Four Different Nations Close out ANOC World Beach Games With Gold Medals

By United World Wrestling Press

DOHA, Qatar (October 16) -- The medals continued to diversify at the ANOC World Beach Games as beach wrestlers from Georgia, Iran, Italy and Nigeria closed out the final day wrestling in Qatar with shiny gold medals draped around their necks. 

The first men's wrestler who impressed the energetic crowd on Katara Beach was Davit KHUTSISHVILI (GEO). The Georgian, with his pearly white smile that matched his tights, circled the sand with his nation's flag after downing Ibrahim YUSUBOV (AZE), 5-1, in the opening period of the 80kg finals. 

Pouya RAHMANI (IRI), the 90kg champion, is joined by the weight's other two medalists, Ufuk YILMAZ (TUR) and Mamuka KORDZAIA (GEO) (Photo: Theo Lowenstein) 

The second male gold medal of the day went to Iran’s Pouya RAHMANI (IRI), who cruised to a 3-0 win over Ufuk YILMAZ (TUR) in the 90kg gold-medal match. His finals blanking of Yilmaz was the tattooed Iranian's fifth shutout win of the day. In group action, Rahmani outscored his four opponents 13-1, then earned his finals berth with a 3-0 shutout win over Oyan NAZARIANI (AZE). In total, Rahmani outscored his six ANOC World Beach Games opponents by an impressive 19-1 margin.

Blessing ONYEBUCH (NGR) celebrates after defeating Zsanett NEMETH (HUN) in the over 70kg finals. (Photo: Theo Lowenstein) 

On the women's side of the competition, Nigeria's Blessing ONYEBUCH scored an emotional 3-2 over fellow Nur-Sultan World Championships competitor, Zsanett NEMETH (HUN), in the over 70kg finals. The final women's wrestling champion was Francesca INDELICATO (ITA), who stood above second and third-place finishers, respectively, Mehlik OZTURK (TUR) and Shauna KEMP (USA), on the 60kg podium. 

The ANOC World Beach Games closed out the beach wrestling calendar year, but fans can continue to join the discussion around the rapidly growing sport by following @uwwbeachwrestling on Instagram and @uwwbeach on Twitter.


Men's Beach Wrestling
GOLD - Davit KHUTSISHVILI (GEO) df. Ibrahim YUSUBOV (AZE), 5-1 
BRONZE – Vasyl MYKHAILOV (UKR) df. Sami UNAL (TUR), 3-0 

GOLD – Pouya RAHMANI (IRI) df. Ufuk YILMAZ (TUR), 3-0 

Women's Beach Wrestling

GOLD - Francesca INDELICATO (ITA) df. Mehlik OZTURK (TUR)

GOLD - Blessing ONYEBUCH (NGR) df. Zsanett NEMETH (HUN), 3-2 
BRONZE - Iryna PASICHNYK (UKR) df. Cataline AXENTE (ROU), 3-1 


Turkey hosts first UWW women's referee course

By United World Wrestling Press

ANTALYA, Turkey (May 14) --- On May 11, 2022 in beautiful Antalya Turkey, a precedent was set for all UWW Women referees. For the 1st time in United World Wrestling history, HIS-story became HER-story.  Women from 16 different countries have come together with 1 goal in mind; the advancement and recognition of Women officials within this heralded organization.

The Women's Referee Course, which consisted of two courses and three competition days, was preparation for the upcoming Commonwealth Games, and the 2024 & 2028 Olympic Games. 28 women referees from around the world were selected to participate in this first-of-its-kind educational program. 

On the first day of the course, UWW Bureau member Lucio CANEVA attended the opening ceremony and spoke to attendance. He thanked the referees for their support. He also explained why women referees are important for wrestling and all bureau members support this program.

Instructors Antonio SILVESTRI, Ibrahim CICIOGLU and Edit DOZSA collectively contributed to ensuring a successful platform for each woman that took part. Their combined knowledge only helped to propel the confidence of all the participants whether it was about rules or team-building activities and exercises. 

Dozsa, a pioneer of women's refereeing, was fully aware and empathic of the unique struggles women face in a male-dominated sport. Having been selected for the 2008 Olympic Games, Dozsa was able to bring the women together and give them an open forum to voice their individual experiences and struggles, without contradiction or judgments. The idea was for the women to learn how to empower one another. She provided tools and support that have enabled the women to grow and learn with each other over the years.

Participants from Turkey's women's wrestling course join together for a photo. (Photo: United World Wrestling)

The group at the course was experienced and talented. While some referees had wrestled, others were carrying the family torch. Regardless of experience, each member agreed that wrestling is in their blood and has forever changed their lives, for the better.

"Being a female official has many obstacles and nothing is easy about this job," Dozsa said. "We continue to sacrifice to be a part of this wrestling culture we all love so much. This course has given us renewed hope and an optimistic outlook for the future of women referees all over the world. We came in as 28 individuals and left as 1 empowered sisterhood."

The first two days of the course were dedicated to the theoretical aspect of refereeing and important rules were discussed and explained by instructors. A practice session was organized on the second day. All the questions of the attendees were answered by the instructors who also showed critical situations like referee mechanism, out of bounds situations, takedown and control, illegal wrestling and fouls.

During the last three days of the course, referees attended the International Champions tournament for the age group in all styles. They had a chance to officiate throughout the competition in both styles which was an experience for them as well.

The course was the first step for the women referees toward their Olympic hopes. The instructors thanked UWW president Nenad LALOVIC and all the bureau members for their support. They also expressed their gratitude toward the Sports and Development Departments for their collaboration and the Turkish Wrestling Federation for their attributions.