Horishna, Kit Win; Ukraine Rallies for European U23 Women’s Team Title

By William May

SZOMBATHELY, Hungary (March 31) – Liliya HORISHNA and Tatyana KIT bagged their second titles at the European Under-23 Wrestling Championships on Friday and sparked Ukraine to a come-from-behind charge for the team title in women’s wrestling.

Petra OLLI (FIN) and local favorite Zsanett NEMETH (HUN) also won their second U23 titles as both rallied in the second period of the gold medal finals at Arena Savaria for the 63kg and 75kg crowns.

Horishna, wrestling in her third U23 championship at 53kg, rallied in the final minute for her third victory by fall of the day over 2015 cadet and junior world champion Leyla GURBANOVA (AZE).

Horishna, won her first U23 title in the inaugural championships in 2015, but had to settle for a silver medal last year.

Defending champion Kit built up an early lead against junior world champion Elin NILSSON (SWE) in the 58kg final and held on over the final 90 seconds for an 8-4 victory.

Kit’s win also gave Ukraine the lead in the team standings, 47-44, for the first time in the tourney after Russia, with two champions, had raced out to a 36-27 lead on the first day.

Having fallen behind, the first day leaders received a bronze medal from Maria KUZNETSOVA (RUS) at 63kg to regain the lead, 52-49, but Iryna PASICHNIK (UKR) answered back at 75kg with a bronze medal for the title, 57-53. Belarus finished third with 41 points and Turkey fourth with 34.

In the other gold medal finals, 2015 gold medalist Petra OLLI (FIN) built a 6-0 lead in the first three minutes against three-time U23 finalist Adela HANZLICKOVA (CZE) and went into match management mode in the second period to secure her 10-3 victory.

In the women’s finale, Rio 2016 Olympian Nemeth opened up in the second period and cruised to a 7-4 win over last year’s bronze medal winner, Natalya LANKO (BLR). The victory was the first for Nemeth in four tournament appearances, thus far, in 2017.

Also in Friday’s finals, Alyona KOLESNIK (AZE) completed her set of U23 medals with a fall over Metty GERNERON MONDANGE (FRA) for the bronze medal after winning gold and silver medals the previous two years.

Wrestling in the U23 meet continues on Saturday and Sunday with action in the classic style of Greco-Roman. Lasha GOBADZE (GEO) will attempt to become the first wrestler to win three gold medals in U23 competition when he steps on the mat at 85kg on Sunday.

Results: Medal Matches and Semifinals

Women’s Wrestling

53kg (13 entries)
Gold – Liliya HORISHNA (UKR) df. Leyla GURBANOVA (AZE) by Fall, 5:56 (11-8) 
Bronze – Katsiaryna PICHKOVSKAYA (BLR) df. Janika VAKKILA (FIN) by Fall, 1:38 (2-0)
Bronze – Iulia LEORDA (MDA) df. Paula KOZLOW (POL) by TF, 10-0, 5:43

Semifinal – Liliya HORISHNA (UKR) df. Katsiaryna PICHKOVSKAYA (BLR) by Fall, 2:50 (12-2)
Semifinal – Leyla GURBANOVA (AZE) df. Iulia LEORDA (MDA) by TF, 12-2, 3:12

58kg (11 entries)
Gold – Tatyana KIT (UKR) df. Elin NILSSON (SWE), 8-4
Bronze – Luisa NIEMESCH (GER) df. Ronja BUROE (NOR) by Fall, 0:38 (4-0)
Bronze – Alyona KOLESNIK (AZE) df. Metty GRENERON MONDANGE (FRA) by Fall, 3:43 (12-4)

Semifinal – Elin NILSSON (SWE) df. Luisa NIEMESCH (GER), 2-1 
Semifinal – Tatyana KIT (UKR) df. Alyona KOLESNIK (AZE), 5-2

63kg (12 entries)
Gold – Petra OLLI (FIN) df. Adela HANZLICKOVA (CZE), 10-3
Bronze – Kriszta INCZE (ROU) df. Sinem TOPCU (TUR) by Fall, 4:58 (6-5) 
Bronze – Marie KUZNETSOVA (RUS) df. Yuliana YANEVA (BUL), 6-2

Semifinal – Adela HANZLICKOVA (CZE) df. Kriszta INCZE (ROU) by Fall, 2:04 (2-4)
Semifinal – Petra OLLI (FIN) df. Marie KUZNETSOVA (RUS), 5-0

75kg (11 entries)
Gold – Zsanett NEMETH (HUN) df. Natalia LANKO (BLR), 7-4
Bronze – Francy RAEDELT (GER) df. Estefania RAMIREZ (ESP) by TF, 10-0, 3:11 
Bronze – Iryna PASICHNYK (UKR) df. Natalia STRZALKA (POL) by Fall, 1:25 (4-2)

Semifinal – Zsanett NEMETH (HUN) df. Francy RAEDELT (GER), 6-0
Semifinal – Natalia LANKO (BLR) df. Iryna PASICHNYK (UKR), 4-4