Ukraine Wins Women’s Wrestling European Team Title

By Eric Olanowski

BUCHAREST, Romania (April 11) – Ukraine, who had a solo bronze medalist and finished last year’s Kaspiisk European Championships in seventh place, capped off their improbable run to a European team title on the backs of four individual women’s wrestling championship performances. 

They had three champions on Thursday night and added one more gold medal on Friday to bring their overall title total to four European championships. Their lone Day 5 champion was Alina BEREZHNA STADNIK MAKHYNIA (UKR), who won the 72kg gold medal. 

In the 72kg finals, former two-time continental champion Alina Berezhna Stadnik won her third European title with a fall over Anna SCHELL (GER) four minutes into the finals. It was the second time the Berezhna Stadnik threw her German opponent to her back but was able to put an exclamation point on Ukraine’s run to a European team title with a fall to close out the competition. 

Ukrainian's also welcomed Day 5 points from silver medalists Lilya HORISHNA and Tetyana KIT. 

Bulgaria, who grabbed an individual title from Taybe YUSEIN (BUL) at 62kg, finished in second place with 112 points. 

At 62kg, returning world and European champion Taybe Yusein successfully defended her title with a controlling 4-0 victory over Italy’s first time continental medalist  Aurora CAMPAGNA (ITA). 

The final three women's wrestling gold medals went to Russia, Hungary, and Azerbaijan. 

In the 53kg finals, defending champion Stalvira ORSHUSH (RUS) punished two-time U23 European gold medalist Lilya HORISHNA (UKR), 13-3, and won her second consecutive continental title.

Orsush trailed early after Horishnia was awarded an inactivity point, but the Russian outscored her Ukrainian opponent 13-2 before ending the match early. 

Orsush started her 13 points scoring streak off with a takedown, then wasted no time getting to a gut wrench and commanded the 4-1 lead after trailing 1-0. She continued to stay offensive, grabbing a second takedown, then transitioned into a pair of gut wrenches and led 10-3 after the first period. 

In the second period, she kept the heat on and scored a stepout and a third takedown to win her second consecutive European title. 

A lot of close and tense moments in the 57kg finals, but in the end, it was fifth-ranked returning world bronze medalist Emese BARKA (HUN) who came out on top against world bronze medalist Tetyana KIT (UKR), 4-2. 

In their gold-medal match, Barka and Kit exchanged two-and-two in the opening period, but it was Barka who had the lead on criteria. The Hungarian wrestler picked up her other two points off of Ukrainian cautions and added a continental gold medal to her resume for the first time in her career. 

At 65kg, Elis MANOLOVA (AZE) spoiled Kriszta INCZE’s (ROU) hopes of becoming the first Romanian women’s wrestler to win a European gold medal by scoring six unanswered second-period points to win the gold medal, 6-4. 

Manolova was down 4-0 heading into the intermission, but never panicked and tied the match with a takedown and a pair of stepouts, but still trailed on criteria. The Azeri thought she took the lead with a stepout with 15 seconds left, but a challenge determined the wrestlers were grounded and the call was reversed. 

With under 10 seconds left, the Azeri took a desperation shot and silenced the crowd with a takedown as time expired to win her third continental title and first since 2015. 

GOLD - Ukraine (168 points)
SILVER  - Bulgaria  (112 points)
BRONZE - Turkey (98 points)
Fourth – Azerbaijan (96 points)
Fifth - Russia (89 points)

GOLD - Stalvira ORSHUSH (RUS) df. Lilya HORISHNA (UKR), 13-3
BRONZE - Vanesa KALADZINSKAYA (BLR) df. Roksana ZASINA (POL), 2-0 
BRONZE - essica Cornelia Francisca BLASZKA (NED) df. Tatiana DEBIEN (FRA), 6-4 

GOLD - Emese BARKA (HUN) df. Tetyana KIT (UKR), 4-2
BRONZE - Anastasia NICHITA (MDA) df. Mathilde Hélène RIVIERE (FRA), 8-7 
BRONZE - Alyona KOLESNIK (AZE) df. Mimi HRISTOVA (BUL), via fall 

GOLD - Taybe YUSEIN (BUL) df. Aurora CAMPAGNA (ITA), 4-0 
BRONZE - Marianna SASTIN (HUN) df. Moa NYGREN (SWE), 3-2 

GOLD - Elis MANOLOVA (AZE) df. Kriszta Tunde INCZE (ROU), 6-4 
BRONZE - Petra OLLI (FIN) df. Henna JOHANSSON (SWE), 2-2 
BRONZE - Mariia KUZNETSOVA (RUS) df. Asli DEMIR (TUR) , 14-3

GOLD - Alina BEREZHNA STADNIK MAKHYNIA (UKR) df. Anna Carmen SCHELL (GER), via fall 


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