United World Wrestling (UWW) President Nenad Lalovic believes the brawl which marred today’s under 57kg freestyle competition does not belong in the sport of wrestling, and that they had no choice but to immediately disqualify those involved.
Belarus' Uladzislau Andreyeu and Georgia's Vladimer Khinchegashvili, the Olympic silver medallist and reigning European champion, were each excluded for "brutality" following an exchange of blows during their semi-final.
The duo each threw slaps, punches and attempted headbutts midway through their last four bout before the referee intervened and stopped the action.
Under Article 15 of United World Wrestling's International Rules, this meant both athletes were automatically disqualified for "brutality during the match", a decision wholeheartedly supported by Lalovic.
“They came to the wrong hall,” he told insidethegames.
“Boxing is another hall.
“It doesn’t happen often, that’s something that banned under our rules.
“I don’t know how it happened, but we had to abide by our rules so it was a straightforward decision.”
Both boxers attempted to apologise afterwards and claimed there was nothing malicious behind their actions, insidethegames understands, but it was considered too little too late.
Two fighters who had earlier lost quarter-finals then fought what was essentially a playoff for the final, with the winner, Marcel Ewald of Germany, going on to lose the final against two-time former world champion, Viktor Lebedev of Russia.
But, on another rousing day here, Lalovic was not disheartened by today’s incident, insisting how the whole competition had been brilliant from the sport.
This was particularly so due to the atmosphere, he said, claiming that even the boos which marked every move of any Armenian fighter competing here added something to the occasion, particularly due to the success some of these fighters have enjoyed.
But tonight it was the Azerbaijanis who came to the fore once again, as first London 2012 champion Tegrul Asgarov in the under 65kg event and then 2010 world champion Khetag Gazyumov did likewise at under 97kg.
Both men produced a succession of good performances in the earlier rounds before saving their best for the final, responding to the frenzied encouragement of the home crowd with respective victories over Cuban-born Italian Frank Chamizo-Marquez, who switched nationality after marrying an Italian, and Georgia's Khetag Gazyumov.
Russia's Aniuar Geduev was the other winner tonight, as the two-time defending European champion beat Soner Demirtas of Turkey to claim under 74kg category, as Azerbaijan's claimed another place on the podium as Jabrayil Hasanov took bronze.
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