#WrestleBelgrade Saturday Session I Blog: Arujau, Retherford, Taylor, Parris reach semifinals

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

U.S. men’s freestyle Group One results (Saturday session I)

61 kg - Vitali Arujau (Titan Mercury WC/Spartan Combat RTC), in semifinals

WIN Ossimzhan Dastanbek (Kazakhstan), tech. fall 10-0

WIN Stillyan Iliev (Bulgaria), tech fall, 10-0

WIN Kodei Ogawa (Japan), 8-2

Semifinals - Taiyrbek Zhumashbek Uulu (Kyrgyzstan)

70 kg - Zain Retherford (Titan Mercury WC/Nittany Lion WC), in semifinals

WIN Mustafo Akhmedov (Tajikistan), 4-0

WIN Abhimanyou (UWW), 9-2

Semifinals - Arman Andreasyan (Armenia)

86 kg - David Taylor (Titan Mercury WC/Nittany Lion WC), in semifinals

WIN Sofiane Padiou Belmir (Morocco), pin 0:15

WIN Benjamin Griel (Austria), 10-0

WIN med Sharipov (Bahrain), tech fall 12-2

Semifinals - Azamat Dauletbekov (Kazakhstan)

125 kg – Mason Parris (Titan Mercury WC/Cliff Keen WC), in semifinals

WIN Yusup Batirmurzaev (Kazakhstan), tech. fall 11-0

WIN Abraham Conyedo Ruano (Italy), 3-0

WIN Zhiwei Deng (China), 8-4

Semifinals - Geno Petriashvili (Georgia)


Semifinals pairings

61 kg

Vitali Arujau (USA) vs. Taiyrbek Zhumashbek Uulu (Kyrgyzstan)

Shota Phartenadze (Georgia) vs. Abasgadzhi Magomedov (Individual Neutral Athlete)

70 kg

Amirmohammad Yazdanicherati (Iran) vs. Ramazan Ramazanov (Bulgaria)

Arman Andreasyan (Armenia) vs. Zain Retherford (USA)

86 kg

Javrail Shapiev (Uzbekistan) vs. Hassan Yazdanicharati (Iran)

Azamat Dauletbekov (Kazakhstan) vs. David Taylor (United States)

125 kg

Taha Akgul (Turkey) vs. Amir Zare (Iran)

Mason Parris (United States) vs. Geno Petriashvili (Georgia)


Quarterfinal results

61 kg
Vitali Arujau (USA) dec. Kodai Ogawa (Japan), 8-2
Taiyrbek Zhumashbek Uulu (Kyrgyzstan) dec. Emrah Ormanoglu (Turkey), 4-2
Shota Phartenadze (Georgia) dec. Jahongirmirza Turobov (Uzbekistan), 5-3
Abasgadzhi Magomedov (Individual Neutral Athlete) pin Valentyn Bliasetskyi (Ukraine), 16-4 4:32

70 kg
Amirmohammad Yazdanicherati (Iran) tech fall Ernazar Akmataliev (Kyrgyzstan), 10-0 5:27
Ramazan Ramazanov (Bulgaria) pin Amr Hussen (Egypt), 10-2 5:35
Arman Andreasyan (Armenia) dec. Yoshinosuke Aoyagi (Japan), 5-3
Zain Retherford (USA) dec. Abhimanyou Abhimanyou (UWW), 9-2

86 kg
Javrail Shapiev (Uzbekistan) tech fall Hayato Ishiguro (Japan), 15-5 5:37
Hassan Yazdanicharati (Iran) dec. Myles Amine (San Marino), 7-2
Azamat Dauletbekov (Kazakhstan) tech fall Rakhim Magamadov (France), 10-0 0:38
David Taylor (United States) tech fall Magomed Sharipov (Bahrain), 12-2 4:06

125 kg
Taha Akgul (Turkiye) dec. Khotsianivskyi Khotsianivskyi (Ukraine), 3-0
Amir Zare (Iran) dec. Daniel Ligeti (Hungary), 11-4
Mason Parris (United States) dec. Zhiwei Deng (China), 8-4
Geno Petriashvili (Georgia) dec. Robert Baran (Poland), 3-1

All four USA wrestlers in Group A advance to Saturday afternoon's semifinals. Vito Arujau (61 kg), Zain Retherford (70 kg), David Taylor (86 kg) and Mason Parris (125 kg). We will sort out their opponents and post again shortly. GO USA. Great start.

