Russia Puts All 3 Women Into Semis; Renteria's Quest for More Olympic Glory Ends
Friday, May 7, 2021 - 13:22 By Ken Marantz
SOFIA, Bulgaria (May 7) -- A day after Russia assured it would send a full men's freestyle team to the Tokyo Olympics, the women have a chance to do the same with a task three times as hard.
All three Russian women advanced to the semifinals at the final world Olympic qualifying tournament on Friday in Sofia, Bulgaria, putting them one win away from securing berths at the Tokyo Games.
For two-time Olympic bronze medalist Jackeline RENTERIA (COL), the door to another Olympics was slammed shut when she fell 7-2 in the second round at 62kg to Kriszta INCZE (ROU).
Should Olga KHOROSHAVTSEVA (RUS) at 53kg, Veronika CHUMIKOVA (RUS) at 57kg and Liubov OVCHAROVA (RUS) at 62kg be successful in the night session at the Arena Armeec Sport Hall, it will allow Russia to join Olympic host Japan, China and the United States as countries entered in all six women's weight classes in Tokyo.
Mongolia also has a chance to become a member of that elite group after Bolortuya KHURELKHUU (MGL) made it to the last four at 62kg, and did it in dramatic fashion.
Khurelkhuu was trailing 6-1 against Nathaly GRIMAN (VEN) with 1:14 left in their quarterfinal match when she used an arm drag to get behind, then levered her opponent over with a chicken wing to record a fall.
In the semifinal, Khurelkhuu will face Veranika IVANOVA (BLR), who stormed to an 11-0 technical fall over Mariana CHERDIVARA (MDA).
The other semifinal will pit Ovcharova, the 2019 world silver medalist at 59kg, against Luisa NIEMESCH (GER), who forced a stepout with :11 left to upend Berthe ETANE (CMR) 2-2 in the quarterfinals.
Ovcharova advanced with a victory by fall over Incze, this year's European bronze medalist at 65kg who couldn't replicate her giant-killing ways.
On Thursday, the Russian men completed the Olympic set in freestyle by filling the lone hole in the lineup at 125kg. The women came to Sofia with three places to fill, and their entrants have stepped up so far to the challenge.
Facing arguably the toughest task will be Chumikova at 57kg, as she has to face Grace BULLEN (NOR), who has been completely dominant in her quest to become just the second Norwegian woman in history to qualify for the Olympics.
Bullen, the 2020 European gold medalist and 2018 world U23 champion, opened her run by tearing apart Linda MORAIS (CAN), the 2019 world champion at 59kg. She then followed that with a 10-0 rout of 2020 European bronze medalist Sara LINDBORG (SWE).
Chumikova, this year's European silver medalist at 59kg, followed a technical fall with a 7-2 victory in the quarterfinals over 2019 European champion Emese BARKA (HUN).
"What can I say, today was great. I wrestled good," Chumikova said.
In the other 57kg semifinal, Giullia OLIVEIRA (BRA) will take on Mathilde RIVIERE (FRA). Oliveira advanced with a 16-5 technical fall over Nuraida ANARKULOVA (KGZ), while Riviere won her opening match 5-0 then received a bye in the semis because of a double forfeit in the other half of her quarterfinal bracket.
"I am very happy with my performance today and I really believe that all the work I have done until now will give me the result that I have always dreamed for," Oliveira said. "I have really wanted to go to the Olympics since I was a kid."
While Russia was putting three wrestlers into the quarterfinals, Venezuela, which has no places yet at Tokyo, became the only other country with more than one, with Betzabeth ARGUELLO (VEN) advancing at 53kg and Maria ACOSTA (VEN) at 76kg. Nineteen other countries have a single semifinalist.
Arguello defeated Sezen BELBEROVA (BUL) by fall to set up the showdown with Khoroshavtseva, who shrugged off giving up an early 4-point move before securing a lace lock and rolling to a 15-4 technical fall over Zeynep YETGIL (TUR).
The other 53kg semifinal will pit Samantha STEWART (CAN) against Andreea ANA (ROU).
Stewart, a bronze medalist at the Matteo Pellicone tournament earlier this year, chalked up a pair of technical falls, the second over Hilary HONORINE (FRA) to advance to the semifinals.
"Today has been really good and I am excited for this opportunity," Stewart said. "I have been training really hard for this. I am very focused on the next bout and I am planning like one takedown at the a time."
At 76kg, Acosta's path to Tokyo is currently blocked by Alla BELINSKA (UKR), the European champion at 72kg who will be aiming to give Ukraine a fifth women's berth. Acosta advanced with a 7-2 win over Patrycja SPERKA (POL), while Belinska topped Catalina AXENTE (ROU) 5-0.
Yasemin ADAR (TUR), the 2020 European silver medalist and 2019 champion, pinned 2019 world U23 and junior champion Milaimys MARIN (CUB) to make the other 76kg semifinal, where she will face Martina KUENZ (AUT), a 4-1 winner over Zsanett NEMETH (HUN).
That will be a rematch of their clash in the quarterfinals at the European Olympic qualifier in Budapest, which Kuenz won by fall after leading 9-5. That avenged two previous losses to Adar.
