Bullen, YOG Medalists Power Way into Finals of European Juniors

By William May

ISTANBUL (June 25) – Youth Olympic Games champion Grace BULLEN (NOR) and two other Nanjing 2014 medalists advanced into the gold medal finals on the first day of women’s events at the European junior wrestling championships.

Bullen, fresh from winning a bronze medal at the recent European Games in Baku, recorded three first-period falls to power her way into the 59kg final Thursday evening at the Bagcilar Sports Complex.

Wrestling in her first junior-level event for wrestlers aged 18-20, Bullen will face 2014 European junior bronze medal winner Ramona GALAMBOS (HUN) in the 59kg final.

Joining Bullen on the center mat for the gold medal finals will be YOG silver medalist Leyla GURBANOVA (AZE) and bronze medalist Olena KREMZER (UKR), who will square off in the 51kg championship bout. 

Gurbanova won the European cadet title and Kremzer the world cadet crown in 2014, with Gurbanov winning the YOG match-up in Nanjing.

Another newcomer taking her shot at her first junior-level title will be Nicole AMANN (GER), who won the European and world cadet crowns in 2014. Amann will face Elis MANOLOVA (AZE) in the 67kg final.

The final at 44kg will feature a rematch of last year’s final between two-time defending champion Miglena SELISHKA (BUL) and Ksenia STANKEVICH (BLR).  Both finalists had to rally in the semifinals to turn away youthful challengers.

Selishka trailed cadet world bronze medalist Turkan NASIROVA (AZE) before coming up with a fall in the second period. Stankevich also rallied late with the help of a four-point takedown to turn away last year’s European cadet champion Oksana LIVACH (UKR) by technical fall.

Competition at Bagcilar Sports Complex continues Thursday evening with the gold and bronze medal finals in women’s wrestling at 44, 51, 59 and 67kg.

Women’s Wrestling

44kg (12 entries)
Gold – Ksenia STANKEVICH (BLR) v Miglena SELISHKA (BUL)
Bronze – Morgane GIRARD (ITA) v Oksana LIVACH (UKR)
Bronze – Anzhelika FEDOROVA (RUS) v Turkan NASIROVA (AZE)

51kg (12 entries)
Gold – Leyla GURBANOVA (AZE) v Olena KREMZER (UKR)
Bronze – Arianna CARIERI (ITA) v Eva SAUER (GER)
Bronze – Jenna SIHTOLA (FIN) v Ksenia NEZGOVOROVA (RUS)

59kg (14 entries)
Gold – Grace BULLEN (NOR) v Ramona GALAMBOS (HUN)
Bronze – Kriszta INCZE (ROU) v Derya BAYHAN (TUR)
Bronze – Elin NILSSON (SWE) v Veranika IVANOVA (BLR)

67kg (14 entries)
Gold – Elis MANOLOVA (AZE) v Nicole AMANN (GER)
Bronze – Sofia GEORGIEVA (BUL) v Moa NYGREN (SWE)