The Series has seen our team of world class wrestlers travel to the sensational Saint Laurent du Var on the French Riviera, the lovely Lido di Ostia, in Rome, Italy, and gorgeous Katerini in Greece in our previous stops, wowing the crowds with their athleticism and attitude Now it’s time for marvellous Mamaia with only a few days until the sand starts to fly.
90 Wrestlers from 16 nations, 55 men and 35 women around the world will come together to see who has the skill, determination, and strength to walk away with the gold in Constanta, a place where the modern and ancient worlds come together, something that resonates well with Beach Wrestling as it brings a modern spin on an ancient style of the sport.
The home sand fans will find plenty of wrestlers to get behind with no fewer than 24 Romanians registered to take part in the event over 4 male and 4 female weight divisions. All eyes will be on Stefania Claudia PRICEPUTU (-50 kg) who has won all 3 legs of the World Series, following up victories in France and Italy with gold in Katerini, Greece last time out.
Stefania will surely be eyeing up a fourth win, with a clean sweep in full view and in turn be crowned World Champion in front of her compatriots but she will face still competition from Emine CATALOGLU (TUR) who has claimed silver in both Rome and Katernini as well as Julie Martine SABATIE (FRA) who claimed silver in France and bronze in Italy before missing out on the Greek leg.
The women’s -60 kg division will have last stop’s champion, the Ukrainian Anastasiya KRAVCHENKO looking to continue the form that stopped Mehlika OZTURK (TUR) from her third straight gold, but it is certain that the talented Turk will be looking for revenge and be focused on becoming world champion. The Italian Francesca INDELICATO is also one to keep an eye out for after a good showing on home sand in Rome.
Alongside PRICEPUTU (ROU, -50kg), Ukraine’s Alina BEREZHNA STADNIK MAKHYNIA (-70kg) has her eyes firmly set on a world championship and a clean sweep having shown great technique, power, and strength to win all three previous legs and a win on Mamaia will give her a fourth straight gold and the overall title. Turkey’s Asil TUGCU and Greece’s Agoro PAPAVASILEIOU will be determined to end her winning run, so it promises to be quite the battle.
In Katerini two weeks ago Iryna PASICHNYK (UKR, +70kg) made it look a lot easier than it was as she dismantled the field in front of her to take home the top prize and she will travel to Romania with the same focus and determination but with Catalina AXENTE (ROU) fighting on home sand and looking for the win that could see her take the overall title, it could be a much tougher leg for PASICYNYK. Enrica RINALDI (ITA) took home Italy’s first ever World Series gold medal in Rome, and she will be right back in the mix this time around having missed out on showing her prowess in Paralia.
The four men’s weight divisions have been very competitive over the previous three legs of the Series with no wrestler able to complete a clean sweep of four gold medals and plenty of action to take place before the overall champions can be crowned.
Favourite for the gold in the men’s -70 kg division is the Georgian Levan KELEKHSASHVILI who got back to winning ways in Greece following a silver in Rome and he will be hoping to finish the series with a flourish and that overall championship. Standing between him and the title will be Italian leg winner Ukrainian Oleksii BORUTA as well as American Michael PETERS, who will be looking to put the disappointment of Greece behind him and Yunus COKSUN who impressed in Katerini as he took home silver, losing to KELEKHSASHVILI in the final. You can be sure he will have trained hard in a bid to stop the Georgian grabbing the glory.
Despite a great effort in Greece, Omid Abdolali KAMALIAGHDAM (AZE, -80kg) will be hoping to go one better after he was defeated by Ukrainian Vasyl MYKHAILOV to the gold. One of three Azerbaijani wrestlers to medal in Greece, KAMALIAGHDAM impressed but was narrowly edged out 1-0 in the last fight. MYKHAILOV himself will be looking for another strong showing as he looks to bring the world championship title to the Ukraine.
Both men would be foolish to overlook Davit KHUTSISHVILI (GEO) who took home the bronze last time out, despite suffering a dislocated shoulder in Rome the week previous, where he also won silver. A couple of weeks rest could see KHUTSISHVILI back to full strength and raring to go in his quest for the championship.
Another Georgian on the hunt for Romanian and World Championship gold is Dato MARSAGISHVILI (-90kg) who leads the rankings but has seen Pakistan’s Muhammad INAM take home the gold in the last two events, becoming the first Pakistani wrestler ever to take gold at the Beach Wrestling World Series event when he won in Rome. He then completed back-to-back wins with victory in Katerini a week later. Azerbaijan’s Beach World Games silver medalist Ibrahim YUSUBOV also looked good in Greece and looks likely to mount a challenge in Constanta alongside Turkeys Mahmut Seyfi OZKAYA and home sand star Mihai Nicolae PALAGHIA (ROU).
The last of the men’s divisions is the +90kg division and recently appointed Azerbaijani head coach and reigning World Champion Oyan NAZARIANI will be focused fully on the goal of becoming 2 times World Champion with a victory in the fourth leg of the Series. He faces stiff opposition with the Georgian Mamuka KORDZAIA already having won gold in France and pushing him all the way in a close contest in the final on Greek sand. Pakistan’s Zaman ANWAR took home the bronze in the last leg with some impressive performances, and he will be hoping to better this result to become Pakistan’s first +90kg gold medalist.
It looks like the Beach Wrestling World Series is in for a tremendous weekend of throws, thrills, and spills as we touch down in Constanta and we hope to see you sand side, but if you can’t be there in person then watching our live stream is the next best thing as we bring you all the ringside action right here on beachwrestling.org.
Schedule Stop 4, Constanta, ROU (local times)
Saturday, September 25
10.00-13.00 Group Phase
15.00-18.00 Group Phase
Sunday, September 26
10.00-13.00 Group Phase
15.00-18.00 Elimination Rounds + Finals