The U23 European Championships began on Monday with Danish star Turpal Bisultanov (87 kg) marching to the final round on the strength of three victories, two of which were earned via technical superiority. Bisultanov, 20, the World silver medalist in 2022 at the Senior level, downed Patrik Gordan of host country Romania in the qualification round 8-0, and then followed with a decisive 7-0 blanking against Hovhannes Harutyunyan (ARM) before breezing past Gabriel Lupasco (MDA) in the semifinal. In tomorrow’s gold-medal match, Bisultanov will face David Losonczi of Hungary, who finished with bronze in the same weight category at the ’22 Worlds.
Bisultanov is only one of two athletes representing Denmark this week in Bucharest. The other is Marcel Hein at 82 kilograms. Norway — which until further notice is being led by Danish coaches Szymon Kogut and Thor Hyllegaard — has only one wrestler competing, ’22 U23 World Champion Exauce Mukubu, who is also at 82 for this tournament. Mukubu has focused his efforts on Olympic 77 kg for most of the season thus far but returned to 82 two weekends ago for the Nikola Petrov Memorial in Bulgaria where he made the final opposite ’22 World champ/’21 silver Burhan Akbudak (TUR) and won via injury forfeit.
The remaining schedule for the ’23 U23 European Championships is as follows (all times are local = +6 hours ET).
Tuesday, March 14 (60, 67, 72, 82, & 97 kg)
11:30am-2:30pm — Qualification rounds
11:30am-2:30pm — Repechage (55, 63, 77, 87, & 130 kg)
4:45pm-5:45pm — Semifinals
6:00pm-7:30pm — Finals/bronze-medal matches (55, 63, 77, 87, & 130 kg)
Wednesday, March 15
11:30am-2:00pm — Repechage (60, 67, 72, 82, & 97 kg)
6:00pm-7:30pm — Finals/bronze-medal matches (60, 67, 72, 82, & 97 kg)
Per-Anders Kure (77 kg) has been competing well early on in ’23 and was having himself a solid outing at the aforementioned Petrov. Kure defeated Mikko Peltokangas (FIN) in the round-of-16 and Nicolaos Ignaetescu (ROU) in the quarterfinal, which set up a showdown with reigning World Champion Azkhol Makhmudov (KGZ). In that match, Kure was visibly compromised after an exchange with Makhmudov and eventually had to default the contest.
At the time, Kure did not seem to think his injury was of particularly great concern; but, apparently, the situation was a lot more serious than he was originally informed.
On Friday, Kure released a photo of himself from the hospital in Oslo donning a neck brace and included with it a rather startling update:
“The Dan Kolov tournament in Bulgaria ended abruptly when I broke my neck in the semifinals. Was told it was nothing but a sprain and I should be fine within two weeks. After a lot of pain in the days that followed, we decided to get a closer look here in Norway, where we found out that I had both a fracture and prolapse in my neck and needed surgery.
“Last night I had surgery, everything went well! But with this, the European Championship that will take place at the end of April is cancelled. (It is) incredibly heavy to lose yet another championship to an unfortunate injury. But I just have to try to have positive thoughts and look forward, then I hope to be healthy enough for the World Cup which is the first Olympic qualifier in September.”
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A timeline for Kure’s rehabilitation and recovery is as of yet unknown. Norway has several options for the ’23 Belgrade Worlds at 77 kilograms. Along with Kure are Mukubu and Sebastian Aaak, who has likewise been active throughout the first two months of the year and is steadily improving.
Illinois Greco-Roman Camp 2023
The annual massive Illinois Greco-Roman Developmental Camp has been officially scheduled for April 7-8 at Washington High School. As usual, the camp — which serves as a kick-off for the state program’s age-group season, something they tend to dominate — is bringing to bear a cavalcade of well-known coaches. It is also expected to once again reach capacity, making timely registration a priority for interested attendees.
The list of instructors is an impressive one, with Illinois RTC head coach Bryan Medlin standing at the top. The full roster of coaches, as well as other pertinent camp information, can be viewed in the flyer below.
Listen to “5PM053: Northern Michigan assistant Parker Betts and USMC Captain Jamel Johnson” on Spreaker.
Listen to “5PM52: Two-Time Olympian Jim Gruenwald” on Spreaker.
Listen to “5PM51: Lining up with Tanner Farmer” on Spreaker.
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