Estonian heavyweight freestyle wrestler Epp Mäe reached the finals of the 2021 European Wrestling Championships held in Warsaw, Poland, set to take place on Thursday evening.
The 29-year old Estonian defeated Azerbaijani wrestler Sabira Alijeva 10:0 in the opening round of the tournament and then faced off against French heavyweight Cynthia Vanessa Vescan in the semi-finals, who she beat 4:0.
Mäe, a former European bronze, will face off against 2012 Olympic champ Russian wrestler Natalia Vorobieva in the finals. Vorobieva also holds an Olympic silver, two world gold medals and three European golds.
The finals will begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday and the final between Mäe and Vorobieva is scheduled as the last final match.
Coach on Mäe's final opponent: A strong and good wrestler but we are going for the win
"Epp was very good today (Wednesday - ed) and was prepared for the match. We had set the tactics well, it was different for each opponent. Epp performed versatile techniques well in the first match and in the second match, the semi-final, she wrestled for a certain win. We knew the opponent and she had given Epp difficulties in the past. A 4:0 victory - a very sovereign and certain victory. There was nothing the opponent could do," Epp Mäe's coach Ahto Raska told ERR.
"There were no moments of crisis during the matches. We had to get all the points. Epp is a modest starter but once she gets going, she does everything she knows to do," Raska noted, adding that the European championships are a very important competition prior to the Olympic games this summer. "We had plans for a long time about preparing for the European championships. Epp competed in three training tournaments and won the last one. She has been injury-free, powerful, everything is good."
Raska said the European championships line-up is very strong: "Only wrestlers from Austria and Turkey are missing, since they do not have licenses and they are certainly training for the qualification tournament."
"The Russian (Natalia Vorobieva - ed) Epp will face [on Thursday] is a very strong and very powerful wrestler. But we have a chance, we have beaten her before and we will certainly go for a win," Raska concluded.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste