Day 9 wrap: Johnson defeated in repechage, USA ends Greco-Roman with 10 wins in 22nd place

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Xavier Johnson (USA) pummels with Vikran Kurade (UWW) at 2023 Worlds (Photo by Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers Are Warriors)

BELGRADE, Serbia - Xavier Johnson, the lone U.S. athlete competing in Greco-Roman on the final day of the 2023 Senior World Championships, dropped his 63 kg repechage match on Sunday afternoon.

He was defeated by technical fall by Hrachya Poghosyan of Armenia, 8-0. Poghosyan scored an early takedown, lifted and threw Johnson for four points, and ended the match with a gutwrench in the first period.

Johnson, who had a 1-2 record for the tournament, placed 10th in the standings, scoring two team points for the United States.

The other two U.S. wrestlers in Group Three were eliminated on Saturday, Alejandro Sancho (67 kg) and Zachary Braunagel (87 kg).

The United States finished with 14 points in the final team standings, which placed them at 22nd place. During the Greco-Roman World Championships, Team USA had 10 wins, an improvement from the seven wins in 2022. Winning two bouts for the USA were Alejandro Sancho (67 kg) and Kamal Bey (77 kg).

Team USA athletes in the top 10 were Patrick Smith (8th at 72 kg), Xavier Johnson (10th at 62 kg), Brady Koontz (10th at 55 kg), Kamal Bey (10th at 77 kg) and Cohlton Schultz (10th at 130 kg).

The final three weight classes in Greco-Roman was completed today at 63 kg, 67 kg and 87 kg.

Winning gold medals on the final night of Greco-Roman were Leri Abuladze of Georgia (63 kg), Luis Orta Sanchez of Cuba (67 kg) and Ali Cengiz of Turkey (87 kg).

Azerbaijan won the Greco-Roman title with 120 points, with Iran in second with 102 and Turkey in third with 93.

Overall, at the 2023 Senior Worlds in all styles, the USA won 14 medals during the week, seven in men’s freestyle and seven in women’s freestyle. World champions were men’s freestylers Vito Arujau (61 kg), Zain Retherford (70 kg) and David Taylor (86 kg) as well as women’s freestyler Amit Elor (72 kg). The USA qualified seven weight classes for the Olympic Games in Paris, men’s freestyle 74 kg, 86 kg, 97 kg and 125 kg, plus women’s freestyle 50 kg, 57 kg and 76 kg.


At Belgrade, Serbia, September 24

Greco-Roman Group 3 finals results

63 kg

Gold - Leri Abuladze (Georgia)

Silver - Murad Mammadov (Azerbaijan)

Bronze - Enes Basar (Turkey)

Bronze - Georgij Tibilov (Serbia)

5th - dec. Stefan Clement (France)

5th - Hrachya Poghosyan (Armenia)

7th - Oleksandr Hrushyn (Ukraine)

8th - Astemir Bizhoev (Individual Neutral Athlete)

9th - Abu Muslim Amaev (Bulgaria)

10th - Xavier Johnson (USA)

Gold - Leri Abuladze (Georgia) dec. Murad Mammadov (Azerbaijan), 2-2

Bronze - Enes Basar (Turkey) dec. Stefan Clement (France), 9-6

Bronze - Georgij Tibilov (Serbia) dec. Hrachya Poghosyan (Armenia), 4-0

67 kg

Gold - Luis Orta Sanchez (Cuba)

Silver - Hasrat Jafarov (Azerbaijan)

Bronze - Mate Nemes (Serbia)

Bronze - Mohammedreza Geraei (Iran)

5th - Amantur Ismailov (Kyrgyzstan)

5th - Slavik Galstyan (Armenia)

7th - Krisztian Vancza (Hungary)

8th - Vinayak Patil (UWW)

9th - Mamadassa Sylla (France)

10th - Joni Khetsuriani (Georgia)

Gold - Luis Orta Sanchez (Cuba) dec. Hasrat Jafarov (Azerbaijan), 4-3

Bronze - Mate Nemes (Serbia) dec. Amantur Ismailov (Kyrgyzstan), 3-3

Bronze - Mohammedreza Geraei (Iran) disq. Slavik Galstyan (Armenia), 2:03

Olympic Playoff - Amantur Ismailov (Kyrgyzstan) tech fall Slavik Galstyan (Armenia), 8-0

87 kg

Gold - Ali Cengiz (Turkey)

Silver - David Losonczi (Hungary)

Bronze - Zhan Beleniuk (Ukraine)

Bronze - Semen Novikov (Bulgaria)

5th - Nursultan Tursynov (Kazakhstan)

5th - Islam Abbasov (Azerbaijan)

7th - Alex Kessidis (Sweden)

8th - Sanghyeok Park (Korea)

9th - Kiryl Maskevich (Independent Neutral Athlete)

10th - Jalgasbay Berdimuratov (Uzbekistan)

Gold - Ali Cengiz (Turkey) dec. David Losonczi (Hungary), 8-7

Bronze - Zhan Beleniuk (Ukraine) dec. Nursultan Tursynov (Kazakhstan), 7-2

Bronze - Semen Novikov (Bulgaria) dec. Islam Abbasov (Azerbaijan), 6-3

Olympic Playoff - Nursultan Tursynov (Kazakhstan) tech fall Islam Abbasov (Azerbaijan), 8-0

Final Team Standings

1. Azerbaijan, 120

2. Iran, 102

3 Turkey, 93

4 Cuba, 73

5 Armenia, 65

6 Kyrgyzstan, 60

7 Georgia, 59

8 Hungary, 52

9 Uzbekistan, 52

10 Serbia 49

Note: United States 22nd with 14 points

U.S. Greco-Roman Group 3 results

63 kg –Xavier Johnson (U.S. Army WCAP), 10th place

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

LOSS Murad Mammedov (Azerbaijan), 3-1

LOSS Hrachya Poghosyan (Armenia), tech. fall 8-0

67 kg –Alejandro Sancho (U.S. Army WCAP), 12th place

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), 17th place

WIN Azym Annamagomedov (Turkmenistan), 8-3

LOSS Zhan Beleniuk (Ukraine), 5-1

NOTE: Below is the live blog from Sunday afternoon session.

That's it for Team USA at the 2023 World Championships in Belgrade. It has been a great nine days of wrestling.

We will post a wrap story later, with all of the day's Greco-Roman medals, the final team standings. We will shut down the blog for now.

Watch the Greco-Roman finals live on FloWrestling


GR 63 kg repechage – Hrachya Poghosyan (Armenia) tech. fall Xavier Johnson (USA), 8-0

Takedown Poghosyan, 2-0. Poghosyan lift, 6-0. Poghosyan gut wrench, 8-0. Poghosyan wins by technical fall, 8-0.



U.S. repechage mat assignment

Mat C

Bout 3 - 63 kg repechage – Xavier Johnson (USA) vs. Hrachya Poghosyan (Armenia)

Session begins at 4:30 local time (10:30 a.m. U.S. Eastern time)


Hello World. Yes it is day 9 at the Senior World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia.

Greco-Roman concludes today with the Group Three repechage, followed by the medal matches and Olympic Playoffs in the final three weight classes.

Team USA is down to one last survivor, Xavier Johnson at 63 kg. If he wins two matches, he is a bronze medalist. If he loses his first match, he is out. If he wins his first match to make a bronze-medal bout, he can place third or fifth. That’s it. There is no other USA story than Xavier today.

How about it? Can we close out the World Championships with a Greco-Roman medal. Join us on FloWrestling to find out.