Livach, Larroque Repeat, Russian Wins Women’s Team Title in Jr European Wrestling C’ships

By William May

DORTMUND, Germany (June 30) – Defending champions Oksana LIVACH (UKR) and Koumba LARROQUE (FRA) rolled to repeat titles on Friday as the curtain came down on the women’s events at the Junior European Wrestling Championships.

Maria KUZNETSOVA (RUS), a bronze medal winner last year, grabbed a third individual crown for Russia, which claimed the women’s team title with 66 points – 15 ahead of runner-up Ukraine and third-place Belarus.

Larroque, meanwhile, has spent the last year winning the junior world title, the Paris Grand Prix, Klippan Ladies Open, as well as the European under-23 crown in March, rebounded from a bronze medal in May at the senior continental championships, for her sixth tourney title over the last 12 months.

In the evening’s finals, Livach, who rolled up three technical falls in Friday morning’s session, continue her torrid pace with a head-and-arm throw for four points against local favorite Lisa ERSEL (GER), a runner-up in last year’s European cadet championships.

Livach, however, did not slow down for the young German as she added three more takedowns, including a crisp double-leg to the technical fall at 2:22. Her repeat title was also the ninth medal in a row in European and world age-group championships since 2013 for the pocket dynamo.

In the bronze medal bouts at 48kg, Bianka RECZI (HUN) spun behind with a minute remaining and held on for a 6-5 win over Anastasiya RAMANIUK (BLR). Agata WALERZAK (POL) emerged from a scramble at the beginning of the second period with an 8-5 lead and nursed it for a 10-7 win over Aleksandra SKIRENKO (RUS).

At 55kg, Livach’s teammate, Alina AKOBIYA (UKR) made her debut at the junior level with three falls in the morning. The 2016 Euro cadet champion, however, found herself in a brawl with Viktoria VAULINA (RUS) in the gold medal final.

Despite being unable to secure a fourth fall, Akobiya found two points at the end of the bout with a takedown for a 4-3 victory over Vaulina, leaving last year’s bronze medal winner with a silver medal instead of the gold.

Also at 55kg, returning champion Elena BRUGGER (GER) came out of second scramble with an arm bar to pry Jenna SIHTOLA (FIN) to her back for the fall at 4:22 for one bronze medal. Darya SINKAVETS (BLR) worked her way behind Alicja CZYZOWICZ (POL) with 25 seconds remaining and held on for a 4-2 victory for the other.

At 63kg, Maria KUZNETSOVA (RUS), another bronze medal from last year in Bucharest, would not be denied again as she rolled up a 15-5 technical fall over Alexandra WOLCZYNSKA (POL) as time ran out.

In the bronze medal bouts, Elena ESPOSITO (ITA) forged an 8-2 win over Gamze Nur ADAKAN (TUR) on go-behind takedowns and solid positioning.   Yuliana YANEVA (BUL) worked elbow passes to go-behind takedowns and an arm throw for an 11-0 technical fall over Olivia HENNINGSSON (SWE).

In the evening’s finale, Larroque grabbed a pair of takedowns in the first period and then weathered a chippy second period for a 6-0 win over 2015 world and European cadet champion Denise MAKOTO STROEM (SWE).

For the bronze medals, Evgenia ANDREICHENKO (BLR) scored a quick takedown and converted to an arm bar to pry Tugba KILIC (TUR) over for the fall only 42 clicks into the bout. And, Daryna TUROVCHUK (UKR) misfired on a late lateral drop attempt and Eleni PJOLLAJ (ITA) pounced on top to make it a Fall at 5:51.

Wrestling at the Junior European Wrestling Championships continues Saturday with the first day of Greco-Roman events at 50, 60, 74 and 96kg.

Results of the Medal Finals and Semifinals

Women’s Wrestling

48kg (12 entries)
Gold – Oksana LIVACH (UKR) df. Lisa ERSEL (GER) by TF, 10-0, 2:22
Bronze – Bianka RECZI (HUN) df. Anastasiya RAMANIUK (BLR), 6-5 
Bronze – Agata WALERZAK (POL) df. Aleksandra SKIRENKO (RUS), 10-7

Semifinal – Lisa ERSEL (GER) df. Bianka RECZI (HUN) by Fall, 3:39 (8-0)
Semifinal – Oksana LIVACH (UKR) df. Agata WALERZAK (POL) by TF, 11-0, 1:34

55kg (16 entries)
Gold – Alina AKOBIYA (UKR) df. Viktoria VAULINA (RUS), 4-3
Bronze – Elena BRUGGER (GER) df. Jenna SIHTOLA (FIN) by Fall, 4:22 (3-4) 
Bronze – Darya SINKAVETS (BLR) df. Alicja CZYZOWICZ (POL), 4-2

Semifinal – Viktoria VAULINA (RUS) df. Elena BRUGGER (GER), 12-4
Semifinal – Alina AKOBYA (UKR) df. Alicja CZYZOWICZ (POL) by Fall, 3:49 (10-0)

63kg (14 entries)
Gold – Maria KUZNETSOVA (RUS) df. Alexandra WOLCZYNSKA (POL) by TF, 15-5, 6:00
Bronze – Elena ESPOSITO (ITA) df. Gamze Nur ADAKAN (TUR), 8-2
Bronze – Yuliana YANEVA (BUL) df. Olivia HENNINGSSON (SWE) by TF, 11-0, 5:56

Semifinal – Maria KUZNETSOVA (RUS) df. Gamze Nur ADAKAN (TUR) by TF, 10-0, 2:05
Semifinal – Alexandra WOLCZYNSKA (POL) df. Yuliana YANEVA (BUL) by Fall, 5:22 (8-0)

72kg (entries)
Gold – Koumba LARROQUE (FRA) df. Denise MAKOTA STROEM (SWE), 6-0
Bronze – Evgenia ANDREICHENKO (BLR) df. Tugba KILIC (TUR) by Fall, 0:42 (4-0) 
Bronze – Eleni PJOLLAJ (ITA) df. Daryna TUROVCHUK (UKR) by Fall, 5:51 (6-1)

Semifinal – Koumba LARROQUE (FRA) df. Evgenia ANDREICHENKO (BLR), 2-0 
Semifinal – Denise MAKOTA STROEM (SWE) df. Eleni PJOLLAJ (ITA) by Fall, 2:24 (8-0)

Team Rankings (Top Six)
1. Russia, 66 points (3 gold medals, 2 silver, 1 bronze)
2. Ukraine, 51 (2-1-1)
3. Belarus, 45 (0-0-4)
4. Poland, 35 (0-1-2)
5. Germany, 33 (0-1-2)
6. Turkey, 31 (0-0-0)