Semenov denies Kayaalp European gold

Edwin  - CEO February 14, 2024
Updated 2024/02/15 at 4:18 AM
10 Min Read
Sergei Semenov (AIN) df. Riza Kayaalp (TUR)
Sergei Semenov (AIN) df. Riza Kayaalp (TUR)

The unstoppable Turkey star halted from making history



Riza KAYAALP (TUR) seemed unstoppable. He got the par terre position and stepped out in the second period to reduce the chances of a passivity call against him. The stands were full of supporters, and his family was waiting patiently like everyone else, UWW reports.


Kayaalp was two minutes and 30 seconds away from becoming a 13-time European champion. He was on track. Then Sergei SEMENOV (AIN) wrapped Kayaalp with his arms like a seatbelt and threw the 130kg wrestler for a slam. He held Kayaalp in that position till the referee called it a pin.


In a match where Kayaalp was hoping to go past Aleksandar KARELIN’s record of 12 European Championships gold medals, Kayaalp got pinned and fell short. Semenov would get the pin with just over two minutes remaining in the about.


“I’ve been practicing that throw for a long time; it’s my signature move,” Semenov said.


Sergei SEMENOV (AIN)Sergei SEMENOV (AIN) pins Riza KAYAALP (TUR) in the 130kg final. (Photo: UWW / Kadir Caliskan)


Leading 1-0 at the break after his par terre advantage, Kayaalp got a step out to make it 2-0. Semenov remained calm and began pushing Kayaalp toward the zone with a body lock. Kayaalp maintained his distance from Semenov. As Semenov tried to push Kayaalp more, the latter resisted it, and Semenov was smart enough to use Kayaalp’s forward momentum to complete the throw.


Kayaalp was on the mat. The Bucharest crowd let out a sigh together. Semenov was not letting Kayaalp move. The referee asked for a pin, and the judges confirmed it.


A heartbroken and shocked Kayaalp took his time standing up but knew it was over. He will have to wait to be Europe’s most successful wrestler.


On the other hand, Semenov rushed to his coach, who slammed him in a celebration.


“Everyone knows that only a few can clinch, but I could do it, and I felt that I could make that throw, and I’ve done it,” Semenov said. “I think we wrestled equally. He pushed me out at the beginning of the second period, but I was calm and knew I could score points.”


Despite his celebrations, Semenov showed to his opponent, walking to him after both were off the mat and sharing a hug.


“I ignored his records. He is a legendary wrestler,” he said. “Winning against such wrestlers is even more enjoyable; there is two times more motivation. It’s possible to say that it’s one of the biggest victories in my career.”


Aleksandar KOMAROV (SRB)Aleksandar KOMAROV (SRB) won his first-ever European Championships. (Photo: UWW / Kadir Caliskan)


Turkiye suffered more heartbreak as world champion Ali CENGIZ (TUR) dropped his 87kg final 4-1 against Aleksandar KOMAROV (SRB), who won his first European gold medal.


When the final began, Komarov used an arm drag to pull Cengiz, who fled towards the zone. Komarov scored a step out and was awarded a point for Cengiz’s fleeing. He was granted the par terre advantage, but Cengiz did well to avoid conceding any points. Cengiz got the par terre advantage in the second period, but he appealed to the referee that Komarov was blocking his attack.


The referee called it clean, and Turkiye challenged. The jury upheld the referee’s decision, giving one more point to Komarov.


“I am very thrilled, I don’t even know what to say, to be honest,” Komarov said. “I was ready, and I did some good wrestling. I’m delighted with everything that happened today.”


The 87kg weight class was one of the deepest brackets in Bucharest, and Komarov had to go through beating defending champion Istvan TAKACS (HUN), Tokyo Olympic champion Zhan BELENIUK (UKR), and Islam ABBASOV (AZE) in the semifinal. However, Komarov said that he did not overthink about the bracket.


