Wrestling: Adopted Brit Olga Butkevych suffers first-round defeat

 

Olga Butkevych apologised for her performance as her Olympic dreams evaporated in to thin air after just six minutes.

Ukraine-born Butkevych was expected to reach the quarter-finals but Britain's first Olympic wrestler crashed out in the first round of the -55kg freestyle after an agonising defeat to Lissette Alexandra Antes Castillo.

Butkevych, who came to Britain in 2007 and gained citizenship in May, received a huge reception as she took to the mat at the ExCeL, but she was unable to deliver a win for the 10,000 rowdy fans in the arena on London's Docklands.

The 26-year-old lost a tight first period, but clinched the second to increase her hopes of victory.

Those hopes were dashed in the most agonising fashion soon after, however, as her 21-year-old opponent pushed her off the mat with just four seconds of the final round left.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry," a tearful Butkevych said afterwards.

"It's my big competition, once every four years. I've been competing every year for the past four years.

"But this year, the big year, I lost. I didn't feel pressure from the crowd, but I was proud to be there for them.

"There were so many people here to support me and I'm proud but sorry."

Questions will now be asked about British Wrestling.

The body, who received £1.4million in funding over the last four years, were tasked with producing three Olympic-level wrestlers, but only Butkevych made the cut after the other two athletes ear-marked for a place in the squad failed to reach their targets.

UK Sport also challenged British Wrestling to produce one top-eight finish at the Games, but Butkevych's first-round exit means the body fell well short of that target.

The fact that Butkevych was selected despite not being born in Britain has also caused some unease, but British Wrestling's performance director Shaun Morley brushed off suggestions that the 26-year-old should not have been representing Team GB, and insisted the future is bright for the sport in the country.

"I think it was obvious to everyone that Olga has got the quality to compete at that level, those questions are ridiculous," he said.

"I think Olga just has to learn from the experience and move on to the next level.

He added: "At the end of the day we have spent the last four years starting to develop a programme and that is starting to come to fruition.

"I'm hoping that a lot of young kids will take inspiration from Olga, and the rest of the team here today, and come in to the sport and hopefully in four years' time we will have someone who can compete for a medal."

It is unclear whether Butkevych will carry on wrestling in the hope that she will make Rio 2016.

She had to sweat off four kilograms to compete today as there is no -59kg category in the Olympics and she feels that may have been one reason why she lost.

She added: "Maybe I've lost too much weight and she was too strong for me. I lost the challenge and I'm so upset.

"I'm disappointed. I felt like it was definitely my match and I should have won, but that's sport.

"I still don't know what happened. My body was shaking more and more."

Japan's Saori Yoshida will face Canada's Tonya Lynn Verbeek in the final of Butkevych's weight division this evening.

Tonight's other final sees Natalia Vorobieva of Russia take on Bulgaria's Stanka Zlateva Hristova in the heavyweight division.

PA

Suggested Topics
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Sport
Jonatahn Sexton scores a penalty
rugby
News
The dress can be seen in different colours
weird news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?