World Olympic Qualifier Women's Wrestling Bouts Set

By Ken Marantz & Vinay Siwach

ISTANBUL, Turkiye (May 10) -- The World Olympic Qualifier enters day two with women's wrestling in six weight classes. 12 Paris Olympic spots are on offer in six weight classes by the end of the day. The repechage in Greco-Roman and bronze medal bouts will also happen today.



16:27: Anastasiya ZIMIANKOVA (AIN) closes the session with a 2-2 last-point victory over Francy RAEDELT (GER) at 76kg. Zimiankova is on the activity clock for a second time and just as it runs out to put her behind, she scores a stepout to take a 2-2 lead on criteria. We will see her later tonight in a clash with Catalina AXENTE (ROU).

16:17: Davaanasan ENKH AMAR (MGL) defeats Enrica RINALDI (ITA) 4-0 at 76kg to earn a clash with Yuliana YANEVA (BUL) in tonight's qualification match.

16:12: Nesrin BAS (TUR) thrills the home crowd by pulling off a nail-biting 4-4 victory over Johanna LINDBORG (SWE) at 62kg. A first-period takedown gives Bas a 2-1 lead going into the break, but Lindborg goes ahead with a takedown to open the second. Bas is not deterred and goes on the attack, getting in a on single and fighting out of Lindborg's fierce whizzer to complete the takedown to go up 4-3 with 1:02 to go. Lindborg gets a stepout with :03 left, but it's not enough and Bas screams out in delight. She will face Astrid MONTERO (VEN) for the ticket to Paris.

15:56: Alexandra ANGHEL (ROU) likes to go right to work off the whistle, and  Elma ZEIDLERE (LAT) will tell you better be ready. Anghel, who scored a 4-point takedown in the early seconds of the first period, comes storming out in the second with a driving takedown to the back and scores a fall over Zeidlere to advance to the qualification match at 68kg.

15:56: Asian Games bronze medalist Laylokhon SOBIROVA (UZB) snatches a victory from the jaws of defeat when she comes back from six points down to score a fall over Yaynelis SANZ (CUB) 57kg. Sanz looked to be well on her way to the qualification match when she opened with a 4-point takedown in the first period, then adds another takedown in the second. But when Sanz shoots for a double-leg, Sobirova hits a hard whizzer, pulls in the far arm and puts Sanz on her back. The outcome had seemed even more unlikely when Sobirova appeared to twist her right knee late in the first period and took a timeout for treatment.

15:47: Alina AKOBIIA (UKR) uses a combination of muscle and finesse to chalk up a 10-4 victory over home favorite Elvira KAMALOGLU (TUR) at 57kg and move one win away from Paris. Akobiia gains four points during a second-period scramble that begins with her counter to a seemingly sure takedown

15:45: Entertaining 68kg quarterfinal between Adela HANZLICKOVA (CZE) and NISHA (IND). Hanzlickova almost got the pin in the first period but Nisha managed to keep her one shoulder up. She scored two counters to take a 6-3 lead but Hanzlickova managed to hit a head lock which scored one as Nisha had stepout first. Hanzlickova challenges asking for four points but to no avail and Nisha will wrestle for a spot for the Paris Olympics.

15:30: Khulan BATKHUYAG (MGL) chalks up an impressive 6-1 victory over three-time Olympian Maria PREVOLARAKI (GRE) to make the qualification match at 53kg. Batkhuyag fights off a whizzer for a takedown, then scores a stepout with a fleeing point tacked on to lead 4-1 at the break. In the second period, Batkhuyag shucks Prevolaraki by for another takedown, then keeps the Greek from ever launching an effective attack. She will face Yetgil for the Olympic spot.

15:21: Zeynep YETGIL (TUR) scores all of her points in a quick span of the first period and moves one win away from an Olympic berth at 53kg by beating Jowita WRZESIEN (POL) 7-0. With Wrzesien on the activity clock, Yetgil spins behind for a takedown and immediately locks an arm, then adds a pair of rolls. 

15:20: Mariya STADNIK (AZE) is so brutal! She manages to throw Viyaleta CHYRYK (AIN) for a five in her 11-0 win in just under three minutes to win 11-0 at 50kg

15:10: Davaanasan ENKH AMAR (MGL), a double Asian bronze medalist at 72kg, handles the extra weight and two-time Olympian and world medalist Samar HAMZA (EGY) with a 6-1 win at 76kg. After receiving an activity point, Enkh Amar stops a lateral drop attempt for 2 to go up 3-0. In the second period, Enkh Amar gains a takedown at the edge, with an additional point for an unsuccessful challenge added on.

