Sadulaev is ranked first in the world at 97kg and can add 20 points in Rome with a gold-medal performance, cementing his spot as the top-seeded wrestler at the Olympic Games. He’d have 80 Ranking Series points, which would block a potential comeback by second-ranked Sharif SHARIFOV of Azerbaijan, who is sitting out of the European Championships.
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Sadulaev will have to get through a loaded pool of top-10 talent to improve on his perfect 21-0 European record. The three top-ten ranked wrestlers tasked with stopping ‘The Russian Tank” from summiting to the top of the European podium for the sixth time are No. 4 Magomedgadji NUROV (MKD), No. 6 Elizbar ODIKADZE (GEO) and No. 9 Nicolai CEBAN (MDA). Sadualev heads into the European Championships with at least one career win over the three and has outscored them by a combined 61-0 in their previous seven meetings.
Top-20 Freestyle Entries at 97kg
No. 4 Magomedgadji NUROV (MKD) – 25 points
No. 6 Elizbar ODIKADZE (GEO) – 20 points
No. 9 Nicolai CEBAN (MDA) – 16 points
No. 12 Murazi MCHEDLIDZE (UKR) – 14 points
No. 14 Abraham CONYEDO RUANO (ITA) – 12 points
No. 15 Pavel OLEJNYIK (HUN) – 12 points
Two-time World Champions Chamizo and Gazimagomedov Entered at 74kg
A last-second change to the Russian lineup jeopardized a potential 74kg matchup between a pair of two-time world champions. Luckily for wrestling fans, Russia’s depth at the weight allowed them to replace No. 1 Zaurbek SIDAKOV with Magomedrasul GAZIMAGOMEDOV. That last-minute lineup change preserved the likelihood of Frank CHAMIZO (ITA) meeting a fellow two-time world champion in Rome.
Chamizo won the pairs only other meeting, 11-5, at the 2017 Ali Aliev Tournament. But this time around, there’s much more at stake for both guys, especially with it being an Olympic year. For Chamizo, a European title on home soil will push him to the top of the world rankings. He’s ranked second in the world with 40 points. He’ll gain the two-point advantage over Sidakov if he were to win the 22-point gold medal in Rome.
Gazimagomedov won the Ivan Yariguin a few weeks ago and hopes the European Championships will prove that he should be Russia’s Olympic Games representative.If Gazimagomedov wins in Rome, it’ll prove to the Russian coaching staff that he belongs in the conversations as a top-tier candidate to represent Russia at 74kg in Tokyo.
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Harutyunyan Moving Back up to 61kg to Challenge Lomtazde
Arsen HARUTYUNYAN of Armenia downed Beka LOMTADZE of Georgia in an unforgettable 28-point shootout and stole the European gold medal from the eventual 61kg world champion. The young Armenian fell behind 8-0 midway through the opening period, but outscored Lomtadze 17-3 and claimed his first continental title.
Harutyunyan moved down to the Olympic weight of 57kg after his European title run, but after a disappointing 15th-place finish at the World Championships, he’s moved back up the 61kg. Harutyunyan’s move back up to 61kg could set up a potential rematch between the reigning world champion and the reigning European champion.
Qualification rounds GR – 55-63-77-87-130kg
Semi Final GR – 55-63-77-87-130kg