Khinchegashvili Wins Battle of World Champs

By William May

RIGA (March 10) – Vladimir KHINCHEGASHVILI (GEO) won the battle of world champions at the European championships on Thursday and will go for his second continental crown in the evening medal matches at Arena Riga.

Khinchegashvili scored a two-point takedown going out of bounds midway through the second period of his semifinal match-up with fellow world champ Haji ALIEV (AZE) and held on for a 4-2 victory at 61kg.

Kinchegashvili, who won the world title at 57kg in Las Vegas, will face 2013 European champion Georgi KALIEV (BLR) for the gold medal Thursday evening. 

Two-time featherweight world champ Aliev, meanwhile, will square off with European under-23 winner Volodya FRANGULYAN (ARM) for one of the two bronze medals.

At 74kg, European Games silver medalist Soner DEMIRTAS (TUR) opened with a victory over Yarygin Grand Prix winner Zaur MAKIEV (RUS) and then rolled into the gold medal final with a technical fall over surprising Andrzej SOKALSKI (POL).

Demirtas’ path to his first European title is blocked by European Games bronze medalist Yabrail HASANOV (AZE), who will be seeking his third continental title after winning in 2010 and 2011.

In the women’s events, Las Vegas bronze medal winners Epp MAE (EST) and Vasilisa MARZALIUK (BLR) both stumbled in the morning session, leaving Alena STARODEBTSEVA (RUS) and Yasmine ADAR (TUR) to battle for the gold medal at 75kg.

Adar, a fifth-place finisher at last year’s European Games, stunned Mae in the preliminaries with victory by fall after building up a 10-1 lead. She also rolled over European U23 champion Daria OSOCKA (POL) by technical fall in the semifinals.

Starodubtseva also surprised Marzaliuk with three late takedowns in the semifinals for an 8-5 victory.

In the day’s fourth event at the non-Olympic weight category of 55kg, two-time world silver medalist Irina OLOGONOVA (RUS) will seek to improve on her bronze medal from 2014 but will have get past Las Vegas bronze medal winner Tatyana KIT (UKR).

Kit will try avenge an 0-4 loss to Ologonova in the round of 16 at last September’s world meet in Las Vegas.


Men’s freestyle

61kg (13 entries)
Bronze – Ivan GUIDEA (ROU) v Petr BILEICHUK (UKR)
Bronze – Volodya FRANGULYAN (ARM) v Haji ALIEV (AZE)

Semifinal – Georgi KALIEV (BLR) df. Petr BILEICHUK (UKR), 6-2
Semifinal – Vladimir KHINCHEGASHVILI (GEO) df. Haji ALIEV (AZE), 4-2

74kg (19 entries)
Gold – Yabrail HASANOV (AZE) v Soner DEMIRTAS (TUR)
Bronze – Yakob MAKARASHVILI (GEO) v Miroslav KIROV (BUL)
Bronze – Zaur MAKIEV (RUS) v Andrzej SOKALSKI (POL)

Semifinal – Yabrail HASANOV (AZE) df. Miroslav KIROV (BUL) by TF, 10-0, 2:07
Semifinal – Soner DEMIRTAS (TUR) df. Andrzej SOKALSKI (POL) by TF, 10-0, 1:42

Women’s Wrestling

55kg (15 entries)
Gold – Irina OLOGONOVA (RUS) v Tatyana KIT (UKR)
Bronze – Ramona GALAMBOS (HUN) v Simona PRICOB (ROU)
Bronze – Roksana ZASINA (POL) v Zalina SIDAKOVA (BLR)

Semifinal – Irina OLOGONOVA (RUS) df. Simona PRICOB (ROU) by TF, 10-0, 1:48
Semifinal – Tatyana KIT (UKR) df. Zalina SIDAKOVA (BLR) by TF, 10-0, 5:24

75kg (11 entries)
Gold – Alena STARODUBTSEVA (RUS) v Yasmine ADAR (TUR)
Bronze – Svetlana SAENKO (MDA) v Vasilisa MARZALIUK (BLR)
Bronze – Alla CHERKASOVA (UKR) v Daria OSOCKA (POL)

Semifinal – Alena STARODUBTSEVA (RUS) df. Vasilisa MARZALIUK (BLR), 8-5
Semifinal – Yasmine ADAR (TUR) df. Daria OSOCKA (POL) by TF, 10-0, 4:50