The home crowd showed up on the fourth day of competition in Budapest to support their fast-improving women’s team. If they were hoping for an impressive show of strength by their home team, they certainly weren’t disappointed.
In the first match of the final session, Emese Barka got the home crowd cheering and chanting with her first period fall over Mimi Nikolova Hristova of Bulgaria. But it was the second match of the finals that nudged the already jovial crowd to the edge of a riot.
Marianna Sastin wrestled for Hungary’s first gold medal in 59kg women’s wrestling against Taybe Yusein of Bulgaria, and after being down 2-2 on criteria with only 30 seconds left nailed back-to-back three-point moves to put an exclamation mark on her home country’s first gold medal in women’s wrestling.
“I am a big fighter, so I always chase my opponent,” said Sastin. “My conditioning has always been good and I realized that my opponent was getting tired toward the end of the match. Thanks to my coach and husband, Akos, and the fans, parents, friends, and many people from the village Level where I live!” Barka, was also supported by the home crowd and told reporters, “I have been working a lot for this medal, I had a successful preparation before the world championship and my story is now perfect!”
“It was fun here competing in my home country,” said Barka. “Thanks for the fantastic Hungarian fans.”
Saori Yoshida Adds to Her Record
Saori Yoshida extended her historic World Championship run on Thursday winning her 14th-straight world title, now two ahead of the previous record of 12-straight world titles, held by Alexander Karelin. Yoshida beat Sofia Mattsson 5-0 in the finals, but it was dominating, 7-0 win over Valeria Kublova which was most impressive. Kublova was the last wrestler to beat Yoshida, earning a win at the 2012 World Cup. Yoshida avenged that loss at the 2012 Olympics and again in the second round of the World Championships. “I am extremely happy, but there is no time for rest,” said Yoshida. “I am working hard in the next years as well because I would like to win my fourth gold medal in Rio.”
Most Beautiful Hungarian Female Wrestler
To help popularize support for female wrestling in Hungary, the local organizing committee began a three-month campaign to find the “Most Beautiful Hungarian Female Wrestler.” The Facebook-driven campaign generated more than 20k votes on the site Magyarbirkozas.Hu. The winner, Rural Nikoletta, was handed a tiara by FILA president Nenad Lalovic. Second place went to Pecs Alexandra and third to Andrea Rivasc.
Kaori Icho Wins Again
Not to be outdone by her teammate and friend, Saori Yoshida, Japan’s second-most decorated wrestler of all-time, Kaori Icho registered an impressive, 7-0 technical fall over 2010 World Champion, Battsetseg of Mongolia to win her 8th world title. Icho, who is a three-time Olympic champion, beat Jackeline Renteria (COL) 10-3 in the semifinals, and was barely challenged over the course of her four matches. “Although I have become the world champion once again, I am not fully satisfied,” said Icho. “I have not yet gotten the most out of myself.”
Japan Out to Dominating Team Lead
With three gold medals after the first five weights, Japan is on track to regain the team title that they lost to China in 2012. Mongolia is in second place with two silver medals and a bronze, followed by China with one gold and one bronze.
Stadnick Family Gold In-Law
Vladimir Stadnick’s sons know how to marry well. The wrestling club coach from the Ukraine has two boys who’ve each married female wrestlers who happen to become World Champions. One of his sons married 2009 World Champion Mariya Stadnick (48kg) who wrestled for Azerbaijan, while the other son married Friday’s 67kg World Champion Alina Stadnick-Makhina. The winning ways also applies to his birth daughter, Yana Stadnick, who was a European silver medalist in 2013 wrestling for Great Britain.
The aforementioned 2013 World Champion Alina Stadnick-Makhina thanked her coaches for the preparation leading into Friday’s victory. “I was optimistic before the competition, my coach helped me in everything and said I was ready for the World Championships,” said Stadnick-Makhina. “The final was physically alright for me, though mentally it was a bit more difficult.”
