Betterman is fifth, Mango seventh in Greco-Roman at FILA Golden Grand Prix Finals in Azerbaijan

By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling | Nov. 22, 2013, 3:07 p.m. (ET)

Joe Betterman, shown at the 2013 U.S. Open, placed fifth in the Golden Grand Prix Finals. Photo by Tony Rotundo - Wrestlers are Warriors.

BAKU, Azerbaijan – Both U.S. Greco-Roman athletes competing in Greco-Roman were placewinners at the 2013 Heydar Aliev FILA Golden Grand Prix Finals at the Sarkhadchi Sports Complex, November 22. 

This is the final event of FILA’s Golden Grand Prix series. Athletes who compete there are from nations which have qualified through the preliminary Golden Grand Prix events in 2013.

Two-time World Team member Joe Betterman (Colorado Springs, Colo./Army WCAP) placed fifth at 60 kg/132 lbs. with a 2-2 record.

Betterman opened with an 8-4 win over Bagylan Zhakanska of Kazakhstan, then fell to Iranian Abdolmohammad Papi, 0-7. When Papi reached the finals, Betterman was pulled back into the repechage rounds.

In the first repechage match, Betterman dominated Lasha Gogitadze of Georgia, 9-0. In the bronze-medal bout, he was edged by Taleh Mammadov of Azerbaijan, 0-1.

Two-time Olympian Spenser Mango (Colorado Springs, Colo./Army WCAP) placed seventh at 55 kg/121 lbs.

Mango opened with a strong 13-5 technical fall over Serif Kilic of Turkey. In his second bout, Mango was edged by Orkhan Ahmadov of Azerbaijan, 1-3. When Ahmadov reached the finals, Mango was drawn back into repechage, where he fell to Shadybek Sulaimanov of Kyrgyzstan), 0-8

Mango is coming off his best World Championships performance in 2013 with a fifth-place finish in Budapest, Hungary.

Five U.S. women’s freestyle wrestlers are scheduled to compete on Saturday, including World champion and three-time World medalist Elena Pirozhkova (Colorado Springs, Colo./Titan Mercury WC) at 67 kg/147.5 lbs. and 2012 World silver medalist Helen Maroulis (Rockville, Md./Sunkist Kids) at 55 kg/121 lbs. The draws of the women athletes are below.

Pirozhkova, who is up a weight class from her normal 63 kg, will face her teammate from the 2013 U.S. World Team, Veronica Carlson (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) in the first round.

Prize money will be awarded to the medalists by the organizers, with $10,000 to gold medalists, $5,000 to silver medalists and $2,000 to bronze medalists. In addition, U.S. athletes are eligible for bonus payments as part of the USA Wrestling National Team contract, which for this event consists of $3,000 for gold, $2,000 for silver and $1,000 for bronze.

To watch the competition in live streaming, please follow the links below. Viewers will need a free Livestream account to watch.




For updated results, visit the FILA results website at:

At Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 22

Greco-Roman results

55 kg/121 lbs.
Gold - Nursultan Kalmurzaev (Kazakhstan)
Silver - Orkhan Ahmadov (Azerbaijan)
Bronze - Shadybek Sulaimanov (Kyrgyzstan)
Bronze - Eldaniz Azizli (Azerbaijan)
5th - Kanybek Zholchubekov (Kyrgyzstan)
5th - Zhanserik Sarsenbiyev (Kazakhstan)

60 kg/132 lbs.
Gold - Kamran Mammadov (Azerbaijan)
Silver - Abdolmohammad Papi (Iran)
Bronze - Pavel Saleev (Russia)
Bronze - Taleh Mammadov (Azerbaijan)
5th - Rovshan Taghiyev (Azerbaijan)
5th - Joe Betterman (USA)

66 kg/145.5 lbs.
Gold - Rasul Chunayev (Azerbaijan)
Silver - Vitaliy Rahimov (Azerbaijan)
Bronze - Dominik Etlinger (Croatia)
Bronze - Omid Noroozi (Iran)
5th - Revaz Lashki (Georgia)
5th - Davor Stefanek (Serbia)

74 kg/163 lbs.
Gold - Rafig Huseynov (Azerbaijan)
Silver - Mark Madsen (Denmark)
Bronze - Mykola Daragan (Ukraine)
Bronze - Ushang Chitiashvili (Georgia)
5th - Manuchar Tskhadia (Georgia)
5th - Zelimkhan Mudaev (Russia)

84 kg/185 lbs.
Gold - Saman Tahmasebi (Azerbaijan)
Silver - Jim Pettersson (Sweden)
Bronze - Shahriyar Mammadov (Azerbaijan)
Bronze - Viktor Lorincz (Hungary)
5th - Giorti Tsirekidze (Georgia)
5th - Revazi Nadareishvili (Georgia)

96 kg/211.5 lbs.
Gold - Balazs Kiss (Hungary)
Silver - Marthin Nielsen (Norway)
Bronze - Suleyman Demirci (Turkey)
Bronze - Beka Rogua (Georgia)
5th - Fatih Baskoy (Turkey)
5th - Mikheil Kajaia (Georgia)

120 kg/264.5 lbs.
Gold - Sabahi Sariat (Azerbaijan)
Silver - Iakovi Kajaia (Georgia)
Bronze - Mihaly Deak-Bardos (Hungary)
Bronze - Atilla Guzel (Turkey)
5th - Zaur Kodoev (Russia)
5th - Behnam Nehdizadeh (Iran)

U.S. Greco-Roman performances

55 kg/121 lbs. – Spenser Mango, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army WCAP), 7th
WIN Serif Kilic (Turkey), tech. fall, 13-5
LOSS Orkhan Ahmadov (Azerbaijan), 1-3
LOSS Shadybek Sulaimanov (Kyrgyzstan), tech. fall, 0-8

60 kg/132 lbs. – Joe Betterman, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army WCAP), 5th
WIN Bagylan Zhakanska (Kazakhstan), 8-4
LOSS Abdolmohammad Papi (Iran), tech. fall 0-7
WIN Lasha Gogitadze (Georgia), tech fall 9-0
LOSS Taleh Mammadov (Azerbaijan), 0-1

U.S. women’s freestyle draws

48 kg/105.5 lbs. – Victoria Anthony, Huntington Beach, Calif. (Sunkist Kids)
Vs. Anzhela Dorogan (Azerbaijan)

55 kg/121 lbs. – Helen Maroulis, Rockville, Md. (Sunkist Kids)
Vs. B. Sundev (Mongolia)

67 kg/147.5 lbs. – Elena Pirozhkova, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Titan Mercury WC)
Vs. Veronica Carlson (USA)

67 kg/147.5 lbs. – Veronica Carlson, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC)
Vs. Elena Pirozhkova (USA)