Georgia and Romania asserted themselves as the world’s premier Beach Wrestling nations during the season opener of the 2021 World Series in Saint-Laurent-du-Var, France, as they combined to win 6 out of 8 available gold medals in the men’s and women’s wrestling.
The Georgian squad was led by the 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Dato MARSAGISHVILI who dominated the -90kg competition over the course of the two-day tournament to take gold. Marsagishvili was also awarded the ‘Top Throw’ after a variation of a hip-throw defeating his later gold medal match opponent during the group phase.
Levan KELEKHSASHVILI (-70kg) and Davit KHUTSISHVILI (-80kg) also took home gold medals for their efforts, winning their final’s bouts by 2-1 and 1-0.
Despite a clear 1-4 defeat in the opening round against Turkey’s Hidayet KURT, Mamuka KORDZAIA completed the Georgians triumphant success with his final match win over Romania’s Vasile Vlad CARAS.
On the women’s side, the Romanians cruised their way to gold over the course of the two-day event in two of the four weight classes.
100% efficiency for the -50kg megastar Stefania Claudia PRICEPUTU. Though shorter than most her opponents, Priceputu used a combination of intensity, heavy hand pressure and snap downs to earn the gold ahead of Julie Martine SABATIE from the host country France and Ukraine’s Tetiana PROFATILOVA.
Ukraine’s Alina BEREZHNA STADNIK MAKHYNIA in the -70kg category went A similar path to the top of the podium, winning her gold medal match by a clear 4-1. Fighting for the hosting federation and in her first-ever wrestling attempt on the beach, Manon KURY held the French hopes high until she faced the Ukrainian powerhouse in the gold medal match.
The Ukrainian powerhouse Berezhna topped her weekend on the beach with winning the ‘Top Throw’ cash prize in the women’s.
The women’s -60kg category saw a new face on the top podium with Turkey’s Mehlika OZTURK who had a great start into the season opener by not just winning once against Francesca INDELICATO from Italy but twice, including the final match. Within the three-minute margin both fights ended in a 1-0 win in favour of Ozturk due to the rule that the lighter athlete wins in case of a tie.
On the day 1 of the competition, the reigning -60kg World Champion Camila FAMA TRISTAO from Brazil produced dramatic images as she defeated her Romanian opponent Denisa Iuliana FODOR with a cut on her forehead sustained during the fierce fight. The Brazilian finished her first showing in 2021 on fourth place.
Catalina AXENTE completed the Romanian success with her victory in the +70kg class bullying her way to a 2-1 gold medal against the Italian Enrica RINALDI.
Wrestlers from 13 nations took to the sand over two days of competition and 132 fights in eight weight classes, four each for the men and women to successfully start the second season of the Beach Wrestling World Series, the United World Wrestling’s fasted growing discipline.
Shifting focus during the summer from Olympic styles, the beach will be calling loud in September with three events in a row. On back-to-back weekends, the Beach Wrestling World Series will travel to the Italian capital Rome for the 2nd stop in early September. Only a week later the wrestlers will head to the Aegean Sea in Katerini, Greece.
The season finale, traditionally held as the World Championships, will be held in Romania, Constanta, on September 25 and 26. On the coast of the Black Sea, Mamaia Beach will serve as the crowning location of the 2021 Beach Wrestling World Champions.
Results Beach Wrestling World Series Saint-Laurent-du-Var
1. Stefania Claudia PRICEPUTU, ROU
2. Julie Martine SABATIE, FRA
3. Tetiana PROFATILOVA, UKR
1. Mehlika OZTURK, TUR
2. Francesca INDELICATO, ITA
3. Maria Victoria BAEZ DILONE, ESP
1. Alina BEREZHNA STADNIK MAKHYNIA, UKR
2. Manon KURY, FRA
3. Adina Ionela IRIMIA, ROU
1. Catalina AXENTE, ROU
2. Enrica RINALDI, ITA
3. Beste CIVELEK ALTUG, TUR
1. Levan Kelekhsashvili, GEO
2. George BUCUR, ROU
3. Oleksii BORUTA, UKR
1. Davit Khutsishvili, GEO
2. Semen RADULOV, UKR
3. Vasile Madalin MINZALA, ROU
1. Dato Marsagishvili, GEO
2. Mahmut Seyfi OZKAYA, TUR
3. Oleksii YAKOVCHUK, UKR
1. Mamuka KORDZAIA, GEO
2. Vasile Vlad CARAS, ROU
3. Ivan MALIN, UKR