15:03: Mariana DRAGUTAN (MDA) advances to the qualification match at 53kg with a tough 9-7 victory over Shokhida AKHMEDOVA (UZB). Dragutan trails 4-2 going into the second period but goes ahead with a low-single takedown, a driving takedown to the back, and an exposure.

14:47: In perhaps a sign of a changing of the guard, Pauline LECARPENTIER (FRA) scores a takedown in each period and knocks off the venerable Epp MAE (EST) 4-1 at 76kg.

14:44: A slimmed down Nesrin BAS (TUR) continues to thrill the home crowd, getting a pair of first-period takedowns in a 6-4 victory over Natalia KUBATY (POL) at 62kg. Bas won the European gold at 72kg, then moved down to the only weight class available to her because Turkiye had already qualified at 68kg and 76kg.

14:29: Four-time European medalist Kriszta INCZE (ROU) uses an inner thigh block for a 4-point takedown that puts her in position for a victory by fall at 62kg over Nachi MASUDA (AUS), a rare example of a native Japanese who switched nationality.

14:12: Alexandra ANGHEL (ROU) follows a 4-point whizzer throw by hitting Yelena SHALYGINA (KAZ) with a headlock throw for a fall at 68kg. Shalygina, a 2008 Olympic bronze medalist and three-time world medalist, famously returned to the sport in 2022 from a 10-year absence.

14:27: Johanna LINDBORG (SWE) was leading 5-0 before she pins Lais NUNES (BRA) in the 68kg 1/8 finals. Sweden is looking for its second Paris spot in women's wrestling. The one it has is at 53kg.

14:12: Three-time European bronze medalist Adela HANZLICKOVA (CZE) advances at 68kg with a victory by fall at Tindra SJOEBERG (SWE). Hanzlickova is looking to get back to the Olympics after appearing at Rio 2016.

14:10:  Yaynelis SANZ (CUB) continues to establish herself as one to beat at 57kg, staying constantly on the attack and using a lightning-quick single leg to defeat Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist Evelina NIKOLOVA (BUL) 15-4. Sanz builds up a 13-4 lead in the first period, then finishes it off with a takedown 20 seconds into the second.

14:03: Two-time Olympian Feng ZHOU (CHN) needs just 27 seconds to take down Ohyoung HA (KOR) and secure a fall at 68kg.

14:00: Sezim ZHUMANAZAROVA (KGZ) gets the takedown, then it's four quick rolls and she's a 10-0 winner in 27 seconds over Ester ABRAHAM (NAM) at 57kg.

13:59: Two-time European champion Alina AKOBIIA (UKR) stays on track for her first Olympic appearance at 57kg, building up a 7-0 lead before securing a fall over  Graciela SANCHEZ (ESP).

13:49: Miesinnei Mercy GENESIS (NGR) hangs on for an impressive 3-0 victory over 2022 world bronze medalist Anna LUKASIAK (POL) to advance at 50kg.

13:46: Superstar Mariya STADNIK (AZE), coming off a stunning loss at the European Olympic Qualifier as she shoots for an unprecedented fifth Olympic medal, starts with a one-sided 10-0 win over Meng Hsuan HSIEH (TPE) at 50kg.

13:43: Veteran two-time world bronze medalist Maria PREVOLARAKI (GRE) prevails for a nail-biting 6-5 victory at 53kg over Karla GODINEZ (CAN) that featured two challenges in the final 15 seconds. Both challenges came when Prevolaraki used a counter lift roll off a Godinez takedown attempt, and both resulted in each wrestler getting 2 points--which gave a relieved Prevolararki the win as she aims to appear in a third straight Olympics.

13:27: Zeynep YETGIL (TUR) scrapes by at 53kg with a 3-2 victory over Annika WENDLE (GER) that ended in a bit of chaos. Yetgil was leading 2-1 from a first-period takedown when Wendle launched a late takedown attempt that was interrupted by the mat chairman throwing the stuffed animal into the ring to get the mat referee's attention. The action was stopped before Wendle could be awarded points. The German side challenged, and when it was sorted out, Yetgil was assessed a 1-point penalty for grabbing fingers, and received a point for the lost challenge. The clock was reset to 10 seconds, but Wendle's last-ditch front headlock throw came just too late.

