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Raney to go for gold at U17 World Greco-Roman Championships; Greenwood, Sahakian pulled back into repechage

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Jordyn Raney (USA) claps his hands after a win at the 2023 U17 Greco-Roman World Championships in Istanbul.
Jordyn Raney (USA) claps his hands after a big win at the U17 Greco-Roman World Championships in Istanbul, Photo by Kadir Caliskan, United World Wrestling.

ISTANBUL, Turkey - Jordyn Raney will go for a gold medal at 55 kg on Tuesday night at the 2023 U17 World Championships in Greco-Roman after a stunning comeback victory over a U17 World finalist in the semifinals.

Raney defeated 2021 U17 World silver medalist Mohammadreza Gholamreza Gholami of Iran, 8-7. Raney led 1-0 after the first period. In the second period, Raney was hit with passivity and put down. Gholami lifted and threw Raney for four points for a 5-1 lead. Raney did not give up. He hit a four-point throw, then was reversed for two when he attempted a head pinch turn. Raney powered it over for two more points. The scoreboard read 9-7 for Raney, but it was actually 7-7 with criteria for Raney. Gholami challenged and it was denied, giving Raney the 8-7 victory.

Raney will battle 2022 U17 World champion Suraj of India in the gold-medal finals. Suraj was also a 2023 Asian silver medalist. Raney, a rising star from Kentucky, is competing in his first major international event.

Two U.S. wrestlers have been pulled back into repechage, which will be held on Tuesday morning. These athletes will have a chance to wrestle back for the right to compete for a bronze medal on Tuesday evening.

Billy Greenwood was pulled back into repechage at 65 kg when the opponent who beat him in the opening round, Yusif Ahmadli of Azerbaijan, won his semifinal bout by technical fall. Greenwood will battle 2021 Balkans silver medalist Athanasios Efthymiadis of Greece in his first repechage match. If he wins, he must win another repechage match against Octavian Cernetchi of Moldova in order to get into a bronze-medal match against Islombek Karimjonov of Uzbekistan.

Nicholas Sahakian is in repechage at 110 kg, after Ronak of India, who beat him in the quarterfinals, won his semifinal bout. Sahakian has drawn Tomas Rusi of Finland in his repechage match. Rusi was fifth in the 2023 European U17 Championships. If Sahakian wins, he will compete in the bronze-medal round against Eldar Emirov, an Individual Neutral Athlete.

Two U.S. wrestlers were eliminated after the athlete who beat them on Monday morning was defeated in the semifinals. Ezekiel Witt was knocked out at 48 kg, after Edgar Petrosyan, who beat him in the first round, lost in the semifinals. Adam Waters, who reached the quarterfinals at 80 kg with two wins, also was not eligible for repechage after Eleftherios Pappas of Greece lost in the semifinals.

The final five other U.S. Greco-Roman wrestlers will start their competition on Tuesday are Henry Aslikyan at 45 kg, Hudson Loges at 51 kg, Sam Herring at 60 kg, Arvin Khosravy at 71 kg and Aiden Cooley at 92 kg. Aslikyan was fifth at the 2022 U17 World Championships. The first session begins at 11:00 a.m. local time, which is seven hours ahead of U.S. Eastern time zone.

A live stream of the event is available to the U.S. audience through Brackets and real-time results are available through UWW Arena.

2023 U17 Greco-Roman World Championships

At Istanbul, Turkey, July 31 – Aug. 2

Finals pairings

48 kg - Payam Ahmadi Balootki (Iran) vs. Shakhzood Ruziokhunov (Uzbekistan)

55 kg - Jordyn Raney (USA) vs. Suraj (India)

65 kg- Yusif Ahmadli (Azerbaijan) vs. Zaur Beslekoev (AIN)

80 kg- Mikhail Shkarin (AIN) vs. Taizo Yoshida (Japan)

110 kg - Ronak (India) vs. Cemal Yusuf Bakir (Turkey)

Semifinal results

48 kg

Payam Ahmadi Balootki (Iran) dec. Murat Khatit (AIN), 3-2

Shakhzood Ruziokhunov (Uzbekistan) dec. Edgar Petrosyan (Armenia), 4-1

55 kg

Jordyn Raney (USA) dec. Mohammadreza Gholamreza Gholami (Iran), 8-7

Suraj (India) dec. Halil Cinar (Turkey), 6-0

65 kg

Yusif Ahmadli (Azerbaijan) tech fall Islombek Karimjonov (Uzbekistan), 12-4

Zaur Beslekoev (AIN) dec. Giorgi Tchikaidze (Georgia), 5-1

80 kg

Mikhail Shkarin (AIN) tech fall Eleftherios Pappas (Greece), 9-0

Taizo Yoshida (Japan) tech fall Uladislau Dubrouski (AIN), 10-2

110 kg

Ronak (India) dec. Eldar Emirov (AIN), 6-3

Cemal Yusuf Bakir (Turkey) dec. Amirhossein Moradi Abdevali (Iran), 4-3

U.S. Greco-Roman performances

48 kg – Ezekiel Witt (Junction City, Kansas/Manhattan Wrestling), eliminated

LOSS Edgar Petrosyan (Armenia), tech fall 8-0

55 kg – Jordyn Raney (Sturgis, Kentucky/Union County High School), in finals.

WIN Ahmed Shaban (Egypt), tech fall 8-0

WIN Shu Wei Chung (Taipei), tech fall 8-0

WIN Aytjan Khalmakhanov (Uzbekistan), 9-7

WIN Mohammadreza Gholamreza Gholami (Iran), 8-7

Gold Medal - Suraj (India)

65 kg – William Greenwood (Livermore, Colo./GRIT Athletics WC), repechage

LOSS Yusif Ahmadli (Azerbaijan), tech fall 8-0

Repechage – Athanasios Efthymiadis (Greece)

80 kg – Adam Waters (Stowe, Pennsylvania/Steller Trained Wrestling), eliminated

WIN Miguel Angel Vega Salazar (Colombia), 6-1

WIN Aman (India), tech fall 9-0

LOSS Eleftherios Pappas (Greece), 8-1

110 kg – Nicholas Sahakian (Sherman Oaks, California/St. John Bosco High School), repechage

WIN Daniel Szilagyi (Hungary), 3-1

LOSS Ronak (India), tech fall, 9-0

Repechage – Tomas Rusi (Finland)