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Yuri Yevseichik

(1971 - )


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Yuri Yevseichik was born on January 23, 1971, in the Ukraine. He began wrestling at the age of nine. In 1989, he won the gold medal at the European Junior Championship in the 115-kg class. Six years later, Yuri competed in the European Championship (senior) and finished fifth in the 130-kg (heavyweight division). Soon after that, he immigrated to Israel.

Yevseichik did not compete internationally until 1998, when competing for Israel, he was the bronze medalist in the 130-kg weight class at the World Championships. Earlier in the year, he had finished sixth at the European Championship. In 1999, Yuri finished in tenth place at the World Championships, and fifth place at the European Championships. The following year, he placed fourth at the both the Olympic Games and the European Championships.

At the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, Evseytchik competed in the heavyweight class (130-kg) as a member of the Israeli Greco-Roman wrestling team. He reached the semifinals, and led American Rulon Gardner 2-0, but began to wear down during the match and eventually lost 3-2 in overtime (Gardner went on to win the gold medal, defeating favorite Alexander Karelin of Russia, who had not lost in thirteen years). Yevseichik then lost to Dmitry Debelka in the bronze medal match, 1-0, and finished in fourth place.

At the 2001 World Championships, Yevseichik won both his preliminary matches, but did not advance to the quarterfinals, and finished 20th overall. That year at the European Championships, Yevseichik finished in sixth place. In 2002, he competed in the 120-kg division and finished in fourth place at the European Championship and sixth place at the World Championship. He is currently a member of the club, Maccabi Eilat.

Yevseichik suffered through a surprisingly weak Athens Games in 2004. He lost to Cuban Mijail Lopez in the first match 5-0. Lopez pinned the hapless Israeli 3 times in as many minutes and the result was never in doubt. Yuri had to beat Turkish wrestler Yekta Yilmaz Gul to qualify from Pool D, but lost 3-0 as he was eliminated from the competition.

Despite his bulk, he is known for his uncanny grace and poise.


Sources: Jews In Sports

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