stadiums

China Builds 47 Million Euro Wrestling Stadium in Senegal

By BBC News

DAKAR, Senegal (July 26) -- Senegalese President Macky Sall and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, inaugurated a national wrestling arena in Dakar this week in a project funded by the Chinese government.

The first arena dedicated to this popular sport in Senegal, located in the city of Pikine, near Dakar, was inaugurated Sunday, the second day of the visit of the Chinese leader in the Senegalese capital.

Xi Jinping, on a state visit to Senegal, symbolically handed Macky Sall the keys of the national arena of Pikine wrestling, during a ceremony marked by a wrestling matches and dancing.

The new arena, built in 28 months by the Chinese, cost 48.7 million euros and was paid for by the Chinese government. The stadium has a capacity of more than 20,000 places.

"The national arena fills a gap for wrestling," Senegalese Sports Minister Matar Ba was quoted by Agence France-Presse as saying.

According to Mr. Bâ the arena can accommodate other sports such as boxing and martial arts, but also socio-educational activities, such as concerts.

The national arena was always a point of concern for Senegalese wrestling professionals, who were forced to organize their competitions in football stadiums.

Lutte Senegalese is the most popular sport in the nations and often broadcast live on television, mobilize thousands of spectators and sponsors, with payment to wrestlers often reaching tens of thousands of euros for a single match.

(This story originally ran in French on the BBC, here)

#WrestleWarsaw

Live BLOG: European C'ships, Day One

By Eric Olanowski

WARSAW, Poland (April 19) -- We're live from Warsaw, Poland for the opening day of wrestling at the European Championships.

Monday’s Freestyle Schedule:
11:30 - Qualification rounds
17:15 - Opening ceremony 
18:00 - Semifinals

14:22: That'll do it for the morning session. We'll see you back here at 17:15 for the opening ceremony, which will be followed by the freestyle semifinals at 18:00.

Semifinals Matchups (As they come in)

57kg
SEMIFINAL - Nachyn MONGUSH (RUS) vs. Afgan KHASHALOV (AZE)
SEMIFINAL - Mikyay NAIM (BUL)vs. Suleyman ATLI (TUR)

65kg
SEMIFINAL - Maxim SACULTAN (MDA) vs. Krzysztof BIENKOWSKI (POL)
SEMIFINAL - Zagir SHAKHIEV (RUS) vs. Ali RAHIMZADE (AZE)

70kg
SEMIFINAL - Arman ANDREASYAN (ARM) vs. Israil KASUMOV (RUS)

SEMIFINAL - Ihor NYKYFORUK (UKR) vs. Turan BAYRAMOV (AZE)

79kg
SEMIFINAL - Saifedine ALEKMA (FRA) vs. Rashad YUSIFLI (AZE)
SEMIFINAL - Akhsarbek GULAEV (SVK) vs. Nika KENTCHADZE (GEO)

97kg
SEMIFINAL - Suleyman KARADENIZ (TUR) vs. Elizbar ODIKADZE (GEO)
SEMIFINAL - Radoslaw BARAN (POL) vs. Alikhan ZHABRAILOV (RUS)

13:27: Odikadze narrowly escapes an upset. He scored a takedown, but gave up two one-point moves and hung on to defeat Aliaksandr Hushtyn, 2-2, on criteria.

13:20: Atli looked in mid-season form in his quarterfinals match against Kerymonv. He only need four minutes to pick up the 11-0 win over the Ukrainian wrestler. Atli will take on the winner of Mikyay Salim NAIM (BUL) and Beka BUJIASHVILI (GEO) in the 57kg semifinals.

13:01: Suleyman ATLI (TUR) medaled at the '18 and '19 World Championships. Last year's European silver medalist will make his '21 debut on Mat B next against Kamil KERYMOV (UKR). 

12:50: World bronze medalist Elizbar ODIKADZE 🇬🇪 has a few European medals. He's coming up in three matches on Mat A.

Odikadze's European Resume:
'15 Euro Games 🥈
'16 Euro C'ships 🥉
'17 Euro C'ships 🥉
'18 Euro C'ships 🥉
'19 Euro C'ships 🥉
'20 Euro C'ships 🥉

12:45: The lone returning champion that'll be in action today is Suleyman KARADENIZ (TUR). He's coming up next on Mat A against Shamil ZUBAIROV (AZE).

12:37: Kentchadze eases his way into the quarterfinals with a 10-5 win over Babii. 

12:33: Russian national champion and two-time European bronze medalist Israil KASUMOV (RUS) will wrestle Mihail SAVA (MDA) next on Mat A. 

12:12: U23 world champion Nika KENTCHADZE (GEO) is coming up next on Mat B. He'll wrestle Valentyn BABII (UKR).

11:57: Tsiutryn lost a challenge after giving up a four-point chest wrap and fell to Mongush, 7-6.

11:53: We have ourselves a battle going on over on Mat B. Nachyn MONGUSH (RUS) and Aryan TSIUTRYN (BLR) and tied, 6-6, with 90 seconds left to go!  

11:46: Aliaksandr HUSHTYN (BLR) starts his day off with a 5-0 upset over Italy's '18 world bronze medalist Abraham CONYEDO (ITA).

11:38: HERE. WE. GO! We're hearing whistles, which means the first day of wrestling is officially underway.