Alex Gladkov collected Team Scotland’s second Wrestling Bronze medal in epic fashion then dedicated the result to his Grandad.
The 28-year-old overcame controversial calls, and a mid-match knee injury, to defeat Sri Lankan opponent Chamara Perera and win the 65kg Bronze medal, Scotland’s second Wrestling Bronze following Viorel Etko in the 61kg event last night.
Alex had lost his opening encounter of the day against London 2012 Olympic Bronze medallist Yogeshwar Dutt, but with the Indian going all the way to win the Gold, Alex was given a reprieve in the Bronze medal repechage.
There, he faced team-mate Gareth Jones, the 20-year-old from Old Kilpatrick, who also lost to Dutt after an impressive round of 16 win over Timea Kitiona of Kiribati. Alex used his experience to overcome his Team Scotland compatriot and set up the showpiece medal match.
Coached by his father, Volodymyr, Alex surged into an early 8-1 lead and flipped his opponent four times in what looked like the match-ending result. Instead, following a video replay, he was adjudged to have touched his shoulders on the mat and the match continued.
Rattled by the decision, Alex soon found himself ahead by just a single point and worse was to come as, twenty seconds before the end of the first round, he jarred his knee, requiring an extended medical stop whilst the medical team bandaged him up. Showing incredible inner strength, Alex returned to his feet and went the full six minutes to claim the Bronze.
“Amazing, I can barely speak,” said Alex, who was born in Ukraine. “I don’t have any energy left, my knee is agony, but I feel fantastic. It was one of the best fights I’ve ever had. It was pretty spectacular. I was trying to finish it early, but the referees gave three points to my opponent and so I had to go the full six minutes. During the break my dad just said ‘hold on and you can win it’. I didn’t really believe it at that moment, but I got it together and the next two minutes the crowd was so supportive and I don’t know where all the pain went.
“I’m happy that my Dad got the result that he wanted. And my Mum asked me to bring a medal back for my Grandad who is currently in Russia as he left Ukraine a week ago because of the bombing and shooting. I’m going to send them the pictures from tonight and hopefully they can share in the happiness as he hasn’t had much in the last few months.
“I’m so happy and I’m really grateful for the crowd. I could feel the support and it helped me along. As one of my friends said to me, Ukraine is the country which I am from, but Glasgow and Scotland is my home.”
Earlier in the night, Kathryn Marsh narrowly lost out in the Women’s 55kg Bronze medal match to England’s Louisa Porogovska, who had defeated gifted young prospect Chelsea Murphy in the quarter-final that morning.
Also in the morning rounds, Lewis Waddell and Luigi Bianco exited the 86kg category at the quarter-finals. Having benefited from a bye into the final eight, Lewis was unable to contain the challenge of South African Armando Hietbrink. Luigi defeated Cameroon’s Alie Zamdam in the round of 16 before succumbing to eventual Bronze medallist Pawan Kumar of India.
Photo Credit: Rebecca Lee