Wednesday's First Session Brings Fireworks at 57kg, Susaki Cruises

By Andrew Hipps

BUDAPEST, Hungary (October 24) -- It didn't take long for the fireworks to start in Wednesday's first session at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

In one of the first women's wrestling qualification matches of the session, Alyona KOLESNIK (AZE) stunned reigning world and Olympic champion Helen MAROULIS (USA) at 57kg, earning a second-period fall.

Kolesnik held a narrow 2-2 lead on criteria early in the second period when Maroulis shot a single leg, which was stopped. Maroulis immediately followed up another attack, which Kolesnik stuffed and ran the American over for the fall. 

Maroulis, who did not surrender a point at last year's World Championships in Paris, was eliminated from the tournament when Kolesnik lost by technical fall (10-0) to Ningning RONG (CHN) in her next match. Maroulis has seen limited action this year due to a head injury.

Maroulis' loss was not the only surprising result at 57kg. Odunayo ADEKUOROYE (NGR), a returning world silver medalist at 55kg, fell to Pooja DHANDA (IND) 7-6 prior to the quarterfinal round. Adekuoroye led 6-5 with 10 seconds remaining before getting taken down in the closing seconds to lose the match. 

In the 57kg quarterfinals, Grace BULLEN (NOR) held on to edge In Sun JONG (PRK) 3-3 on criteria. She now faces Ningning RONG (CHN), who won by fall over Dhanda in the quarterfinals. The other semifinal match at 57kg pits two-time world bronze medalist Emese BARKA (HUN) against Bilyana Zhivkova DUDOVA (BUL). 

Reigning world champion Yui SUSAKI (JPN) was dominant in her first two matches at 50kg. She opened with the same wrestler she faced in the finals of last year's World Championships, Emilia VUC (ROU). Susaki scored a four-point takedown a minute into the match and a short time later drove Vuc over for the fall. Susaki continued her dominance in the quarterfinals as she won by technical fall (11-0) over Ritu RITU (IND). She scored three takedowns in the first period to lead 6-0 at the break and then closed the match with a four-point takedown in the final period. It sets up a semifinal meeting with three-time junior world bronze medalist Oksana LIVACH (UKR).

Mariya STADNIK (AZE), a past world champion and multiple-time Olympic medalist, secured a spot in the semifinals at 50kg with a 10-0 technical fall over Yanan SUN (CHN). Stadnik now faces world bronze medalist Sonhyang KIM (PRK).

In the 62kg quarterfinals, Yuliia TKACH OSTAPCHUK (UKR) gave up the first takedown to Johanna MATTSSON (SWE) before coming back to pick up a fall and earn a spot in the semifinals. It was a battle of returning world medalists as Tkach won silver in Paris and Mattsson claimed a bronze. Her quarterfinals opponent will be Yukako KAWAI (JPN). Kawai trailed Sakshi MALIK (IND) after the opening period in the quarterfinals, but came out strong in the second period and rolled to a 16-2 technical fall. 

Four-time world medalist Taybe YUSEIN (BUL) handled Lais NUNES DE OLIVEIRA (BRA) 7-1 in the quarterfinals at 62kg. Yusein now meets Mallory VELTE (USA) in the semifinals. 

Returning world champion Haruna OKUNO (JPN) punched her ticket to the 53kg semifinals with a 9-1 victory over Maria PREVOLARAKI (GRE). Her semifinals opponent will be Katarzyna KRAWCZYK (POL). 

Sarah HILDEBRANDT (USA) joined teammate Velte as a semifinalist. She claimed a 15-9 victory over Anzhela DOROGAN (AZE). Hildebrandt will now meet Diana WEICKER (CAN), who came back to defeat Nina HEMMER (GER) 10-7. 

The semifinal matches are scheduled to begin at 4:45 p.m. local time. 

