The day 3 of the European Wrestling Championships belonged to the Russian ladies as 3 of them made it to the finals. Olga Khoroshavtseva (55kg) and Khanum Velieva (68kg) and Ekaterina Bukina (76kg) all will be in the line for the gold medals on the Thursday night. Though Velieva registered easy semi-final victory in the 68kg over 2018 world champion Alla Cherkasova of Ukraine, both Olga and Bukina came back from almost brink of defeat to made it to the gold medal bouts. Reigning European champions Oksana Livach of Ukraine, Bilyana Dudova of Bulgarios and Yasemin Adar of Turkey also punched their tickets to Thursday night’s finals and will look to defend their continental crowns from last year.
76kg finals will feature Yasemin Adar of Turkey and Ekaterina BUKINA of Russia – Rio Olympic bronze medallist Bukina erased a five-point deficit against 2017 world silver medalist Vasilisa Marzaliuk of Belarus and will lace up in her fourth European gold-medal match. She was 0-3 in her previous three trips to the finals. Bukina in a rematch of the 2018 European finals will meet Adar of Turkey. Adar won three matches on Wednesday and made it to her fifth straight European finals. The four-time defending champion eked out a 5-4 win against third-ranked Aline Rotter Focken of Germany in her opening-round match. She followed that match up with a fall over Kamila Czeslawa Kulwicka of Poland and a 10-0 stomping of Pauline Lecarpentier of France.
Olga and Velieva shines for Russia – Olga Khorshavtseva laced her way to a 10-8 victory over Rio Olympic bronze medalist Sofia Mattsson of Sweden in the 55kg semi-finals. She’ll meet Solomiia Vynnyk of Ukraine, who edged Mariana Dragutan Moldova in the second last 4 match of 55kg category.
Khanum Velieva picked up arguably the biggest win of her young senior-level career and set up a battle with Italy’s unlikely European finalist, Dalma Caneva of Italy in 68kg category. The Russian three-time age-group world champion dominated the 2018 world champion Alla Cherkasova of Ukraine, 11-1, and locked up a finals berth in her first senior-level European appearance. She’ll square off with Italy’s Dalma Caneva in the 68kg gold-medal match. Caneva won two matches on Wednesday and closed her day out with a stunning 4-2 win over reigning world bronze medalist Anna Schell of Germany.
50kg gold medal fight between Livach vs Selishka
Livach won three matches on Wednesday and will square off against Miglena Selishka of Bulgaria in the 50kg finals. She started her day with a two-point win over seventh-ranked Evin Demirhan of Turkey. She also defeated Demirhan by two points at last year’s European Championships. Livach added a 12-2 technical superiority victory over Julie Martine Sabatie (FRA), setting up a semifinals match against U23 world silver medalist Milana Dadasheva of Russia. She survived the 17-point back-and-forth brawl against the Russian and will face off against Miglena Selishka (BUL) in the finals. Selishka stopped Kseniya Stankevich of Belarus, 10-6, in the semifinals and will meet Livach in a rematch of last year’s 50kg European finals.
In 59kg Bilyana DUDOVA (BUL) defeats Liubov OVCHAROVA (RUS), 5-5, in the dog-fight – Bulgaria’s Bilyana Dudova will wrestle rising star Anastasia NICHITA (MDA) for the 59kg gold medal. Dudova scored seven unanswered points in her semifinals match against reigning world silver medalist Liubov Ovcharova (RUS) and remained in line to defend her European title from last year. She was down 6-0 but scored seven straight points and will meet the young Moldavan who has been on a tear in Rome. Nichita, who’ll celebrate her 21st birthday next week, went 3-0 on Wednesday, picking up a fall and outscored her other two opponents 20-0 en route to the finals.
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GOLD – Miglena SELISHKA (BUL) vs. Oksana LIVACH (UKR)
SEMIFINAL – Miglena SELISHKA (BUL) df. Kseniya STANKEVICH (BLR), 10-6
SEMIFINAL – Oksana LIVACH (UKR) df. Milana DADASHEVA (RUS), 9-8
GOLD – Olga KHOROSHAVTSEVA (RUS) vs. Solomiia VYNNYK (UKR)
SEMIFINAL – Solomiia VYNNYK (UKR) df. Mariana DRAGUTAN (MDA), 9-8
SEMIFINAL – Olga KHOROSHAVTSEVA (RUS) df. Sofia MATTSSON (SWE), 10-8
GOLD – Bilyana DUDOVA (BUL) vs. Anastasia NICHITA (MDA)
SEMIFINAL – Bilyana DUDOVA (BUL) df. Liubov OVCHAROVA (RUS), 7-6
SEMIFINAL – Anastasia NICHITA (MDA) df. Laura MERTENS (GER), 10-0
GOLD – Khanum VELIEVA (RUS) and Dalma CANEVA (ITA)
SEMIFINAL – Dalma CANEVA (ITA) df. Anna SCHELL (GER), 4-2
SEMIFINAL – Khanum VELIEVA (RUS) df. Alla CHERKASOVA (UKR), 11-1
GOLD – Yasemin ADAR (TUR) vs. Ekaterina BUKINA (RUS)
SEMIFINAL – Yasemin ADAR (TUR) df. Pauline LECARPENTIER (FRA), 10-0
SEMIFINAL – Ekaterina BUKINA (RUS) df. Vasilisa MARZALIUK (BLR), 5-5