Seven Storylines to Follow at Russia's Greco-Roman National C'ships

By Tigran Avanian

KALININGRAD, Russia (January 11) - Sergey EMELIN, Stepan MARYANIAN, Artem SURKOV, Alexander CHEKHIRKIN, Musa EVLOEV,  and Sergey SEMENOV, the six current Greco-Roman world champions, are exempted from the Russian Greco-Roman National Championships, which will be held in Kaliningrad, Russia, from January 17-21. But this does not make the upcoming competition less interesting, largely due to the fact that Olympic champions, Roman VLASOV and Davit CHAKVETADZE, will strive to regain their former positions. 

Roman VLASOV, Russia's two-time Olympic champion returns to the mat after suffering a knee injury before the 2018 World Championships. (Photo: Max Rose-Fyne) 

1. Roman Vlasov, Old and New Rivals 
At 77kg, the current world champion Alexander Chekhirkin was freed from the Russian National Championships, and the two-time Olympic champion Roman Vlasov, who missed the end of last season due to injury, is in line and intends to regain the title of the best wrestler in the country. 

He will be confronted by an old rival, 2014 world champion Chingiz LABAZANOV, and two new rivals, Islam OPIEV and Egor KADIROV, who are winners of the junior world and European championships, respectively. 

2. Possible Revenge For Davit Chakvetadze 
At last year's Russian National Championships, Olympic champion Davit Chakvetadze, who just returned from injury, suffered a crushing defeat to Bekkhan OZDOEV. Ozdoev, the silver medalist of the 2018 European Championships went to the 2018 World Championships but failed to medal.

EuIn Kaliningrad, Chakvetadze will strive for revenge, while there are a number of other ambitious wrestlers, including Alan OSTAEV, who has already defeated world and European champion Maxim MANUKYAN (ARM).

Alexander GOLOVIN celebrates after winning his second U22 World title. Golovin is one of the 97kg favorites. (Photo: Max Rose-Fyne)

3. Nikita Melnikov - Alexander Golovin 
The reigning world champion Musa EVLOEV will not wrestle at the Russian National Championships, however, there's high competition in his weight, and the match between 2013 world and 2016 European champion, Nikita MELNIKOV, and two-time U23 world champion Alexander GOLOVIN is expected to happen. 

We also single out junior world bronze medalists, Ruslan BEKUZAROV and Arthur SARGSYAN. 

4. Trio of Flyers 
There's interesting competition looming at 55kg. This category is only a year old - and the leaders here are Vasily TOPOEV and U23 world runner-up Vitaly KABALOEV.  But now, Emin SEVERSHAEV, who has been a leader on the junior team for a long time, is ready to join the fight. 

5. Adam Kurak - Abuazid Manzigov 
This confrontation is already becoming a landmark. Abuyazid MANTSIGOV, the 2017 European bronze medalist missed out on a medal at the 2018 World Championships, while Adam KURAK has taken bronze at the World Championships and won the European Championships twice. In their extreme match before the World Championships, Manzigov was stronger. 

How will it be this time? 

Aleksander KOMAROV has won four age-level world titles and would be among the favorites at 82kg - if he decides to compete on the senior level. (Photo: Max Rose-Fyne) 

6. Chance of Alekander Komarov 
Aleksander KOMAROV still remains on the junior team, where he can wrestle for one more year. But while there's time before the junior qualifiers, the time has come for the four-time age-level world champion to declare himself for the Senior Russian National Championships - especially with the country going through hard times at 82kg. 

After the injury to 2016 world champion Ramazan ABACHARAEV, and Imil SHARAFETDINOV not successfully performing at the 2018 World Championships, isn't it time for Alexander Komarov to take his shot at a non-Olympic weight spot?

7. Favorites in the absence of world champions 
In each weight, without mentioning above, there are favorites in the absence of world champions. 

At 60kg, without Sergey Emelin, the highest chance of winning goes to the 2012 London Olympic bronze medalist Mingiyan SEMENOV. 

In the weight up to 63kg, without Stepan MARYANIAN, the favorite is Ibragim LABAZANOV. 

For the third time in a row, in the absence of Artem Surkov at 67kg, Zaur KABALOYEV can win the Russian National Championships. 

At heavyweight, without Sergey Semenov, Vitaly SCHUR, the 2018 European runner-up, has the highest chance of success. 

This story was translated from wrestrus.ru. 


