World Champ Tynybekova Captures Title in Dominant Fashion

By Andrew Hipps

Day 4 Photos
Interview with Maria PREVOLARAKI (GRE)
Interview with Iryna KURACHKINA (BLR)

BELGRADE, Serbia (December 15) -- World champion Aisuluu TYNYBEKOVA (KGZ) made it look easy in Belgrade, Serbia, winning the gold medal at the Individual World Cup with four consecutive dominant victories over two days, outscoring her opponents 47-2, capped off by a 14-0 technical superiority in the 62kg final on Tuesday night.

Tynybekova wasted little time scoring in her final against three-time European champion Anastasija GRIGORJEVA (LAT). The 27-year-old Kyrgyzstani women's wrestler shot a double leg and scored four points early in the match to go up 4-0. She built her lead to 9-0 after two more takedowns and a step out. Needing just one point to finish the match, Tynybekova shot a double leg and lifted Grigorjeva off her feet before bringing her to the mat for a five-point move to put an exclamation point on the match. 

All five women's wrestling champions crowned Tuesday came from different nations. 

Ekaterina POLESHCHUK (RUS) won by technical superiority in the 50kg final (Photo: Gabor MARTIN, UWW)

World bronze medalist Ekaterina POLESHCHUK (RUS) claimed the gold medal at 50kg with a 10-0 technical superiority over Liliia MALANCHUK (UKR). Poleshchuk picked up an early takedown before locking up a gut wrench and turning the Ukrainian four times to finish the match in the first period. 

Maria PREVOLARAKI (GRE) took the title at 53kg with a 5-1 victory (Photo: Gabor MARTIN, UWW)

Maria PREVOLARAKI (GRE) used a big second period to help her earn a 5-1 win over Roksana ZASINA (POL) in the 53kg final. The two wrestlers traded passivity points, with Zasina scoring the second one in the final period to take the criteria lead. Midway through the second period, Prevolaraki hit a four-point throw to go up by four, which was enough to earn the victory.

Iryna KURACHKINA (BLR) shut out Annika WENDLE (GER) in the 55kg final (Photo: Gabor MARTIN, UWW)

Iryna KURACHKINA (BLR) cruised to a decisive 9-0 shutout over Annika WENDLE (GER) to claim gold at 55kg. Kurachkina scored two takedowns in the first period to lead 4-0 at the break. She added a third takedown early in the second period before countering an attack from Wendle for a two-point exposure and adding a point off a step out. 

Yuliana YANEVA (BUL) celebrates after earning the title at 72kg (Photo: Gabor MARTIN, UWW)

Yuliana YANEVA (BUL) won the gold medal at 72kg with a 5-2 victory over Buse TOSUN (TUR). Yaneva scored her first point off the activity clock before picking up two takedowns to lead 5-0 at the break. Tousun would get on the scoreboard in the second period with two step outs, but the Bulgarian would earn the victory. 

Russia finished with four medals on Tuesday. In addition to Poleshchuk's gold at 50kg, three Russian women earned bronze medals: Anzhelika VETOSHKINA (53kg), Olga KHOROSHAVTSEVA (55kg) and Liubov OVCHAROVA (62kg).

Ukraine earned a pair of bronze medals from Ilona PROKOPEVNIUK (62kg) and Alla BELINSKA (72kg). 

Miglena SELISHKA (BUL) and Lisa ERSEL (GER) won the bronze medals at 50kg.

Also winning bronze medals on Tuesday were Zalina SIDAKOVA (BLR) at 53kg, Katarzyna KRAWCZYK (POL) at 55kg and Zsuzsanna MOLNAR (SVK) at 72kg.

Women's Wrestling Medal Match Results

GOLD: Ekaterina POLESHCHUK (RUS) df. Liliia MALANCHUK (UKR) by VSU, 10-0
BRONZE: Miglena SELISHKA (BUL) df. Evin DEMIRHAN (TUR) by VSU1, 13-2
BRONZE: Lisa ERSEL (GER) df. Gloria Estefanny ASCA VILCAPOMA (PER) by VSU, 10-0

GOLD: Maria PREVOLARAKI (GRE) df. Roksana Marta ZASINA (POL) by VPO1, 5-1
BRONZE: Anzhelika VETOSHKINA (RUS) df. Nina HEMMER (GER) by VPO1, 12-4
BRONZE: Zalina SIDAKOVA (BLR) df. Zeynep YETGIL (TUR) by VPO, 3-0

