Larroque Wins Duel of World Champs, Faces Kuenz for Women’s European U23 Title

By William May

SZOMBATHELY, Hungary (March 30) – Koumba LARROQUE (FRA) won the duel of reigning world champs in the semifinals and will target another age-group title at the European Under-23 Wrestling Championships on Thursday evening.

Larroque, the reigning junior world champion, stopped current cadet world champ Khanum VELIEVA (RUS), 6-3, in the semifinals at 69kg with a pair of second-period takedowns. She will face returning silver medalist Martina KUENZ (AUT) for the U23 crown in the evening’s finale at Arena Savaria.

Larroque, also the European and cadet world champion in 2015, defeated defending U23 champion and Rio 2016 Olympian Buse TOSUN (TUR) by fall in the quarterfinals.

A total of seven national federations will be represented in the four gold medal finals in the evening with only Russia advancing more than a single wrestler.

Former junior world champ Lyubov OVCHAROVA (RUS) rolled up a 14-4 technical fall against 2015 senior world champion Oksana HERHEL (UKR) in the semifinals at 60kg and will take on 2016 European junior titlist Anastasia NICHITA (MDA) for the gold medal.

Anzhelika VETOSHKINA (RUS) notched a pair of falls and forged a 15-4 technical fall against defending U23 champion Evin DEMIRHAN (TUR) and will meet Ilona SEMKIV (UKR) in the first gold medal final of the evening at 48kg. Semkiv took a bronze medal at last year’s U23 meet in Bulgaria.

Another U23 bronze medal winner from 2016 and a Rio Olympian, Bediha GUN (TUR), finds herself in the gold medal final against Irina KURACHKINA (BLR), who took a silver medal at the inauguaral U23 meet two years ago in Poland.

In all four 2016 champions were stung with defeats in the morning session. In addition to Demirhan and Tosun, Olena KREMZER (UKR) fell in the opening round at 55kg while Tatyana OMELCHENKO (AZE) lost to Herhel by fall in the quarterfinals.

Results: Semifinal Results and Medal Match Pairings

Women’s Wrestling

48kg (11 entries)
Gold – Ilona SEMKIV (UKR) v Anzhelika VETOSHKINA (RUS)
Bronze – Miglena SELISHKA (BUL) v Silje KIPPERNESS (NOR)
Bronze – Kseniya STANKEVICH (BLR) v Evin DEMIRHAN (TUR)

Semifinal – Ilona SEMKIV (UKR) df. Silje KIPPERNESS (NOR), 10-2 
Semifinal – Anzhelika VETOSHKINA (RUS) df. Evin DEMIRHAN (TUR) by TF, 15-4, 5:54

55kg (11 entries)
Gold – Bediha GUN (TUR) v Iryna KURACHKINA (BLR)
Bronze – Nina MENKENOVA (RUS) v Arianna CARIERI (ITA)
Bronze – Bilyana DUDOVA (BUL) v Ramona GALAMBOS (HUN)

Semifinal – Bediha GUN (TUR) df. Arianna CARIERI (ITA), 5-3 
Semifinal – Iryna KURACHKINA (BLR) df. Ramona GALAMBOS (HUN), 9-2

60kg (10 entries)
Gold – Lyubov OVCHAROVA (RUS) v Anastasia NICHITA (MDA)
Bronze – Viktoria FELHO (HUN) v Oksana HERHEL (UKR)
Bronze – Nade DRAGUNOVA (BLR) v Viktoria BOBEVA (BUL)

Semifinal – Lyubov OVCHAROVA (RUS) df. Oksana HERHEL (UKR) by TF, 14-4, 3:56 
Semifinal – Anastasia NICHITA (MDA) df. Viktoria BOBEVA (BUL) by Fall, 5:09 (6-4)

69kg (12 entries)
Gold – Martina KUENZ (AUT) v Koumba LARROQUE (FRA)
Bronze – Signe Marie STORE (NOR) v Alexandra ANGHEL (ROU)
Bronze – Alla BELINSKA (UKR) v Khanum VELIEVA (RUS)

Semifinal – Martina KUENZ (AUT) df. Alexandra ANGHEL (ROU) by Fall, 0:41 (2-0)
Semifinal – Koumba LARROQUE (FRA) df. Khanum VELIEVA (RUS), 6-3