Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! April 2, 2019

By Eric Olanowski

This week's Weekly FIVE is dedicated to the 2019 European Championships, which begin April 8-14 in Bucharest, Romania. 

1. 22 Returning European Champions Set to Compete in Bucharest 
There will be 22 returning European champions competing at next week's 2019 European Championships in Bucharest, Romania. 

Greco-Roman and women’s wrestling each return eight of the ten Kaspisk gold medalists. 

In Greco-Roman, Adam KURAK (RUS) and Artur ALEKSANYAN (ARM) are two defending champions who’ll sit out in Bucharest, while the pair of women’s wrestling returning champions who won’t make the trip to Romania are reigning 50kg and 68kg gold medalists respectively, Mariya STADNIK (AZE) and Anastasia BRATCHIKOVA (RUS). 

The Freestyle competition is expected to feature six returning champions. The tournament will be without Russia’s Gadshimurad RASHIDOV, Artur NAIFONOV, Abdulrashid SADULAEV, and Turkey’s Soener DEMIRTAS.  

Returning European Champions 
65kg - Haji ALIYEV (AZE) 
74kg - Magomed KURBANALIEV (RUS) 
97kg - Vladislav BAITSAEV (RUS)
125kg - Taha AKGUL (TUR) 

55kg - Eldaniz AZIZLI (AZE)
60kg - Sergey EMELIN (RUS) 
63kg - Mihai MIHUT (ROU) 
67kg - Artem SURKOV (RUS) 
77kg - Roman VLASOV (RUS) 
87kg - Maksim MANUKYAN (ARM) 
87kg -  Roberti KOBLIASHVILI (GEO)
130kg - Riza KAYAALP (TUR) 

Women’s Wrestling 
53kg - Stalvira ORSHUSH (RUS) 
57kg - Iryna KURACHKINA (BLR) 
57kg -Bilyana DUDOVA (BUL)
59kg - Elif YESILIRMAK (TUR) 
62kg - Taybe YUSEIN (BUL) 
65kg - Petra OLLI (FIN) 
68kg - Anna FRANSSON (SWE) 
76kg - Yasemin ADAR (TUR) 

2. Olympic Champs Vlasov and Chakvetadze Added to Russia’s GR Lineup 
Just when the wrestling world thought the Russia Federation’s Greco-Roman lineup couldn’t get any better, they fill in their “holes” with the likes of Olympic champions Roman VLASOV and Davit CHAKVETADZE and four-time age-group world champion Aleksander KOMAROV. 

Vlasov, the two-time Olympic champion, pulled out of the World Championships two weeks prior after undergoing knee surgery. He gets reinserted into Russia’s lineup over his backup Aleksander CHERHIRKIN, who took advantage of Vlasov's absence by winning the 77kg world title in Budapest.

Olympic champion Chakvetadze takes the place of Bekkhan OZDOEV (RUS) at 87kg, and Komarov, takes over for Imil SHARAFETDINOV (RUS) at 82kg. 

With the additions of Vlasov, Chakvetadze, and Komarov, Russia’s lineup now features five returning world champions, two Olympic champions, a four-time age-group world champion, and a U23 world runner-up. The only wrestler without a world medal is Abuiazid MANTSIGOV, who fell in the 2018 bronze-medal bout at the 2018 World Championships. 

Russia’s Greco-Roman Lineup 
55kg - Vitalii KABALOEV - U23 world silver 
60kg - Sergey EMELIN - world champion
63kg - Stepan MARYANYAN - world champion
67kg - Artem SURKOV - world champion
72kg - Abuiazid MANTSIGOV
77kg - Roman VLASOV – two-time Olympic champion
82kg - Aleksandr KOMAROV – four-time world champion 
87kg - Davit CHAKVETADZE – Olympic champion 
97kg - Musa EVLOEV - world champion
130kg - Sergey SEMENOV – world champion 

3. Turkey Elects to go with Gor over Demirtas at 74kg 
Turkey elected to insert Yakup GOR into the European Championships at 74kg over three-time defending European champion Soener DEMIRTAS.

Gor, the two-time world bronze medalist, moved up to 74kg after finishing the 2017 Paris World Championships with a 70kg bronze medal but lost his starting spot to Demirtas in 2018. 

Gor comes into the European Championships ranked No. 6 in the world at 74. He has 28 Ranking Series points after his falling to defending world champion Zaurbek SIDAKOV (RUS) in the Ivan Yariguin finals, and a bronze-medal finish at the Dan Kolov. 

4. Poland Gives Zasina Nod Over Krawczyk at 53kg 
Poland made the difficult decision to roll with reigning 55kg European runner-up Roksana ZASINA (POL) over the world’s sixth-ranked 53kg wrestler, Katarzyna KRAWCZYK (POL). 

Zasina, the No. 16 ranked wrestler in the world and 2017 world bronze medalist, is dropping down from 55kg and takes the 53kg European spot from Krawczyk, who was a fifth-place finisher in Budapest and bronze medalist at the 2018 European Championships. 