GOLD: Iryna KURACHKINA (BLR) df. Annika WENDLE (GER) by VPO, 9-0
BRONZE: Katarzyna KRAWCZYK (POL) df. Mariana DRAGUTAN (MDA) by VPO, 7-0

GOLD: Aisuluu TYNYBEKOVA (KGZ) df. Anastasija GRIGORJEVA (LAT) by VFA, 14-0
BRONZE: Liubov OVCHAROVA (RUS) df. Kriszta Tunde INCZE (ROU) by VPO1, 1-1
BRONZE: Ilona PROKOPEVNIUK (UKR) df. Luisa Helga Gerda NIEMESCH (GER) by VPO1, 3-1

GOLD: Yuliana Vasileva YANEVA (BUL) df. Buse TOSUN (TUR) by VPO1, 5-2
BRONZE: Zsuzsanna MOLNAR (SVK) df. Luz Clara VAZQUEZ (ARG) by VFA, 2-2


Wrestling scores big at World C'ships with 706 percent jump in engagements

By United World Wrestling Press

CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY, Switzerland (October 4) -- Wrestling scored big both on and off the mat during this year’s UWW World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, recording a staggering growth in viewership and engagement numbers digitally. Fans watched twenty-seven million minutes, close to 10 million page views on the mobile app, and a massive 706 percent jump in social media engagements in the last year.

The 2022 edition of the UWW’s flagship event, held September 10-18 was the first digitally-focussed World Championships. Special emphasis was laid on providing a high-quality fan experience that was easy to navigate and, at the same time, engaging to follow on the website, app, and various social media platforms. And the athleticism of the wrestlers drove the digital consumption, with wrestling recording impressive numbers across all platforms.

"The latest numbers from the World Championships show the importance of digitalization and with the current times, UWW is moving into the digital era," Nenad LALOVIC, UWW President, said. "The growth is reflected by the increased engagement across UWW’s new digital platforms and social media channels. This year's World Championships and the millions of fans who watched, interacted, or helped us grow, have laid the foundation for expanding the federation's digital potential."

Be it the UWW website, mobile app, the new streaming hub, or social media platforms such as TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, wrestling showed impressive year-on-year growth compared to last year’s World Championship on different metrics, such as social media growth, total views, total minutes and time spent on the web.

“We made the digital jump during these World Championships and the results validated our initial projections that now was the time more than ever to invest into a more robust digital experience across UWW platforms,” Gordon Templeman, UWW Commercial and Communications Director said. “There was tremendous benefit from a consolidation of tools that are more interconnected than ever before. We made an initial push in a short period of time and are optimistic for continued growth.”

Key highlights from the data analysis are:

* 27 million minutes were watched during the World Championship on the new video streaming hub, which gave the fans control of the viewing experience due to its multi-view option;

* The new UWW mobile app received 9.77 million page views and an average of 13 minutes and 46 seconds per session were spent, which is roughly equivalent to one bout. The high numbers meant the app topped the sports categories in app stores in key UWW markets;

* The total social media engagements surpassed 6.2 million in September, up by 706 percent since the 2021 World Championships.

Apart from these, the average time spent on the website grew by 41 percent to seven minutes, and the total page views across the website and mobile app were recorded at close to 19 million.

"Data is key to delivering digital experiences that fans want," Hisham Shehabi, COO, N3XT Sports, said. "Therefore, a diverse digital ecosystem helps augment fan intelligence capability. With 500 social media posts, millions in streaming viewership, and increased overall engagement, UWW's ability to customize the user experience has grown."

The massive growth is a direct consequence of the path-breaking steps taken by the UWW in the last few years under the leadership of President Lalovic. The UWW has identified and prioritized digital transformation as one of the five pillars for its 2022-2026 Strategic Plan, which was presented and approved at the 2021 UWW Congress.

UWW has taken several steps aimed at improving the fan experience and increasing the value to its partners to become future-proof and modernize further. A new mobile app was launched along with a video hub, which offered features like the multi-functionality view during the live streaming. This is one of the best examples of fan-led design and development as this was in direct response to the fans’ behavior while streaming.

“We focused our efforts on digital tools that would improve the competition for our fans and those at the competition. Launching an App, developing a video hub and putting in motion an audience database was a challenge, but the World Championships were too big of an opportunity not to start in this new digital direction,” said Sebastien Guenat, UWW Director of IT.

The 2022 World Championships also helped the UWW to establish itself as a true media and entertainment content house, creating more than 500 posts during the World Championships for use across its channels.

All these initiatives have helped the UWW establish a direct relationship with the fans and expand the digital footprint, as evident from the latest figures.