Bulgaria Bags a Pair of Golds on Final Day of Women's Wrestling

By Eric Olanowski

KASPIISK, Russia (May 4) - Host nation Russis entered Friday night's finals with three wrestlers competing for European gold, but it was Bulgaria who walked away with an armful of gold. Bulgaria finished with two champions while Russia, Finland, and Sweden brought home one gold a piece.

Bulgaria’s pair of Bilyana DUDOVA (BUL) and Taybe YUSEIN (BUL) remained undefeated in their quest to capture 57kg and 62kg gold medals. 

Bilyana Dudova (BUL) won her second straight European title by shutting out three-time world runner-up, Irina OLOGONOVA (RUS), 6-0 in the 57kg gold-medal match. 

The reigning champion Dudova used a defensive stop in the opening period to put the first two points on the board. She followed that up with a four-point sequence to extended her lead to 6-0. 

Taybe YUSEIN (BUL) defeated Inna TRAZHUKOVA (RUS), 11-8 in the 62kg finals. (Photo by Max Rose-Fyne)

At 62kg, Taybe Yusein improved on her second-place finished from a year ago by winning the gold-medal battle against Inna TRAZHUKOVA (RUS), 11-8. 

“It was hard for me because I was one second away from winning last year. After that second place finished, I had a full year to think about making it back to this stage, and it happened to be on my birthday. Today is my birthday, so this is the best gift that I could have received.” 

Yusein outlasted fellow 2016 Olympian Trazhukova in a 19-point brawl that faced multiple stoppages due to clock issues and a cut above the eye of the Russian. 

“It was a long match, but I just remained focused on getting the win,” said Yuesin. 

Russia’s Stalvira ORSHUSH (RUS) shocked the women’s wrestling world by winning the 53kg European crown. Orshush secured the first-period fall over 2017 world champion Vanesa KALADZINSKAYA (BLR) to give the host nation their solo gold medal on the final day of women’s wrestling in Dagestan, Russia.

“This is my best result in life…When I was going to the mat, I was already imagining myself carrying the Russian flag.” 

Jenny FRANSSON (SWE) celebrates after winning the 72kg European title. (Photo by Max Rose-Fyne)

Jenny FRANSSON (SWE) and Petra Maarit OLLI (FIN) won the final two women’s wrestling gold medals.

Petra Maarit OLLI (FIN), the no. 1 wrestler in the world at 65kg used a late challenge to erase two points from Elis MANOLOVA (AZE), giving her the 4-1 victory. 

Jenny FRANSSON (SWE), the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist closed out the tournament with a fall over Anastasiya ZIMIANKOVA (BLR) at 72kg. 

Fransson, the 2018 Klippan Lady Open, and European gold medalist said “The goal now moves to the World Championships where I’ll be moving weight classes. I’ll be moving down to the Olympic weight of 68kg. But, for now, I’m focused on hearing my national anthem. I think I’m going to cry!” 

GOLD – Russia (173 points)
SILVER -  Belarus (140 points)
BRONZE – Turkey (117 points)
Fourth – Azerbaijan (102 points)
Fifth – Bulgaria (92 points)
Sixth – Poland (75 points)
Seventh – Ukraine (63 points)
Eighth – Sweden (58 points)
Ninth – Hungary (47 points)
Tenth – Romania (45 points)


Women's Wrestling, 53kg
GOLD -  Stalvira ORSHUSH (RUS) df. Vanesa KALADZINSKAYA (BLR), 7-0
BRONZE - Katarzyna KRAWCZYK (POL) df. Mercedesz DENES (HUN), 7-0
BRONZE - Maria PREVOLARAKI (GRE) df. Aysun ERGE (TUR), 12-7 

Women's Wrestling, 57kg 
GOLD - Bilyana Zhivkova DUDOVA (BUL) df. Irina OLOGONOVA (RUS), 6-0
BRONZE - Alyona KOLESNIK (AZE) df. Zalina SIDAKOVA (BLR), 4-0 
BRONZE - Emese BARKA (HUN) df. Laura MERTENS (GER), 11-0 

Women's Wrestling, 62kg 
GOLD -  Taybe Mustafa YUSEIN (BUL) df. Inna TRAZHUKOVA (RUS), 11-8
BRONZE - Veranika IVANOVA (BLR) df. Agnieszka Sylwia KROL (POL), 8-2

Women's Wrestling, 65kg 
GOLD – Petra Maarit OLLI (FIN) df. Elis MANOLOVA (AZE), 3-1 
BRONZE - Henna Katarina JOHANSSON (SWE) df. Gabriella SLEISZ (HUN), 5-0
BRONZE - Krystsina FEDARASHKA (BLR) df. Viktoria Ivanova BOBEVA (BUL), 4-1

Women's Wrestling, 72kg 
GOLD - Jenny FRANSSON (SWE) vs. Anastasiya ZIMIANKOVA (BLR), via fall. 
BRONZE - Alexandra Nicoleta ANGHEL (ROU) vs. Alena PEREPELKINA (RUS), via fall 
BRONZE - Cynthia Vanessa VESCAN (FRA) vs. Beste ALTUG (TUR), via fall


Sadulaev Serves Russia Sixth Gold to Close out #KaspEuro2018 C'Ships

By Eric Olanowski

KASPIISK, Russia (May 6) – For the second day in a row, the Russian national anthem played a trio of times in Dagestan, Russia as the host nation closed out the 2018 European Championships with six of a possible ten gold medals.

