After four fantastic legs of Beach Wrestling World Series action the champions are set to be crowned in the final leg, which takes place on Mamaia Beach in Constanta. The oldest inhabited city in Romania is a perfect choice of venue for this new style of one of the oldest sports given that it also mixes traditional with trendy.
Magical Mamaia Beach is the venue where the field of 120 sand superstars will stake their claim for gold and with four times the points available as well as ANOC World Beach Games ranking points on offer, it could see someone emerge from the background to be crowned 2022 Beach Wrestling World Champion. There are 19 different nationalities taking part, including a strong 23 person Romanian squad, a huge contingent from the United States of America and Bulgaria also make a return to the sandy circle.
Having won the gold in front of her home sand crowd last year, the Princess of Power, Stefania PRICEPUTU will be looking to seal back-to-back World Championship gold as she aims to continue to dominate the women’s 50kg division, but Turkey’s Emine CATALOGLU had a taste of gold herself this season and will be hoping that she can leave Constanta a queen.
Iryna KHARIV has been in superb form in the women’s 60kg division throughout the Series and should be in contention when the gold medals are being handed out although compatriot Daria MEDVETSKA may have something to say about that as she has golden ambitions of her own. With reigning champion Francesca INDELICATO (ITA) not taking part this year, the one thing we are guaranteed is a new champion.
The women’s 70kg division will also see a new champion crowned as reigning champ Alina BEREZHNA MAKHYNIA missed season due to pregnancy. The Ukrainian still has a massive part to play as coach of team Ukraine and will be hoping that Yulia KREMEZNA MALYK can bring home the gold; it won’t be easy though as there have been four different winners in the four legs so far. Also in the mix will be Adina IRIMIA (ROU), Hatice TEKIN (TUR) and Agoro PAPAVASILEIOU (GRE). With the points being so close, could a dark horse emerge from the pack and scoop the title?
The home sand crowd will be right behind Catalina AXENTE as she bids to make it back-to-back Beach Wrestling World Series titles in the women’s +70kg division, having taken the gold last year and it will take a strong performance to take the title from her. One of the wrestlers looking to do just that is Liudmyla PAVLOVETS TYCHYNA (UKR) who has had a great year and one final push could see her crowned champion. Stefania ZACHEILA (GRE) is also likely to be there when the sand settles and the medals handed out.
Looking for a three-peat in the men’s 70kg is the glorious Georgian Levan KELEKHSASHVILI. Having won the inaugural series, and then taking gold last year it will take a major shock for him not to take home the title; that’s exactly though what happened in the opening leg of this year’s series where Raviraj Dharmraj CHAVAN (IND) stunned the crowd in the final with a win. Chavan won’t be in Constanta, but Stefan COMAN (ROU) and Ramiz HASANOV (AZE) will be hoping that they can replicate his victory and take home the title for themselves.
The men’s 80kg category has seen 2021 World and European Championship bronze medallist Nika KENTCHADZE (GEO) and Azerbaijan’s Omid Abdolali KAMALIAGHDAM medal in every leg so far, with Kentchadze having won three golds and a bronze to Kamaliaghdam’s single gold and three bronze. With quadruple points on offer it really is still all to grapple for especially as Hungary’s Csaba VIDA is still well in the hunt to take the title himself having notched two silvers in the first four legs.
Last year’s 80kg silver medallist Davit KHUTSISHVILI (GEO) made the step up to the 90kg division this season and he finds himself in contention to take home another medal. He will need to be at his best to stop the current 90kg champion from retaining his crown as Ibrahim YUSUBOV (AZE) comes to Constanta looking to make it back-to-back titles and cement his place as king of the 90kg division. Davit’s compatriot Dato PIRUZASHVILI (GEO) will also be looking for a strong showing and have the gold in his sights too.
Mamuka KORDZAIA took the overall +90kg men’s Beach Wrestling World Championship title last year by the slimmest of margins and it looked like both he and “The Big Gun” Oyan NAZARIANI (AZE) would be the two to beat this year again until injury in the first stop looked to have taken “The Big Gun” out of consideration for the title. Kordzaia hasn’t had it all his own way in the division though with Turkish sand superstar Fatih Yasarli pushing him all the way and it will be intriguing to see who comes out on top. NAZARIANI is registered to take part in this one, but has he fully recovered from the arm injury that has saw him miss the last 3 legs or will he produce an epic comeback and seal the gold for himself?
It promises to be a sensational showdown as the curtain comes down on another Beach Wrestling World Series and once the flying sand settles the Kings and Queens of 2022 will be coronated. It would be great to see you sand side on Mamaia Beach but if you can’t be there in person the next best thing is watching it live on this website where every throw, pull and slam will be streamed live.