACS (HUN) df. Szymon SZYMONOWICZ (POL), 4-1
SF 2: Gevorg TADEVOSYAN (ARM) df. Maksat SAILAU (KAZ), 6-4
GOLD: Fatih BOZKURT (TUR) vs. Mykhailo VYSHNYVETSKYI (UKR)
SF 1: Fatih BOZKURT (TUR) df. Dariusz VITEK (HUN), 6-1
SF 2: Mykhailo VYSHNYVETSKYI (UKR) df. Sarkhan MAMMADOV (AZE), 6-3
Source and image: www.uww.org