86 kg quarterfinals - David Taylor (USA) tech. fall Magomed Shapirov (Bahrain), 12-2Taylor scores the first takedown to lead 2-0. Sharipov responds with a takedown to tie at 2-2. Taylor responds with a takedown and a 4-2 lead. Taylor scores a low single as the first period ends to lead 6-2 at the break. Add an early Taylor takedown in the second and it is 8-2. Taylor keeps coming, another takedown to lead 10-2. One more Taylor takedown and he wins by a 12-2 technical fall. 125 kg quarterfinals - Mason Parris (USA) dec. Zhiwei Deng of China, 8-4Parris scores the first point on a step out. The first period ends at 1-0. Deng is put on the shot clock in the second period. Deng does not score in 30 seconds, so Parris leads 2-0. Parris moves well on edge and forces a Deng step out for a 3-0 lead late in the match. Big exchange at the end of the match, and the match ended 7-4 for Parris, but China challenged. Both wrestlers scored during the exchange, but the jury must sort it out. They gave both wrestlers four-point moves, so the challenge is lost. Parris gets the extra point on lost challenge, and its an 8-4 win.61 kg quarterfinals - Vitali Arujau (USA) dec. Kodei Ogawa (Japan), 8-2Vito forces a step out to lead 1-0. Arujau gets a counter tilt to lead 3-0. Japan challenges. There is a long delay as three challenges at the same time. They change it to a 2-and-2, which makes the score 3-2 for Vito. A Vito single leg attack makes it a step out and a 4-2 lead. We are at the break with Vito up 4-2. Vito opens the second period with a single leg for a step out and a 5-2 lead. A Vito leg attack gets converted and its now 7-2. Vito shoots again and another stepout makes it 8-2. Time runs out, and Vito Arujau wins 8-2 and on to the semifinals.
70 kg quarterfinals - Zain Retherford (USA) dec. Abhimanyou Abhimanyou (UWW), 9-2
UWW stands for India this tournament, FYI. Zain gets a shot clock point, and a takedown to lead 3-0. Add a turn and Retherford leads 5-0 at the break. Give Zain another takedown for a 7-0 lead. Abhimanyou gets a takedown to close it to 7-2. Zain wins a scramble for a takedown and a 9-2 lead. Retherford wins 9-2 and reaches the semifinals.___
We know the opponent for Parris in the 125 kg quarterfinals, Zhiwei Deng of China. We know the opponent for Taylor in the 86 kg quarterfinals, Magomed Shapirov of Bahrain.  


86 kg - David Taylor (USA) tech fall Benjamin Griel (Austria), 10-0

Taylor gets the opening takdown and gets a gut wrench which he turns four straight times, for a 10-0 technical fall in 40 seconds.


125 kg - Mason Parris (USA) ded. Abraham Conyedo Ruano (Italy), 3-0

Parris forces Conyedo out with a step out and leads 1-0. Mason is physically bigger than Conyedo, who won an Olympic medal at 97 kg. A Parris attack forces another step out, 2-0. Conyedo is put on the shot clock and can not score, making it 3-0 for Parris as it goes to the break. There are no points scored in the second period and Mason Parris wins, 3-0.


We know the quarterfinal opponents for the USA wrestlers who just won. Zain Retherford faces Abhimanyou Abhimanyou (UWW) in the 70 kg quarterfinals, while Vitali Arujau will battle Kodei Ogawa (Japan) in his quarterfinals.