“I didn’t look at the draw before the competition day,” he said. “When I finally saw the draw, to be honest, I was shocked at that moment. But, I set my head that I have to suffer and that I have to do what I do and what we practiced at the training.”


Bucharest hosted the European Championships in 2019, and Komarov was part of that competition. He finished with a bronze medal, which was his first international loss. In January, he was in Zagreb for the Ranking Series and won bronze.


“I went Porec for training camp after Zagreb,” he said. “There were 250 athletes, and after a couple of days, we went back home to rest, and then we went to Zrenjanin for ten days for training.”


In two months, Komarov will be looking to win an Olympic quota for Serbia in Baku,


“It is my wish and goal to get quota for the Olympic Games,” he said. “I’m focused on that right now; it is my goal, and with God’s help, everything ends up as I wish.”


Malkhas AMOYAN (ARM)Malkhas AMOYAN (ARM) throws Yunus BASAR (TUR) for four points in the 77kg final. (Photo: UWW / Kostadin Andonov)


Amoyan wins third gold


Malkhas AMOYAN (ARM) won his third consecutive European gold medal and second at 77kg after beating Yunus BASAR (TUR) 7-0 in a one-sided final.


Basar never went in the final as Amoyan got the first par terre and scored an out-of-bounds point, which he got only after a challenge. Leading 2-0 at the break, there was no change in strategy from Amoyan in the second period, and he continued his offense wrestling. Amoyan scored a takedown and then lifted Basr for a four-point throw.


Basar challenged the move, but the jury saw no foul in any sequence, giving Amoyan a 7-0 lead and the win.


“Winning third time was particularly challenging because all my opponents were preparing specifically for me. I am thrilled,” Amoyan said. “The Turkish wrestler [Basar] is one of the strongest wrestlers in our weight class. I never underestimate him, always prepare to wrestle him 100 percent to show my wrestling, and on the mat, the one in the best shape wins at that moment.”


Amoyan was a world champion at 72kg but has won two bronze medals since moving to the Olympic weight class of 77kg.


“I’m doing everything to become a world champion in the 77 kg category. I will prepare properly. It’s time to forget this victory and move forward. Time will reveal everything,” he said. “I will prepare for the Olympics just like other tournaments. I need to be mentally prepared to win gold there, and it’s not far away.”


At 55kg, Artium DELEANU (MDA) became the second Moldova wrestler to become the European champion in Greco-Roman after he pinned Rashad MAMMADOV (AZE).


Mammadov had a 3-0 lead, but Deleanu used a body lock to pin Mammadov down in the 55kg final.


Azerbaijan did win a gold medal as world silver medalist Murad MAMMADOV (AZE) defeated Oleksandr HRUSHYN (UKR) 2-1 in the 63kg final. The gold was Mammadov’s first-ever gold medal at a world or continental championships.






GOLD: Artium DELEANU (MDA) df. Rashad MAMMADOV (AZE), via fall (5-3)

BRONZE: Denis MIHAI (ROU) df. Nugzari TSURTSUMIA (GEO), via fall (9-0)


GOLD: Murad MAMMADOV (AZE) df. Oleksandr HRUSHYN (UKR), 2-1

BRONZE: Edmond NAZARYAN (BUL) df. Stefan CLEMENT (FRA), 1-1
BRONZE: Anvar ALLAKHIAROV (AIN) df. Aleksandrs JURKJANS (LTA), 9-0


GOLD: Malkhas AMOYAN (ARM) df. Yunus BASAR (TUR), 7-0

BRONZE: Adlet TIULIUBAEV (AIN) df. Alexandrin GUTU (MDA), 13-4


GOLD: Aleksandar KOMAROV (SRB) df. Ali CENGIZ (TUR), 4-1



GOLD: Sergei SEMENOV (AIN) df. Riza KAYAALP (TUR), via fall (4-2)

BRONZE: Danila SOTNIKOV (ITA) df. Iakobi KAJAIA (GEO), via fall (9-0)




Please follow and like us:
Share this Article
Leave a comment