The European Championships will be Zasina’s first appearance down at 53kg since her world podium run in Paris in 2017, where she finished with a bronze medal. 

5. World Champion Manukyan Moving up to 87kg 
Defending 82kg European champion Maksim MANUKYAN (ARM) will move up to 87kg for the European Championships. 

Manukyan, the 2017 80kg world champion, has bounced around over the past twelve months from 82kg to 87kg but has never competed above 82kg at a Continental or World Championships. Last season, Manukyan competed at 82kg in both Kasipiisk and Budapest. 

For Manukyan to win his second consecutive European title, he’ll have to upend reigning 87kg European champion, Roberti KOBLIASHVILI (GEO). 

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media 

1. #WrestleBucharest European C'ships, One Week To Go!
2. #OnThisDayHaji ALIYEV (AZE), the reigning 61kg world champion gave Azerbaijan their second straight gold medal of the night with a last-second takedown to defeat reigning 65kg European champion, Ilias BEKBULATOV (RUS), 8-7. 
#WrestleBucharest , 6 Days To Go ! 
3. Reigning 77kg European champion, @vlasovroma90. Does he repeat next week at the #WrestleBucharestEuropean Championships?
4. 300k!! A huge thank you to all our wrestling fans across the world 🗺 🤼‍♂️
5. Big Move Monday -- ALACA (TUR) -- 2018 Cadet Worlds

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Big Move Monday -- ALACA (TUR) -- 2018 Cadet Worlds

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Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! April 16, 2019

By Eric Olanowski

Discussing the European C'ship results, this week's Pan-American C'ships, and next week's Asian's C'ships. Also looking at the newly released Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games wrestling schedule. 

1. European Championships Wrap up in Bucharest 
The 2019 European Championships wrapped up on Sunday night in Bucharest, Romania, and it was the Russian Federation who claimed team titles in both freestyle and Greco-Roman, while Ukraine won the women’s wrestling team trophy. 

In freestyleThe Russian Federation trailed Azerbaijan by five points heading into the final day of wrestling but closed out the freestyle competition with two golds, two silvers, and four bronze medals to win the team title six points ahead of second place Turkey. 

Azerbaijan (145 points), Georgia (104 points), and Ukraine (80 points) rounded out the top-five in freestyle. 

In Greco-Roman, the Russian Federation repeated as European champions, winning five individual gold medals and having nine of ten wrestlers reach the podium. Russia finished 60 points ahead of second-place Turkey. 

Azerbaijan (76 points), Germany (72 points), and Georgia (72 points) finished third through fifth respectively. 

In women’s wrestling, Ukraine, who had a solo bronze medalist and finished last year’s Kaspiisk European Championships in seventh place, capped off their improbable run to a European team title on the backs of four individual women’s wrestling championship performances. 

Bulgaria (112 points), Turkey (98 points), Azerbaijan (96 points), and Russia (89 points) were the other top-five finishers respectively.  

Click HERE for the full #WrestleBucharest event hub. 

Canada's Erica WIEBE (CAN) is one of four Olympic champions wrestling at the 2019 Pan-American Championships. (Photo: Max Rose-Fyne)

2. Four Olympic Champions Make Up 2019 Pan American Championships Field
Six Olympic medalists, including four Olympic champions, highlight the field at the 2019 Senior Pan American Championships in Buenos Aires, Argentina, April 18-21. Each style has at least one Olympic champion in the field.  

Three of the four Olympic medalists in the men’s freestyle brackets come from USA, including 2012 champion Jordan BURROUGHS, 2016 champion Kyle SNYDER and 2016 bronze medalist J’den COX.

In women's wrestling, 2016 Olympic champion Erica WIEBE (CAN) will compete this week at 76kg, while Rio Greco-Roman Olympic champion and five-time Pan American champion Ismael BORRERO MOLINA (CUB) at 67kg.

Click HERE for Taylor Miller's full Pan-American Championship preview. 

Japan's Kaori ICHO will be looking for her fifth women's wrestling Olympic gold medal. (Photo: Gabor Martin)

3. Women’s Wrestling at Center Stage as Tokyo 2020 Announces Detailed Competition Schedule
The Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) has announced the detailed competition schedule for the sport of wrestling at the 2020 Olympic Games. The two-day competition format will feature women’s wrestling as the final gold medal bout on each day of competition. 

Japan is the most dominant women’s wrestling nation in the world having won 11 of 18 Olympic gold medals since 2004, the first year the sport was included on the Olympic programme. The island nation has also won 22 world team titles since the first women’s wrestling world championships in 1987, including 11 of the last 13.

“The schedule announced by Tokyo 2020 will help wrestling ensure high attendance for each day of the competition,” said United World Wrestling president Nenad Lalovic. “We saw nice crowds in Brazil and expect that this schedule will help us reach even more fans and create a positive and energetic environment for all our competitors. The stars of women’s wrestling will guarantee that interest-level.”

Greco-Roman will join women for the first half of the schedule, with freestyle set to wrap up the Games alongside the aforementioned women’s weight categories.

