Yana Stadnik wins European wrestling silver for Great Britain

Yana Stadnik has now won two European -48kg silver medals for GB following successes in 2010 and 2013

Yana Stadnik, who missed London 2012 after failing to attain a British passport in time, has won European Championship -48kg silver in Georgia.

Ukraine-born Stadnik defeated Youth Olympic champion Patimat Bagomedova of Azerbaijan 4-0 in the semi-finals.

However, she lost 2-0 to former junior world champion Valeria Chepsarakova of Russia in the final.

Stadnik, who is GB's only competitor in Georgia, also won European silver three years ago in Baku.

"I am so pleased," said Stadnik. "This is an absolutely great start to the season and the year.

"I would like to thank everyone who kept their faith in me for their support"

Her husband Leon Rattigan, who won Commonwealth bronze for England in 2010, took to Twitter to congratulate Stadnik on her latest success.

She moved to the UK in 2007, initially as a sparring partner, and was allowed to represent Great Britain by the sport's international governing body (FILA) before having British citizenship on the understanding she would attain a passport before last year's Games.

However the complex citizenship process was not completed by the deadline of June last year and fellow Ukraine-born athlete Olga Butkevych was Team GB's only wrestling representative in London.

Although Butkevych was eliminated in the opening round of the Games she recovered impressively and became the first British woman to win a wrestling World Championship medal by claiming bronze last September.

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Great Britain has anything but an illustrious history in the sport of wrestling, but the influx of several Eastern European wrestlers and the return of the GB Cup, after a year off due to funding difficulties, has given the team cause for optimism. BBC Sport's Nick Hope caught up with GB's Ukranian-born wrestler Yana Stadnik, who became the first ever female to win a European Championships medal for Great Britain earlier this year.

She will not compete at this week's European Championships, but speaking late last year British Wrestling chief executive Colin Nicholson confirmed that he expects Butkevych to continue "to compete for Great Britain and potentially England" in the future.

In December it was announced that the sport would receive no funding for the Rio 2016 Olympic cycle, a decision British Wrestling has challenged.

FILA are also battling on an international front with wrestling initially axed from the Olympic programme for the 2020 Games.

They could earn a reprieve though when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decides in September which one of eight sports including wrestling will be added to the schedule.