Khinchegashvili, Defending Champs from Turkey Advance to Finals at European C’ships

By William May

NOVI SAD, Serbia (May 4) – World and Olympic Games champion Vladimir KHINCHEGASHVILI (GEO) won three bouts at 61kg on Thursday to advance to the gold medal finals on Day Three of the European Senior Wrestling Championships.

Khinchegashvili, who won the 57kg gold medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, outscored three opponents 22-8 in the morning session at the Spens Sport Hall to return to the 61kg final where he will face 2016 world bronze medalist Akhmed CHAKAEV (RUS).

Meanwhile, defending champions Soner DEMIRTAS (TUR) and Yasmine ADAR (TUR) each returned the finals with an eye on their second continental crown.

Demirtas overcame an early scare from local favorite Zaur EFENDEIV (SRB) in the quarterfinals to advance to the 74kg finals with an 8-6 victory over 2014 European silver medal winner Grigor GRIGORYAN (ARM). 

The Rio 2016 bronze medalist will face European junior champion Murad SULEYMANOV (AZE) in the 74kg final.

In the women’s events, Adar had her toenails dug in at the edge of the mat in the women’s 75kg semifinal against Epp MAE (EST) when she executed a textbook front headlock and throw for four points, which she made stand for a 5-4 victory.

In the women’s heavyweight final, Adar squares off with two-time European under-23 champion Zsanett NEMETH (HUN), who held on for a 4-3 win over veteran Svetlana SAENKO (MDA) in the other semifinal.

At 55kg, European junior bronze medalist Bilyana DUDOVA (BUL) rallied late for a 10-10 win on criteria against former U23 champion Alyona KOLESNIK (AZE) for a berth in gold medal final opposite Dan Kolov tourney winner Katsiaryna HANCHAR (BLR).

Pairings for Thursday evenings medal finals and semifinal results:


61kg (17 entries)
Bronze – Abdi ZURNACI (TUR) v Volodya FRANGULYAN (ARM)
Bronze – Andrei PERPELITA (MDA) v Petr BILEICHUK (UKR)

Semifinal – Akhmed CHAKAEV (RUS) df. Volodya FRANGULYAN (ARM) by TF, 11-1, 1:31
Semifinal – Vladimir KHINCHEGASHVILI (GEO) df. Petr BILEICHUK (UKR), 8-2

74kg (20 entries)
Bronze – Zelimkhan KHADJIEV (FRA) v Akhmed GADZHIMAGOMEDOV (RUS)
Bronze – Kyrillos BINENMPAOUM (GRE) v Grigor GRIGORYAN (ARM)

Semifinal – Murad SULEYMANOV (AZE) df. Akhmed GADZHIMAGOMEDOV (RUS), 5-3
Semifinal – Soner DEMIRTAS (TUR) df. Grigor GRIGORYAN (ARM), 8-6

Women’s Wrestling

55kg (10 entries)
Gold – Katsiaryna HANCHAR (BLR) v Bilyana DUDOVA (BUL)
Bronze –  Aleksandra ANDREEVA (RUS) v Mathilde RIVIERE (FRA)
Bronze –  Merima GALETIN (SRB) v Alyona KOLESNIK (AZE)

Semifinal – Katsiaryna HANCHAR (BLR) df. Mathilde RIVIERE (FRA), 4-2
Semifinal – Bilyana DUDOVA (BUL) df. Alyona KOLESNIK (AZE), 10-10

75kg (11 entries)
Gold – Zsanett NEMETH (HUN) v Yasemin ADAR (TUR)
Bronze – Anna SCHELL (GER) v Svetlana SAENKO (MDA)
Bronze – Vasilisa MARZALIUK (BLR) v Epp MAE (EST)

Semifinal – Zsanett NEMETH (HUN) df. Svetlana SAENKO (MDA), 4-3
Semifinal – Yasemin ADAR (TUR) df. Epp MAE (EST), 5-4