Ace Armenian grappler Artur Aleksanyan made it to the 97kg Greco Roman final at the ongoing European Wrestling Championships in Rome. The fifth continental title will come with a bonus for the four-time European Championships gold medallist.
A win over Italy’s Nikoloz Kakhleshvili will also earn Aleksanyan enough points to place him in the No. 1 position in the UWW Greco Roman 97 kg rankings – a fitting recognition for the three-time world champion.
Aleksanyan has opened his campaign in Rome with a 5-1 win over Rio Olympic bronze medallist Cenk Ildem of Turkey. In the last eight, the Armenian defeated 2018 World Championships runner-up Kiril Milov of Bulgaria 9-0. Aleksanyan shutout Finland’s Matti Kuosmanen 8-1 in the semi-finals. Aleksanyan goes into his seventh European Championship final with four titles under his belt.
A title triumph in Rome will put Aleksanyanon on par points with the Greco Roman 97kg top-ranked wrestler, Musa Evloev of Russia.
Kakhleshvili to has a stellar performance in the first rounds and then made the grade with a hard-fought semi-final. Kakhelashvili secured a back-to-back 9-0 wins over Greece’s Anestis Zarifes and Artur Omarov of the Czech Republic. In the last-four round, he prevailed over Aleksandr Golovin of Russia 3-2.