#WrestleBelgrade: Sunday Session 1 Blog: Dake advances to semifinals

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

For the USA, Kyle Dake advances to the semifinals at 74 kg against Georgios Kougioumtsidis of Greece. Two U.S. wrestlers lost in the quarterfinals and await their fate, hoping to be pulled back into repechage, Chance Marsteller at 79 kg and Zahid Valencia at 92 kg. One U.S. wrestler was eliminated, Zane Richards at 57 kg.


Freestyle Group Two Semifinal pairings

57 kg

Rei Higuchi (Japan) vs. Meirambek Kartbay (Kazakhstan)

Stevan Micic (Serbia) vs. Zelimkhan Abakarov (Albania)

74 kg

Turan Bayramov (Azerbaijan) vs. Zaurbek Sidakov (Individual Neutral Athlete)

Georgios Kougioumtsidis (Greece) vs. Kyle Dake (United States)

79 kg

Akhmed Usmanov (Individual Neutral Athlete) vs. Orkhan Abasov (Azerbaijan)

Vladimeri Gamkrelidze (Georgia) vs. Vasyl Mykhailov (Ukraine)

92 kg

Miriani Maisuradze (Georgia) vs. Rizabek Aitmukhan (Kazakhstan)

Arash Yoshida (Japan) vs. Osman Nurmagomedov (Azerbaijan)

Freestyle Group Two Quarterfinals results

57 kg

Rei Higuchi (Japan) dec. Arsen Harutyunyan (Armenia), 16-14

Meirambek Kartbay (Kazakhstan) dec. Niklas Stechele (Germany), 4-1

Stevan Micic (Serbia) dec. Zavur Uguev (Individual Neutral Athletes), 9-7

Zelimkhan Abakarov (Albania) tech. fall Milad Valizadeh (Iran), 12-2 2:46

74 kg

Turan Bayramov (Azerbaijan) dec. Soner Demirtas (Turkey), 5-4

Zaurbek Sidakov (Individual Neutral Athletes) dec. Hetik Cabolov (Serbia), 6-4

Georgios Kougioumtsidis (Greece) dec. Taimuraz Salkazanov (Slovakia), 4-3

Kyle Dake (United States) dec. Daichi Takatani (Japan), 6-4

79 kg

Akhmed Usmanov (Individual Neutral Athletes) dec. Mohammad Nokhodilarimi (Iran), 5-2

Orkhan Abasov (Azerbaijan) dec. Chance Marsteller (United States), 9-3

Vladimeri Gamkrelidze (Georgia) dec. Bolat Sakayev (Kazakhstan), 8-2

Vasyl Mykhailov (Ukraine) dec. Akhsarbek Gulaev (Slovakia), 5-2

92 kg

Miriani Maisuradze (Georgia) pin Pruthviraj babasaheb Patil (UWW), 2:02

Rizabek Aitmukhan (Kazakhstan) tech. fall Feyzullah Akturk (Turkey), 11-0 2:29

Arash Yoshida (Japan) tech. fall Gankhuyag Ganbaatar (Mongolia), 11-1 5:11

Osman Nurmagomedov (Azerbaijan) dec. Zahid Valencia (United States), 5-1


74 kg 1/4 final - Kyle Dake (USA) dec. Daichi Takatani (Japan), 6-4

Takatani on the shot clock first and can not score, 1-0 for Dake. Takatani scores a takedown late in the first period for a 2-1 lead at the break. Takatani shoots, Dake gets in the leg and tilts, and the score says 4-4 with Takatani having the criteria. Dake shoots multiple times to force a step out and a 5-4 lead with 27 seconds left. Dake holds his position on a final shot by Takatani, and it ends 5-4 for Dake. Japan challenges but it is lost. Another point for Dake, who wins 6-4.


Crazy finish at 57 kg. With a takedown on the buzzer, Stevan Micic of Serbia takes down Olympic champion Zaur Ugaev, the Individual Neutral Athlete from Russia, for an 8-7 victory. Ugaev challenges the call. The takedown is confirmed and Micic wins the match 9-7. Serbia, Michigan and Indiana are celebrating this big win.


