Kayaalp stuns Lopez to win Greco-Roman world title
The Associated Press
CİHAN photoTurkey's Rıza Kayaalp stunned Cuban Mijain Lopez 1-0 to win the heavyweight Greco-Roman title on the second day of the wrestling world championships Sept. 8 night in Las Vegas.
Kayaalp denied Lopez's try for a sixth world title in the finals at 130 kilograms.
Kayaalp was joined as a world champion by countryman Selcuk Cebi. He took top honors at 80 kilograms, defeating Belarussian Viktor Sasunkouski 2-0.
Cuban Borrero Molina trounced Azerbaijan's Rovshan Bayramov 8-0 at 59 kilos.
Top-ranked Rasul Chunayev picked up the Azerbaijanian team's spirits, beating Ukraine's Armen Vardanyan 6-4.
Lopez, who also has a pair of Olympic gold medals, opened with a 2-1 win over Russia's Beylal Mahkov. He then beat the wrestler he defeated in London three years ago, Estonia's Heike Nabi, and beat American Robby Smith on a technical fall.
Lopez hadn't lost in international competition since 2011, when Kayaalp beat him in the worlds in Turkey.
But Kayaalp stood tall, scoring in the second period and holding off a late push by the Cuban.
Kayaalp and Lopez are likely headed for a rematch in the Rio Olympics.
Bayramov earned his spot in the finals when Iran's Hamid Soryan, the defending world champion, was disqualified for head-butting the Azerbaijanian.
Chunayev won his first world title after taking home bronze at last year's worlds in Uzbekistan.
The world title was the third for Cebi, 33. He entered the tournament ranked sixth at 80 kilograms, which is in just its second year as a Greco-Roman weight class.
Smith, who was ranked No. 18 at heavyweight, also lost 10-8 to Mahkov in a bronze medal match.
The women's freestyle portion of the meet starts Wednesday with titles to be contested in three classes.