Adekuoroye, Bullen Notch Historic Wins in Women’s Wrestling at Golden Grand Prix Final

By William May

BAKU (November 25) – Two young women from Africa, Odunayo ADEKUOROYE (NGR) and Grace BULLEN (NOR), who arrived in Norway from Eritrea in 2001, both won their first major wrestling titles Friday with triumphs at 55kg and 58kg at the Golden Grand Prix Final in Baku.

Adekuoroye, a bronze medal winner at world championships in 2015, rolled up a 12-2 technical fall win over Irina MENKENOVA (RUS) while Bullen pinned Pan American silver medalist Yacquelin ESTORNELL (CUB) at 1:39 of the 58kg final.

Adkuoroye has won African titles in 2015 and 2016 and the Commonwealth Games crown in 2014, but Friday’s victory at Baku Sports Hall was her first at a Grand Prix event on the United World Wrestling calendar.

Bullen, meanwhile, won the gold medal at the Youth Olympic Games in 2014 and has won the European junior crown twice, but the GGP Final was her first senior-level title outside of the regional Nordic championships.

Bullen’s title was also the first major title for the Norwegian women since Maja ERLANDSEN (NOR) won the women’s 72kg title at the 2012 European championships in Belgrade.

Meanwhile, in the other six finals on Friday, world champions Oksana HERHEL (60kg) and Yulia TKACH (63kg) grabbed a pair of titles for Ukraine while Rio 2016 bronze medalist SUN Yanan (CHN) won the 48kg title and QIANDEGENCHAGAN Qiandegenchagan (CHN) stopped 2013 world champion ZHANG Fengliu (CHN), 3-1, in the evening’s finale at 75kg.

Herhel caught former Ukraine teammate Tetiana OMELCHENKO (AZE) in a headlock for a fall in the 60kg final while Tkach avenge a loss to XU Rui (CHN) in Rio de Janeiro by flipping the Asian championships bronze medalist to her back for the fall at 63kg.

Sun, meanwhile, toyed with two-time junior world champion Miho IGARASHI (JPN) for a 6-0 victory at 48kg. 

Despite Igarashi’s loss, the young Japanese squad secured a pair of titles as Momoka KADOYA (53kg) received an injury default from Asia champion PANG Qianyu (CHN) and three-time junior world champion Masako FURUICHI (69kg) rolled over challenger Tamyra MENSAH (USA), 11-4.

The Golden Grand Prix Final concludes Saturday with action in all eight Greco-Roman weight categories.

Results of the Gold and Bronze Medal Bouts on Friday

48kg (13 entries)

Gold – SUN Yanan (CHN) df. Miho IGARASHI (JPN), 6-0
Bronze – Valeriya CHEPSARAKOVA (RUS) df. Irina BORISSOVA (KAZ), 8-4
Bronze – Victoria ANTHONY (USA) df. Alina VUC (ROU) by TF, 11-0, 4:45

53kg (15 entries)

Gold – Momoka KADOYA (JPN) df. PANG Qianyu (CHN) by Injury Default, 0:00 (0-0)
Bronze – Anzhela DOROGAN (AZE) df. Samantha STEWART (CAN) by Fall, 4:15 (2-4)
Bronze – Natalia MALYSHEVA (RUS) df. Nina HEMMER (GER), 5-0

55kg (12 entries)

Gold – Odunayo ADEKUOROYE (NGR) df. Nina MENKENOVA (RUS) by TF, 12-2, 2:35
Bronze – Tetiana KIT (UKR) df. Aiym ABDILDINA (KAZ) by TF, 10-0, 5:45
Bronze – Alyona KOLESNIK (AZE) df. Shabnam AHMADOVA (AZE) by Fall, 1:33 (6-1)

58kg (8 entries)

Gold – Grace BULLEN (NOR) df. Yacquelin ESTORNELL (CUB) by Fall, 1:39 (2-2)  
Bronze – ZHOU Zhangting (CHN) df. Rim AYARI (TUN) by TF, 10-0, 1:13
Bronze – Veronika CHUMIKOVA (RUS) df. Chiho HAMADA (JPN), 7-2

60kg (9 entries)

Gold – Oksana HERHEL (UKR) v Tetiana OMELCHENKO (AZE) by Fall, 2:26 (4-1)
Bronze – Ayaka ITO (JPN) df. Lilia MEJRI (TUN) by TF, 10-0, 3:29
Bronze – HAN Yingyan (CHN) df. Madina BAKBERGENOVA (KAZ) by Injury Default, 0:01 (0-0)

63kg (16 entries)

Gold – Yulia TKACH (UKR) df. XU Rui (CHN) by Fall, 1:21 (2-0)
Bronze – Ayana GEMPEI (JPN) df. Elmira GAMBAROVA (AZE), 4-1
Bronze – Marianna SASTIN (HUN) df. RIM Jong-Sim (PRK) by TF, 10-0, 2:29

69kg (12 entries)

Gold – Masako FURUICHI (JPN) df. Tamyra MENSAH (USA), 11-4
Bronze – Anastasia BRATCHIKOVA (RUS) df. Alina MAKHINYA (UKR), 5-0
Bronze – Elmira SYZDYKOVA (KAZ) df. Elis MANOLOVA (AZE), 7-3

75kg (14 entries)

Gold – QIANDEGENCHAGAN Qiandegenchagan (CHN) df. ZHANG Fengliu (CHN), 3-1
Bronze – Irina KAZYULINA (KAZ) df. Anzhela KATAEVA (RUS) by Fall, 4:48 (5-0)
Bronze – Alena PEREPELKINA (RUS) df. Andrea OLAYA GUTIERREZ (COL) by TF, 10-0, 5:27