The chants of “Rashid” poured through the Palace of Sport and Youth as Abdulrashid SADULAEV (RUS) won the colossal match-up between Olympic champions, holding off Sharif SHARIFOV (AZE), 2-1 to win the 92kg European title. 

“My opponent was an Olympic champion. Not just a guy from the street...We train at the same gym, and we know each other’s style of wrestling. That’s why it was such a low scoring match.” 

Sadulaev's, lone takedown in the opening period proved to be the difference as “The Tank” snagged his fourth European championship.

At 61kg, Gadzhimurad RASHIDOV (RUS), the Kaspiisk native seized his second European championship by nearly shutting out Beka LOMTADZE (GEO), 4-1. 

“I only live 1km away from The Palace of Sport and Youth, so if I lost, I was heading home on foot.” 

Rashidov, the 2017 world finalist put the first point on the board after Lomtadze, the 2015 European Games runner-up was penalized for not scoring on the activity clock. The Russian followed that up with a takedown to end the opening period, leading 3-0. Rashidov, the two-time continental champion closed the match with step out to in the final period to win the match by three points. 

“I want to dedicate this win to my father. He sold everything he owned so I could wrestle, and he always supports me; whether I win or lose.”

Artur NAIFONOV (RUS), 86kg European champion. (Photo by Max Rose-Fyne) 

Artur NAIFONOV (RUS), the 20-year-old Russian defeated Azerbaijani’s 31-year-old Aleksandr GOSTIYEV (AZE), 1-1 on critiera after trading activity clock points in the 86kg finals. 

“Growing up, Gostiyev was a role model for me, as we’re from the same Republic. I'm pleased to match the level of a wrestler who was once an example for me!”

Five-time European champion, Taha AKGUL (TUR). (Photo by Max Rose-Fyne) 

Turkish wrestlers Taha AKGUL (TUR) and Soner DEMIRTAS (TUR) were the other two wrestlers who captured European golds. 

Akgul regained the 125kg top spot after avenging his loss from the 2017 World Championships to Geno PETRIASHVILI (GEO), 2-1. 

The Olympic champion added a fifth European title to his resume with two one-point exchanges to knock off the Georgian. 

Demirtas capped off his quest for back-to-back European gold medals by also using two one-point exchanges to defeated Zelimkhan KHADJIEV (FRA), 2-0. 

GOLD - Russia  (204 points)
SILVER - Azerbaijan (160 points)
BRONZE- Turkey (125 points)
Fourth - Georgia (110 points)
Fifth - Belarus (80 points)
Sixth - Poland (59 points)
Seventh - Ukraine (51 points)
Eighth - France (38 points)
Ninth - Germany(36 points)
Tenth - Italy (36 points)


GOLD - Gadzhimurad RASHIDOV (RUS) df. Beka LOMTADZE (GEO), 4-1
BRONZE - Recep TOPAL (TUR) df. Niurhun SKRABIN (BLR), 6-6 
BRONZE - Ivan GUIDEA (ROU) df. Mirjalal HASAN ZADA (AZE), 3-1

GOLD -  Soner DEMIRTAS (TUR) df. Zelimkhan KHADJIEV (FRA), 2-0 
BRONZE - Frank CHAMIZO MARQUEZ (ITA) df.  Akhsarbek GULAEV (SVK), 10-0
BRONZE - Andrei KARPACH (BLR) df. Zaur EFENDIEV (SRB), 10-0

GOLD - Artur NAIFONOV (RUS) df. Aleksandr GOSTIYEV (AZE), 1-1 
BRONZE - Sandro AMINASHVILI (GEO) df. Ahmed Ruslanovic DUDAROV (GER), 4-4 

GOLD - Abdulrashid SADULAEV (RUS) df. Sharif SHARIFOV (AZE), 2-1 
BRONZE - Kyrylo MIESHKOV (UKR) vs. Irakli MTSITURI (GEO), 6-6 
BRONZE - Serdar BOKE (TUR) vs. Nicolai CEBAN (MDA), 6-4 

BRONZE - Jamaladdin MAGOMEDOV (AZE) vs. Muradin KUSHKHOV (RUS), 3-0 
BRONZE - Robert BARAN (POL) df. Johannes LUDESCHER (AUT), 6-1