European Games

Belarus Captures 2 Golds on Final Day of Women's Wrestling at European Games

By United World Wrestling Press

MINSK, Belarus (June 28) - Belarusian wrestlers Iryna KURACHKINA (57kg) and Vasilisa MARZALIUK (76kg) gave the home crowd something to celebrate on the final day of the women's wrestling competition at the European Games in Minsk, Belarus. 

Kurachkina and Marzaliuk captured gold medals in dominant fashion on Friday at the Minsk Sports Palace. Neither wrestler surrendered a point in the finals.

Kurachkina, a 2017 world bronze medalist, rolled to a 10-0 technical superiority over Mimi HRISTOVA (BUL) in the gold-medal match at 57kg. She used three takedowns in the first period to build a 6-0 lead. Kurachkina closed out the match early in the second period, scoring a fourth takedown, which she followed up with a gut wrench to close her spectacular finals performance.

Marzaliuk, a four-time world medalist, won her second straight European Games gold medal, beating Francy RAEDELT (GER) 9-0 in the finals at 76kg. She controlled the match from start to finish, using a step out and takedown in the first period to go up 3-0 at the break. Marzaliuk pulled away in the third period with three more takedowns.  

Joining Marzaliuk as a repeat winner at the European Games was Mariya STADNIK (AZE) at 50kg. Stadnik, a three-time Olympic medalist and five-time world medalist, handled returning world bronze medalist Oksana LIVACH (UKR) 7-1 in the gold-medal match at 50kg. 

After scoring with a step out, Stadnik scored a takedown on the world No. 2 Livach, which she followed up with a gut wrench to grab a 5-0 lead. She added another takedown in the final period, while giving up just a point off a step out. Stadnik outscored her opponents 23-2 at the European Games.

Yuliia TKACH (UKR), a four-time world medalist, won a gold medal at 62kg, improving on her silver-medal performance at the 2015 European Games. She topped Elmira GAMBAROVA (AZE) 4-0 in the finals. 

Tkach, ranked No.4 in the world, scored a takedown in the first period off a single leg attack to take a 2-0 lead. In the second period, Gambarova attempted an arm throw, which Tkach countered for another takedown, which closed out the scoring. 

Alyona KOLESNIK (AZE) and Anastasia NICHITA (MDA) earned the bronze medals at 50kg.

Mariia KUZNETSOVA (RUS) knocked off world No.1 Taybe YUSEIN (BUL) 7-4 in a bronze-medal match at 62kg. The other bronze at 62kg was won by Kriszta INCZE (ROU).

Epp MAE (EST), a 2015 world bronze medalist, defeated Olympic champion Natalia VOROBEVA (RUS) in dramatic fashion to win a bronze medal at 76kg. Vorobeva led most of the match before Mae scored the go-ahead points as time expired to steal the victory, 5-3. Iselin SOLHEIM (NOR) won by fall over Sabira ALIYEVA (AZE) to claim a bronze medal at 76kg. 


Women's Wrestling 

GOLD - Mariya STADNIK (AZE) df. Oksana LIVACH (UKR), 7-1
BRONZE - Miglena SELISHKA (BUL) df. Viyaleta CHYRYK (BLR), 6-0 

BRONZE - Alyona KOLESNIK (AZE) df. Bediha GUN (TUR), 9-4
BRONZE - Anastasia NICHITA (MDA) df. Grace BULLEN (NOR), 11-4

GOLD - Yuliia TKACH (UKR) df. Elmira GAMBAROVA (AZE), 4-0
BRONZE - Mariia KUZNETSOVA (RUS) df. Taybe YUSEIN (BUL), 7-4
BRONZE - Kriszta INCZE (ROU) df. Katarzyna MADROWSKA (POL), 8-2

GOLD - Vasilisa MARZALIUK (BLR) df. Francy RAEDELT (GER), 9-0
BRONZE - Iselin SOLHEIM (NOR) df. Sabira ALIYEVA (AZE), Fall (1:13)
BRONZE - Epp MAE (EST) df. Natalia VOROBEVA (RUS), 5-3

European Games

Olympic Champions Attract Gold, Attention at 2nd European Games in Minsk

By Tim Foley

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach and UWW President Nenad Lalovic, along with members of the UWW Bureau, take in the action at the European Games on Sunday in Minsk, Belarus.

MINSK, Belarus (July 1) – The second European Games attracted the best athletes from the continent, and nowhere was that clearer than the wrestling mats where a number of defending Olympic champions and medalists came to Minsk in search of a Euro Games gold.

Perhaps no star shone brighter than Olympic champion Abdulrashid SADUALEV (RUS) the defending 97kg world champion and 86kg Olympic champion from Rio 2016. Arguably the sport’s most recognizable name, the athletic Sadulaev cruised to a 97kg Europeans Games title on day three, upending Azerbaijan’s Nurmagomed GADZHIYEV (AZE).

In addition to their on-the-mat dominance, wrestling’s stars also attracted off-the-mat dignitaries. IOC president Thomas Bach was in attendance Sunday night as 2016 Olympic champion Artur ALEKSANYAN (ARM) lifted and tossed his way to his first European Games title at 97kg in Greco-Roman. The 27-year-old Armenian shut out local favorite Aliaksandr HRABOVIK (BLR) 5-0 in the gold-medal match.

Olympic bronze medalist, and recent mother, Sofia Mattsson, made a splash in her return to the mats winning her second European Games gold medal at 53kg in women’s wrestling, defeating Yulia KHAVALDZHY (UKR), 6-4.

Belarus experienced a brief gold rush on the competitions fourth day nabbing a pair of gold medals with Iryna KURACHKINA (BLR) upedned Mimi HRISTOVA (BUL), 10-0 at 57kg and Olympic bronze medalist Vasilisa MARZALIUK (BLR) dominated Francy RAEDELT (GER), 9-0 at 76kg.

The United World Wrestling calendar continues July 12-14 with the Yasar Dogu Ranking Series tournament in Istanbul. The tournament will be the last Ranking Series event of the year in freestyle and women’s wrestling.