Award Season

Acosta, Adekuoroye and Amri Named 2017 History Makers

By Eric Olanowski

Odunayo ADEKUOROYE (NGR), Marwa AMRI (TUN) and Yasmani ACOSTA (CHI) have been named United World Wrestling’s History Makers for 2017.

Earlier this year Marwa Amri and Odunayo Adekuoroye became the first women from Africa to reach the gold medal bout of a senior world championship.

Amri, the Olympic bronze medalist, was the first woman from Africa to reach the world finals by besting two-time Asia champion Aisuluu TYNYBEKOVA (KGZ) 8-7 in the semifinals. Amri would finish the day with the silver medal at 58kg after being defeated by 2016 Olympic champion Helen MAROULIS (USA) in the finals.

In the 55kg semifinals, it was 2015 world bronze medalist Adekuoroye who picked up the technical superiority victory over Irina KURACHKINA (BLR), becoming the second African woman to reach the gold medal finals. Like Amri, Adekuoroye would also bring home the silver medal after dropping her finals match.

It was Yasmani Acosta, formerly of Cuba, who came to Paris with hopes of giving Chile their first-ever world medal in wrestling. Prior to the 2017 World Championships, Chile had never medaled in any style at any age level.

Acosta won three matches before falling to Heiki NABI (EST) in the semifinals. He grabbed Chile’s first ever world medal with a victory over Mykola KUCHMI (UKR) in the bronze medal bout.

Award Season

2017 Women's Freestyle Matches of the Year

By Eric Olanowski

The best women’s wrestling matches of the year included two match-ups that pegged previous age-level and senior world champions against each other. The third match featured an ending with quite the proposal.

53kg World Championships GOLD: Vanesa KALADZINSKAYA (BLR) v. Mayu MUKAIDA (JPN)
Vanesa Kaldzinskaya showed no sign of panicking in the 53kg world finals, even while trailing 6-0. The 2012 world champion used a step out late in the first period to narrow Mukaida’s lead to five points. Her resilience was apparent throughout the match and eventually paid off with 10 seconds remaining as Kaldzinskaya’s four-point move gave her the 8-6 win.

75kg World Championships GOLD: Yasemin ADAR (TUR) v. Vasilisa MARZALIUK (BLR)
After picking up the first takedown, five-time world team member Yasemin Adar trailed on criteria heading into the second period. With under a minute to go, Adar used a late takedown to take the 4-4 lead on criteria. Adar tacked on one more point and won 5-4.

After Adar’s gold medal celebration, her boyfriend came on the mat, dropped to one knee and proposed to Yasemin.

63kg World Championships GOLD: Orkhon PUREVDORJ (MGL) v. Yuliia TKACH OSTAPCHUK (UKR)
In a battle of junior world champions, Orkhon Purevdorj needed three takedowns to defeat Yuliia Tkach Ostapchuk. Purevdorj picked up an early takedown in the first and led 2-1 after three minutes of action. Tkach Ostapchuk answered in the second period with a takedown of her own, but it was Purevdorj’s two second-period takedowns that gave her the 6-3 victory.