Around this time of the year, the French Riviera is the epitome of cool, what with the Cannes Festival recently held next doors and the summer upon us. Cousteau Beach, with its lovely sands and scenery provides a great backdrop for an action film of epic proportions and come the call for action you can be guaranteed that the superheroes in shorts will play their part in making this leg a blockbuster.
The Princess of Power, Stefania PRICEPUTU (ROU) hasn’t tasted defeat in the sandy circle in this series or the last and will be looking to continue to dominate the woman’s 50KG division, with Turkish pairing Emine CATALOGLU and Hatice TEKIN likely to be her main competitors for gold.
The women of Ukraine were almost unbeatable on Silgar Beach, winning 3 of the 4 weight divisions and having double finalists in the 60kg division and if they show the same kind of form they brought to Spain then it could be a long weekend for their competitors.
The Glorious Georgians had a clean sweep in the male division last time the Series was in Saint Laurent and with them returning to form in Spain after a mixed bag in Turkey with wins for Levan KELEKHSASHVILI and Mamuka KORDZAIA, it’s almost a given that they will be there or thereabouts come finals day. Another team almost certain to be amongst the medallists are Azerbaijan who have won three out of three medals available to them on both legs so far, and co-incidentally it’s been the same haul of one gold, one silver, one bronze.
An intriguing contest between the Georgian Nika KENTCHADZE and Azerbaijan’s Omid KAMALIAGHDAM so far this Series has seen both men pick up a gold and a bronze, with Kentchadze beating Kamaliaghdam in the semi-final on his way to gold, leaving the popular Azerbaijani to go home with bronze. Kamaliaghdam got his revenge though in Spain as he defeated the Georgian in the semi-final there, before taking the gold with Kentchadze swapping roles and taking home 3rd place. Will they clash again in the semis, or can they avoid each other in the draw until the final itself.
Team Spain had a great debut to the Series in Sanxenxo and they have entered six athletes to try and build on that debut, including the men’s top technique winner from last time out Carlos IGLESIAS and Mohammad MOTTAGHINIA who took home silver in the men’s 80kg division and theres another team making their 2022 bow in the competition as team Morocco join the greatest show on sand with a team of ten scheduled to take part.
On the back straight, things really get down to business. In France, there are not only points for the world rankings, but also for the qualification for the ANOC World Beach Games 2023 in Bali, where the athletes can collect points to secure a place in Bali.
It promises to be another weekend of scintillating fun in the sun as the beach wrestlers do battle on the French Riviera and would love to see you sand side on Cousteau, but if you can’t be there in person then watching the live stream is the next best thing as all the Sandy Circle action is brought to you on beachwrestling.org.