Bullen on Track for No.3, Nichita to Challenge at Jr European C’ships

By William May

DORTMUND, Germany (June 29) – Two-time defending champ Grace BULLEN (NOR) breezed through three wins Thursday and appeared on track at the Junior European Wrestling Championships to nailing down her third straight continental junior crown.

Bullen notched a pair of falls in her first two bouts at Helmut Kornig Halle and overwhelmed last year’s bronze medal winner Maria MATYUSHENKO (RUS), 10-0, to advance to the gold medal final at 59kg Thursday evening.

In the final, however, Bullen takes on 2016 European junior champion at 55kg Anastasia NICHITA (MDA), who quietly fashioned three technical falls herself on her way to the gold medal showdown opposite Bullen.

Nichita will be looking for gold after a silver medal at last September’s cadet world championships and another silver medal at European under-23 meet in March behind Lyubov OVCHAROVA (RUS), winner of the European senior crown in May.

Bullen, like Ovcharova, also won her first title at the senior European championships in Novi Sad.

Meanwhile, Russian entries advanced to the finals in the other three weight categories being contested on the first day of women’s events, led by recently crowned Russian national champion Khanum VELIEVA (RUS).

Velieva advanced to the 67kg final by pinning European U23 bronze medal winner Alexandra ANGHEL (ROU) in the semifinals and will face Norway’s second entry in the gold medal matches after Bullen, Hedda Haug STRAND (NOR).

Strand, a fifth-place finisher at both the Paris and German grand prix events this spring, recorded a fall and a technical fall in her only two bouts of the morning session.

Junior world champion Ksenia NEZGOVOROVA (RUS) opened with a hard-fought 6-0 win over U23 bronze medalist Katsiaryna PICHKOVSKAYA (BLR) and muscled her way into the 51kg final with a victory by fall over Tatyana VARANSOVA (AZE).

In the final, Nezgovorova will take on world junior bronze medalist Khrystyna BEREZA (UKR), who will try to reverse a 2-1 loss to the Russian in the junior world semifinals.

In the lightest weight category, 44kg, Anzhelika FEDOROVA (RUS), a fifth-place finisher at the 2015 European junior meet, meets 2015 European cadet champion Stefania PRICEPUTU (ROU). Priceputu scored a 4-3 win over 2016 bronze medal winner Beata KOSLA (POL) on her way to the final.

Medal Final Pairings & Semifinal Results

Women’s Wrestling

44kg (9 entries)
Gold – Anzhelika FEDOROVA (RUS) v Stefania PRICEPUTU (ROU)

Bronze – Alina SYVAK (UKR) v Inna POIK (BLR)
Bronze – Beata KOSLA (POL) v Esra KOC (TUR)

Semifinal – Anzhelika FEDOROVA (RUS) df. Inna POIK (BLR), 5-2
Semifinal – Stefania PRICEPUTU (ROU) df. Esra KOC (TUR) by Fall, 1:03 (5-0)

51kg (13 entries)
Gold – Khrytsyna BEREZA (UKR) v Ksenia NEZGOVOROVA (RUS)

Bronze – Florine SCHEDLER (AUT) v Annika WENDLE (GER)
Bronze – Katsiaryna PICHKOVSKAYA (BLR) v Tatyana VARANSOVA (AZE)

Semifinal – Khrytsyna BEREZA (UKR) df. Annika WENDLE (GER) by Fall, 5:06 (10-0)
Semifinal – Ksenia NEZGOVOROVA (RUS) v Tatyana VARANSOVA (AZE) by Fall, 1:17 (4-0) 

59kg (17 entries)
Gold – Anastasia NICHITA (MDA) v Grace BULLEN (NOR)


Semifinal – Anastasia NICHITA (MDA) df. Metty GRENERON MONDANGE (FRA) by TF, 10-0, 4:47
Semifinal – Grace BULLEN (NOR) df. Maria MATYUSHENKO (RUS) by TF, 10-0, 2:30

67kg (11 entries)
Gold – Hedda Haug STRAND (NOR) v Khanum VELIEVA (RUS)

Bronze – Kendra DACHER (FRA) v Theresa EDFELDER (GER)
Bronze – Jeyla NAGHIZADE (AZE) v Alexandra ANGHEL (ROU)

Semifinal – Hedda Haug STRAND (NOR) df. Theresa EDFELDER (GER) by TF, 10-0, 5:39
Semifinal – Khanum VELIEVA (RUS) df. Alexandra ANGHEL (ROU) by Fall, 5:13 (13-2)