European Games

Mattsson, Sadulaev Strike Gold Again at European Games; Aliyev Dominates

By United World Wrestling Press

MINSK, Belarus (June 27) - On Thursday, Sofia MATTSSON (SWE) and Abdulrashid SADULAEV (RUS) captured their second European Games gold medals in as many tries.

One was pushed to limits, while the other did not break a sweat. 

Mattsson, a six-time world medalist and Olympic bronze medalist, held on to defeat Yulia KHAVALDZHY (UKR) 6-4 in the gold-medal match at 53kg. 

The 29-year-old Swedish wrestler raced out to a 6-0 lead at the break after picking up three takedowns in the first period. Khavaldzhy got on the scoreboard with a takedown early in the second period. Trailing 6-2 late the in the match, Khavaldzhy fired off a shot and scored a takedown and put Mattsson in trouble. She was initially awarded four points for the exchange, which would have given her a 6-6 win on criteria. But Mattsson challenged the call and it was overturned. Two points were taken off the scoreboard, giving Mattsson the victory.

Sadulaev, a 2016 Olympic champion and three-time world champion, added second European Games gold medal to his list of accomplishments after getting an injury default against Nurmagomed GADZHIYEV (AZE) in the gold-medal match at 97kg. Gadzhiyev walked out on to the mat with a heavily bandaged leg and Sadulaev was given the injury default victory. Sadualev's European Games gold medal in 2015 game at 86kg. 

In a battle of world champions, Haji ALIYEV (AZE) dominated Olympic champion Vladimer KHINCHEGASHVILI (GEO) 10-2 to claim the gold medal at 65kg. Aliyev, a three-time world champion and three-time European champion, used a takedown and exposure to grab an early 4-0 lead. He added an additional point after a failed challenge to go up 5-0 at the break. Khinchegashvili inched closer with two one-point scores in the second period, but Aliyev then turned it up. He countered an attacked from the 28-year-old Georgian for a takedown. He added a step out and another takedown to win by eight. 

Anastasija GRIGORJEVA (LAT), a two-time world bronze medalist, defeated two-time European champion Anastasiia BRATCHIKOVA (RUS) 5-3 to win the gold medal at 68kg. It's her second European Games medal after winning a bronze medal in 2015. Grigorjeva was in control most of the match. She scored her first point off a passivity and then added a takedown to lead 3-0 after the opening period. She built her lead to 5-0 in the second period after a takedown. Bratchikova put herself back in the match by scoring a step out followed up by takedown in the final 30 seconds to make the score 5-3. But Grigorjeva would hang on for the win.

Two-time world medalist Akhmed CHAKAEV (RUS) picked up a bronze medal at 65kg with an 8-5 victory over Andrei PERPELITSA (MDA). Hor OHANNESIAN (UKR) also won a bronze medal at 65kg, beating Valodya FRANGULYAN (ARM), 8-2.

World No. 4 Elizbar ODIKADZE (GEO) and world No. 8 Aliaksandr HUSHTYN (BLR) won the bronze medals at 97kg. Odikadze shut out Murazi MCHEDLIDZE (UKR), while Hushtyn earned a 3-1 victory over Magomedgadji NUROV (MKD).

Nina HEMMER (GER) topped Zeynep YETGIL (TUR) 2-0 to earn a bronze medal at 53kg. The other bronze medal at 53kg was won by Stalvira ORSHUSH (RUS), who dominated Mercedesz DENES (HUN) 10-0. 

Sofia GEORGIEVA (BUL) and Alla CHERKASOVA (UKR) finished with bronze medals at 68kg.



BRONZE - Akhmed CHAKAEV (RUS) df. Andrei PERPELITSA (MDA), 8-5

GOLD - Abdulrashid SADULAEV (RUS) df. Nurmagomed GADZHIYEV (AZE) Injury
BRONZE - Aliaksandr HUSHTYN (BLR) df. Magomedgadji NUROV (MKD), 3-1
BRONZE - Elizbar ODIKADZE (GEO) df. Murazi MCHEDLIDZE (UKR), 5-0

Women's Wrestling

BRONZE - Nina HEMMER (GER) df. Zeynep YETGIL (TUR), 2-0
BRONZE - Stalvira ORSHUSH (RUS) df. Mercedesz DENES (HUN), 10-0

GOLD - Anastasija GRIGORJEVA (LAT) df. Anastasiia BRATCHIKOVA (RUS), 5-3

European Games

Olympic Champions Attract Gold, Attention at 2nd European Games in Minsk

By Tim Foley

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach and UWW President Nenad Lalovic, along with members of the UWW Bureau, take in the action at the European Games on Sunday in Minsk, Belarus.

MINSK, Belarus (July 1) – The second European Games attracted the best athletes from the continent, and nowhere was that clearer than the wrestling mats where a number of defending Olympic champions and medalists came to Minsk in search of a Euro Games gold.

Perhaps no star shone brighter than Olympic champion Abdulrashid SADUALEV (RUS) the defending 97kg world champion and 86kg Olympic champion from Rio 2016. Arguably the sport’s most recognizable name, the athletic Sadulaev cruised to a 97kg Europeans Games title on day three, upending Azerbaijan’s Nurmagomed GADZHIYEV (AZE).

In addition to their on-the-mat dominance, wrestling’s stars also attracted off-the-mat dignitaries. IOC president Thomas Bach was in attendance Sunday night as 2016 Olympic champion Artur ALEKSANYAN (ARM) lifted and tossed his way to his first European Games title at 97kg in Greco-Roman. The 27-year-old Armenian shut out local favorite Aliaksandr HRABOVIK (BLR) 5-0 in the gold-medal match.

Olympic bronze medalist, and recent mother, Sofia Mattsson, made a splash in her return to the mats winning her second European Games gold medal at 53kg in women’s wrestling, defeating Yulia KHAVALDZHY (UKR), 6-4.

Belarus experienced a brief gold rush on the competitions fourth day nabbing a pair of gold medals with Iryna KURACHKINA (BLR) upedned Mimi HRISTOVA (BUL), 10-0 at 57kg and Olympic bronze medalist Vasilisa MARZALIUK (BLR) dominated Francy RAEDELT (GER), 9-0 at 76kg.

The United World Wrestling calendar continues July 12-14 with the Yasar Dogu Ranking Series tournament in Istanbul. The tournament will be the last Ranking Series event of the year in freestyle and women’s wrestling.