It could be a big afternoon for Armenia. The nation has a wrestler in the Gold Medal Match for both Greco-Roman weight classes being contested today, and one of them is a two-time reigning world champion.
The 66kg competition draw ended up pitting the division’s last two world champions against each other in the quarterfinals: 2014 champ Davor Stefanek of Serbia and 2015 champ Frank Staebler of Germany. Stefanek got the better of this match, beating the German by a score of 6-2 to move into the semifinals.
Stefanek then pinned Georgia’s Shmagi Bolkvadze in less than 90 seconds to move into the Gold Medal Match. After the pin, an excited Stefanek pointed to the Serbian flag on his singlet, shouted “Serbia!” and did a backflip.
Facing him in the final will be Armenia’s Migran Arutyunyan, who defeated the reigning world champion at 71kg, Azerbaijan’s Rasul Chunayev, 4-1 in the other semifinal match.
Arutyunyan will be just one of two Armenians competing for a gold medal this afternoon. Artur Aleksanyan, the two-time reigning world champion at 98kg, was dominant in the preliminary rounds of that weight class. He won back-to-back matches by technical fall in the quarterfinals and semifinals.
If Armenia manages to win gold medals in both weight classes, they would become the third country to earn two gold medals in Greco-Roman wrestling already this year. Russia and Cuba have each won a medal on both days of competition so far, and Cuba once again has a finalist today. Yasmany Lugo, the world No. 8, won his semifinal bout to advance to the 98kg Gold Medal Match against Aleksanyan.
The medal rounds will stream live on NBCOlympics.com starting at 3 p.m. ET.
66kg Greco-Roman quarterfinals
Stefanek (SRB) wins 6-2 vs. Staebler (GER)
Bolkvadze (GEO) wins 2-0 vs. Norouzi (IRI)
Arutyunyan (ARM) wins 2-1 vs. Ryu (KOR)
Chunayev (AZE) wins by tech fall 10-2 vs. Benaissa (ALG)
66kg Greco-Roman semifinals
Stefanek (SRB) wins by fall (1:26) vs. Bolkvadze (GEO)
Arutyunyan (ARM) wins 4-1 vs. Chunayev (AZE)
66kg Greco-Roman final
Stefanek (SRB) vs. Arutyunyan (ARM)
98kg Greco-Roman quarterfinals
Aleksanyan (ARM) wins by tech fall 8-0 vs. Alexuc-Ciurariu (ROU)
Ildem (TUR) wins on criteria 1-1 vs. Magomedov (RUS)
Lugo (CUB) wins 4-0 vs. Rezaei (IRI)
Schoen (SWE) wins by tech fall 9-0 vs. Guri (BUL)
98kg Greco-Roman semifinals
Aleksanyan (ARM) wins by tech fall 9-0 vs. Ildem (TUR)
Lugo (CUB) wins 2-0 vs. Schoen (SWE)
98kg Greco-Roman final
Aleksanyan (ARM) vs. Lugo (CUB)