Click HERE for Tim Foley's breakdown of the full Olympic schedule. 

4. Kayaalp, Bisultanov, and Ciobanu Make History at European Championships 
Turkey’s Riza KAYAALP authored a new page in the Turkish wrestling history books on Saturday night by winning his ninth European title. Kayaalp entered the night tied with Hamza YERLIKAYA, who also had eight European titles, but surpassed Yerlikaya with his Day 6 win at the Polyvalent Hall in Bucharest, Romania.

In his 130kg Greco-Roman gold-medal bout, Kayaalp scored three points from a stepout and a takedown to defeat Iakobi KAJAIA (GEO), 3-0.

Moldova’s Victor Ciobanu and Denmark’s Rajbek Bisultanov reached the top of the European championship podium and made history for their countries on the closing day of the wrestling in Bucharest.

In the 60kg Greco-Roman finals, Victor Ciobanu pulled off perhaps the biggest upset of these European Championships, defeating the defending world and European champion Sergey EMELIN (RUS), 5-5, on criteria, and became the first-ever Moldovan Greco-Roman European champion.  

In the 82kg Greco-Roman finals, Rajbek Bisultanov ended Denmark’s 93-year drought without a European gold medal, becoming the first wrestler from his nation to circle the mat with a Danish flag since Johannes JACOBSEN did so at the Riga European title in 1926. 

Bisultanov fell behind 1-0 to Georgia’s Lasha GOBADZE (GEO) but scored two exposure points and a takedown, ending the opening frame with a 4-1 lead. In the closing period, the Danish wrestler was dinged for a caution-and-two but held on to win 4-3.

China's No. 1-ranked RONG Ningning will be one of two returning world champs competing at this year's Asian Championships. (Photo: Max Rose-Fyne) 

5. Asian Championships Kick off Next Week in Xi'an, China 
Xi’an's Electronic Science and Technology University Gymnasium will be the host site for this year's Asian Championships, which take place in Xi'an, China from March 23-28. 

In total, 19 returning medalists from last year's world championships will be in action. 

Women's wrestling leads the way with ten returning podium finishers. They'll have two champions, one silver, and seven returning bronze competing. 

Greco-Roman will have one returning finalist and five bronze medalists, while freestyle has a pair of 2018 runner-ups and two bronze-medal finishers taking the mat in China next week. 

All the action can be followed live on www.unitedworldwrestling.org. 

Monday (March 22) 
17:00 - Draw FS – 57-65-70-79-97kg

Tuesday (March 23) 
9:30 - Medical examination and Weigh-in FS – 57-65-70-779-97kg
11:30 - Qualification rounds and repechage FS – 57-65-70-79-97kg
14:45 - Draw FS – 61-74-86-92-125kg
17:30 - Opening ceremony
18:00 - Finals FS – 57-65-70-79-97kg
18:00 - Award ceremonies 

Wednesday (March 24) 
9:30 - Medical examination and Weigh-in FS – 61-74-86-92-125kg 
11:30 - Qualification rounds and repechage FS – 61-74-86-92-125kg
14:45 - Draw WW – 50-55-59-68-76kg
18:00 - Finals FS – 61-74-86-92-125kg
18:00 - Award ceremonies / Cérémonies protocolaires

Thursday (March 25) 
9:30 - Medical examination and Weigh-in WW – 50-55-59-68-76kg 11:30 - Qualification rounds and repechage WW – 50-55-59-68-76kg
14:45 - Draw WW – 53-57-62-65-72kg
18:00 - Finals WW – 50-55-59-68-76kg
18:00 - Award ceremonies

Friday (March 26) 
9:30 - Medical examination and Weigh-in WW – 53-57-62-65-72kg 11:30 - Qualification rounds and repechage WW – 53-57-62-65-72kg
14:45 - Draw GR – 55-63-77-87-130kg
18:00 - Finals WW – 53-57-62-65-72kg
Award ceremonies / Cérémonies protocolaires

Saturday (March 27) 
9:30 - Medical examination and Weigh-in GR – 55-63-77-87-130kg 
11:30 - Qualification rounds and repechage GR – 55-63-77-87-130kg
14:45 - Draw GR – 60-67-72-82-97kg
18:00 - Finals GR – 55-63-77-87-130kg
Award ceremonies 

Sunday (March 28) 
9:30 - Medical examination and Weigh-in GR – 60-67-72-82-97kg
11:30 - Qualification rounds and repechage GR – 60-67-72-82-97kg 
18:00 - Finals matches GR – 60-67-72-82-97kg Award ceremonies 

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media 

1. Greco-Roman highlights from the European Championships 🔥😲 // Head over to our stories for the full video . .
2. Big Move(s) From Day 7 // #WrestleBucharest
3. Big Move From Day 6 // #WrestleBucharest
4. 🇦🇲 @maxim_manukyan 🇦🇲 🖐️ ➡ 📍
5. Big Move From Day 3 // #WrestleBucharest

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Big Move From Day 6 // #WrestleBucharest

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