Larrouque, Vinesh Warm-Up for Tokyo with Poland Open titles

By Vinay Siwach

WARSAW, Poland (June 11) --- Wrestling at Tokyo Olympics may be 50 days away but Warsaw witnessed a mini-Olympics at the Poland Open as eight out of the 16 qualified women's wrestlers were in action at the 68kg on Friday.

The final ranking series event saw wrestlers eyeing to earn the points to improve their seeds for the Tokyo Games. But with 50 percent wrestling, there was no change in the seeding at the end.

Poland Open

Koumba LARROUQUE (FRA) claimed the gold medal at 68kg with a defensive masterclass throughout the day but her 16 points were not enough to earn her a place in the top four.

Wrestling second seeded Tokyo Olympian Blessing OBORUDUDU (NGR), the French was skeptical of injuring her heavily padded knee.

“The opponents are very strong here and I did not want to take any chance,” Larrouque said.

All her bouts were against qualified wrestlers and after shutting off Anna SCHELL (GER) 3-1, she defeated Danielle LAPPAGE (CAN) 4-0 in the quarterfinals. Against Meerim ZHUMANAZAROVA (KGZ), she looked a lot uncomfortable but managed to keep her away with a 3-1 win.

In the final, while on the clock in the first period, she used Oborududu’s over hook to pick up a pair of exposure points, then scored a stepout in the second to secure her first Ranking Series title, 3-0.

That’s three consecutive gold medals heading into the Tokyo Olympic Games for the two-time world medalist. She’s reached the top of the podium at the European Championships, European Olympic Qualifier and the Poland Open.

If Larrouque's defensive display was epic, Odunayo ADEKUOROYE (NGR) at 57kg showed offense was her style as she won the gold medal in Warsaw. Iryna KURACHKINA (BLR) forfeited her final against the Nigerian.

But it was the morning session where Adekuoroye was absolutely phenomenal, taking out Rio Olympic champ Helen MAROULIS (USA) and silver medalist Valeria KOBLOVA ZHOLOBOVA (RUS) with zero points scored on her.

“I had been waiting to wrestle Helen and I was planning a lot for this,” Adekuoroye said.

In a dash of explosive power, she scored two four-point throws and two takedowns combined with a point for Helen's passivity to win the bout 13-0.

She had lost to the American twice before, 6-6 in 2015 and 4-1 in 2018, but on Thursday, Helen had no answer to her attacks.

Vinesh Phogat Poland

At 53kg, Vinesh PHOGAT (IND) passed Mayu MUKAIDA (JPN) and Yong Mi PAK (PRK) for the top seed in Tokyo after winning her fourth consecutive Ranking Series title. The world bronze medalist collected 14 points to move up to the first place.

Vinesh quickly dialed in and found her distance in the gold medal match against Khrystyna BEREZA (UKR). She struck twice on open double legs and commanded the comfortable 4-0 opening-period lead. In the closing frame, she used a counter-offensive quarter nelson to expose Bereza before adding one last takedown for good measures for the 8-0 win.

The win takes her to 69 points in the seeding while Pak will be at 60. Mukaida will be at third with 55 points. Luisa Elizabeth VALVERDE MELENDRES (ECU) will claim the fourth spot with 50 points.

The home country also had a lot to cheer about as Anhelina LYSAK (POL) gave it a gold medal after whipping over Yuliia LISOVSKA (UKR) in the finals for the fall. Lysak’s Ukrainian opponent shot a head outside single when she was put on the activity clock.

Anhelina LYSAK Poland Open

Lysak got Lisovska's head to put her down on the mat. She held on to that until the pin was called in a minute and 51 seconds.

The Pole was in destructive mood on Thursday as she gave up only one point in the four matches she wrestled.

Ukraine did manage to take the gold medal from Warsaw as Alla BELINSKA (UKR) won all her four bouts in the nelson bracket to claim the gold at 72kg.

Throughout the day, the Ukrainian beat Zhamila BAKBERGENOVA (KAZ) 6-5, Catalina AXENTE (ROU) via fall, Evgeniia ZAKHARCHENKO (RUS) via fall and Buse TOSUN (TUR) 5-4.


GOLD - Vinesh VINESH (IND) df. Khrystyna BEREZA (UKR), 8-0
BRONZE - Katarzyna KRAWCZYK (POL) df. Milana DADASHEVA (RUS), via cautions
BRONZE - Amy Ann FEARNSIDE (USA) df. Ekaterina POLESHCHUK (RUS), 2-1

GOLD - Odunayo ADEKUOROYE (NGR) df. Iryna KURACHKINA (BLR), via forfeit
BRONZE - Jowita WRZESIEN (POL) df Magdalena GLODEK (POL), 8-0
BRONZE - Tetyana KIT (UKR) df. Valeria KOBLOVA ZHOLOBOVA (RUS), 8-7

GOLD - Anhelina LYSAK (POL) df. Yuliia LISOVSKA (UKR), via fall
BRONZE - Diana KAYUMOVA (KAZ) df. Elif YANIK (TUR), 14-4

GOLD - Koumba LARROQUE (FRA) df. Blessing OBORUDUDU (NGR), 3-0
BRONZE - Forrest MOLINARI (USA) df. Khanum VELIEVA (RUS), via fall

GOLD – Alla BELINSKA (UKR) (4-0)
SILVER - Buse TOSUN (TUR) (3-1)


UWW Roundup: #WrestleWarsaw Poland Open Recap

By Eric Olanowski

The Poland Open had massive implications on the seeds for the Tokyo Olympic Games. On this week's show, Eric Olanowski talks about Stevan MICIC 🇷🇸 and Vinesh PHOGAT 🇮🇳 moving into the top seeds at their respective weight classes. He also talks about Aisuluu TYNYBEKOVA 🇰🇬 torching her way to 62kg top seed and Odunayo ADEKUOROYE 🇳🇬 outscoring an Olympic champ and silver medalist 23-0 en route to 57kg gold.