WATCH: #WrestleBudapest Women's Wrestling Finals
Saturday, April 2, 2022 - 10:06 By Eric Olanowski
BUDAPEST, Hungary (April 2) -- Yasemin ADAR (TUR) and Evin DEMIRHAN YAVUZ (TUR) led the Turkish women's team to the European title after winning golds as 76kg and 50kg, respectively. Adar grabbed her fifth continental title with a second-period match-deciding takedown against reigning European champion Epp MAE (EST), while Demirhan upset Miglena SELISHKA (BUL) in the 50kg finals.
Ukraine, led by Alina HRUSHYNA AKOBIIA (UKR) and Tetiana RIZHKO (UKR) gold-medal wins, finished in second place in the team race, five points behind Turkey. They won their golds at 57kg and 65kg, respectively.
Bulgaria closed out the competition with a third-place finish. Their lone champ was Taybe Mustafa YUSEIN (BUL), who picked up a ninth European medal and third gold with a 7-0 shutout win over Luisa NIEMESCH (GER) in the 62kg finals.
Here are all of their gold-medal finals, and the rest of the 2022 women's wrestling European finals from Budapest.
Turkey won its third-ever gold medal at the European Championships when Evin DEMIRHAN (TUR) pinned defending champion Miglena SELISHKA (BUL) in just a minute and 55 seconds.
The 26-year-old was caught off guard when Selishka went for a takedown at the beginning but in the same sequence, Demirhan overturned it and scored two for herself.
The former U23 world champion from Turkey continued to put pressure on Selishka and ultimately managed to keep the Bulgarian to her back and get the fall.
"I am very happy to win gold," Demirhan said. "This was the first time I wrestled my opponent [Selishka] and I can't believe it." Demirhan's coming-of-age performance was a testimony of how the 50kg wrestler has grown since winning the gold at the U23 Worlds five years ago.
"I beat all the opponents that I lost to in the past and this is my first gold at the senior level so I am very happy," she said.
53kg: Emma MALMGREN (SWE) df. Maria PREVOLARAKI (GRE), 3-2
Emma MALMGREN (SWE) defeated three-time Olympian Maria PREVOLARAKI (GRE), 3-2, to win the gold medal at 53kg.
The 20-year-old Malmgren trailed Prevolarki 2-2 at the break but she got a point for inactivity from Prevolaraki to lead 3-2 in the second period.
She defended that lead till the end to win Sweden's first gold at the senior European Championships after four years.
"It feels unreal for me to stand here," she said. "This has been a dream for me and I have worked so hard to stand here. So it feels good to walk home with the gold medal."
Malmgren had Yuliya RATKEVICH (AZE), who wrestled the Greek wrestler at the London Olympics, in her corner, and before the final, the two had a chat about how to tackle the veteran.
"We had a good plan before the match I just kept to it," she said. "She [Ratkevich] did tell me a lot of things about her and I am glad that they are here with me. Sofia [MATTSSON] on the phone. It came out very good."
Malmgren had a great tournament as she won her first bout 12-2 and the semifinal via fall. After a disappointing tournament in Istanbul where she was pinned, it came around well.
"I am satisfied with my wrestling over the two days," she said. "I was very disappointed after Istanbul and a little concerned. Now I am feeling very happy with the result. We have new coaches in Sweden and I will start working with them and continue going with them to camps around the world."
55kg: Andreea (ROU) df. Oleksandra KHOMENETS (UKR)
Ana becomes her nation's first-ever senior European champion in women's wrestling. Add to that the maiden U23 European gold she won two weeks ago in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
Ana defeated Ukraine's young superstar Oleksandra KHOMENETS (UKR), 7-5 in the 55kg with a thrilling buzzer-beating four-pointer. "
I think the gold in Belgrade helped me break the mental block I had in finals. That is why I had a lot of bronze and silver medals," Ana had said in Plovdiv.
Perhaps that helped her remain calm even when she was trailing by two points with just 11 seconds. Ana and Khomenets matched each move-for-move and it was only an inactivity point that separated the two. Ana led 1-0 at the break but soon increased the pace of the bout and scored a takedown 33 seconds into the second period.
Khomenetes also matched that and 39 seconds later and scored two takedowns inside 30 seconds to lead 4-3. She added a step-out and had a 5-3 lead with just 11 seconds remaining.
When it looked all over, Ana managed to blast a double-leg and score four points and end Romania's wait for a gold medal in women's wrestling at the senior event.
"I am feeling good and proud of myself," Ana said. "I have a lot of emotions and sensations and I am happy that it ended like this. I know she [Khomenets] is strong but my technique was better to win."
Alina Hrushyna Akobiia (UKR) claimed the first gold of the tournament for Ukraine and the chants of 'Ukarina, Ukarina' filled the Bok Sports Hall.
