Bulgaria Bags Three Women’s Wrestling Finals Spots

By Eric Olanowski

BUCHAREST, Romania (April 10) - The first set of women’s wrestling gold-medal matches were settled on the third day of wrestling at Bucharest’s Polyvalent Hall. Bulgaria, led by 2018 world runner-up Bilyana DUDOVA (BUL), led the way with three semifinal winners. The other two Bulgarian women who reach the finals were Miglena SELISHKA and Evelina NIKOLOVA. 

Reigning 57kg world finalist Bilyana Dudova was the first Bulgarian women’s wrestler who celebrated her finals birth after she defended fellow Budapest world runner-up Elif YESILIRMAK (TUR).

Dudova picked up the matches only two points, which came from a takedown in the first 10 seconds of the match. 

Dudova will take on Russia’s Svetlana LIPATOVA for the 59kg gold on Thursday night. Lipatova, last year’s European bronze medalist, got back to the finals for the first time since 2013 with a 6-5 win over Ukraine’s Anhelina LYSAK. 

Bulgaria's second finalist, three-time junior European champion Miglena Selishka, handled Kseniya STANKEVICH (BLR), 11-2, and made the 50kg finals. She’ll wrestle Ukraine’s 2018 world bronze medalist Oksana LIVACH in the finals.

Livach, who shed tears of joy as she departed the mat, was awarded a pair of inactivity points and defeated 2017 U23 world champion Evin DEMIRHAN (TUR).

Livach’s win on Wednesday night made it two straight European Championship wins over the 24-year-old Turkish wrestler. Livach fell to Demirhan in Kaspiisk last year, but stopped Demirhan, 10-9, at last year’s U23 European Championships. 

The final Bulgarian woman competing on Thursday night will be Evelina Nikolova, who capped off her finals run by blanking Andreea ANA (ROU), 3-0. Nikolova will wrestle Ukraine’s Iryna HUSYAK for the 53kg gold medal. Husyak upset reigning world runner-up Zalina SIDAKOVA (BLR), 8-4, and earned her first continental medal since her 2013 bronze-medal finish.


Meanwhile, at 68kg, reigning world champion Alla CHERKASOVA (UKR) put five points on the board in the opening period, then tacked on another six points in the second period, and upended 2018 world bronze medalist Iryna NETREBA (AZE), 11-0.  

Her finals opponent will be Adela HANZLICKOVA (CZE). Hanzlickova cruised to a 7-2 victory against Budapest world bronze medalist and last year’s European runner-up Anastasija GRIGORJEVA (LAT). 


The last gold-medal match will be at 76kg where Yasemin ADAR (TUR) will meet Martina KUENZ (AUT). 

In a battle of world champions, 2017 world champion Yasemin Adar scored a convincing 5-2 victory over  2014 world champion Aline ROTTER FOCKEN (GER). The Turkish wrestler scored an inactivity point, and a takedown, and commanded the 3-0 lead into the final period. In the final three minutes, Adar surrendered a takedown but scored two exposure and brought the score to 5-2. 

With her win over Focken on Wednesday night, Adar has won two of the pair's last three matches. Focken won their Yasar Dogu finals meeting, But Adar got her revenge, sticking the German wrestler at the Dan Kolov earlier this year, then picked up her second straight win on Wednesday night. 

Adar will wrestle 2018 world bronze medalist and 72kg Martina Kuenz, who closed out her semifinals match against 2017 European runner-up Zsanett NEMETH (HUN) with a massive four-point throw. Kuenz ultimately won her semifinals match, 9-3. 

Thursday night’s women’s wrestling finals begin at 18:00 (local time) and can be followed on www.unitedworldwrestling.org

Thursday (April 11) 
9:30 - Weigh-in WW – 50-55-59-68-76kg
9:45 - Medical examination & Weigh-in WW – 53-57-62-65-72kg 
11:30 - Qualification rounds WW – 53-57-62-65-72kg page4image2914979424 page4image2914979968
14:00 - Repechage WW – 50-55-59-68-76kg 
14:00 - Draw GR – 55-63-77-87-130kg 
17:15 - Semi Final WW – 53-57-62-65-72kg 
18:00 - Finals WW – 50-55-59-68-76kg / Award ceremonies 

Friday (April 12) 
9:30 - Weigh-in WW – 53-57-62-65-72kg
9:45 - Medical examination & Weigh-in GR – 55-63-77-87-130kg 
11:30 - Qualification rounds GR – 55-63-77-87-130kg 
11:30 - Repechage WW – 53-57-62-65-72kg 
15:40 - Draw GR – 60-67-72-82-97kg
17:15 - Semi Final GR – 55-63-77-87-130kg 
18:00 - Finals WW – 53-57-62-65-72kg / Award ceremonies

Saturday (April 13) 
9:30 - Weigh-in GR – 55-63-77-87-130kg
9:45 - Medical examination & Weigh-in GR – 60-67-72-82-97kg 
11:30 - Qualification rounds GR – 60-67-72-82-97kg 
11:30 - Repechage GR – 55-63-77-87-130kg 
17:15 - Semi Final GR – 60-67-72-82-97kg 
18:00 - Finals GR – 55-63-77-87-130kg / Award ceremonies

Sunday (April 14) 
9:30 - Weigh-in GR – 60-67-72-82-97kg 
16:00 - Repechage GR – 60-67-72-82-97kg 
18:00 - Finals GR – 60-67-72-82-97kg / Award ceremonies

GOLD - Oksana LIVACH (UKR) vs. Miglena Georgieva SELISHKA (BUL)
SEMIFINAL - Miglena Georgieva SELISHKA (BUL) df. Kseniya STANKEVICH (BLR), 11-2 

