Polatci wins World freestyle heavyweight title and Russia takes team title Ren and Sakamoto win Wor

By Gary Abbott | Sept. 28, 2005, 12 a.m. (ET)
Aydin Polatci of Turkey claimed the 120 kg/264.5 lbs. title, the final event in the men's freestyle division, at the World Wrestling Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Sept. 28.

His victory completed three days of competition in men's freestyle wrestling. Russia won the team title with 54 points, led by four champions. Cuba was second with 39 points, and Georgia was third with 33 points.

Polatci, a 2004 Olympic bronze medalist, defeated 1998 World champion Alexis Rodriguez of Cuba in the gold-medal finals, 0-1, 2-0, 1-0. Rodriguez won the first period on a takedown. The second period went to Polatci with two takedowns. Polatci won the deciding third period with a takedown with 26 seconds left in the match.

The women's freestyle competition began with action in two weight divisions. Claiming gold medals were Ren Xueceng of China at 48 kg/105.5 lbs. and Hitomi Sakamoto of Japan at 51 kg/112.25 lbs.

Ren upset three-time World champion and 2004 Olympic champion Irini Merlini of Ukraine in the finals by pin in the second period. Merlini won the first period by a 2-1 margin on two takedowns. Merlini scored the first point in the second period with an arm spin, but Ren stepped over the move and put Merlini to her back, securing the fall in just 29 seconds.

Sakamoto also won her title by fall, pinning Vanessa Boubryemm of France in 1:33 of the first period. After scoring an early takedown, Sakamoto countered a Boubryemm shot, putting her to her back and securing the early fall. It was Sakamoto's third career World title.

Competition continues in the women's freestyle division at 55 kg/121 lbs., 59 kg/130 lbs. and 63 kg/138.75 lbs. on Thursday.


Men's freestyle

120 kg/264.5 lbs.
Gold - Ayden Polatci (Turkey)
Silver - Alexis Rodriguez (Cuba)
Bronze - Otto Aubeli (Hungary)
Bronze - Tolly Thompson (USA)
5th - Liang Lei (China)
5th - Kuramagomed Kuramogomedov (Russia)
7th - Rares Chintoan (Romania)
8th - Fardi Mousami (Iran)
9th - Vadim Tasoev (Ukraine)
10th - Artur Taymazov (Uzbekistan)

Final Team Standings
1. Russia, 54 pts.
2. Cuba, 39 pts.
3. Georgia, 33 pts.
4. Ukraine, 27 pts.
5. Bulgaria, 26 pts.
6. Iran, 22 pts.
7. Hungary, 20 pts.
8. United States, 20 pts.
9. Mongolia, 18 pts.
10. Kazakhstan, 16 pts.
11. Korea, 14 pts.
12. Uzbekistan, 14 pts.
13. Turkey, 13 pts.
14. Kyrgyzstan, 10 pts.
15. Poland, 9 pts.
16. Armenia, 8 pts.
17. Belarus, 8 pts.
18. North Korea, 8 pts.
19. Moldova, 7 pts.
20. Azerbaijan, 6 pts.
(of 85 nations)

Women's freestyle results

48 KG/105.5 lbs.
Gold - Xueceng Ren (China)
Silver - Irini Merleni (Ukraine)
Bronze - Carol Huynh (Canada)
Bronze - Makiko Sakamoto (Japan)
5th - Mayelis Caripa (Venezuela)
5th - Liliya Kaskarakova (Russia)
7th - Jenny Wong (USA)
8th - Francine DePaola (France)
9th - Sigrun Dobner (Germany)
10th - Zhyldyz Eshimova (Kyrgyzstan)

51 KG/112.25 lbs.
Gold - Hitomi Sakamoto (Japan)
Silver - Vanessa Boubryemm (France)
Bronze - Tsogtbaz Enkhjargal (Mongolia)
Bronze - Juling Wen (China)
5th - Aleksandra Kohut (Ukraine)
5th - Erica Sharp (Canada)
7th - Stephanie Murata (USA)
8th - Dinara Mirzaeva (Uzbekistan)
9th - Natalya Smirnova (Russia)
10th - Nurzat Shaylobaeva (Kyrgyzstan)