61 kg- Vitali Arujau (USA) tech. fall Stilyan Iliev (Bulgaria), 10-0

Arujau gets a low single and converts the takedown to lead 2-0. Another leg attack leads to another Arujau takedown, 4-0. Add in three quick ankle laces and Vito gets another technical fall, 10-0


70 kg Zain Retherford (USA) dec. Mustafo Akhmedov (Tajikistan), 4-0

Retherford converts a leg attack, lifting high, but having to finish it off on a scramble, 2-0. They go to the break with Zain ahead, 2-0. A scrappy first period, without much offense on either side. In the second period, there is still few attacks. Zain gets another score to lead 4-0. Retherford keeps good position and wins, 4-0.


We know the opponent for David Taylor in the 1/8 final at 86 kg, Benjamin Griel (Austria). Griel beat Patrick Puespoeki (Hungary), 3-0.


86 kg David Taylor (USA) pin Sofiane Padiou Belmir (Morocco), 0:15

Taylor locks up a cradle from a defensive position and scores a pin in 15 seconds to get off the mat quickly. On to the next round


We now know the opponent for Mason Parris in the next round. He will wrestle Abraham Conyedo Ruano of Italy. Conyedo is originally from Cuba. He was a 2020 Olympic bronze medalist down at 97 kg for Italy.


Vito Arujau fist-pumps after his first Senior Worlds win.
Durwood Tenney

125 kg Mason Parris (USA) tech fall Yusup Batirmurzaev (Kazakhstan), 11-0

Parris gets takedown and gut wrenches to lead. He adds another takedown., 6-0. A takedown extends it to 8-0 for Parris. He puts Batirmurzaev to his back to end the match with a technical fall win.


One advantage to having legend Jason Bryant announcing the Senior Worlds is that he points out all of the international wrestlers in the field who wrestled in U.S. colleges. Who would expect to hear about Cerritos College or the University of the Cumberlands while in Serbia. Thank you Jason. The man does his homework


We also know the next opponent for Vito Arujau in the 1/8 final. He will battle Stilyan Iliev (Bulgaria) in Bout 113 on Mat D.


We now know the opponent for Zain Retherford’s first match. He will compete against Mustafo Akhmedov of Tajikistan, a 2023 Asian U23 Championships runner-up. Akhmedov beat Kevin Henkel of Germany, 8-0.


61 kg Vitali Arujau (USA) tech. fall Ossimzhan Dastanbek (Kazakhstan), 10-0

Vito jumps to a 4-0 lead, right off the bat. A blast double gets another takedown for Vito, who leads 6-0. Vito spins behind to make it 8-0. A gut wrench closes it out, and Vito wins his opener, 10-0 technical fall


Not a good start for Russia (AIN), as its 70 kg wrestler, Evgenii Zherbaev, was upset by Yoshinosuke Aoyagi of Japan, 9-5.


The first two wrestlers for the USA today are in their first World Championships, Vito Arujau (61 kg) and Mason Parris (125 kg). Vito is first up on Mat C.These guys won the NCAA Championships this year, so it is interesting that they will be kicking off the Senior Worlds for the USA...


This is the first qualifying event for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. The top five wrestlers in each weight class qualify their nation for Paris. In order to get to five athletes, there will be a special wrestle-off between the two losers of the bronze-medal bouts for the final berth in the Olympics. Prior to Tokyo, six athletes punched tickets to the Olympics. This time, only five per weight get to go.


U.S. Men’s FS Bout Order
Mat B

Bout 13 Mason Parris v Batirmurzaev (KAZ)

Bout 21 Zain Retherford v winner Akhmedov (TJK)/Henkel (GER)

Mat C

Bout 5 Vito Arujau v Dastanbek (KAZ)

Bout 19 David Taylor v Padiou Belmir (MAR)


9:30 a.m. - One hour until the first session begins here in Belgrade. This year, we will be doing session live blogs, rather than multiple update stories. Today will be the first go at this new coverage plan. We start with four men's freestyle weights, 61 kg (Vito Arujau), 70 kg (Zain Retherford), 86 kg (David Taylor), 125 kg (Mason Parris). Join us live on FloWrestling. More to come.

David Taylor (USA) celebrates at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Kadir Caliskan, United World Wrestling