Semifinal Matchups

Women's Wrestling

Yui SUSAKI (JPN) vs. Oksana LIVACH (UKR) 
Sonhyang KIM (PRK) vs. Mariya STADNIK (AZE)

Sarah HILDEBRANDT (USA) vs. Diana Mary Helen WEICKER (CAN)
Haruna OKUNO (JPN) vs. Katarzyna KRAWCZYK (POL) 

Bilyana Zhivkova DUDOVA (BUL) vs. Emese BARKA (HUN) 
Grace Jacob BULLEN (NOR) vs. Ningning RONG (CHN)

Mallory VELTE (USA) vs. Taybe YUSEIN (BUL)


Russia Sweeps Greco Gold Medals on Final Day of World Championships

By Andrew Hipps

BUDAPEST, Hungary (October 28) -- Russia put the finishing touches on a world team title in Greco-Roman by sweeping the gold medals on the final day of the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. 

Aleksandr CHEKHIRKIN (77kg), Musa EVLOEV (97kg) and Sergey SEMENOV (130kg) came through to win gold medals in Greco-Roman for Russia on Sunday.

Russia finished with 178 team points in Greco-Roman, 89 points ahead of runner-up Hungary (89). Turkey finished third in the team standings with 75 points. 

Chekhirkin captured his gold medal by defeating crowd favorite Tamas LORINCZ (HUN) 3-1 in the gold-medal match at 77kg. The Russian led 1-1 on criteria after the opening period and added to his lead in the second period off a passivity and then scored a late step out to win by two. 

Evloev upgraded his world medal from silver to gold as he topped Kiril MILOV (BUL) 7-2 in the gold-medal match at 97kg. The Bulgarian scored the first point of the match off a passivity, but Evloev dominated the rest of the way. He came back with a takedown to lead 2-1 at the break. After extending his lead to 3-1, the 25-year-old Russian used a side lift to execute a four-point throw to extend his lead. 

Semenov dominated Adam COON (USA) 9-0 in the gold-medal match at 130kg. The 23-year-old Russian heavyweight used two four-point throws to cruise to the technical fall victory. Semenov was a gold medalist at the U23 World Championships last year and won two world gold medals as a junior. 

The bronze medals at 77kg were won by world champions Hyeonwoo KIM (KOR) and Viktor NEMES (SRB)

Kim, a multiple-time Olympic medalist, picked up a 3-1 win over Bilan NALGIEV (UZB). The Korean scored a two-point throw in the first period, which proved to be the difference in the match. 

Nemes won his second straight world medal by defeating Alex KESSIDIS (SWE) 6-2 for bronze. The Serb held a 2-2 criteria lead after the opening period and tacked on four more points in the second period.

In the first bronze-medal match at 97kg, Mihail KAJALA (SRB) won his first world medal and denied Balazs KISS (HUN) a fourth world medal. Kiss seemed to be in control early after scoring off a passivity and adding a takedown to grab a 3-0 lead at the break. But Kajala used a four-point arm throw to grab the lead midway through the second period and hung on to win on criteria, 4-4. 

Mahdi ALIYARIFEIZABADI (IRI) won the other 97kg bronze medal by forfeit.

At 130kg, Oscar PINO HINDS (CUB) won his second straight world bronze medal with a 3-1 victory over Heiki NABI (EST). Pino Hinds scored his first point off a passivity. Nabi grabbed the lead in the second period after getting a passivity point of his own. But the Cuban would add another passivity point along with a point for a failed challenge to win by two. 

Minseok KIM (KOR), a past junior world bronze medalist, claimed his first senior world medal as he hung on to defeat Eduard POPP (GER) 2-1 in the second bronze-medal match at 130kg. Kim scored a two-point exposure in the first period, which was enough to get him the victory. 

Final Results


GOLD: Aleksandr CHEKHIRKIN (RUS) df. Tamas LORINCZ (HUN) by VPO1, 3-1
BRONZE: Hyeonwoo KIM (KOR) df. Bilan NALGIEV (UZB) by VPO1, 3-1

GOLD: Musa EVLOEV (RUS) df. Kiril MILOV (BUL) by VPO1, 7-2
BRONZE: Mihail KAJALA (SRB) df. Balazs KISS (HUN) df. VPO1, 4-4

GOLD: Sergey SEMENOV (RUS) df. Adam COON (USA) by VSU, 9-0
BRONZE: Minseok KIM (KOR) df. Eduard POPP (GER) by VPO1, 2-1
BRONZE: Oscar PINO HINDS (CUB) df. Heiki NABI (EST) by VPO1, 3-1