Petriashvili Stuns World Champ Akgul

By William May

RIGA (March 11) – Geno PETRIASHVILI (GEO) rallied past world champion Taha AKGUL (TUR) in one of the day’s opening bouts Friday and into the men’s freestyle super heavyweight final at the European wrestling championships.

Petriashvili, a bronze medal winner at last September’s world championships in Las Vegas, roared back from an 0-6 deficit in his opening bout at Arena Riga, scoring a takedown in the final seven seconds for an 8-8 victory on last-point criteria over Akgul.

Petriashvili will face Robert BARAN (POL), a bronze medalist at last year’s European under-23 championships, in the 125kg final, the finale of the freestyle tournament.

The men’s 70kg final also features a Georgia-Poland match-up as David TLASHADZE (GEO) meets up with Magomedmurad GADZHIEV (POL), a silver medalist at the inaugural European Games last June in Baku.

Tlashadze lost to Gadzhiev in the Games’ semifinals and finished in fifth place.

Meanwhile, Akgul, who had won the previous four continental titles, forfeited his repechage match to Daniel LIGETI (HUN) at 125kg and has reportedly been troubled with a pulled hamstring.

In the women’s events, 19-year-old European Games bronze medalist Grace BULLEN (NOR) powered her way into the 58kg final, where she meets fellow Baku bronze medal winner Natalya SINISHIN (AZE).

In the power-packed women’s light heavyweight division, European Games silver medalist Ilana KRATYSH (ISR) reversed a loss to Alina MAKHYNIA (UKR) in Baku with a 9-5 decision in the 69kg semifinals.

Kratysh, who has taken the silver medal in the last three continental contests, will face U23 champion Maria MAMASHUK (BLR) in the 69kg final. Mamashuk, needed a pair of late takedowns to defeat two-time European junior champion Buse TOSUN (TUR), 7-6, in the semifinals.

-- Results --

Men’s freestyle

70kg (19 entries)
Gold – David TLASHADZE (GEO) v Magomedmurad GADZHIEV (POL)
Bronze – Nikolay KURTEV (BUL) v Adrian MOISE (ROU)
Bronze – Zaurbek SIDAKOV (RUS) v Azamat NURIKOV (BLR)
Semifinal – David TLASHADZE (GEO) df. Adrian MOISE (ROU), 8-4
Semifinal – Magomedmurad GADZHIEV (POL) df. Azamat NURIKOV (BLR), 9-8

125kg (15 entries)

Bronze – Lyuben ILIEV (BUL) v Aleksey NIKOLAEV (BLR)
Bronze – Daniel LIGETI (HUN) v Alen ZASEEV (UKR)
Semifinal – Robert BARAN (POL) df. Aleksey NIKOLAEV (BLR), 6-2
Semifinal – Geno PETRIASHVILI (GEO) df Alen ZASEEV (UKR), 9-6

Women’s Wrestling

58kg (16 entries)
Gold – Natalya SINISHIN (AZE) v Grace BULLEN (NOR)
Bronze – Anna VASILENKO (UKR) v Elin NILSSON (SWE)
Bronze – Mimi HRISTOVA (BUL) v Luisa NIEMISCH (GER)

Semifinal – Natalya SINISHIN (AZE) df. Elin NILSSON (SWE) by TF, 12-2, 5:01
Semifinal – Grace BULLEN (NOR) df. Luisa NIEMISCH (GER), 6-3

69kg (14 entries)
Gold – Maria MAMASHUK (BLR) v Ilana KRATYSH (ISR)
Bronze – Signe Marie STORE (NOR) v Buse TOSUN (TUR)
Bronze – Adina POPESCU (ROU) v Alina MAKHYNIA (UKR)

Semifinal – Maria MAMASHUK (BLR) df. Buse TOSUN (TUR), 7-6
Semifinal – Ilana KRATYSH (ISR) df. Alina MAKHYNIA (UKR), 9-5