"I am here for the ticket and in the end it doesn't matter how I win the matches as long as I win them," Kuenz said. "Now I am wrestling in the Tokyo qualifying match. I am ready for it. Same thing, as long as I keep winning, I will be happy."
Kuenz said she does not feel pressure. "My mentality is my strength so I am just excited to fight again against the Turkish girl," she said. "In the last bout at European qualifier I won the match, and I am sure she is not excited about wrestling against me."
At 68kg, Rio 2016 Olympian Adela HANZLICKOVA (CZE) has a chance to become the lone wrestler in Tokyo from her country when she faces 2020 European champion Mimi HRISTOVA (BUL).
Hanzlickova defeated Danute DOMIKAITYTE (LTU) 8-0, while Hristova followed an opening match fall with a 12-2 technical fall over Nisha DAHIYA (IND).
"I was nervous before my matches because this finger [left index] was injured before," Hanzlickova said. "And before the quarterfinal, I injured another one. I was nervous because of that.
"But right before the matches I felt good and confident and it went well. The quarterfinal was tough, but I was in control so I was able to win."
India will get a chance to pick up a fourth Olympic women's spot when Seema BISLA (IND) faces Anna LUKASIAK (POL) in the 50kg semifinals in a clash of continental bronze medalists.
The other berth will go to the winner between Lucia YEPEZ (ECU) and Patricia BERMUDEZ (ARG).
Day 2 Results
Anna LUKASIAK (POL) vs Seema BISLA (IND)
Lucia YEPEZ (ECU) vs Patricia BERMUDEZ (ARG)
Seema BISLA (IND) df. Emma MALMGREN (SWE) by Fall, 5:16 (10-2)
Patricia BERMUDEZ (ARG) df. Mariana DRAGUTAN (MDA) by TF, 11-0, 4:22
Anna LUKASIAK (POL) df. Dauletbike YAKHSHIMURATOVA (UZB), 2-0
Lucia YEPEZ (ECU) df. Julie SABATIE (FRA), 4-2
Andreea ANA (ROU) vs Samantha STEWART (CAN)
Betzabeth ARGUELLO (VEN) vs Olga KHOROSHAVTSEVA (RUS)
Samantha STEWART (CAN) df. Hilary HONORINE (FRA) by TF, 10-0, 2:49
Olga KHOROSHAVTSEVA (RUS) df. Zeynep YETGIL (TUR) by TF, 15-4, 3:32
Andreea ANA (ROU) df. Luisa VALVERDE (ECU), 7-0
Betzabeth ARGUELLO (VEN) df. Sezen BELBEROVA (BUL) by Fall, 4:21 (6-1)
Giullia OLIVEIRA (BRA) vs Mathilde RIVIERE (FRA)
Veronika CHUMIKOVA (RUS) vs Grace BULLEN (NOR)
Grace BULLEN (NOR) df. Sara LINDBORG (SWE) by TF, 10-0, 3:51
Giullia OLIVEIRA (BRA) df. Nuraida ANARKULOVA (KGZ) by TF, 16-5, 4:36
Veronika CHUMIKOVA (RUS) df. Emese BARKA (HUN), 7-2
Mathilde RIVIERE (FRA) won by default
Veranika IVANOVA (BLR) vs Bolortuya KHURELKHUU (MGL)
Liubov OVCHAROVA (RUS) vs Luisa NIEMESCH (GER)
Bolortuya KHURELKHUU (MGL) df. Nathaly GRIMAN (VEN) by Fall, 5:03 (5-6)
Luisa NIEMESCH (GER) df. Berthe ETANE (CMR), 2-2
Veranika IVANOVA (BLR) df. Mariana CHERDIVARA (MDA) by TF, 11-0, 1:57
Liubov OVCHAROVA (RUS) df. Kriszta INCZE (ROU) by Fall, 3:17 (6-0)
Zhamila BAKBERGENOVA (KAZ) vs Elis MANOLOVA (AZE)
Mimi HRISTOVA (BUL) vs Adela HANZLICKOVA (CZE)
Mimi HRISTOVA (BUL) df. Nisha DAHIYA (IND) by TF, 12-2, 2:13
Elis MANOLOVA (AZE) df. Luz VAZQUEZ (ARG), 2-2
Adela HANZLICKOVA (CZE) df. Danute DOMIKAITYTE (LTU), 8-0
Zhamila BAKBERGENOVA (KAZ) df. Dalma CANEVA (ITA) by TF, 10-0, 3:42
Yasemin ADAR (TUR) vs Martina KUENZ (AUT)
Maria ACOSTA (VEN) vs Alla BELINSKA (UKR)
Alla BELINSKA (UKR) df. Catalina AXENTE (ROU), 5-0
Yasemin ADAR (TUR) df. Milaimys MARIN (CUB) by Fall, 1:40 (2-0)
Maria ACOSTA (VEN) df. Patrycja SPERKA (POL), 7-2
Martina KUENZ (AUT) df. Zsanett NEMETH (HUN), 4-1