FLASH: Arujau beats returning Junior World champ Idrisov to make freestyle finals at Junior Worlds in Estonia

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Aug. 12, 2019, 12:08 p.m. (ET)
Vitali Arujau of the USA takes down Akhmed Idrisov of Russia in the 57 kg semifinals. Photo by Daniel Mitchell.

TALLINN, Estonia - Vitali Arujau, Syosset, N.Y. (Finger Lakes WC) continued his impressive run with a dominant 8-1 semifinal decision over 2018 Junior World champion Akhmed Idrisov of Russia to secure a spot in the 57 kg/125.5 lbs. finals at the 2019 Junior World Championships.

Arujau won a tactical bout against a talented opponent by winning key positions and using some creativity along the way. Idrisov scored the first point, when Arujau could not score on a shot clock, but the rest of the match was all Arujau.

The American scored a sweet first-period takedown to lead 2-1 at the break. After getting a single leg, Arujau scored an exposure in the scramble for a 4-1 lead. From a defensive position, he scored an impressive tilt to lead 6-1. Arujau closed the scoring with another takedown in the final 20 seconds for an emphatic victory.

He will battle Toshiya Abe of Japan, who won the other 57 kg semifinals. Abe has competed in two Cadet World Championships for Japan, but has not won an age-group World medal

His father Vougar Orudjev, who won Senior World titles for the Soviet Union before emigrating to the United States, was in the crowd loudly supporting his son with advice and support.

Arujau was fourth at the 2019 NCAA Championships for Cornell as a freshman.

The only other U.S. athlete from the first group who had a chance to compete on Tuesday was Tanner Sloan, Alburnett, Iowa (Jackrabbit WC) at 97 kg/213 lbs. The wrestler who beat him, Feyzallah Akturk of Turkey, was beaten in the semifinals by Iran’s Abbas Foroutarami of Iran, making Sloan ineligible for the repechage.

From the first group of five Americans, only Arujau will advance to compete on Tuesday.

At Tallinn, Estonia

U.S. men’s freestyle performances on Monday

57 kg/125.5 lbs.: Vitali Arujau, Syosset, N.Y. (Finger Lakes WC)
WIN Giorgi Gegelashvili (Georgia), 5-4
WIN Vijay Patil (India), 10-9
WIN Akhmed Idrisov (Russia), 8-1
Gold Medal Finals – Vs. Toshiya Abe (Japan)

65 kg/143 lbs.: Yahya Thomas, Chicago, Ill. (Wildcat WC/Chicago RTC)
WIN Adilet Zhaparkulov (Kyrgyzstan), 5-0
LOSS Turan Bayramov (Azerbaijan), 9-1

70 kg/154 lbs.: Brayton Lee, Brownsburg, Ind. (Minnesota RTC)
LOSS Ashraf Ashirov (Azerbaijan), 3-2

79 kg/174 lbs.: Aaron Brooks, Hagerstown, Md. (Titan Mercury WC/EAP)
LOSS Abubakr Abakarov (Azerbaijan), 5-3

97 kg/213.75 lbs.: Tanner Sloan, Alburnett, Iowa (Jackrabbit WC)
LOSS Feyzullah Akturk (Turkey), tech. fall, 12-2