First Gold for DPR Korea
Won Choi Yun of DPR Korea beat Gyujin Choi of Korea 4-3 in the finals to become the 55kg World Champion. It was the first world title for DPR Korea in Greco-Roman wrestling. Yun, who placed fifth in the world’s a year ago, and was a bronze medalist in the Asian Championships said, “I am extremely happy! This is the best result of my career!” Yun confirmed his elation on the mat when he hit a standing backflip for the appreciative Hungarian crowd.
Women’s Team Race Creates Drama
Japan owned a three-point lead over Mongolia heading into Friday night’s finals, but with Mongolia having a chance for two bronze and Japan only one there was a possibility that Mongolia could win their first-ever team title. Nasanburmaa (MGL) got the night off right for the Mongolians with an exciting 2-1 win over Zhangting Zhou of China in the first match of the final session, pulling the Mongolians within one point of the Japanese. Though Nasanburmaa did everything she needed to help secure a team win, it wasn’t to be. Dosho of Japan quickly ended Mongolia’s golden dram with a second period fall in her semifinal match, and a solid three point lead heading into Mongolia’s final match of the night.
Though Dosho ended the team race competition, Burmaa earned her country a 72kg bronze medal with a 3-0 win over Svetlana Saenko (MDA) and Mongolia’s best-ever team finish. The final team scores had Japan edging Mongolia 48-47, while the United States finished in third with 37 points.
Japan’s Missing Weight
Japan has won at least two world titles at each women’s weight with the notable exception of 67kg, where the best their best finish was a bronze in 2006. With the weight classes scheduled to change in 2015, the Japanese only have one more year to correct their past and find a gold at 67kg.
Canada’s Anaka Impresses
Canada’s Stacie Anaka fascinated fans of female wrestling rattling off three straight victories on Friday before losing in the finals to Alina Standnik-Makhynia of Ukraine. A late replacement for the injured 2012 World Silver medalist and 2013 Junior World Champion Dorothy Yeats, a 2007 Junior World bronze medalist used a late takedown against world #1 Nasanburmaa (MGL) in the first round to earn a 3-2 victory. The Canadian vet then steamrolled past Azerbaijan’s Gozal Zutova, 9-1, before earning an 8-6 win over Zhangting Zhou in the semifinals. “I had three tough matches,” said Anaka. “My aim is always to enjoy wrestling and this has been the case today.”
Hungary Earns Bronze in Wild Fashion
Down 3-0 with 90 seconds remaining in his bronze medal match, Hungarian 55kg Modos pushed the pace against Russia’s Tatarinov to create a scramble and eventual takedown. Once on top, the Hungarian was in control, where he earned a 1-point exposure, and back-to-back 2-point exposures to secure an eventual 7-3 victory, sending the local fans into a craze.
The Hungarian lightweight thanked his parents and fiancée after the match for their support during his recovery from a shoulder surgery, and said their support lead him to the medal stand. “I was sure to take gold! I was thinking of this move a lot before the match, where I go behind and throw him away,” said Modos. “This is a fantastic feeling. I hope I will perform even better in Rio.”
Natalia Vorobeva of Russia was in shock on Friday night. The 2012 Olympic Champion was up 4-0 with two minutes remaining in her finals match against Fengliu Zhang of China when things went south. The Russian champion got caught on her knees and whipped to her back with a whizzer and pinned at the 4:33, giving the world title to the elated Zhang. “I have to admit I was very, very lucky in the end,” said Zhang. “My coaches say I have been improving a lot since my previous big event. I am extremely happy!” A devastated Vorobeva could hardly stand after the match and slinked her way beneath the stadium to escape the commotion. “I was in control for much of the final, but I made a mistake in the end,” said Vorobeva. “I should have been more patient, but I was still too offensive and my opponent took advantage of it. I am very young, I could still improve tactically in the future.”
Source: fila-official.com, Photo: mno.hu