13:16: Tokyo Olympian Jowita WRZESIEN (POL) gets past Marina SEDNEVA (KAZ) with a fall at 53kg with 25 seconds left. Wrzesien takes a 5-0 lead into the second period, when she scores a takedown to the back before securing the fall.  She will face the winner of Annika WENDLE(GER)-Zeynep YETGIL (TUR) currently underway on the adjacent mat.

12:59: In a clash of wrestlers who recently won bronze medals at 55kg at their respective continental championships, Mariana DRAGUTAN (MDA) pours it on in the second period and advances at 53kg with an 11-1 win over Aruuke KADYRBEK KYZY (KGZ). Down 1-0 going into the second period and with Kadyrbek Kyzy on the activity clock, Dragutan scores a counter takedown and gut wrench, then gets another takedown which she tops off with two rolls.

12:41: Yuliana YANEVA (BUL), moving up to the heaviest weight of 76kg after medaling at the last four European Championships at either 68kg or 72kg, wins a barn-burner 7-5 over Martina KUENZ (AUT). Yaneva falls behind on criteria 3-3 when she gives up a stepout with 56 seconds left, but comes back with a 4-point takedown with :33 to go, then holds on for the win.

12:27: The randomness of the draw put two of the most decorated wrestlers in the tournament against each other, as Epp MAE (EST) and Elmira SYZDYKOVA (KAZ) meet in the first round at 76kg. Both are 32, and both are looking to appear in a third straight Olympics. It is the four-time world medalist Mae who comes out on top, getting an activity point and stepout in the second period for a 2-1 win. Syzdykova came into Istanbul after winning her eighth career Asian medal.

12:22: 72kg U23 world champion Nesrin BAS (TUR), almost forced to go down to 62kg in a bid to be at the Olympics, begins his road to Paris with a 6-1 win over Ameline DOUARRE (FRA).

12:19: Former world 59kg champion Linda MORAIS (CAN), looking to bounce back from a stunning loss at the Pan American Qualifier, starts her quest at 68kg by putting away Danute DOMIKAITYTE (LTU) 10-0.    

12:13: In a battle of three-time European medalists, Alexandra ANGHEL (ROU) gets a takedown in each period to defeat Dalma CANEVA (ITA)  5-1 at 68kg.

12:10: Tokyo Olympian Elis MANOLOVA (AZE) drops her first bout at 68kg 10-2 against Nicoll PARRADO (COL). Manolova never had similar results in the new weight class after she moved to it from 62kg

11:50: Anna LUKASIAK (POL), a 2022 world bronze medalist, advances at 50kg with a 10-0 rout of Marina KARAPANAGIOTIDOU (GRE).

11:49: Alina AKOBIIA (UKR), looking to add an Olympic medal to a world bronze and two European golds, starts her quest for Paris at 57kg with a victory by fall over In Sun JONG (PRK). With Akobiia leading 3-1 in the second period, Song gets treatment on a heavily taped right knee, then takes a shot that Akobiia counters with a cradle for 2 and apparent fall. A meeting of the judges after the action stopped would indeed confirm it was a fall.  

11:28: Son Hyang KIM (PRK), a world bronze medalist in 2017 who returned to the global stage to win a silver medal at last September's Asian Games, but suffered a close first-round loss at last month's Asian Olympic Qualifier, avoids any mistakes in a 6-0 victory over  Julie Martine SABATIE (FRA) at 50kg.

11:10: Zeynep YETGIL (TUR) thrills the home crowd with a 7-0 win over Maria BAEZ (ESP) at 53kg. Turkiye has qualified for three weight classes but is looking for three more from this tournament.

11:05: In a doozy on Mat C, Laura HERIN AVILA (CUB) scores a stepout with 22 seconds left to finish up a wild 18-8 win at 53kg over two-time world U20 bronze medalist Gultakin SHIRINOVA (AZE). 

11:03: Mariana DRAGUTAN (MDA), a 2023 world bronze medalist at 55kg, begins her quest for an Olympic spot at 53kg by using a reverse pancaked to build up an 8-0 lead over Oleksandra KOGUT (AUT). Kogut fights back for a takedown and turn, but Dragutan holds on to walk off an 8-4 winner.

