Incze Bags Gold for Hosts, Russians Own the Night at European Jr C’Ships

By William May

BUCHAREST (June 24) – Kriszta INCZE (ROU) fashioned a gold medal victory with two second-period takedowns Friday as the women’s events came to a close at the European Junior Wrestling Championships.

Incze, who upset world bronze medalist Maria KUZNETSOVA (RUS) in the semifinals, took the measure of Luize MANZKE (GER) in the first period and then scored with a leg attack and countered for another takedown to a 6-0 victory in the 63kg final.

The win follows bronze medals in the European junior meet in 2014 and 2015 for Incze and makes her only the third Romania woman to win a junior European wrestling title and first since Mihaela MUNTEANU (ROU) in 2010.

Meanwhile, the Russia wrestlers, who took the first-day lead in the team rankings with four bronze medals on Thursday, proved they “owned the night” by going undefeated in the evening session for a second day in a row with a pair of gold medals and bronze medals each.

Former cadet world champion Nadeshda SOKOLOVA (RUS) countered a takedown attempt by Felicia GALLO (FRA) early in the 48kg final and the held on to hear the slap of the mat at 1:12.

Daria SHISTEROVA (RUS) capped Russia’s run of eight straight wins in the evening sessions with a 6-5 triumph over Francy RADELT (GER) in a meeting of 2015 European junior bronze medalists.

Meanwhile, Kuznetsova rebounded for a bronze medal at 63kg with technical fall over 2014 cadet world bronze medalist Yuliana YANEVA (BUL).

At 55kg, reigning cadet world champion Viktoria VAULINA (RUS) opened with a headlock and rolled up a 10-0 lead over local favorite Madalina CAIA (ROU) before pressing for the fall and one of Russia’s six bronze medals.

In the gold medal final at 55kg, European cadet champion Anastasia NICHITA (MDA) got rolling with a bearhug to four-point takedown late in the first period and cruised in the second period for an 8-2 victory over Elif YANIK (TUR).

Yanik had earlier defeated champion Patricia LIUZZI (ITA), 10-6, in the quarterfinals.

In the final team standings, Russia went unbeaten in the medal finals for 68 out of a possible 80 points as each entry takes home a chunk of championship hardware.

Germany’s two silver medals Friday lifted the team to second place in the standings with 46 points, followed by Belarus with 45. France which had its third individual finalist in two days claimed sixth place overall with a gold and two silver medals.

The men’s freestyle competition gets under way Saturday with the first four weight categories – 50kg, 60kg, 74kg and 96kg.

Results of the Medal Finals & Team Rankings (Top Six)

Women’s wrestling

48kg (12 entries)
Gold – Nadeshda SOKOLOVA (RUS) df. Felicia GALLO (FRA) by Fall, 1:12 (2-0)
Bronze – Dominika SZYNKOWSKA (POL) df. Kim GMEINER (AUT) by TF, 12-1, 3:42 
Bronze – Annika WENDLE (GER) df. Tatyana YAFREMENKO (BLR), 9-6 

Semifinal – Felicia GALLO (FRA) df. Dominika SZYNKOWSKA (POL) by Fall, 1:49 (4-8)
Semifinal – Nadeshda SOKOLOVA (RUS) df. Tatyana YAFREMENKO (BLR), 9-8

55kg (15 entries)
Gold – Anastasia NICHITA (MDA) df. Elif YANIK (TUR), 8-2
Bronze – Bilyana DUDOVA (BUL) df. Alicija CZYZOWICZ (POL), 2-0
Bronze – Viktoria VAULINA (RUS) df. Madalina CAIA (ROU) by Fall, 2:42 (10-1) 

Semifinal – Anastasia NICHITA (MDA) df. Alicija CZYZOWICZ (POL), 6-4 
Semifinal – Elif YANIK (TUR) df. Viktoria VAULINA (RUS), 7-6 

63kg (12 entries)
Gold – Kriszta INCZE (ROU) df. Luize MANZKE (GER), 6-0 
Bronze – Olivia HENNINGSSON (SWE) df. Virginia TSAKNAKI (GRE) by Fall, 0:38 (4-0) 
Bronze – Maria KUZNETSOVA (RUS) df. Yuliana YANEVA (BUL) by TF, 10-0, 1:23

Semifinal – Luize MANZKE (GER) df. Olivia HENNINGSSON (SWE) by TF, 10-0, 4:37
Semifinal – Kriszta INCZE (ROU) df. Maria KUZNETSOVA (RUS), 6-2 

72kg (14 entries)
Gold – Daria SHISHTEROVA (RUS) df. Francy RADELT (GER), 6-5
Bronze – Evgenia ANDREICHENKO (BLR) df. Vivien SZARAZ (HUN), 8-2
Bronze – Aysegul OZBEGE (TUR) df. Natalie STRZALKA (POL), 4-3

Semifinal – Daria SHISHTEROVA (RUS) df. Evgenia ANDREICHENKO (BLR), 12-4
Semifinal – Francy RADELT (GER) df. Aysegul OZBEGE (TUR) by Fall, 2:45 (6-0)

Team Rankings (Top Six)
1. Russia, 68 points (2 gold, 0 silver, 6 bronze)
2. Germany, 46 (1-2-1)
3. Belarus, 45 (0-1-1)
4. Turkey, 44 (0-1-1)
5. Poland, 36 (0-0-2)
6. France, 30 (1-2-0)