92 kg – 1/4 final - Osman Nuragomedov (Azerbaijan) dec. Zahid Valencia (USA), 5-1

Zahid put on the shot clock and does not score, giving Nuragomedov a 1-0 lead. That 1-0 score goes to the break. Nuragomedov put on shot clock. Valencia goes down with injury but is back up. Nuragomedov does not score to tie it at 1-1. Zahid holds criteria. Nuragomedov gets behind Valencia for a takedown with 40 seconds left, leading 3-1. Zahid shoots and Nuragomedov spins behind and the match ends 5-1.


79 kg – 1/4 final - Orkhan Abasov (Azerbaijan) dec. Chance Marsteller (USA), 9-3

Abasov gets a takedown and two turns for a 6-0 lead early in the match. Marsteller gets a leg for a step out to cut it to 6-1. We go to the break with Abasov leading 6-1. Marsteller gets on a leg for a caution and one to make it 6-2. Marsteller starts on top in par terre but does not get a turn. Abasov forces a step out, 7-2. Marsteller closes it to 7-3. A late Abasov takedown stretches it to 9-3 which is the final score.


74 kg 1/8 final - Kyle Dake (USA) dec. Nurkozha Kaipanov (Kazakhstan), 9-4

Dake gets a takedown and adds three turns to take an 8-0 lead in the first period. Add a step out late in the first period and its is a 9-0 lead at the break for Dake. Kaipanov forces a step out to make it 9-1. Add a Kaipanov takedown to close it to 9-3. Add a step out to make it 9-4, but Kaipanov does not score again. Dake advances to quarterfinals with a 9-4 win.


Zane Richards (USA) is eliminated at 57 kg, after the wrestler who beat him, Aliabbas Rzazade of Azerbaijan, lost to Milad Valizade of Iran in the next round., 8-4.

Kyle Dake (USA) scores a takedown at the 2023 World Championships (Photo by Durwood Tenny)

We know Zahid Valencia’s next opponent at 92 kg, Osman Nuragomedov of Azerbaijan.


92 kg – 1/8 final - Zahid Valencia (USA) dec. Amirali Azarpira (Iran), 12-9

Zahid scores the first takedown to lead 2-0. Zahid does a snap and spin for another takedown and a 4-0 lead. Azarpira responds with a takedown to cut the lead to 4-2. Azarpira takes down Valencia and turns him twice for an 8-4 lead. Zahid unable to finish before the break on a shot, and trails 8-4. The USA challenges but loses that it did not score on the timer. The USA corner says they did not challenge, but it is 9-4 anyway. Zahid gets a takedown and a leg lace turn to cut the lead to 9-8. Valencia shoots and scores, and adds a turn for a 12-9 lead. Zahid shoots and Azarpira blocks it, but time is eaten away. There is no more scoring and Valencia wins 12-9.


We know Chance Marsteller’s next opponent at 79 kg, Orkhan Abasov of Azerbaijan


We know Kyle Dake’s next opponent at 74 kg, Nurkozha Kapanov of Kazakhtan


79 kg – 1/8 final - Chance Marsteller (USA) v Chems Fetairia (Algeria)

Marsteller spins behind to lead 2-0. Marsteller shoots but Fetairia scores two on a crotch lift to tie it up at 2-2. Marsteller gets his takedown to lead 4-2. We go to the break with Marsteller leading 4-2. Marsteller powers to a takedown on the edge to extend the lead to 6-2. Algeria challenged the call, but it was lost, giving Marsteller another point, 7-2. No more points are scored and Marsteller wins, 7-2.


Daichi Takatani of Japan beat Anthony Valencia of Mexico at 74 kg by technical fall. His brother Zahid is coming up on the same mat in three bouts.


74 kg 1/16 final - Kyle Dake (USA) v Magomet Evloev (Tajikistan)

Evloev put on the shot clock and can not score, giving Dake the 1-0 lead. Dake grabs a single and gets into seat belt poistion, finishes the takedown 3-0. He did a slick turn on the edge to make it 5-0. We go to the break with Dake up 5-0. In second period, Dake gets exposed on a scramble but ends with a step out to lead 6-2. Dake shoots and finishes, making it 8-2. He turns Evloev, now up 10-2. Add a single leg takedown and we have a 12-2 technical fall victory for Dake.


