ASTANA – Two Greco-Roman wrestlers from Kazakhstan brought medals home from the recent World Wrestling Championships in Las Vegas and earned the right to compete in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Doszhan Kartikov, wrestling in the 75 kilogrammes weight class, beat Alvin Musaliyev of Azerbaijan to take home the bronze, in the process earning himself an Olympic Games spot, Express.kz reported. Almat Kebispayev, competing in the 59 kg class, also won bronze and an Olympic spot with his victory over Soslan Daurov of Belarus, Vesti.kz reported.
During the event, which ran Sept. 7–12, Kebispayev defeated fighters from Egypt and Norway before losing to Cuban wrester Ismail Borrero Malino in the semifinals. Kartikov overcame wrestlers from Ukraine, Moldova and World Champion and Olympic champion KIM Hyeon-Woo of South Korea before falling to Russian silver medallist Roman Vlasov.
Among Kazakhstan’s other Greco-Roman wrestlers, Askhat Dilmuhamedov (80 kg) conceded in his bronze medal match to Yousef Ahmad Ghaderian of Iran.
The Kazakh Greco-Roman team came in fifth overall out of 10, with 23 points, trailing Russia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Iran.
On Kazakhstan’s freestyle wrestling team, Artas Sanaa (57kg) lost the bronze medal match to Bekhbayar Erdenebat of Mongolia. Nurlan Bekzhanov (70kg) and Darkhan Bayakhmetov (71 kg) competed for slots at the bronze medal matches in their weight classes but were defeated by opponents from Turkey and Armenia, respectively.
Sergei Beloglazov, two-time Olympic champion and multiple world and European championship winner was named the head coach of the men’s freestyle wrestling team in June, taking over from Ruslan Umraliyev.