January 17 (Thursday) 
10:00 - Mandate Commission 
16:00 - Meeting of the panel of judges, representatives of the teams 
17: 30 - Draw and medical control of weight categories up to 55kg, 60kg, 63kg, and 67kg 

January 18 (Friday) 
7:00 - Opening of the entrance for athletes 
8:00 - Weighing, weight categories up to 55kg ,60kg ,63kg, and 67kg 
10:00 - Start of competition 
15:00 - Break 
16:00 - Draw and medical control of weight categories up to 72kg, 77kg, and 97kg 
17:00-  Semifinals in weight categories up to 55kg ,60kg, 63kg, and 67 kg 

January 19 (Saturday) 
7:00 - Opening of the entrance for athletes 
8: 00 - The second weighing for weight categories up to 55kg, 60kg, 63kg, and 67 kg 
8:15 - Weighing, weight categories up to 72kg, 77kg, and 97kg 
10:00 - Start of competition 
15: 00 - Break 

16: 00 - Draw and medical control for weight categories up to 82kg, 87kg, and 130 kg 
17:00 - Opening Ceremony
17:00 - Semifinals in weight categories up to 72kg, 77kg, and 97kg 
18:00 - Finals in weight categories up to 55kg ,60kg, 63kg, and 67 kg 

January 20 (Sunday) 
7:00 - Opening of the entrance for athletes 
8:00 - Second weighing for weight categories up to 60kg, 77kg, and 97kg 
8:15 - Weighing, weight categories up to 82kg, 87kg, and 130kg 
10:00 Start of competition 
15: 00 - Break 
17:00 - Semifinals in weight categories up to 82kg, 87, and 130 kg 
18:00 - Finals in weight categories up to 72kg, 77kg, and 97kg. 

January 21 (Monday) 
7:00 - Opening of the entrance for athletes 
8: 00 -The second weighing for weight categories up to 82kg, 87kg, and 130kg 
10:00 - Start of competition 
12:00 - Finals in weight categories up to 82kg 87kg, 130kg. 

Attention! The program is subject to change.

Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! March 19, 2019

By Eric Olanowski

Discussing Russia winning the Freestyle World Cup on home soil and looking at theThor Masters results. Also looking at the upcoming U23 Asian Championships, "Hollywood wrestles Bollywood" and the European Championships. 

1. Russia Wins Freestyle World Cup on Home Soil  
The Russian Federation closed out the Freestyle World Cup with an impressive 9-1 win over Iran to claim their first team title since the 2011 Makhachkala World Cup. This was their seventh Freestyle World Cup title, but first in eight years. 

Overall, Russia went 4-0 on the weekend and compiled a combined individual record of 36-4 over their 40 matches. In addition to their finals win over Iran, they also picked up wins over Cuba (10-0), Japan (8-2), and Turkey (9-1). 

Meanwhile, in the third-place bout, the defending champion the United States edged Japan, 6-4. 

The pair traded blows and were tied three-all after the first six matches. Sohsuke TAKATANI (JPN) broke that tie after his 14-3 routing of Samuel Joseph BROOKS (USA), but three consecutive American wins from Hayden ZILLMER, Kyven Ross GADSON, and Anthony NELSON gave the Stars and Stripes the 6-4 advantage, and ultimately the third-place finish. 

Cuba finished fifth place after they defeated Mongolia, 6-4, and Georgia claimed seventh place after beating Turkey, 8-2.

GOLD - Russia df. Iran, 9-1
BRONZE - United States df. Japan, 6-4 
Fifth - Cuba df. Mongolia, 6-4
Seventh - Georgia df. Turkey, 8-2

2. U23 Asian Championships Starts Thursday 
The U23 Continental Championships train continues to roll this weekend and will make its stop in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, for the 2019 U23 Asian Championships

The four-day tournament begins on Thursday and will go through Sunday.


Thursday (March 21) 
9:30 - Medical examination and Weigh-in GR - 60,67,72,77,82,97,130kg
11:30 - Qualification rounds and repechage GR - 60,67,72,77,82,97,130kg
14:45 - Draw - GR - 55,63,87kg / WW - 55,59,72kg / FS – 61,92kg
17:30 - Opening Ceremony
18:00 - Finals GR – 60,67,72,77,82,97,130kg

Friday (March 22) 
9:30 - Medical examination and Weigh-in (GR - 55,63,87kg / WW - 55,59,72kg / FS – 61,92kg)
11:30 - Qualification rounds and repechages - GR - 55,63,87kg / WW - 55,59,72kg / FS – 61,92kg 

14:45 - Draw WW – 50,57,65,68kg / FS – 57,65,74,125kg
18: 00 - Finals GR - 55,63,87kg / WW - 55,59,72kg / FS – 61,92kg

Saturday (March 23) 
19:30 - Medical examination and Weigh-in - WW – 50,57,65,68kg / FS – 57,65,74,125kg
11:30 - Qualification rounds and repechages - WW – 50,57,65,68kg / FS – 57,65,74,125kg
14:45 - Draw WW – 53,62,76kg / FS – 70,79,86,97kg
18: 00 - Finals WW – 50,57,65,68kg / FS – 57,65,74,125kg

