Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! April 10, 2018

By Eric Olanowski

Reviewing the #WorldCupIowaCity and Aliyev's adjustment to 65kgs. Also taking a look at the upcoming Commonwealth Games and the European Championships.

1. USA Strikes Gold in Iowa City 
The United States of America capped off a historic weekend at the 2018 Freestyle World Cup winning four duals and bringing home their first title since 2003. The Americans wrapped up group action with wins over India (10-0), Japan (6-4) and Georgia (7-3). Their 3-0 record in the group stage locked up a spot in the finals with the winners of Group B, Azerbaijan. 

As they did all tournament, the red, white and blue rode on the coattail of the breakout performer of the World Cup, Kyle DAKE (USA) to in the gold-medal bout. To finish off his undefeated weekend, Dake used his lone takedown of the second period to knock off 2016 Rio bronze medalist, Jabril HASANOV (AZE), 5-3.

James GREEN (70kg), Jordan BURROUGHS (74kg), David TAYLOR (86kg) and Kyle SNYDER (97kg) also finished the weekend with undefeated 4-0 records. 

2018 #WorldCupIowaCity Medal Match Results: 
1st place: USA df. Azerbaijan, 6-4. 
3rdplace Japan df. Cuba, 6-4.
5th place: Georgia df. Mongolia, 6-4. 
7th place: Kazakhstan df. India, 10-0.


2. Japan Grabs Bronze. Highest Finish Since 1985 
Sparked by their trio of defensive wizard lightweights, Japan captured their first World Cup trophy since 1985. 

In group action, Japanese lightweights went an impressive 9-0 and catapulted Japan to their first medal match in 33 years. 

Ignited by 2017 world champion Yuki TAKAHASHI (57kg), the first three weights continued their winnings ways and remained undefeated in the bronze-medal bout against Cuba. After Cuba stormed back to win four of the last six bouts, Japan’s hopes of winning the bronze was placed on the back of their final wrestler, Taiki YAMAMOTO (JPN). 

Yamamoto trailed 5-4 heading into the final 30 seconds of the match before getting to a high crotch on the right side. He took the lead on criteria after driving Y. ALPAJON ESTE (CUB) out of bounds to pick up the step out point. After Cuba’s failed challenge and a late flurry from Alpajon Este, Yamamoto hung on to win the match, 6-5. 


3. Haji ALIYEV's (AZE) Adjusting to 65kg 
Three-time world champion Haji ALIYEV (AZE) won the 2017 world championship at 61kg. Around three months ago, the decision was made by Aliyev and the Azerbaijani coaching staff to bump up four kilograms and compete at 65kg. 

This weekend at the 2018 Freestyle World Cup, Aliyev went 2-2. In his first bout of the weekend, Aliyev was on the wrong side of a pin after trailing 8-2 to Cuban A. VALDES TOBIER. He then came back and picked up two straight wins, only to close out his weekend by falling 6-3 to 2016 world champion Logan STIEBER (USA). 

In speaking with Aliyev regarding the recent move up, he said “I changed weight categories and moved up to 65kg. It’s different, it’s difficult. I need to focus, but I think I’ll be fine…I changed to 65kg three months ago and just need to train more."

This was Haji's final competition before heading to Kaspiisk, Russia where he will be the 65kg representative for Azerbaijan at the European Championships. 

4. Commonwealth Games Kick Off This Week 
Canada, Nigeria, and India highlight the 2018 Commonwealth Games which begin April 12-14 in Gold Coast, Australia. 

At the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, Canada and Nigeria dominated the field in women’s wrestling, winning five of the six gold medals. India's Vinesh VINESH snagged the last gold medal of the competition. Of those six gold medalist, five will make their return to the Commonwealth Games with hopes of repeating as Commonwealth Games champions. 

In freestyle, it was Canada winning four gold medals while India captured the remaining three. Although only one champion in Korey JARVIS (CAN) returns, three other finalists return with hopes of bettering their performance from 2014. 

5. Europeans Championships Are Three Weeks Away 
The European Championships, United World Wrestling’s third continental (African and Asian) championship of the 2018 calendars begins April 30 at the Palace of Sport and Youth named after Ali Aliev.

The winners of the European Championships will be awarded 12 rankings points, second place will be given eight points and third place will be six points. 

Greco-Roman action begins Monday, April 30, women's wrestling takes over on Thursday, May 3, and the tournament will be wrapped up with freestyle beginning on Friday, May 5. 


Weekly FIVE! in Social Media

1. Kyle Dake back at it again! @kyledake444 

2. A. VALDES (CUB) With a huge 5 point throw!! ?? ? 

3. Georgia comes out on top after a crazy match against Mongolia ending 22-17!!! ? ? ?? ?? 

4. @alliseeisgold getting hyped after his big win in the final dual at the World Cup this weekend! ? ? 

5. Team Cuba got some serious skills on the court ? ?? ?? -