Friday Nights Euro C'ship Finals Set in Women's Wrestling

By Eric Olanowski

Host nation Russia along with five other nations put wrestlers into the finals of the 2018 European Championships at The Palace of Sport Youth in Dagestan, Russia. 

Russia led the way by placing three wrestlers in the Friday nights (6:00 PM) finals, while Belarus and Bulgaria each a pair of wrestlers in the finals. The remaining three wrestlers hailing from Azerbaijan, Finland, and Sweden. 

2017 world champion Vanesa KALADZINSKAYA (BLR)

At 53kg, 2017 world champion Vanesa KALADZINSKAYA (BLR) capitalized on two takedowns and a step out to defeat Maria PREVOLARAKI (GRE), 5-2 in a very slow paced match. 

In the other semifinal, Stalvira ORSHUSH (RUS) trailed after giving up a four-point arm spin to Poland's Katarzyna KRAWCZYK (POL). The Russian remained calm and took the outright lead after picking up her third takedown, ultimately winning the bout, 6-5. 


Semifinal - Vanesa KALADZINSKAYA (BLR) df. Maria PREVOLARAKI (GRE), 5-2.
Semifinal - Stalvira ORSHUSH (RUS) df. Katarzyna KRAWCZYK (POL), 6-5.

Irina OLOGONOVA (RUS), European Championship finalist at 57kg. (Photo by Max Rose-Fyne)

Bilyana DUDOVA (BUL) will grapple with Irina OLOGONOVA (RUS) in the 57kg gold-medal bout. Ologonova stole her spot in the finals from Azerbaijan's Alyona KOLESNIK (AZE), 3-2.

The Russian picked up the match-winning takedown with 13-seconds left, closing out the match listening to the Azerbaijan coaching staff pound the mat in disgust. 


Semifinal - Irina OLOGONOVA (RUS) df. Alyona KOLESNIK (AZE), 3-2 
Semifinal - Bilyana Zhivkova DUDOVA (BUL) df. Emese BARKA (HUN), 7-1 
Inna TRAZHUKOVA (RUS), one of three Russian women to make Friday nights finals. 

The third Russian to make it to the finals was Inna TRAZHUKOVA (RUS) who routed Germany's Luzie MANZKE, 8-2. Trazhukova kicked started the point scoring friendzy with a four-point throw and closed the match with a takedown and exposure. 

GOLD – Inna TRAZHUKOVA (RUS) vs. Taybe Mustafa YUSEIN (BUL)

Semifinal - Inna TRAZHUKOVA (RUS) df. Luzie MANZKE (GER), 8-2 
Semifinal - Taybe Mustafa YUSEIN (BUL) df. Veranika IVANOVA (BLR), 10-2 65kg
Elis MANOLOVA (AZE), 65kg European Championship finalist. (Photo by Max Rose-Fyne) 

Elis MANOLOVA (AZE) will take on Finland's 2015 world runner-up, Petra OLLI (FIN) in the 65kg gold-medal bout. 

Olli, the 2017 U23 European champion extended her lead to 1-0 lead after a takedown to a gut wrench. The Bulgarian coaches questioned the call and threw the challenge block. Olli was award the point for the failed challenged and beat Viktoria Ivanova BOBEVA (BUL), 6-0.

GOLD – Petra Maarit OLLI (FIN) vs. Elis MANOLOVA (AZE)

Semifinal - Elis MANOLOVA (AZE) df. Henna Katarina JOHANSSON (SWE), 6-1  
Semifinal - Petra Maarit OLLI (FIN) df. Viktoria Ivanova BOBEVA (BUL), 6-0 

Jenny FRANSSON (SWE), the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist. 

Jenny FRANSSON (SWE), the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist is Sweden's lone women's wrestling finalist at the fourth day of action. She dominated her way to an 8-1 semifinal victory over Turkey's Beste ALTUG and will wrestle Belarus' Anastasiya ZIMIANKOVA in Friday nights final.


Semifinal – Jenny FRANSSON (SWE) df. Beste ALTUG (TUR), 8-1
Semifinal - Anastasiya ZIMIANKOVA (BLR) df. Alena PEREPELKINA (RUS), 7-5 


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