It may have been stormy on Saturday but today it only rained medals for Ukraine, Georgia and Romania as the three nations picked up 14 medals between them. Ukraine and Georgia won five medals each but the latter's haul included three golds. Romania won four medals including two golds in the collection.
With the sun shining down and the music pumping it wasn’t long before the now dry sand started to fly as the kings and queens of the sandy circle were crowned after a pulsating final day.
Stefania PRICEPUTU (ROU) had missed the leg on the Côte D’Azur due to injury, but it wasn’t long before she got back into her groove, winning all four of her bouts in the women’s 50kg without dropping a single point. The princess of power took her third gold of the Series and also opened up her ANOC World Beach Games ranking points account taking the full amount from this leg.
Bianka RECZI (HUN) took the silver, the highlight for her was a 5-0 win over American Laura White in just 37 seconds; Spaniard Cristina ANDUJAR OJEDA took home the bronze.
This year’s women’s 60kg has been dominated by the unbeatable Ukrainians and this leg was no different as the unstoppable Iryna KHARIV CHYKHRADZE took the gold, beating compatriot Daria MEDVETSKA to make it three gold medals from the first four legs. Romania picked up their second women’s division medal with a bronze for Elena Simona IONESCU.
One of the biggest cheers of the day was reserved for Agoro PAPAVASILEIOU as the home sand superstar and current women’s 70kg World Championship silver medalist came back from the disappointment of an opening round defeat Saturday to put on a masterclass on day two.
The 40-year-old athlete beat Yuliia KREMEZNA (UKR) in the semi-final before disposing of Olena NIKITINSKA (UKR) in a tense final. She also secured the top technique award in the women’s division much to the delight of the large home crowd of athletes and fans. Kremezna put aside her semi-final disappointment to take the bronze with a win over Adina Ionela IRIMIA (ROU).
In the women’s +70kg defending champion Catalina AXENTE (ROU) faced Liudmyla PAVLOVETS TYCHYNA (UKR) as the top two in the division squared off in the final. Axente claimed the gold, cementing the victory with 20 seconds left to win 3-0. Angelique Carole GONZALEZ scooped bronze for France as she defeated Greece’s Stefania ZACHEILA.
In the men’s 70kg the glorious Georgian Levan KELEKHSASHVILI showed no signs of giving up his title as he took the gold with a win over Romania’s Stefan Ionut COMAN. Azerbaijan’s Ramiz HASANOV’s consistency continued as he picked up his fourth straight bronze of the series with a win over Quentin STICKER (FRA) in the bronze medal match.
Team Hungary’s superb leg continued as they picked up a second silver as Csaba VIDA made the men’s 80kg final. Despite winning the men’s top technique award for the weekend, Csaba was unable to find a way past 2021 World and European Championship bronze medallist Nika KENTCHADZE from Georgia in the final as the 25-year-old wrestler took back-to-back golds.
Omid KAMALIAGHDAM (AZE) would have had golden dreams of his own after the bronze he picked up in France, but he was defeated by rival Kentchadze in the semi-finals and had to console himself with a second straight bronze. He took just over a minute to defeat Maxim VASILIOGLO (ROU) in an explosive 3-2 win.
With a bronze and a silver in the bag for Team Azerbaijan already, Ibrahim YUSUBOV took to the sand knowing that a win and the gold medal in the men’s 90kg would cap off an amazing weekend of Beach Wrestling for the country. Their U17’s and U20’s teams had already won a total of seven gold, two silver and one bronze and team title at the European Championships earlier in the week on the same beach under head coach “The Big Gun” Oyan Nazariani.
Yusubov wasted no time in securing the win, taking only 25 seconds to dismantle current 80kg World Champion Davit KHUTSISHVILI (GEO). Dato PIRUZASHVILI (GEO), who Yusubov beat on the way to gold in the semis, finished third with a win over Mathis Damien Leon MAYRAND (FRA).
In the heavyweight division, current World Champion Mamuka KORDZAIA (GEO) got back to winning ways after defeat in the final last week in Saint Laurent Du Var as he took home the gold with a win over Hungary’s Richard VEGH, who picked up a third silver for team Hungary to cap off a great weekend’s wrestling for them. Niazi IMPIS from Greece took bronze after Vasile Vlad CARAS (ROU) had to retire through injury.
Results Beach Wrestling World Series Paralia Beach
1. Stefania PRICEPUTU, ROU
2. Bianka RECZI, HUN
3. Cristina ANDUJAR OJEDA, ESP
1. Iryna KHARIV CHYKHRADZE, UKR
2. Daria MEDVESTKA, UKR
3. Elena Simona IONESCU, ROU
1. Agoro PAPAVASILEIOU, GRE
2. Olena NIKITINSKA, UKR
3. Yuliia KREMEZNA MALYK, UKR
1. Catalina AXENTE, ROU
2. Liudmyla PAVLOVETS TYCHYNA, UKR
3. Angelique Carole GONZALEZ, FRA
1. Levan KELEKHSASHVILI, GEO
2. Stefan Ionut COMAN, ROU
3. Ramiz HASANOV, AZE
1. Nika KENTCHADZE, GEO
2. Csaba VIDA, HUN
3. Omid Abdolali KAMALIAGHDAM, AZE
1. Ibrahim YUSUBOV, AZE
2. Davit KHUTSISHVILI, GEO
3. Dato PIRUZASHVILI, GEO
1. Mamuka KORDZAIA, GEO
2. Richard VEGH, HUN
3. Niazi IMPIS, GRE
Women - Agoro PAPAVASILEIOU, GRE
Men - Csaba VIDA, HUN
What a weekend of Beach Wrestling it was with wrestlers throwing down in the rain, then stunning the crowds in the sunshine. With the sand now settled and this stop’s kings and queens coronated we turn our attention to the big one as we reach the climax of the 2022 Series with the World Championships and final leg in Constanta by the Romanian Black Sea. It’s still all to wrestle for with quadruple Series’ ranking points on offer as well as World and Series Championship gold, not forgetting those ANOC World Beach Games ranking points.
Join us on September 3 and 4 as we crown the 2022 kings and queens of the beach and bring the curtain down on another sensational Beach Wrestling World Series. If you can’t get to Constanta to see it in the flesh, we’ll bring you the best from the Sandy Circle on beachwrestling.org.