(photo credit: UDI ZITIAT)
Israeli wrestler Ilana Kratysh won the silver medal at the European Championships for a fourth straight year on Friday, finishing second in the under-69 kilogram event in Riga, Latvia.
Kratysh lost 9-0 in the final to Maryia Mamashuk of Belarus, but registered three impressive wins on her way to the title bout, including a 9-5 victory in the quarterfinals over last year’s champion, Alina Stadnik of Ukraine.
Despite the prestigious achievement, Kratysh has yet to book her place at the upcoming Rio Olympics, with the European Championships not serving as a qualifying event.
After failing to secure her place in Brazil at last year’s World Championships, Kratysh will have another opportunity to do so at the European Qualification Tournament in Serbia next month where she will need to reach the final. If she doesn’t manage to qualify in Serbia, she will have two more chances at the World Qualification Tournaments to be held in Mongolia and Turkey.
“My performance today gave me a massive boost moving forward and ahead of the Rio qualifying events, especially as I beat the defending European champion,” said Kratysh. “I had a good day and felt excellent. I was focused and also managed to combine new techniques and styles while being mentally and tactically strong. I’m looking to continue to improve and I believe in my abilities and I’m aspiring to win the gold.”