Anthony qualifies for repechage at Outstanding Ukrainian Memorial; McKenna eliminated with 2-1 record

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Victoria Anthony photo courtesy of United World Wrestling

KIEV, Ukraine – Two top U.S. wrestlers competed on the first day of the Outstanding Ukrainian Wrestlers and Coaches Memorial International on Friday.

Two-time Senior World Team member and two-time Junior World champion Victoria Anthony (Phoenix, Ariz./Sunkist Kids) will compete in the repechage at 50 kg in women’s freestyle on Saturday.

Anthony opened with an injury default win over 2019 World silver medalist Alina Vuc of Romania. In the quarterfinals, she was defeated by 2018 World bronze medalist Oksana Livach of Ukraine, in an 11-0 technical fall.

Livach went on to beat teammate Lilia Malanchuk of Ukraine, who was seventh in the 2019 Junior World Championships in the semifinals. By reaching the finals, Livach pulled Anthony back into Saturday’s repechage, where she will face Veronika Moskolova of Ukraine.

Junior and U23 World medalist Joey McKenna (Philadelphia, Pa./Titan Mercury WC/Pennsylvania RTC) went 2-1 at 65 kg on Friday, but did not qualify for the repechage.

McKenna opened with a 12-2 technical fall over 2020 African bronze medalist Amar Laissaoui of Algeria. His second-round victory was against 2020 European silver medalist Niurgun Skryabin of Belarus by a 10-3 margin.

He was defeated in the quarterfinals by 2019 U23 World champion Turan Bayramov of Azerbaijan, 5-1. Bayramov also boasts a 2019 Junior World title and 2018 Cadet World title and a 2018 Youth Olympic Games gold medal.

Bayramov was defeated in the semifinals by Emazar Akmataliev of Kyrgyzstan, a 2018 Asian Junior silver medalist, which made McKenna ineligible for the repechage.

Another U.S. athlete, 2020 U23 Nationals champion David McFadden (Philadelphia, Pa./Pennsylvania RTC/Titan Mercury WC), will start his competition at 79 kg on Saturday.


At Kiev, Ukraine, Feb. 26

U.S. women’s freestyle results

50 kg: Victoria Anthony, Phoenix, Ariz. (Sunkist Kids)

WIN Emilia Vuc (Romania), inj. dft.

LOSS Oksana Livach (Ukraine), tech. fall 11-0

Repechage – Vs. Veronika Moskalova (Ukraine)

U.S. men’s freestyle results

65 kg - Joseph McKenna, Philadelphia, Pa. (Titan Mercury WC/Pennsylvania RTC)

WIN Amar Laissaoui (Algeria), tech. fall 12-2, 1:03

WIN Niurgun Skriabin (Belarus), 10-3

LOSS Turan Bayramov (Azerbaijan), 5-1