Kamal Bey wins Junior World Title to become first Greco champ since 1999

By Taylor Miller, USA Wrestling | Aug. 05, 2017, 3:20 p.m. (ET)

Photo: Kamal Bey celebrates his 2017 Junior World title at 74 kg/163 lbs. Photo by Richard Immel.

VIDEO: Junior World Championships interviews

TAMPERE, Finland – The USA will bring home its first Greco-Roman Junior World champion since 1999 after Kamal Bey won the World title at 74 kg/163 lbs. on Saturday night at the 2017 Junior World Championships in Tampere, Finland.

After finishing eighth in last year’s 2016 Junior World Championships in Macon, France, Bey (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids WC) proved himself as the best Junior-aged wrestler in the world, beating 2016 Cadet World champion and 2017 Junior Asian champion Akzhol Makhmudov from Kyrgyzstan.

“It feels great. This is something I’ve been training for,” Bey said. “It’s like it came full circle from last year when I finished eighth. I’m just happy I have the people that I do around me, and we’re really just going to enjoy this victory tonight, not just for me but for Greco-Roman wrestling as a whole in the country.”

The 74 kg final was arguably the most exciting match of the night.

The two traded step outs in the opening seconds of the match. Shortly after, Bey did what he does best and scored on a four-point but gave up a reversal for a 5-2 lead. That was just the beginning. Bey extended the lead, fighting off a throw attempt and landing on top for a takedown.

A flurry of points came in the final 30 seconds of the first period, resulting in an 11-6 lead at the break. No points were scored in the next two and a half minutes, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t entertaining as they were several throw attempts by both wrestlers.

Within the final moments of the bout, Bey led 13-11 with Makhmudov looking for something big. But Bey stopped the Kyrgyz on an attempt, getting him to his back for two. Makhmudov’s corner challenged the call, but it failed, giving Bey another point and a 16-11 victory for a Junior World title.

“I wrestled a good competitor. It was like wrestling another me out there,” Bey said. “It was just lock up and go for both of us. Every time I thought I cleared the underhook, he was right back in. There were times I felt like I was on the ropes, but luckily I’m like a cat and landed on my feet. There were times where I was like, man, he’s got the juice, but I held on and proved that I got the sauce.”

Alongside Bey advancing to the Junior World finals was Cevion Severado (St. Peters, Mo./Xtreme RTC), who took on 2015 Cadet World champion Poya Marz of Iran for the Junior World title at 50 kg/110 lbs.

Marz controlled the bout, scoring two takedowns and two step outs for a 6-0 win.

Despite coming up just short of gold, Serverado helped make history, becoming the first U.S. Greco wrestler in 17 years to earn a spot in the Junior World finals.

“As good as I am, I still have lots to learn,” Severado said. “I’m still fresh with the whole Greco style, and the more I do it, the more I know I’ll get better. It’s nice to know that I still have room to improve.”

2016 Junior World bronze medalist Taylor LaMont (Mapleton, Utah/Sunkist Kids WC) took fifth in Finland, dropping a hard-fought, 2-1, battle to Magomed Magomedov of Russia in the third-place match.

“It was a day that I have mixed feelings about. I wanted to win a gold out here and then I came up short in the bronze match,” LaMont said. “Sometimes it’s not about the medals. I think this time it’s about coming out here with this team and building USA Greco-Roman wrestling.”

G’Angelo Hancock (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC/Sunkist Kids WC) also wrestled on Saturday, finishing seventh at 96 kg/211 lbs.

He’ll be back in a USA singlet in three weeks, wrestling at the Senior World Championships in Paris, France.

The Junior World Championships continue tomorrow with the final day of competition as Randon Miranda, Domonick Demas, Wyatt Koelling and Cohlton Schultz take to the mat.

The first session, which includes preliminary rounds through semifinals and repechage, will begin at 10 a.m. local time. The medal matches will take place at 6 p.m. local time.

Tampere, Finland is seven hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Time, meaning those wishing to watch live can tune in at 3 a.m. (ET). A live stream of the event, as well as brackets, can be found at Trackwrestling.com.

JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Aug. 1-6, 2017

Finals results
50 kg/110 lbs.
Gold – Poya Marz (Iran)
Silver - Cevion Severado (USA)
Bronze – Kenuske Shimizu (Japan)
Bronze - Ilkhom Bakhromov (Uzbekistan)
5th - Haifeng Zhang (China)
5th - Maksym Vysotskyi (Israel)
7th – Vladisov Melnikov (Russia)
8th – Zulfigar Aliyev (Azerbaijan)
9th – Dominik Dudszinski (Poland)
10th – Alpamys Dastanbek (Kazakhstan)

Gold – Poya Marz (Iran) dec. Cevion Severado (USA), 6-0
Bronze – Kenuske Shimizu (Japan) tech. fall Maksym Vysotskyi (Israel), 8-0
Bronze – Ilkhom Bakhromov (Uzbekistan) dec. Haifeng Zhang (China), 10-7

60 kg/132 lbs.
Gold – Keramat Abdevali (Iran)
Silver - Oleksandr Hrushyn (Ukraine)
Bronze – Magomed Magomedov (Russia)
Bronze – Hassan Mohamed (Egypt)
5th - Manish (India)
5th - Taylor LaMont (USA)
7th – Tala (China)
8th – Taishi Narikuni (Japan)
9th – Seydylla Tazayev (Turkmenistan)
10th – Krisztian Vancza (Hugary)

Gold – Keramat Abdevali (Iran) dec. Oleksandr Hrushyn (Ukraine), 7-4
Bronze – Magomed Magomedov (Russia) dec. Taylor LaMont (USA), 2-1
Bronze – Hassan Mohamed (Egypt) dec. Manish (India), 4-3

74 kg/163 lbs.
Gold – Kamal Bey (USA)
Silver - Akzhol Makhmudov (Kyrgyzstan)
Bronze – Sajan (India)
Bronze – Nasir Hasanov (Azerbaijan)
5th - Per Olofsson (Sweden)
5th - Ali Ebray (Turkey)
7th – Mohammad (Iran)
8th – Jalgasbay Berdimu (Uzbekistan)
9th – Karan Mosebach (Germany)
10th – Elmar Nuraliiev (UKR)

Gold – Kamal Bey (USA) dec. Akzhol Makhmudov (Kyrgyzstan), 16-11
Bronze – Sajan (India) dec. Ali Ebray (Turkey), 6-1
Bronze – Nasir Hasanov (Azerbaijan) tech. fall Per Olofsson (Sweden), 9-1

96 kg/211 lbs.
Gold – Vladen Kozliuk (Ukraine)
Silver - Artur Sargsian (Russia)
Bronze – Jan Zirn (Germany)
Bronze – Arvi Savolainen (Finland)
5th - Suleyman Ebray (Turkey)
5th - Michali Iosifidis (Greece)
7th – G’Angelo Hancock (USA)
8th – Amirmohammad (Iran)
9th – Aliaksandr Baraban (Belarus)
10th – Robert Ersek (Hungary)

Gold – Vladen Kozliuk (Ukraine) dec. Artur Sargsian (Russia), 4-4
Bronze – Jan Zirn (Germany) dec. Michali Iosifidis (Greece), 4-2
Bronze – Arvi Savolainen (Finland) tech.fall Suleyman Ebray (Turkey), 10-2

U.S. Greco-Roman results
50 kg/110 lbs. - Cevion Severado, (St. Peters, Mo./Xtreme RTC) - silver
WIN Maksym Vysotskyi (Israel), 6-1
WIN Dominik Dudzinski (Poland), 8-0
WIN Kensuke Shimizu (Japan), 8-3
LOSS Poya Marz (Iran), 6-0

60 kg/132 lbs. – Taylor LaMont, (Mapleton, Utah/Sunkist Kids WC) – 5th
WIN Maksim Nehoda (Belarus), 6-2
WIN Ardit Fazljija (Sweden), 8-3
LOSS Oleksandr Hrushyn (Ukraine), 6-1
LOSS Magomed Magomedov (Russia), 2-1

74 kg/163 lbs. – Kamal Bey, (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids WC) - gold
WIN Pikeun Bong (Korea), 9-0
WIN Karan Mosebach (Germany), 10-1
WIN Nasir Hasanov (Azerbaijan), 7-4
WIN Per Albin Olofsson (Sweden), 19-7
WN Akzhol Makhmudov (Kyrgyzstan), 16-11

96 kg/211 lbs. – G’Angelo Hancock, (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC/Sunkist Kids WC) – 7th
WIN Damian Von Euw (Switzerland), 9-1
WIN Kiril Milov (Bulgaria), 10-0
LOSS Suleyman Erbay (Turkey), 4-3