GOLD - Evelina Georgieva NIKOLOVA (BUL) vs. Iryna HUSYAK (UKR)
SEMIFINAL - Evelina Georgieva NIKOLOVA (BUL) df. Andreea Beatrice ANA (ROU), 3-0 
SEMIFINAL - Iryna HUSYAK (UKR) df. Zalina SIDAKOVA (BLR), 8-4  

GOLD - Bilyana DUDOVA (BUL) vs. Svetlana LIPATOVA (RUS)
SEMIFINAL - Bilyana Zhivkova DUDOVA (BUL) df. Elif Jale YESILIRMAK (TUR), 2-0 
SEMIFINAL - Svetlana LIPATOVA (RUS) df. Anhelina LYSAK (UKR), 6-5 

SEMIFINAL - Alla CHERKASOVA (UKR) df. Iryna Petrovna NETREBA (AZE), 11-0 

GOLD - Yasemin ADAR (TUR) vs. Martina KUENZ (AUT)
SEMIFINAL - Yasemin ADAR (TUR) df. Aline ROTTER FOCKEN (GER), 5-2 
SEMIFINAL - Martina KUENZ (AUT) df. Zsanett NEMETH (HUN), 9-3


Moldova’s Ciobanu and Denmark’s Bisultanov Make History at European C’Ships

By Eric Olanowski

BUCHAREST, Romania (April 14) – Moldova’s Victor CIOBANU and Denmark’s Rajbek BISULTANOV reached the top of the European championship podium and made history for their countries on the closing day of the wrestling in Bucharest. 

In the 60kg finals, Victor Ciobanu pulled off perhaps the biggest upset of these European Championships, defeating defending world and European champion Sergey EMELIN (RUS), 5-5, on criteria, and became the first-ever Moldovan Greco-Roman European champion.  

The Moldovan caught the Russian off balance in the opening period, capitalizing on a four-point offensive maneuver, and took the 4-0 lead into the second period. In the final period, the Russian fired back and gained the 5-4 lead, but a late stepout handed the Moldovan wrestler the 5-5 criteria advantage, and ultimately his nations first continental title.

And in the 82kg finals, Rajbek Bisultanov ended Denmark’s 93-year drought without a European gold medal, becoming the first wrestler from his nation to circle the mat with a Danish flag since Johannes JACOBSEN did so at the Riga European title in 1926. 

Bisultanov fell behind 1-0 to Georgia’s Lasha GOBADZE (GEO), but scored two exposure points and a takedown, ending the opening frame with a 4-1 lead. In the closing period, the Danish wrestler was dinged for a caution-and-two but held on to win 4-3. 

Meanwhile, Abuiazid MANTSIGOV and Musa EVLOEV capped off the 2019 European Championships with individual gold medals, bringing their overall total to five golds, and helping the Russian Federation repeat as Greco-Roman team champions, 60 points ahead of second-place Turkey. 

Russia, who entered Day 7 with a 34 point lead, extended their lead on the final day with their two champions, a second place finish from Sergey Emelin, and bronze medal wins from Artem SURKOV and Aleksandr KOMAROV.

In total, Russia closed out the European Championships with medals in nine of ten weight classes. They had five champions, a second-place finisher, and three bronze medal winners. 

Turkey, who finished in second place with 132 points, finished the day with a solo champion, a runner-up finish from Cengiz ARSLAN, and bronze medal finishes from Kerem KAMAL and Emrah KUS. 

Turkey’s Day 7 champion, Atakan YUKSEL, gave his country their second gold medal of the weekend. Yuksel trailed for four and a half minutes but picked up an inactivity point, followed by a pair of exposures to win, 5-1, against Poland’s Gevorg SAHAKYAN. 

Azerbaijan (76 points), Germany (72 points), and Georgia (71 points) rounded out the top-five team finishers at the 2019 European Championships. 

GOLD - Russia  (192 points)
SILVER - Turkey (132 points)
BRONZE - Azerbaijan (76 points)
Fourth - Germany (72 points)  
Fifth - Georgia (71 points) 

GOLD - Victor CIOBANU (MDA) df. Sergey EMELIN (RUS), 5-5 
BRONZE - Kerem KAMAL (TUR) df. Virgil MUNTEANU (ROU), 4-1  

GOLD - Atakan YUKSEL (TUR) df. Gevorg SAHAKYAN (POL), 5-1 
BRONZE - Artem SURKOV (RUS) df. Sachino DAVITAIA (GEO), 2-1
BRONZE - Karen ASLANYAN (ARM) df. Mate NEMES (SRB), 4-2 

GOLD - Abuiazid MANTSIGOV (RUS) vs. Cengiz ARSLAN (TUR), 9-6
BRONZE - Dominik ETLINGER (CRO) df. Hrant KALACHYAN (ARM), 4-3

GOLD - Rajbek BISULTANOV (DEN) df. Lasha GOBADZE (GEO), 4-3 
BRONZE - Emrah KUS (TUR) df. Hannes WAGNER (GER), 2-1 
BRONZE - Aleksandr KOMAROV (RUS) df. Vili Tapio ROPPONEN (FIN), 8-0 

GOLD - Musa EVLOEV (RUS) df. Kiril Milenov MILOV (BUL), 8-0 
BRONZE - Matti KUOSMANEN (FIN) df. Orkhan NURIYEV (AZE) , 3-2
BRONZE - Daigoro TIMONCINI (ITA) df. Fatih BASKOY (TUR), 2-1