Wrestler of the Year

“Best Wrestler of the Year” Awarded to Taylor, Olli, and Bacsi

By United World Wrestling Press

CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY, Switzerland (January 1) – With the 2018 wrestling season officially at a close, United World Wrestling has awarded “Best Wrestler of the Year” honors to David TAYLOR (USA) in freestyle, Petra OLLI (FIN) in women’s wrestling, and Peter BACSI (HUN) in Greco-Roman.

The award was based on the number of ranking points each of the wrestlers attained over the course of the 2018 season. A majority of points were earned at the world and continental championships, with additional points earned at a number of style-specific Ranking Series tournaments around the world.

For their efforts, Taylor, Olli and Bacsi each received a 10,000 CHF prize from United World Wrestling.

Taylor, the 86kg world champion in freestyle finished the season with 112 total ranking points. In addition to his world title Taylor took gold at 2018 Senior Pan-American championships, the Ivan Yariguin (Ranking Event), and the Yasar Dogu (Ranking Event). Taylor didn’t lose a match all season.

“I’m really grateful for the opportunity to compete for the USA and represent the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club,” said Taylor. “I wouldn’t have been able to reach this point without my coaches, training partners, and the treigning lab. I’m honored to be the wrestler of the year and look forward to 2019!


Olli, the 62kg world champion in women’s wrestling finished the season with 110 points. The first-ever Finnish world champion in women’s wrestling, Olli also took gold at the 2018 Senior European championships and the Klippan Ladies Open (Ranking Event), as well as a silver at the Ziolkowski/Pytlasinski/Poland Open (Ranking Event).

"I am very grateful and surprised to get such a great honor of recognition,” said Olli. “Wrestlers of the Year is a recognition means a lot of our team who works with me every day, but also for all of the Finland wrestling family.”


Bacsi, the 82kg world champion in Greco-Roman finished the season with 82 ranking points. In addition to his world title, the Hungarian wrestler also the gold medalist at the Granma y Cerro Pelado (Ranking Event) and silver at the Hungarian Grand Prix (Ranking Event).

At 35 years old, Bacsi was also this year’s oldest world champion in any wrestling style.


The 2019 United World Wrestling season will start on January 24th at the Ivan Yariguin Grand Prix in Krasnoyarsk, Russia with Ranking Series points up for grabs in freestyle and women’s wrestling.

Wrestling Modifies Draw, Brings Blockchain to the Mats

By United World Wrestling Press

CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY, Switzerland (December 10) -- The world's oldest sport is showing signs that it could be among the most innovative.

United World Wrestling has announced the implementation of a new draw process for competitions that includes the use of Blockchain technology to ensure a certifiably random assignment of athletes into competition brackets. The system, a first in the Olympic movement, has been reviewed, approved and applauded by the International Olympic Committee.

"We are always striving to improve our operations and guarantee total transparency in our draw process," said United World Wrestling IT Director Sebastien Guenat. " I'm happy we can introduce Blockchain as it will save us time during the draw of weight categories and ensure absolute random assignments."

The draws themselves will now only occur once per style. In effect, the draws will mean that athletes, coaches, and fans will be able to see some brackets up to three days in advance of the competition.

"This is a major step forward for us because it allows coaches to know in advance the opponent of their wrestlers in order to adjust their preparation," said United World Wrestling Sports Director Jean-Daniel Rey. "The process is always under review and these changes signal that we are ready to adapt to the needs of our coaches, athletes, and fans."

The Executive Committee, who approved the changes, also made note that there will now be a Technical Conference at the start of each style, whereas before there was only one conference prior to the start of the competition. Participation in the Technical Conference is still mandatory.

For the 2020 season it was decided that for Continental and World Qualifiers only one draw would be done for the entire event and that the 2020 Olympic Games will continue to utilize one draw per day.

The Executive Committee also approved scheduling semifinal bouts (where nations obtain their quota for the Olympic Games) for two-day competition formats (World Championships and European qualifiers) after the gold and silver medal bouts of the weight categories of the previous day.

A number of other minor changes were made to age limitations, reporting of injuries, disqualifications, and medal reassignments in cases of doping. The changes can be viewed on the United World Wrestling website, here.