Sunday (March 24) 
9:30 - Medical examination and Weigh-in - WW – 53,62,76kg / FS – 70,79,86,97kg
11:30 - Qualifications rounds and repechage WW – 53,62,76kg / FS – 70,79,86,97kg 

18:00 - Finals WW – 53,62,76kg / FS – 70,79,86,97kg

Roland SCHWARZ was one of three German wretlers who won a gold medal at the 2019 Thor Masters last weekend. (Photo: Max Rose-Fyne)

3. Germany win Three Thor Masters Golds 
The Thor Masters, an all-Greco-Roman tournament, wrapped up last weekend in Nykobing Falster, Denmark, and Germany was the frontrunner, winning three of the ten gold medals. Denmark and Ukraine had a pair of gold medalists, while Finland, Norway, and Sweden each had a solo gold medalist. 



SILVER - Christoph KRAEMER (GER)     

BRONZE - Nasrullakh NASIBO (UKR)

SILVER - Ruslan  KUDRYNETS (UKR)      



GOLD - Raibek BISULTANOV (DEN)        
SILVER - Hannes WAGNER (GER)          


GOLD - Zakarias BERG (SWE)   
SILVER - Denis KUDLA (GER)    

GOLD - Matti KUOSMANEN (FIN)        

GOLD - Nikolai  KUCHMIY (UKR)          
SILVER - Eduard POPP (GER)   

4. "Hollywood wrestles Bollywood" Begins March 31 
Women's Wrestling stars from the United States and India will face off against each other on Sunday, March 31 in the 'Hollywood Wrestles Bollywood' at Los Angles' historic Wiltern Theater.

According to www.beatthestreets-la.org, "The dual will be apart of Beat the Streets Los Angeles’ 5th Annual Benefit and International Competition, which is a yearly fundraising and awareness event for the LA-based wrestling non-profit."

There will be eleven top-15 ranked wrestlers in action, with six of those being ranked in the top-5 of the latest world rankings. (The latest rankings can be found on www.unitedworldwrestling.org 's homepage) 

Of the ten star-studded bouts, the most intriguing matchup comes at 53kg, where returning world runner-up and top-ranked Sarah HILDEBRANDT (USA) will take on No. 11 Vinesh VINESH (IND). 

This will be a rematch of last months Dan Kolov semifinals, where Vinesh stuck Hildebrant to put herself in the Ranking Series tournament finals. She ultimately fell to China's PANG Qianyu in the finals. 

The dual starts at 15:00 on March 31. 

United States vs. India 
50kg: No. 15 Whitney CONDER vs. Sheetal TOMAR 
53kg: No. 1 Sarah HILDEBRANDT vs. No. 11 Vinesh VINESH
55kg: No. 6 Jacarra WINCHESTER vs. Pinki PINKI
57kg: Jenna BURKERT vs. No. 6 Pooja DHANDA
59kg: Alli RAGAN vs. No. 4 Sarita SARITA
62kg: No. 5 Mallory VELTE vs. Sakshi MALIK  
65kg: No. 2 Forrest MOLINARI vs. Navjot KAUR 
68kg: No. 2 Tamyra MENSAH vs. Divya KAKRAN 
72kg: Rachel WATTERS vs. No. 12 (at 76kg) Kiran KIRAN 
76kg: No. 1 Adeline GRAY vs. Sudesh SUDESH 

Abdulrashid SADUALEV (RUS) is expected to compete for Russia at the 2019 European Championships. (Photo: Max Rose-Fyne) 

5. European Championships Less Than Three Weeks Away 
In less than three weeks, 20 days to be exact, Bucharest, Romania, will be the host site for the 2019 European Championships. Europe proves year in and year out to be the deepest wrestling continent in the world when it comes to placing wrestlers on the podium at the World Championships. 

In total, eighteen of last year’s thirty world champions hailed from Europe. Ten Greco-Roman, five freestyle and three women’s wrestling world champions came from Europe.

The tournament begins on April 8 and will go until April 14 and can be watched on www.unitedworldwrestling.org. 


Weekly FIVE! In Social Media 
1. Big Move Monday -- Nugzari TSURTSUMIA (GEO) -- 2019 U-23 Europe
2. Big Move from Day 2 at the Freestyle World Cup • Yakutsk 2019
3. Big Move from Day 1 at the Freestyle World Cup • Yakutsk 2019
4. MARGHZARI (IRI) comes back from near loss with a throw straight into a pin!! 🇮🇷 💪 #unitedworldwrestling #wrestling#wrestleyakutsk
5. Big Throw in round 3 from GHIASI CHEKA (IRI) 💪🇮🇷#wrestleyakutsk #uww #wrestling