Saturday Session I Blog – Sancho falls in quarters, Johnson possible for repechage, Braunagel & Rau eliminated

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Alejandro Sancho (USA) lifts his opponent at the 2023 World Championships (Photo by Tony Rotundo)

U.S. wrestlers are done for the day. Xavier Johnson (63 kg) and Alejandro Sancho (67 kg) are still possible for repechage. They need the opponent who beat them to win their semifinal tonight. Zachary Braunagel (86 kg) has been eliminated. Joe Rau (97 kg) lost his repechage match.

U.S. Greco-Roman Group 3 results this morning

63 kg –Xavier Johnson (U.S. Army WCAP), still possible for repechage

WIN Vikram Krushnath Kurade (UWW), tech fall 10-0

LOSS Murad Mammedov (Azerbaijan), 3-1

67 kg –Alejandro Sancho (U.S. Army WCAP), still possible for repechage

WIN Valentin Petic (Moldova), 5-1

WIN Husiyuetu (China), 3-1

LOSS Slavik Galstyan (Armenia), tech fall 9-0

87 kg –Zachary Braunagel (Illini WC/Illinois RTC), eliminated

WIN Azym Annamagomedov (Turkmenistan), 8-3

LOSS Zhan Beleniuk (Ukraine), 5-1


67 kg

Amantur Ismailov (Kyrgyzstan) tech fall Joni Khetsuriani (Georgia), 10-0 0:59

Luis Orta Sanchez (Cuba) dec. Mate Nemes (Serbia), 3-2

Slavik Galstyan (Armenia) tech fall Alejandro Sancho (United States), 9-0 1:50

Hasrat Jafarov (Azerbaijan) tech fall Mohammadreza Geraei (Iran), 10-0 3:42


GR 67 kg quarterfinal - Slavik Galstyan (Armenia) tech fall Alejandro Sancho (USA), 9-0

Sancho hit for passivity, 1-0 for Galstyan. Galstyan gets a two-point lift, a four-point lift and a gut wrench to finish off a 9-0 technical fall


87 kg

Ali Cengiz (Turkey) dec. Jalgasbay Berdimuratov (Uzbekistan), 3-3

Nursultan Tursynov (Kazakhstan) dec. Naser ghasem alizadeh (Iran), 9-4

Semen Novikov (Bulgaria) dec. Alex Kessidis (Sweden), 5-3

David Losonczi (Hungary) dec. Kiryl Maskevich (Individual Neutral Athletes), 6-1


63 kg

Leri Abuladze (Georgia) dec. Oleksandr Hrushyn (Ukraine), 1-1

Stefan Clement (France) tech fall Astemir Bizhoev (Individual Neutral Athletes), 9-0 1:57

Georgij Tibilov (Serbia) dec. Ivan Lizatovic (Croatia), 5-2

Murad Mammadov (Azerbaijan) dec. Hrachya Poghosyan (Armenia), 3-1


Murad Mammadov (AZE) won his quarterfinal bout over Hrachya Poghosyan (ARM) 3-1 at 63 kg. Xavier Johnson (USA) remains possible for repechage


Quarterfinals are now underway. Sancho will be up in three matches on Mat D vs. Galystan (ARM)


Alejandro Sancho's quarterfinal opponent is Slavik Galstyan (Armenia). It will be the final quarterfinal on Mat D.


GR 67 kg 1/18 final - Alejandro Sancho (USA) dec. Husiyuetu (China), 3-1

Husiyueto hit for passivity, 1-0 for Sancho. At the break, Sancho leads 1-0. Sancho hit for stalling, 1-1 tie with Husiyuetu having criteria. Sancho gets takedown with three seconds left, 3-1. Sancho wins 3-0 and is on to the quarterfinals.


GR 63 kg 1/8 final – Murad Mammedov (Azerbaijan) dec. Xavier Johnson (USA), 3-1

Mammadov hit for passivity, 1-0. We go to the break with Johnson winning, 1-0. Johnson hit for passivity, now 1-1 with Mammadov having criteria. Gut wrench by Mammadov, 3-1. No more scoring, Mammadov wins 3-1


World and Olympic champion Zhan Beleniuk just lost to Cengiz of Turkey, which eliminates Zach Braunagel from the tournament. Beleniuk beat Braunagel in the previous round


67 kg 1/16 final - Alejandro Sancho (USA) dec. Valentin Petic (Moldova), 5-1

Sancho hit for passivity, 1-0 for Petic. We go to the break with Petic leading 1-0. Petic hit for passivity, 1-1. Sancho has criteria. Sancho does a lift and four point throw to make it 5-1. No more scoring, so Sancho wins 5-1


Alejandro Sancho knows his opponent at 67 kg, Valentin Petic (Moldova), who won his prelim match

Xavier Johnson's next opponent at 63 kg is World bronze medalist Murad Mammadov (Azerbaijan)

GR 87 kg 1/16 final -  Zhan Beleniuk (Ukraine) dec. Zachary Braunagel (USA), 5-1

Beleniuk hit for passivity, 1-0 for Braunagel. He leads 1-0 at the break. Braunagel hit with passivity, 1-1. Beleniuk hits gut wrench, 3-1. He adds a second gut wrench, 5-1. No more points scored, Beleniuk wins, 5-1


GR 63 kg preliminary - Xavier Johnson (USA) tech fall Vikram Krushnath Kurade (UWW), 10-0

Johnson gets step out, 1-0. Passivity on Kurade, 2-0. Johnson gets two gut wrenches, 6-0, then a four-point lift and throw, 10-0 tech fall for Johnson.  


GR 87 kg preliminary– Zachary Braunagel (USA) dec. Azym Annamagomedov (Turkmenistan), 8-3

Counter takedown Annamagomedov, 2-0. Passivity against Braunagel, 3-0. Braunagel forces a step out, 3-1. We go to the break with Annamagomedov up, 3-1. Braunagel forces another step out 3-2. Annamagomedov hit for passivity, 3-3. Braunagel takes front headlock out of bounds for four points, 7-3. Challenge was made and lost, so its Braunagel, 8-3.


GR 97 kg repechage –Nicu Ojog (Romania) pin Josef Rau (USA), 0:55

Ojog hit for passivity, 1-0. Rau gets a gut wrench but no points given. Ojog reverses Rau, puts him on his back and pins him in 0:55


Can you believe it is day 8 here in Belgrade? The last morning session of the tournament has four U.S. athletes in action,

Jor Rau opens with a 97 kg repechage match against Nicu Ojog of Romania, bout one on Mat A. If Rau gets by Ojog, he has another repechage match against Artur Omarov of Czechia. A win over Omarov would advance Rau to Saturday night’s bronze medal bout against Mindaugas Venckaitis of Lithuania.

Three other U.S. wrestlers get rolling today, 2020 Olympian Alejandro Sancho (67 kg), plus first-time Senior World Team members Xavier Johnson (63 kg) and Zachary Braunagel (87 kg). The USA is seeking its first medal in Greco-Roman, as well as its first Olympic qualification. Sancho (67 kg) and Braunagel (87 kg) are in Olympic weight classes.

Session I starts at 10:30 a.m. local time, which is six hours ahead of U.S. Eastern time (4:30 a.m.).

Enjoy the action live on FloWrestling at

Alejandro Sancho (USA) lifts opponent at 2020 Pan American Olympic Qualifier (Photo by Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers Are Warriors)