We know the bronze-medal opponent for Mason Parris at 125 kg tonight, Abdulla Kurbanov, an Individual Neutral Athlete who is from Russia.


57 kg 1/16 final - Zane Richards (USA) v Aliabbas Rzazade (Azerbaijan)

Zane placed on the shot clock, and is unable to score, giving Rzazade a 1-0 lead. Richards hits a single leg and converts for the takedown and a 2-1 lead, which is the score at the break. Rzazade gets a point to tie it at 2-2 midway in the second, with Richards having criteria. Rzazade takes a single leg shot and forces Richards out, 3-2 with 1:31 left. Richards can not get to Rzazade late and the match ends at 3-2 for Rzazade.

Kyle Dake (USA) competing in 2022 World Championship finals (Photo by Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers Are Warriors)

Another big match at 74 kg, Daichi Takatani of Japan scored a 7-2 victory over two-time World champion Frank Chamizo of Italy.


In the past, we have seen many brothers competing for different nations, and in this tournament, we have two American brothers wrestling on the same day for different nations. Zahid Valencia of the USA at 92 kg, and his brother Anthony Valencia of Mexico, both started competition today. Anthony got the brothers combo off to a strong start with a pin over Iakub Shikhdzhamalov of Romania in 2:12. These California natives were teammates at Arizona State.


Right off the bat, we saw a big battle at 74 kg. Individual Neutral Athlete Zaurbek Sidakov, an Olympic champion and two-time World champion from Russia, battled multiple World medalist Avtandil Kentchadze of Georgia. Kentchadze hit a four-pointer in the second period and led 6-3, but Sidakov came back with two takedowns for a 7-6 victory.


Today should be a clarifying day for the team race. On day one, the USA put three in the finals, as did Iran. The USA also has one going for bronze, while Iran had an athlete eliminated at 70 kg from Group One. This morning, Zahid Valencia opens against two-time U23 World champion Amarali Azarpira at 92 kg. We know tonight we have two head-to-heads with Iran in the finals, as David Taylor has his rival Hassan Yazdani at 86 kg, and Zain Retherford faces Amirmohammed Yazdani in the finals at 70 kg.


We know the first opponent for Zahid Valencia, who will face two-time U23 World champion Amirali Azarpira of Iran in his opening bout. Azarpira defeated Woomin Jang of Korea, in an 11-0 technical fall.


We know the first round opponent for Chance Marsteller, who will face Chems Fetairia of Algeria, who defeated Gunwoo Lee of Korea, in their preliminary match, 6-6. Fetairia was a 2022 African champion.


Day One for men’s freestyle was excellent for Team USA, as the first group had a combined 14-1 record. Of the 14 wins, there were two pins and six technical falls. The only loss came in the last match, and was by just two points. With four medals on the table tonight, as well as an Olympic berth at 125 kg up for grabs, there is much to look forward to.


U.S. mat assignments

Mat B

Bout 15 Zane Richards v Aliabbas Rzazade (Azerbaijan)

Bout 20 Kyle Dake v Magomet Evloev (Tajikistan)

Mat C

Bout 22 Chance Marsteller v Chems Fetairia (Algeria)/Gunwoo Lee (Korea)

Bout 24 Zahid Valencia v Woomin Jang (Korea)/Amirali Azarpira (Iran)


We are one hour away from the start of the first session of the 2023 Senior World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia. The session will feature repechage from Group One of men’s freestyle, as well as the preliminary action of Group Two of men’s freestyle. Going for Team USA today is four-time World champion and 2020 Olympic bronze medalist Kyle Dake (74 kg), plus three first-time Senior World Team members Zane Richards (57 kg), Chance Marsteller (79 kg) and Zahid Valencia (92 kg). There are two Olympic weight classes in Group Two, 57 kg (Richards) and 74 kg (Dake). The USA did so well in Group One that the team has nobody in repechage today. Vito Arujau (61 kg), Zain Retherford (70 kg) and David Taylor (86 kg) go for gold and Mason Parris (125 kg) goes for bronze in tonight’s session.

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