On February 10-11 Zaporizhzhya National University was hosting Open Cup of Ukraine in Graeco-Roman wrestling.
About 160 sportsmen from all the regions of our country took part in the competition that symbolically started the same day to Winter Olympic Games. Zaporizhzhya Region team was represented by 17 wrestlers, 7 of which are students and graduates of ZNU – Kyrylo GORBENKO, Bulat ABDULAYEV, Kostyantyn STRYZHAK, V’yugar RAGIMOV, Oleksandr KHVOSHCH and Armen VARDANYAN. Coaches pinned great hopes on all of them. Nevertheless, two only were able to justify them – silver medalist of World Youth Games (1998), bronze medalist of Junior World Cup, Champion of Ukraine (2000), silver medalist of European and World Cup (2003), European champion (2004), Honoured Master of Sports, graduate of ZNU Faculty of Physical Training Armen VARDANYAN and his colleague V’yugar RAGIMOV, third year student of ZNU (speciality: “Olympic and professional sports”).
Fedir TURCHENKO, First Vice-Rector of ZNU, and Iryna GERMAN, Rector’s Assistant on Public Relations, welcomed the participants. Many guest of honor visited the event, including Mayor of Zaporizhzhya Yevgen KARTASHOV, his assistant Oleksandr KUZ’MIN, Head of Youth and Sports Department of Zaporizhzhya Region State Administration Anastasiya SKLYARUK, Head of Municipal Department of Physical Training, Sports and Tourism Viktor STEPANENKO, Vice-President of Wrestling Federation Yan DYMOV, President of Graeco-Roman Wrestling Federation of Ukraine Volodymyr KYSIL’, member of Zaporizhzhya Wrestling Association, President of “Zaporizhzstal” Public Corporation’s Sports Club Eduard GRINBERG, Ukraine’s national Graeco-Roman wrestling team coach Nel’son DAVIDYAN, main referee of the competition, Zaporizhzhya Region Graeco-Roamn wrestling team coach, Honoured Trainer of Ukraine Yevgen CHERTKOV etc.
Tournament organizers: Ministry of Family, Youth and Sports, Graeco-Roman Wrestling Federation of Ukraine, Youth and Sports Department of Zaporizhzhya Region State Administration. According to Vice-President of Wrestling Federation Yan DYMOV, participants’ skills will help to form optimal, maximally strong team that will represent our country at European Cup on April 24 in Moscow. Sportsmen have justified the hopes. Mayor Yevgen KARTASHOV said, Zaporizhzhya has already become the center for nearly all kinds of sport.
30 referees from all parts of Ukraine were evaluating their talents during two days. As a result, national Graeco-Roman wrestling team was formed. Sportsmen in 7 weight categories were included: Armen Vardanyan (74 kg) and V’yugar Ragimov (55 kg) from Zaporizhzhya, Oleksiy Vakulenko (60 kg) from Donets’k, Mykhaylo Nikolayev (96 kg) and Mykola Savchenko (66 kg) from Mykolayiv, Dmytro Geppa (84 kg) and Oleksandr Chernets’kyy (120 kg) from Kyiv. In 50 kg weight category the winner was Igor Zagorodnyuk from Donets’k, but in accordance to the rules he won’t represent our country on European arena (55+ kg sportsmen will compete in Moscow). Conditional bronze in the category “60 kg” was won by Candidate of Sports, ZNU third-year student (“Olympic and professional sports”) Kyrylo Gorbenko, and in the category “120 kg” – by International Master of Sports Kostyantyn Stryzhak. The winners in team-championship were as follows: Gold – Donets’k Region, Silver – Mykolayiv Region, Bronze – Zaporizhzhya Region. The tournament was remarkable for challenging for Olympic licenses to the national team. It was help in accordance with the rules of International Wrestling Federation.
Honorary titles were presented as well. Yuriy KOVAL’ got the title of International Master of Sports. Veterans of Zaporizhzhya wrestling – Oleksiy GRABOVS’KYY, Borys GETTUN, Mykola CHUCHENKO and Ivan OREL – are now Masters of Sports, Lavrentiy MAYLAMYAN – Honoured Master of Sports, and VOlodymyr SHKARAN – International Master of Sports.