Ivan Yarygin

Snyder and Sadulaev Seek Second Yarygin Titles

By Eric Olanowski

KRASNOYARSK, Russia (January 25) - Three-time world and Olympic champions Kyle SNYDER (USA) and Abdualrashid SADULAEV (RUS) look to win their second crowns at United World Wrestling’s first major ranking series event of 2018, the Ivan Yarygin.

Widely regarded as the toughest freestyle tournament in the world, the Ivan Yarygin begins Friday morning in Krasnoyarsk, Russia. This is the first of the four freestyle specialty ranking tournaments of the season. The additional specialty tournaments include the Tbilisi GP (GEO), South Africa Open (RSA) and the Medved (BLR).

Reigning Yarygin champion Zaur UGUEV (RUS) will try to capture his second straight title. The 2017 Russian national team representative will be challenged by fellow Russian and junior world champion, Azamat TUSKAEV (RUS).

Three world medalists will try to reverse Ilyas BEKBULATOV’s (RUS) winning ways from a season ago where he bagged a Yarygin gold medal. 2017 world bronze medalists Alan GOGAEV (RUS) and Akhmed CHAKAEV (RUS) and world champ, Logan STIEBER (USA) have hopes of denying Bekbulatov from grabbing eight first place tournament points.

Vying for top-spot at 65kg will be a trio of Russian hammers in 2017 world finalist Gadzhimurad RASHIDOV (RUS), 2016  Yarygin champion Aleksander BOGOMOEV (RUS) and International D. A. Kunaev Tournament champion Ismail MUSUKAEV(RUS). Also looking to make his case for supremacy at 65kg is U23 world bronze medalist Shota PHARTENADZE (GEO).

Israil KASUMOV (RUS) has not lost at the Yaryin since 2015. Looking to give him that first loss will be 2016 world champion Magomed KURBANALIEV (RUS) and 2016 Olympian Frank MOLINARO (USA).

Among the entrants at 74kg, Russian world teamer Magomedkhabib KADIMAGOMEDOV (RUS) and last year’s world runner-up Khetag TSABOLOV (RUS) are the two expected finalist.

2016 Olympic silver medalist Aniuar GEDUEV (RUS) will attempt to stop fellow Russian Akhmed GADZHIMAGOMEDOV from winning his third Yarygin title. Also scrambling for the gold medal will be 2013 world bronze medalist Rashid KURBANOV (UZB) and Grand Prix of Paris champion, Kyle DAKE (USA).

Last year’s Yarygin winner, Daueren KURUGLIEV (RUS) will have to navigate a gauntlet of Olympians and world medalists if he’s going to look to repeat as champion. Other wrestlers looking to take home gold are Rio silver medalist, Selim YASAR (TUR), world bronze medalist Vladislav VALIEV (RUS) and 2015 world bronze medalist and 2016 Olympian, Sandro AMINASHVILI (GEO).

A darkhorse at this weight to keep an eye on would be 2017 Grand Prix of Paris champion, David TAYLOR (USA).

Down from 97kg, 2016 champion, Abdulrashid SADULAEV (RUS) is the front-runner to take the 92kg crown. Sadulaev is competing in his first Yarygin since 2014 where he defeated Shamil KUDIYAMAGOMEDOV (RUS) to win the 86kg crown. Among his toughest competition will be 2014 Yarygin champion and 2012 Olympian, Anzor URISHEV (RUS).

The clear-cut favorite to win the title is defending champ, Kyle SNYDER (USA). This will be Snyder’s third time making the trek to Krasnoyarsk. He has competed at this event two previous times, taking third in 2016 and winning it all a year ago.

The four leading candidates to take home the gold medal are defending champion Alan KHUGAEV (RUS), 2016 Olympian Alen ZASIEIEV (UKR), world bronze medalist Nick GWIAZDOWSKI (USA) and fifth place finisher at the 2017 World Championships, Anzor KHIZRIEV (RUS).

Women’s Wrestling (*Not a ranking series event)
It’ll be 2017 Dave Schultz Memorial International champion Victoria ANTHONY (USA) that’ll be tasked with bocking Yuki IRIE (JPN) from winning her third Yarygin crown and first since 2016.

Looking to improve on her third place finish from a year ago, two-time junior world champion MIYAHARA YU (JPN) will have to fight off Olympian HALEY ANGELLO (USA) and International Ukrainian Tournament champion Irina HUSYAK (UKR).

Bilyana Zhivkova DUDOVA (BUL) who narrowly missed out on a medal at the 2017 World Championships, cadet world champion Andoria Hanako SAWA (JPN) and Tatyana KIT (UKR) U23 bronze medalist will each be looking for their first Yarygin crown.

World bronze medalist from 2014 Iryna CHYKHRADZE (UKR) will be tasked with stopped Katsuki SAKAGAMI (JPN) from defending her Yarygin championship from a year ago.

The front runner at 59kg is 2017 World finalist Allison RAGAN (USA). Ragan wrestled in her first Ivan Yaryin a year ago, where she finished in third place.

Japanese world team representative SAKAE KIWA (JPN) hopes to stop previous world runner-up Yulia TKACH from winning her first Yarygin title.

World finalist from 2015 Petra OLLI (FIN) competes in her first Yarygin since 2014 where she took home a bronze medal.

Last year, Tamyra MENSAH-STOCK (USA) defeated Nasanburmaa OCHIRBAT (MGL) in the finals of her first Ivan Yarygin. This season, she’ll have to go through Olympian Cherkasova, Alla (UKR) or Mai HAYAKAWA (JPN) if she hopes to leave Krasnoyarsk with her second title.

Three-time junior World champion Masako FURUICHI (JPN) has wrestled in Krasnoyarsk two previous times, but has never placed higher than fifth.

The favorites at 76kg are Olympian and 2015 world bronze medalist EPP MAE (EST) and two-time junior world champion Rino ABE (JPN).

*All preliminary line-ups are subject to change.

Friday, January 26:
Women's wrestling: 50kg, 55kg, 59kg and 65 kg.
Freestyle: 57kg, 61kg and 70kg

Saturday, January 27: 
Women's wrestling: 53kg, 57kg, 62kg and  68 kg. 
Freestyle: 65kg,79kg and 125kg

Sunday, January 28: 
Women's wrestling: 72kg and 76kg.
Freestyle:  74kg, 86kg, 92kg and 97kg

Ivan Yarygin

Sadulaev to Sit out Ivan Yarygin

By Eric Olanowski

CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY, Switzerland (January 5) -- Gaidar GAIDAROV (RUS), the “Senior Coach of the Dagestan National Wrestling Team,” has confirmed to United World Wrestling that three-time world and Olympic champion Abdulrashid SADULAEV (RUS) will sit out of the first Ranking Series event of the year, the Ivan Yarygin. Gaidarov simply told UWW “No, he will not be wrestling in Krasnoyarsk.” 

The news of Sadulaev not competing comes five days before registration closes, and 20 days before the first whistle at the Ivan Yarygin, which is often referred to as the “Toughest Wrestling Tournament in the World.”

Sadualev not making the trip to Krasnoyarsk eliminates the potential “Round 3” matchup with the two-time world and Olympic champion Kyle SNYDER (USA) after the pair split the 2017 and 2018 world finals. “Captain America” was victorious in 2017, but the “Russian Tank” got his revenge in 2018, pinning Snyder one minute into the 97kg gold-medal bout. 

The duo of superstars have recently gone back and forth on Instagram teasing a potential third match at the Ivan Yarygin. 

First, it was Snyder who tagged Sadulaev in a  post captioned, “Round 3. Let's do it. Krasnoyarsk, Russia." 

Sadulaev quickly responded, saying, ”Buddy Snyder, I understand your condition, but I advise you to approach the trilogy with a cool head. And then suddenly the psyche will suffer. On the way to Tokyo 2020, we will meet again.”

With the news of Sadulaev sitting out of the Yarygin, it looks like we’ll have to wait until the 2019 World Championships in Astana, Kazakhstan, for the third match-up. 

The Ivan Yarygin begins on January 24 and is the first Ranking Series for freestyle and women’s wrestling.