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Kristal and Diana Betanzo win silver medals, Michael Peters takes bronze at Zagreb Beach World Series Final

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Sept. 08, 2019, 1:31 p.m. (ET)

Diana and Kristal Betanzo (left), Michael Peters (right) with their Beach World Series medals. Photos by Kadir Caliskan, UWW.

ZAGREB, Croatia – Three U.S. athletes entered the Zagreb Beach World Series Final at Jarun State Park this weekend. All three are heading home with medals.

The Betanzo family of Hillsborough, Calif., mother Diana and daughter Kristal, claimed silver medals in the women’s division.

Kristal went 1-1 in a three-athlete round-robin to win the silver medal at 50 kg. In what was in effect the gold-medal match between undefeated wrestlers, Kristal was defeated 2-0 in her final bout by Anna Mazurkevych of Ukraine on Sunday. The match went the full three minutes, and neither wrestler scored the three-points needed to end the match, but Mazurkevych was the only one to score in the bout.

On Saturday, Kristal opened with a 3-0 victory over Carmen Gomes Teixeira Vieira of Portugal. Kristal was awarded the “best throw of the Beach World Series” based upon her victory on Saturday.

Kristal won the U.S. Women’s Beach World Games Trials in Las Vegas in April, and will compete at the 2019 Beach World Games in Qatar in October. Kristal also won a Junior Beach World Championships bronze medal in August in Ukraine.

Diana finished with a 2-1 record in a four-athlete weight class at 70 kg. On Sunday, in what was effect the gold-medal bout between undefeated wrestlers, falling to Mazurkevych of Ukraine. On Saturday, Diana scored two quick throws for 3-0 victories, stopping Sara Trbulin of Slovenia in six seconds and Sonia Pereira Brazio of Portugal in nine seconds.

Diana placed second in the U.S. Women’s Beach World Games Trials, and will be a member of the 2019 U.S. Grappling World Team. Diana Betanzo competed in the third stop of the Beach World Series in Odessa, Ukraine in August. She is a past U.S. Senior World Team member in women’s freestyle wrestling.

Coming home with a bronze medal at 70 kg in the men’s division was Michael Peters of Quincy, Ill. Peters went 2-1 on Sunday, and finished with a 3-2 record in the tournament.

He entered Sunday with a 1-1 record in his group. His 5-1 win over Luka Maolbabic of Croatia advanced him to the semifinals, where he lost 3-0 to Levan Kelekhsashvili of Georgia, who entered the tournament ranked No. 1 in the UWW Beach World Series standings. In his bronze-medal match, Peters stopped Milan Dukanovic of Serbia, 3-0 in just 14 seconds.

This was the third straight year Peters entered the Beach World Championships, and he emerged with his first medal. He also placed fifth in the 2017 Beach World Championships, and also competed in the 2018 Beach World Championships. Peters competes in college for NCAA Div. II power Maryville.

This marks the first time since the Beach World Series was created that the USA won three medals at the same Beach World Series event.

In the four UWW Beach World Series events this year, the USA won a bronze medal in three of them in the men’s 70 kg division. Peters won his bronze medal at the finals Beach World Series event today in Zagreb, Croatia. Tim Box of Oceanside, Calif. won a silver medal at 70 kg at the third Beach World Series event in Odessa, Ukraine. Reese Humphrey of Dayton, N.J. won a bronze medal at 70 kg at the second Beach World Series event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In the women’s division, the United States placed third, powered by the silver medals from the Betanzos, with 40 points. Ukraine was first with 90 points and Portugal was second with 45 points, both teams with more entries than the USA.

At Zagreb, Croatia, September 8-9

Men’s medalists

70 kg
Gold - Levan Kelekhsashvili (Georgia)
Silver - Semen Radulov (Ukraine)
Bronze - Michael Peters (USA)

80 kg
Gold - Davit Khutsishvili (Georgia)
Silver - Georgios Koulouchidis (Greece)
Bronze - Aleksandar Nikolic (Serbia)

90 kg
Gold - Dato Marsagishvili (Georgis)
Silver - Christos Samartsidis (Greece)
Bronze - Strahinja Dermanovic (Serbia)

Over 90 kg
Gold - Oyan Nazariani (Azerbaijan)
Silver - Ioannis Kargiotakis (Greece)
Bronze - Mamuka Kordzaia (Georgia)

Women’s medalists

50 kg
Gold - Kateryna Mashkevych (Ukraine)
Silver - Kristal Betanzo (USA)
Bronze - Carmen Gomes Teixeira Vieira (Portugal)

60 kg
Gold - Camila Fama Tristao (Brazil)
Silver - Valeriia Semonkina Zlatova (Ukraine)
Bronze - Isabel Rodrigues (Portugal)

70 kg
Gold - Anna Mazurkevych (Ukraine)
Silver - Diana Betanzo (USA)
Bronze - Sonia Pereira Brazio (Portugal)

Over 70 kg
Gold - Aikaterini Eirini Pitsiava (Greece)
Silver - Iryna Pasichnyk (Ukraine)

U.S. Senior Men’s performance

70 kg – Michael Peters, Quincy, Ill., bronze medal
WIN Petar Josipovic (Croatia), 3-0, 0:16
LOSS Semen Radulov (Ukraine), 3-0, 0:28
WIN Luka Malobabic (Croatia), 5-1, 0:38
LOSS Levan Kelekhsashvili (Georgia), 3-0, 0:51
WIN Milan Dukanovic (Serbia), 3-0, 0:14

U.S. Senior Women’s performances

50 kg - Kristal Betanzo, Hillsborough, Calif., silver medal
WIN Carmen Gomes Teixeira Vieira (Portugal), 3-0, 0:17
LOSS Kateryna Mashcevych (Ukraine), 2-0. 3:00

70 kg - Diana Betanzo, Hillsborough, Calif., silver medal
WIN Sara Trbulin (Slovenia), 3-0, 0:06
WIN Sonia Pereira Brazio (Portugal), 3-0, 0:09
LOSS Anna Mazurkevych (Ukraine), 3-0 0:35