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Aiello earns spot in Friday’s men’s freestyle semifinals at U23 World Championships in Belgrade

by Joe Wedra, USA Wrestling

BELGRADE, Serbia – Jay Aiello (97 kg) punched his ticket to the men’s freestyle semifinals of the U23 World Championships after an impressive morning session. He went 2-0, defeating opponents from Turkey and Russia.
Four other U.S. wrestlers took the mat on Friday morning. Jake Marsh (79 kg) will await the results of Friday evening’s semifinals to see if he will be pulled back into the tournament on Saturday.
Aiello, wrestling on his first U.S. World team, won his first match against Turkey’s Feyzullah Akturk, a two-time Junior World bronze medalist. Aiello set the pace for much of the match and scored multiple takedowns, winning 5-3 to advance to the quarterfinals.
In the quarters, Aiello captured the attention of the arena with his come-from-behind win over Russia’s Shamil Ghadzhialiev. Trailing late in the match in a very physical bout, Aiello picked up a bit of momentum when the U.S. corner challenged a four-point exchange in favor of Ghadzhialiev, winning and dropping it down to two points, keeping Aiello within striking distance in a 4-2 match. Then, with time winding down, Aiello got to a leg and finished a hard-fought takedown, grabbing the 4-4 lead on criteria as time expired and holding on for the win.
Aiello will wrestle Iran’s Amirali Azarpira in the semifinals.
Pat Glory (57 kg) dropped his opening-round match to Iran’s Ahmad Mohammadnezhadjavan in one of the more action-packed matches of the tournament.
Glory controlled much of the match and was leading, 7-1, in the second period. However, Mohammadnezhadjavan scored a quick four-point takedown off of the whistle with 1:20 left, a move that was followed by two more Glory takedowns that put Glory up 11-5 with 40 seconds left. But, Mohammadnezhadjavan found another score and then locked up a tight gut wrench to turn Glory twice, good for an 11-11 lead on criteria that would stick.
Mohammadnezhadjavan lost in the quarterfinals to his opponent from Kazakhstan, which means Glory will not be eligible for tomorrow’s repechage and is officially eliminated from the tournament.
At 65 kg, Dom Demas advanced through his qualification round match after a forfeit from Morocco’s Abdelwahad Badri. In the Round of 16 match, he dropped a 6-3 bout to 2021 Junior World silver medalist, Ziraddin Bayramov of Azerbaijan. Demas kept the match tight throughout, but a six-point stretch on two takedowns and an exposure in the first period proved to be the difference in the match.
Bayramov was defeated in the quarterfinals, officially eliminating Demas from the tournament.
Brock Mauller at 70 kg suffered a tough loss in a well-wrestled match against Turkey’s Cuneyt Budak in his opening round. After being down, 4-2, in the second, Mauller scored late in the period to go up, 4-4 on criteria. However, with less than 25 seconds left, Budak scored on a low single and wrapped up a tight leg lace, locking up the match and ultimately knocking off Mauller, 10-4.
Budak also lost in the quarterfinals, which eliminated Mauller from the tournament.
At 79 kg, Jake Marsh, a late addition to the Team USA roster, dropped a 10-0 match to Turkey’s Ramazan Sari in his first match on Friday. Sari won his quarterfinals match, so he will need to defeat his opponent from Armenia in the semifinals for Marsh to be pulled back into the tournament.
Tonight’s semifinal session will begin tonight at 4:45 p.m. local time in Belgrade, which is five hours ahead of U.S. eastern time. The session, and all matches at the U23 World Championships, can be watched live on FloWrestling.

At Belgrade, Serbia November 5

Men’s freestyle Group One semifinal pairings

57 kg
Dzymitry Shamela (Belarus) vs. Bekbolot Myrzanazar Uulu (Kyrgyzstan)
Saurabh Igave (India) vs. Aliabbas Rzazade (Azerbaijan)
65 kg
Stilyan Iliev (Bulgaria) vs. Ibragim Abdurakhmanov (Russia)
Georgios Pilidis (Greece) vs. Cavit Acar (Turkey)
70 kg
Murad Evloev (Azerbaijan) vs. Ernazar Akmataliev (Kyrgyzstan)
Nicolai Grahmez (Moldova) vs. Vazgen Tevanyan (Armenia)
79 kg
Arman Avagyan (Armenia) vs. Ramazan Sari (Turkey)
Ashraf Ashirov (Azerbaijan) vs. Magomed Magomaev (Russia)
97 kg
Danylo Stasiuk (Ukraine) vs. Radu Lefter (Moldova)
Jay Aiello (USA) vs. Amirali Azarpira (Iran)
U.S. men’s freestyle Group One results
57 kg: Pat Glory (Randolph, N.J./New Jersey RTC)
LOSS Ahmad Mohammadnezhadjavan (Iran), 11-11
65 kg: Dom Demas (Columbus, Ohio/Oklahoma RTC)
WIN Abdelwahad Badri (Morocco), forfeit
LOSS Ziraddin Bayramov (Azerbaijan), 6-3
70 kg: Brock Mauller (Columbia, Mo./Tiger Style WC)
LOSS Cuneyt Budak (Turkey), 10-4
79 kg: Jake Marsh (New Jersey RTC)
LOSS Ramazan Sari (Turkey), 10-0
97 kg: Jay Aiello (Chantilly, Va./Cavalier WC)
WIN Feyzullah Akturk (Turkey), 5-3
WIN Shamil Ghadzhialiev (Russia), 3-3
vs. Amirali Azarpira (Iran)