Nitu Notches Win Over World Silver Medalist Zakharcheno, Makes 72kg Finals
Thursday, June 6, 2019 - 18:13 By Eric Olanowski
PONTEVEDRA, Spain (June 6) – Romania’s Maria NITU stunned defending junior world runner-up Evgeniia ZAKHARCHENKO (RUS), 9-8 in the semifinals and will take on two-time European champion Anastasiya ZIMIANKOVA (BLR) in Friday night’s 72kg gold-medal bout.
In the semifinals, Nitu surrendered the first takedown of the match, but never trailed after giving up that first takedown. Nitu scored back-to-back counter-offensive takedowns and grabbed the 4-2 lead. The Romanian gave up a stepout shortly before the first period ended and carried the 4-3 lead into the second period.
After the break, Nitu stopped another shot attempt from Zakharchenko and scored her third takedown of the bout, extending her lead to 6-3. Nitu’s lead was cut to a point after Zakharchenko scored her second takedown; but that was only short-lived, as Nitu’s fourth takedown extended her lead to 8-5.
The match got interesting with 15 seconds left when Nitu gave up a four-point inside trip and trailed 9-8. Shortly after awarding the four points, the referees came together and changed the call, giving two instead of the four. The change in points meant Nitu still had the 8-7 lead. A failed Russian challenge gave the Romanian her ninth point and the two-point lead.
Nitu back peddled and surrendered a stepout as time expired, but held on to the 9-8 upset victory.
Nitu will meet Belarus’ two-time European champion Anastasiya Zimiankova in the gold-medal match. The Romanian’s win stopped a rematch of the 2019 U23 European finals between Zimiankova and Zakharchenko, which was won by the Belarusian.
Zimiankova, who'll be making her fifth age-level European finals, reached the Friday night finals after head locking last year’s cadet European bronze medalist Anastasiya ALPYEYEVA (UKR) in the semifinals.
The Friday night finals begin at 18:00 (local time) and can be followed live on www.unitedworldwrestling.org.
GOLD - Zeynep YETGIL (TUR) vs. Mariia TIUMEREKOVA (RUS)
SEMIFINAL - Zeynep YETGIL (TUR) df. Emma MALMGREN (SWE), 7-2
SEMIFINAL - Mariia TIUMEREKOVA (RUS) df. Emma LUTTENAUER (FRA), 10-0
GOLD - Maryia HULIDA (BLR) vs. Alina AKOBIIA (UKR
SEMIFINAL - Maryia HULIDA (BLR) df. Gaëlle RUIZ (FRA), 6-1
SEMIFINAL - Alina AKOBIIA (UKR) df. Anastasiia SIDELNIKOVA (RUS), via fall
GOLD - Mariia LACHUGINA (RUS) vs. Irina RINGACI (MDA)
SEMIFINAL - Mariia LACHUGINA (RUS) df. Ramina MAMEDOVA (LAT), 10-0
SEMIFINAL - Irina RINGACI (MDA) df. Kateryna ZELENYKH (UKR), 6-2
GOLD - Wiktoria CHOLUJ (POL) vs. Anastasiia LAVRENCHUK (UKR)
SEMIFINAL - Wiktoria CHOLUJ (POL) df. Viktoria VESSO (EST), 10-3
SEMIFINAL - Anastasiia LAVRENCHUK (UKR) df. Noémi SZABADOS (HUN), 7-2
GOLD - Maria NITU (ROU) vs. Anastasiya ZIMIANKOVA (BLR)
SEMIFINAL - Maria NITU (ROU) df. Evgeniia ZAKHARCHENKO (RUS), 9-8
SEMIFINAL - Anastasiya ZIMIANKOVA (BLR) df. Anastasiya ALPYEYEVA (UKR), via fall