BUDAPEST (September 20) – Asian bronze medal winner YUN Won Chol (PRK) won DPR Korea’s first gold medal in Greco-Roman as events in the “classic” style got under way at the senior wrestling world championships on Friday, September 20.
YUN defeated cross-border rival CHOI Gyu-Jin (KOR) in the 55kg final at Papp Laszlo Budapest Sports to become DPR Korea’s first world champion and first world medalist in Greco-Roman since KIM Kum Chol (PRK) took a bronze medal at the 2005 championships, also held in Budapest.
Along with the start of Greco-Roman, the fifth day of the championships also saw the conclusion of competition in women’s freestyle with first-time champions being crowned at 67kg and 72kg and Japan hanging on for the team title – barely.
ZHANG Fengliu (CHN) stunned London 2012 Olympic Games gold medalist Natalia VOROBIEVA (RUS) for the title at 72kg, and Alina STADNIK-MAKHYNIA (UKR) pinned her way to her first world championship at 67kg.
In the women’s team rankings, Japan scored 48 points from three champions and a bronze medal from Sara DOSHO (JPN) to deny Mongolia its first world team title in women’s freestyle by a single point.
Mongolia accumulated 47 points with a pair of silver and bronze medals each while the United States was awarded the third-place trophy with 37 (0-0-3)
Wrestling in Greco-Roman continues on the penultimate day of the championships, Saturday, September 21, in weight categories – 66kg, 84kg and 96kg.
67kg – European champion Alina STADNIK-MAKHYNIA (UKR) countered a takedown attempt by Stacie ANAKA (CAN) midway through first period and managed to roll the Pan American champion to her back for the fall.
In the bronze medal finals, Asia champion Nasanburmaa OCHIRBAT (MGL) stepped over a takedown attempt by ZHOU Zhangting (CHN) in the second period and held on for a 2-1 win and the bronze.
Universiade champion Sara DOSHO (JPN) opened up in the second period with a pair of takedowns and when European bronze medalist Aline FOCKEN attempted to pull one back, DOSHO answered with a whipover counter and pressed for the fall.
In the semifinals, DOSHO appeared headed to an easy win against with STADNIK- MAKHYNIA, but the European champion locked up one DOSHO’s shoulders and tripped her to her back for the fall at 2:12.
72kg – Former junior world runner-up ZHANG Fengliu (CHN) had one last chance to avoid a technical fall and when London 2012 Olympic Games gold medalist Natalia VOROBIEVA (RUS) made a weak leg attack in their championship bout, ZHANG caught her with a whip-over for the fall at 4:33.
In one bronze medal bout, Adelina GRAY (USA), the world champion at 67kg one year ago, scored three takedowns and back exposure for an 8-2 win over Mediterranean Games champion Yasemin ADAR (TUR).
In the other final, Burmaa OCHIRBAT (MGL), runner-up to the VOROBIEVA in the prestigious Yarygin Grand Prix, scored a shoulder whip and body-drop for two points in a 3-0 win over veteran Svetlana SAENKO (MDA).
55kg – In an all-Korea final, Asia champion YUN Won-Chol (PRK) scored pair of bodylock takedowns in the first period and held on through the second period for a 4-3 win to become DPR Korea’s first world champion in Greco-Roman wrestling.
Asia champion CHOI Gyu-Jin (KOR) earned his second silver medal at the world championships, following a runner-up showing at the 2010 world meet in Moscow.
In the bronze medal matches, London 2012 bronze medalist Peter MODOS (HUN) erupted for seven points in the middle of the second period to take a 7-3 decision from Universiade champion Ivan TATARINOV (RUS).
MODOS took a pinch headlock for two points and then hit a series of waistlock lifts and turns for five more points and the win.
Roman AMOYAN (ARM) came out of a first-period flurry on the mat with a one-point advantage over Spenser MANGO (USA) and made it stick for a 5-4 win and another bronze medal for his collection that includes bronze medals from the 2010 world championships and the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.