Ukraine Advances Trio to Friday Night Finals

By Eric Olanowski

NOVI SAD, Serbia (March 7) – Ukraine won three of their four semifinal matches and will meet a German opponent twice on Friday night for a U23 European gold medal. The two Ukraine and Germany matchups will take place at 53kg and 62kg. 

At 53kg, semifinal winners Khrystyna BEREZA (UKR) and Annika WENDLE (GER) both scored come-from-behind wins and punched their tickets to Friday’s gold-medal bout. 

In Bereza’s semifinal match, she was behind 4-1 with under 10 seconds left when she dug in double underhooks and threw Zeynep YETGIL (TUR) to her back, picking up four points and the 5-4 lead. A failed Turkey challenge ultimately gave Bereza the 6-4 victory. 

Wendle trailed Azerbaijan’s Tatyana VARANSOVA 6-0 after the opening period but scored 16 unanswered points before planting the Azeri on her back to pick up the fall. 

At 62kg, returning U23 European gold medalist and U23 world runner-up Ilona PROKOPEVNIUK (UKR) will take on Luzie MANZKE (GER) in the second Ukraine and Germany matchup. 

Prokopevniuk was up 6-0 before she threw Daria BOBRULKO (RUS) to her back for the fall, while Manzke used an inactivity point and a step out to shutout Ameline DOUARRE (FRA), 2-0. 

The third Ukrainian Day 5 finalist is Alina AKOBIIA. She’ll meet Valeryia YARMOLA (BLR) in the 57kg finals. 

Akobiia punched her ticket to the finals with 10-0 win over a clearly injured Elif YANIK (TUR), who was last year’s U23 European bronze medalist. 

Her Belarusian finals opponent led 9-0 after the opening period before capitalizing on a second-period defensive stop, which gave her the 11-0 victory over Ramona GALAMBOS (HUN). 

Mariia KUZNETSOVA (RUS) will wrestle for the 65kg U23 European title on Friday night. (Photo: Sachiko Hotaka) 

The lone weight not featuring a Ukrainian finalist is 65kg. Russia’s Mariia KUZNETSOVA will wrestle Romania’s Kriszta INCZE in the gold-medal bout. 

Kuznetsova capped off her run to the gold-medal match with a 10-0 routing of Anastasiia LAVRENCHUK (UKR), while Incze scored a hard-fought 8-3 win over France’s Pauline LECARPENTIER (FRA) to punch her way to Friday night’s finals.

The Day 5 finals begin at 18:00 (local time) and can be watched live on www.unitedworldwrestling.org.

GOLD - Annika WENDLE (GER) vs. Khrystyna BEREZA (UKR)
SEMIFINALS - Annika WENDLE (GER) df. Tatyana VARANSOVA (AZE), via fall
SEMIFINALS - Khrystyna BEREZA (UKR) df. Zeynep YETGIL (TUR), 6-4

GOLD - Valeryia YARMOLA (BLR) vs. Alina AKOBIIA (UKR)
SEMIFINALS - Valeryia YARMOLA (BLR)  df. Ramona GALAMBOS (HUN), 10-0 
SEMIFINALS - Alina AKOBIIA (UKR) df. Elif YANIK (TUR), 10-0 

SEMIFINALS - Luzie MANZKE (GER) df. Ameline DOUARRE (FRA), 2-0 

GOLD - Mariia KUZNETSOVA (RUS) vs. Kriszta Tunde INCZE (ROU)


Russia Closes out U23 European C'ships with Freestyle Team Title

By Eric Olanowski

NOVI SAD, Serbia (March 10) – The Russian Federation won four gold medals on the final day of wrestling at the U23 European Championships and brought their freestyle championship total to six. Russia closed out the competition in Novi Sad, Serbia, 77 points ahead of second place Turkey. 

Overall, Russia reached the finals in eight of ten freestyle weight classes and reached the top of the team podium thanks to their four Day 7 gold medal performances by Abasgadzhi MAGOMEDOV, Nikita SUCHKOV, Arsen-Ali MUSALALIEV, and Batyrbek TCAKULOV. 

At 61kg, reigning junior world champion Abasgadzhi Magomedov scored a takedown in each period to defeat Greece’s two-time cadet European champion and 2018 U23 European bronze medalist Georgios PILIDIS, 4-0. 


Nikita Suchkov claimed Russia’s second gold medal of the day with a win in the 74kg finals over Akhsarbek GULAEV (SVK).

Suchkov improved on his 2017 U23 European Championship finish of 17th place, cruising past Gulaev, 7-2. Sunday's loss made it the second year in a row that Gulaev lost to a Russian opponent in the U23 European finals. Last season, he fell short against eventual senior level world champion Zaurbek SIDAKOV in the U23 continental finals.  

Arsen-Ali Musalaliev, the reigning U23 European champion, won Russia’s third consecutive gold medal of the day with a 6-1 victory over Turkey’s Arif OZEN (TUR) in the 86kg finals. Musalaliev successfully defended his U23 European title by scoring a pair of takedowns and a gut wrench, closing out the European Championships by outscoring his four continental opponents 32-3. 

In the 92kg finals, last year’s U23 European bronze medalist Batyrbek Tcakulov collected four points from a takedown and a gut wrench and scored the 4-0 shutout win over Ukraine’s Vasyl SOVA, giving Russia their fourth and final gold medal of the day. 

The tournament’s remaining freestyle gold medal went to Belarus' 2017 U23 European finalist Vitali PIASNIAK. The Belarusian edged last year’s European junior runner-up Yurii IDZINSKYI (UKR), 2-2 to in the 125kg gold-medal match. 


GOLD - Russia  (209 points)
SILVER - Turkey (132 points)
BRONZE - Ukraine (110 points)

Fourth - Georgia (109 points) 
Fifth - Belarus (82 points)

GOLD - Abasgadzhi MAGOMEDOV (RUS) df. Georgios PILIDIS (GRE), 4-0 
BRONZE - Selehattin SERT (TUR) df. Valentyn BLIASETSKYI (UKR), 8-5

BRONZE - Asgar MAMMADALIYEV (AZE) df. Uladzislau KOIKA (BLR), 7-1 

GOLD - Nikita SUCHKOV (RUS) df. Akhsarbek GULAEV (SVK), 7-2 

BRONZE - Giorgi SULAVA (GEO) df. Fazli ERYILMAZ (TUR), via fall 
BRONZE - Khachatur PAPIKYAN (ARM) df. Eduard TATARINOV (GER), 10-3 

GOLD - Arsen-Ali MUSALALIEV (RUS) df. Arif OZEN (TUR), 6-1 

BRONZE - Zaur BERADZE (GEO) df. Arkadzi PAHASIAN (BLR), 4-2 
BRONZE - Gadzhimurad MAGOMEDSAIDOV (AZE) df. Johannes Martin DEML (GER), 8-4

GOLD -. Batyrbek TCAKULOV (RUS) df. Vasyl SOVA (UKR), 4-0 
BRONZE - Shamil ZUBAIROV (AZE) df. Aliaksei RUDZIANOK (BLR), 12-0

BRONZE - Erhan YAYLACI (TUR) df. Bendeguz TOTH (HUN), 6-6 

GOLD - Vitali PIASNIAK (BLR) vs. Yurii IDZINSKYI (UKR), 2-2 
BRONZE - Kamil Tomasz KOSCIOLEK (POL) df. Samhan JABRAILOV (MDA), 3-0 

BRONZE - Vitalii GOLOEV (RUS) df. Georgii NOGAEV (SVK), 2-1