10:53: With the Greco repechage matches finished on Mat B, Zineb ECH CHABKI (MAR)  starts the women's competition with a nicely timed 4-point headlock throw against Irena BINKOVA (BUL) at 53kg. But Binkova comes back with a takedown to cut the gap. In the second period, Binkova again gets a takedown, then follows it up by bulling Ech Chabki over for a fall. 

10:00: We will start the day with Greco-Roman repechage bouts. The winners will go into the second round of repechage and then the bronze-medal bouts in the evening.


Valiev gets 74kg Paris 2024 spot; USA completes Olympic line-up

By United World Wrestling Press

ISTANBUL, Turkiye (May 12) -- A day after he was dealt with a heartbreaking loss, Cherman VALIEV (ALB) pulled off a stunning last-second win over Soner DEMIRTAS (TUR) to qualify for the Paris Olympics.

At the World Olympic Qualifier, the last chance to qualify for the Paris Olympics, Valiev lost to Viktor RASSADIN (TJK) in the 74kg semifinal on Saturday after he was docked for a singlet-pull. But 24 hours later, Valiev turned it around. Trailing 2-1 in the Olympic playoff between the two bronze medal winners, Valiev got a par terre position over Demirtas and turned him for two points with just a second left.

Demirtas challenged, asking for a block and two points as he stopped Valiev mid-turn, but blocking was not confirmed on review, giving Valiev another point for a lost challenge and a 4-2 win.

Apart from Valiev's dramatic win to earn Albania's third Freestyle quota for Paris, 70kg world champion Zain RETHERFORD (USA) won the 65kg spot for the United States to complete the line-up for Paris with all six spots. Spencer LEE (USA) won the 57kg spot on Saturday.

China earned two spots for Paris while Georgia and Hungary won a spot each. China won the spots at 57kg and 97kg, Georgia 86kg and Hungary will be represented in 125kg.

Retherford, who lost to Tulga TUMUR OCHIR (MGL) at 65kg, wrestled four bouts on Sunday with his bronze-medal bout against SUJEET (IND) being the closest. Sujeet scored a counter takedown in the first period and tried holding on to that lead in the second. But as he was pushing Retherford towards the zone, the American circled back and took Sujeet down and take a 2-2 lead which he held till the end.

In the Olympic playoff, Retherford got the better of Niurgun SKRIABIN (AIN), 7-0, and earned a sixth Paris 2024 spot for the U.S. Since Retherford won the trials before coming to Istanbul, he will be now going to Paris.

Wanhao ZOU (CHN) and Awusayiman HABILA (CHN) earned the two quotas for China. Zou was up against  Andrii YATSENKO (UKR) and had little trouble beating Yatsenko in the playoff.

Habila wrestled 38-year-old Magomed IBRAGIMOV (UZB) in the playoff at 125kg and came out on top 2-1. Ibragimov got a 1-0 lead after Habila was out on the activity clock but he failed to score. Ibragimov was put on the clock in the second period but he also failed to score giving Habila a 1-1 criteria lead. Ibragimov made a few attempts in the final seconds but failed to get any points.

Ibragimov challenged asking for fleeing but it was not confirmed on review. The Rio bronze medalist later left his shoes on the mat, symbolizing his retirement from the sport.

Vladimeri GAMKRELIDZE (GEO), who lost after giving up a late takedown, left nothing to luck on Sunday and defeated Vasyl MYKHAILOV (UKR), 8-2, giving Georgia its fourth qualification in Freestyle.

Hungary got its second Paris 2024 spot after Daniel LIGETI (HUN) pinned Jose DIAZ (VEN) in the playoff after building a 5-0 lead.

Paris 2024 Qualification Results

Wanhao ZOU (CHN) df. Andrii YATSENKO (UKR), 5-1

Zain RETHERFORD (USA) df. Niurgun SKRIABIN (AIN), 7-0

Chermen VALIEV (ALB) df. Soner DEMIRTAS (TUR), 4-2

Vladimeri GAMKRELIDZE (GEO) df. Vasyl MYKHAILOV (UKR), 8-2

Awusayiman HABILA (CHN) df. Magomed IBRAGIMOV (UZB), 2-1

Daniel LIGETI (HUN) df. Jose DIAZ (VEN), via fall...