Epp Mäe reaches finals in Oslo world championships
Estonian heavyweight wrestler Epp Mäe has reached the semifinals of the world wrestling championships in Oslo after defeating Ukrainian wrestler Anastasia Shustova, Mongolian wrestler Zagardulam Naigalsuren and Kyrgyzstani wrestler Aiperi Medet Kyzy.
Mäe advanced straight to the 1/8th finals and defeated Shustova comfortably 12:0 and advanced to the quarterfinals. The Estonian was clearly dominant in her quarterfinal match-up, as well, defeating the Mongolian 12:1.
To reach the final, Mäe defeated Kyrgyzstani wrestler Aiperi Medet Kyzy. Mäe fell behind 1:3 in the semifinal match-up, but was able to equalize a few seconds before the match end to advance to the final as the last person to score in the match.
The final will take place on Wednesday evening and Mäe will face Tokyo Olympics silver medalist American Adeline Maria Gray, who defeated Egyptian wrestler Samar Amer Ibrahim Hamza 11:1 in her semifinal match-up.
The 29-year old Mäe has earned two world bronze medals in her career - one in 2015 and the other in 2019. This year, the Estonian was crowned European champion in Warsaw.
Mäe's coach: She got through on experience
"Epp was certain in her wrestling and dominated her first two opponents," said Ahto Raska, Mäe's coach. "It is certainly about experience. She has won through her experience and skewed these matches for herself. She is a strong fighter and there is no giving up with her. She knows what she's doing."
Raska said wrestling is a sport where anything can happen. "Her [semifinal] opponent began maintaining her lead and that ended up costing her. The experience is so great because Epp has lost before and has learned from it," the coach added.
He said Mäe's final opponent is someone they have wrestled against on multiple occasions. "Epp's style has changed somewhat, they last wrestled many years ago. Epp has changed her style and tactics and has gotten stronger physically. [Adeline Maria] Gray has some pressure, she is a five-time world champion and wants to make it six. That would be a first in U.S. history," Raska said.
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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste