Beach wrestling

Preview: Beach Wrestling World Championships

By United World Wrestling Press

CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY, Switzerland (October 2) -- Muscular bodies, top-level international wrestling and postcard sunsets meet with sprays of sand – that’s the 2018 Beach Wrestling World Championships set for the first weekend of October in the coastal city of Muglia welcoming more than 150 athletes from around the world; among them the reigning champions from Ukraine, Pakistan, Iran, Italy and Norway ready to battle it out on Turkish sands.

Over 150 wrestlers from 16 nations will compete for a world title in cadet, junior and senior divisions, men and women, at the 2018 Beach Wrestling World Championships. The event also serves as a qualifying event for the 2019 Beach Games held in San Diego, California (USA).

Turkey is the reigning team champion in the men's competition after accumulating the individual results for a country. Iran and Russia finished with silver and bronze respectively last year. Norway, led by Frank Are Haugen ANDERSEN (70kg), will look to improve on last year's fourth-place finish. Haugen is a top contender at 70kg, but could be challenged by Konstantine KHABALASHVILI (GEO) and Semen RADULOV (UKR), the reigning champion in this weight class.

Romania and Turkey are expected to battle for the team title in the women's division. Norway brings back a strong team and should challenge for a high finish as well. At 60kg, Francesca INDELICATO (ITA) will be looking to repeat as champion, while Brenna STIKKELMAN (USA) will attempt to play spoiler. A wrestler to keep an eye on is Adina Ionela IRIMIA (ROU), Romania's youngest competitor with 17 years of age in the women’s Seniors heavyweight.

The championships will also be part of the qualification process for athletes competing in the 2019 World Beach Games, a quadrennial sporting event held next summer in California’s San Diego, USA. The Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), an important partner to wrestling inside the Olympic movement, manages the Beach Games.

“Beach wrestling is one of our organization’s most exciting and fastest-growing disciplines,” states UWW president Nenad Lalovic. “The Turkish Wrestling Federation is certain to put on a great competition and we look forward to seeing our athletes compete in the sand.” Turkey hosts the UWW Beach Wrestling World Championships for the third time since the discipline’s inaugural event in 2006 in Antalya and Dalyan in the previous year.

"We want to see it in more countries in 2019 and are planning for a new event series to make sure that we inspire young athletes to get out and be active in our sport." As beach wrestling is an especially appealing competition style for wrestlers from nations like India, Pakistan and Vietnam and several in Africa as their local styles are very similar, Mr. Lalovic believes that the discipline will help wrestling reach millions more young wrestlers and continue growing interest in the Olympic styles as well.

Beach wrestling will expand its offerings in 2019 with a tentatively approved global tour capped by an annual prize event.

What is Beach Wrestling?

UWW, then known as FILA, codified the form of beach wrestling in 2004. Beach wrestling is standing wrestling done by wrestlers, male or female, inside a sand-filled circle measuring 7 meters (23 ft) in diameter. The style originally mirrored the rules used before the use of wrestling mats, and beach wrestling has been regarded as the oldest version of international competitive wrestling. The international rules have been modified in 2015 by UWW, with the current rules allowing wrestlers to score points via takedowns, pushing their opponent out of bounds, or bringing the opponent down to their back.

The 1st Beach Wrestling World Championships took place in 2006 in Antalya, Turkey. Only the Senior division was featured until 2010, and each age division has separate men and women divisions. Initially only two weight classes for each of the gender divisions within the Senior division, lightweight and heavyweight. The number of weight classes expanded beginning in 2011, with the Senior division featuring four weight classes for both the men (70 kg, 80 kg, 90 kg, and heavyweight) and women (50 kg, 60 kg, 70 kg, and heavyweight).

In addition to the annual World Beach Wrestling Championships, beach wrestling has been contested at Youth Olympic Games, Asian Games, Down Under Games, and Mediterranean Games and will be contested at the upcoming 2019 World Beach Games. A Beach Wrestling World Series is currently being planned for 2019.


This competition will be LIVE on October 6 & 7 at 7.00 am GMT on Wrestling TV, with the finals on October 7 at 2.00 pm GMT.

Beach wrestling

Romania Sweeps Women’s Division; Pakistan’s Inam Repeats on the Beach

By Marc Berman

SARIGERME, Turkey (October 7) --  The 2018 Beach Wrestling World Championships wrapped up Sunday in the coastal Turkish city of Sarigerme with wrestlers from Romania sweeping the women’s division, and Pakistan’s Muhammad INAM the lone wrestler to successfully defend his 2017 world title.

In all, 159 wrestlers from 17 nations took to the sand with a number of nations medaling in United World Wrestling’s fastest growing style.

Stefania Claudia PRICEPUTU (ROU) set the standard for her Romanian teammates early, besting Sevil ALIOGLU (TUR) 3-0 in the 50kg division gold medal final. Priceputu had defeated teammate Maria Alexandra CIOCLEA (ROU) in the semifinal on her way to the finals.
Kriszta Tunde INCZE (ROU)
In the 60kg finals it was Kriszta Tunde INCZE (ROU) stopping Francesca INDELICATO (ITA) to win Romania’s second gold. Indelicato had been cruising past opponents all weekend, but it was Incze who found a last-minute takedown to earn her first world title and Romania’s second-straight gold.

Adina Elena POPESCU (ROU) kept up Romania’s winning ways upsetting returning champion Charlotte SKAUEN (NOR). Skauen found herself down 2-0 halfway through the match but was able to fight onto the board with a hard-won takedown. Despite Skauen’s late flurry of activity Popescu found an opening, attacked and sealed her first world title, 3-1.

Catalina AXENTE completed Romania’s sweep of the women’s division defeating Aikaterini Eirini PITSIAVA (GRE) in the +70kg final, 2-1. With her victory, Romania became the first women’s team to ever win all weight divisions at the Beach Wrestling World Championships.
Muhammad Inam of Pakistan celebrates after defending his 90kg title against Irakli Mtsituri (not in photo) of Georgia during the second and final day of the UWW Beach Wrestling World Championships in Serigerme, Turkey on October 7, 2018 (Photo: Dean Treml)

Back on the men’s side it was Pakistan’s Inam who would inspire the local crowd on his way to making history. The young wrestler had already became the first from Pakistan to win a Beach Wrestling world title, but in besting Irakli MTSITURI (GEO), 3-1 he was also the first to repeat, and the first Pakistani wrestler to win any world title back-to-back.


At +90kg Baki SAHIN (TUR) was Turkey’s lone representative in the men’s final and didn’t let down the home crowd, upsetting former Olympian Rares Daniel CHINTOAN (ROU). Sahin was down early, but was able to score a late takedown for the win.

Georgia took the other two gold medals, winning the 70kg and 80kg titles. Konstantine KHABALASHVILI (GEO) defeated the returning champion Semen RADULOV (UKR) in the highly anticipated 70kg final. Khabalashvili, who is a medalist at the Europeans in freestyle wrestling, took down Mehmet Emin OGUT (TUR) in the semifinal before defeating Radulov in the finals match, 3-1.

Teammate Jakob MAKARASHVILI (GEO) defeated Vasyl MYKHAILOV (UKR) 2-0 to bring home a second gold medal for Georgia. Makarashvili represented Georgia at the 2016 Olympics and was dominant all weekend capping his weekend with a dominant 3-0 victory in the finals.

There were more than 300 matches competed at the Beach Wrestling World Championships, with 20 overall champions coming from the Cadets, Juniors and Senior divisions.

The 2018 Beach Wrestling World Championships also served as a qualifying event for the 2019 Beach Games, a quadrennial sporting event held next summer in California’s San Diego, USA while Beach Wrestling will expand its offerings in 2019 with a tentatively approved global tour capped by an annual prize event.

Men's Beach Wrestling

GOLD: Konstantine KHABALASHVILI (GEO) df. Semen RADULOV (UKR), 3-1
BRONZE: Mehmet Emin OGUT (TUR) df. Gheorghe Constantin CONSTANTIN (ROU), 5-0

BRONZE: Jumber KVELASHVILI (GEO) df. Efe Sami UNAL (TUR), 3-1

GOLD: Muhammad INAM (PAK) df. Irakli MTSITURI (GEO), 3-1
BRONZE: Pedro Jacinto GARCIA PEREZ (ESP) df. Grigorios KRIARIDIS (GRE), 3-0

GOLD: Baki SAHIN (TUR) df. Rares Daniel CHINTOAN (ROU), 5-1
BRONZE: Irfan METE (TUR) df. Niazi IMPIS (GRE), 3-0

Women’s Beach Wrestling

GOLD: Catalina AXENTE (ROU) df. Aikaterini Eirini PITSIAVA (GRE), 2-1
BRONZE: Diana Elena VLASCEANU (ROU) df. Adina Ionela IRIMIA (ROU), 4-1

GOLD: Kriszta Tunde INCZE (ROU) df. Francesca INDELICATO (ITA), 4-0
BRONZE: Jeannie Agnes KESSLER (AUT) df. Camila FAMA TRISTAO (BRA), 0-0

GOLD: Adina Elena POPESCU (ROU) df. Charlotte SKAUEN (NOR), 3-1
BRONZE: Beatrice DUKOV OANCEA (ROU) df. Cesilie Hoeivik MAGNUSSEN (NOR), 3-1

GOLD: Catalina AXENTE (ROU) df. Aikaterini Eirini PITSIAVA (GRE), 2-1
BRONZE: Diana Elena VLASCEANU (ROU) df. Adina Ionela IRIMIA (ROU), 4-1