Malkhas Amoyan, Arsen Harutyunyan strike wrestling gold at Euro Championships

Fourteen competitors representing Armenia participated at the 2022 European Wrestling Championships in Hungary this week. Half of them went home with medals.

Arsen Harutyunyan and Malkhas Amoyan were the cream of the crop, each winning gold medals in their respective divisions.

Harutyunyan was the first to strike gold, defeating Turkey’s Suleyman Atli by a score of 15-3 in the championship match of the 61-kg freestyle division. Prior to that, the 22-year-old defeated Besir Alili of North Macedonia and Eduard Grigorev of Poland to reach the final.

 

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This was Harutyunyan’s second career gold medal in the European Championships, having won for the first time in 2019. He won the bronze medal in the 2021 World Championships in the 61-kg freestyle division. Both of these successes came after Harutyunyan had a disappointing performance in his first career Olympics last summer, when he lost in the first round.

“I find it hard to control my emotions while celebrating this victory,” Harutyunyan wrote in an Instagram post. “I don’t know how to tell people how happy I am.” 

Malkhas Amoyan, a Yezidi-Armenian, defeated Turkey’s Yunus Emre Basar in the gold medal match of the 77-kg Greco-Roman division. The 2021 world champion’s road to the final was highlighted by a 6-5 quarterfinal victory over Azerbaijan’s Sanan Suleymanov and a dominating 9-0 win over Albin Olofsson of Sweden.


“I had a hard time winning the European Championship gold,” Amoyan wrote in a lengthy Instagram post after the victory. “It was one of my goals, a long-awaited victory that I had been waiting for a long time. Thank God it worked out … Special thanks to my supporters, to my country, to the Armenian and Yezidi nation, who have always been by my side encouragingly. Great victories are given at a very high price.”

In a span of six months, the 23-year-old Greco-Roman wrestler is close to putting himself in elite company among Armenian wrestling greats. If he secures an Olympic gold medal in 2024, he will be one of two wrestlers representing Armenia (Artur Aleksanyan) to have gold medals at the Olympic Games, World Championship and European Championship.

Other wrestlers representing Armenia to medal in Budapest were Arman Andreasyan (silver, 70-kg freestyle), Manvel Khndzrtsyan (bronze, 57-kg freestyle), Rudik Mkrtchyan (bronze, 55-kg Greco-Roman), Gevorg Gharibyan (bronze, 60-kg Greco-Roman) and Slavik Galstyan (bronze, 67-kg Greco-Roman).

Aik Mnatsakanian and Edmond Nazaryan – Armenians representing Bulgaria – also won bronze medals.

Andre Khatchaturian

Andre Khatchaturian

Andre Khatchaturian is a seasoned digital content producer and the sports correspondent for The Armenian Weekly. He is the founder of Camak Media, a multimedia company specializing in drone footage, video content and photography for small businesses. Prior to this, he produced video and written content at the New England Sports Network (NESN). He has also provided coverage at three Super Bowls and more than a dozen high-profile UFC fights. Andre is from Glendale, California. He graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelor's degree in mathematics. He moved to Boston in 2013, where he attended Boston University and graduated with a master's degree in broadcast journalism.
Andre Khatchaturian

@ArmoSportsAndre

Sports correspondent at The Armenian Weekly | Previously: @NESN
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