“I still can’t believe I’ve won the gold medal of the senior European championship," Akobiia said. "I’ve come through a tough way and a lot of people have helped me. But now, all of Ukraine has helped me. I am really happy."
Akobiia stunned Tokyo bronze medalist Evelina Nikolova (BUL) in the 57kg final to claim the first gold of the tournament for her country.
She was trailing 2-2 when Akobiia tripped Nikolova for four points with 39 seconds remaining. She won the final, 6-2.
This was Akobiia's first-ever gold medal at the senior championships and it could not have been more special, as she dedicated the medal to Ukraine.
"I want to dedicate my gold to my parents and to my motherland Ukraine. These are the closest things to me," she said.
59kg: Anastasia NICHITA (MDA) df. Jowita WRZESIEN (POL)
Anastasia NICHITA (MDA) becomes two-time senior European champion. Just two weeks ago, she had captured gold medals at the U23 European Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
In a bracket with only seven wrestlers, Nichita outscored her opponents 26-3 with two wins over Jowita WRZESIEN (POL). After beating the Poland wrestler in the opening round 4-2, Nichita repeated that performance in the final winning 4-1.
Wrzesien scored the opening takedown but Nichita answered with a takedown and led 2-1. The Poland World bronze medalist kept the former U23 world champion quiet for the first four minutes but then she switched levels in the final two minutes to win.
62kg: Taybe YUSEIN (BUL) df. Luisa NIEMESCH (GER), 7-2
Tokyo bronze medalist Taybe YUSEIN (BUL) managed to claim the gold with a comfortable 7-0 victory over Luisa NIEMESCH (GER). She kept the pressure on her German opponent and never looked in trouble.
"I was without the gold for two years at the European Championships," Yusein said. "It was good for me to come back and win the gold. My plan was to take advantage of my opponent's mistakes. It was a great bout."
Tetiana RIZHKO (UKR) df. Elis MANOLOVA (AZE), via fall
The second gold medal for the team went to Tetiana Rizhko (UKR) who pinned Tokyo Olympian Elis Manolova (AZE) inside two minutes to win her maiden senior European gold.
That medal from Rizhko sent another wave of emotional reactions not only in the Ukraine team but also in the stadium.
"It took me four days to reach Lviv, then we stayed there for three days because we couldn’t leave, then we came here to Hungary, we spent two weeks in a training camp," Rizhko said.
"The wrestling association helped us a lot, the national team coaches who organized this trip. We have two gold." Talking about her final, the Ukrainian said that she did not expect her to pin Manolova.
"I didn’t expect I would pin her so fast because the final was tough as there is high competition in my weight class," she said. "I am full of emotions. I am so glad we have such coaches and girls who came here with us."
Irina Ringaci (MDA) won her second senior European title. She was more dominant in the final against Pauline Lecarpentier (FRA) as hit a whizzer and then added three takedowns to win 10-0 in four minutes.
"One more gold medal in my collection," Ringaci said. "My opponents were well-prepared but my wrestling had proved who is the best."
Since moving to the Olympic weight class of 68kg, the junior and senior world champ has consistently improved. "The Olympics are coming so I have to move up to 68kg and be ready to wrestle in this category," she said.
"I am happy I’ve won as it was one of my dreams to become a senior European champion."
Anna SCHELL (GER) gave Germany its lone gold of the tournament as she pinned Buse TOSUN (TUR) at 72kg. The win was her second straight win over the Turkey wrestler and she will now be UWW's number one ranked wrestler at 72kg.
"It's the second final because in Istanbul I met her in the semifinal. Today was the second bout against her and it's great to win," Schell said.
Not only did she end Germany's 15-year wait for a women's wrestling gold at European Championships, but Schell also reached a personal landmark. The gold in Budapest was the first ever in her international career.
"It's amazing as I don't have a gold medal in international competition," Schell said.
Turkey won its maiden women's wrestling team title with 140 points while Ukraine finished second with 135 points. Bulgaria was third in the race.
76kg: Yasemin ADAR (TUR) df. Epp MAE (EST), 3-1
Yasemin Adar added a fifth gold medal to her collection of European gold medals after defeating long-time rival Epp MAE (EST) in the final.
"It's after two years I am wrestling at the Europeans and the first time since the Olympics," Adar said. "I was not in Warsaw. I am very happy to win five Euros."
The 3-1 win helped Adar maintain her perfect record over Mae. Adar has defeated the '21 World silver medalist in her previous three meetings, two of them coming at the continental level.
"I always tell the young girls on the team that follow your dreams," she said. "All five medals are the same. Only a gold medal can run with the flag on the mat and that's very important for me."