Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! April 23, 2019

By Eric Olanowski

Discussing the American's winning ten freestyle Pan-American golds, and the Asian and Oceania Championships. Also looking at Olympic champions Icho and Gatsalov making their returns after long layoffs. 

1. USA Freestyle Sweeps Pan-American Championships 
In what was the most dominant continental performance ever, the United States’ freestyle team swept the Pan-American Championships in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and won all ten gold medals. 

En route to their history-making performance, the United States went a perfect 34-0 and outscored their opponents 301-28. The USA finished with 250 points, which was 121 points ahead of second place Canada, who closed out the freestyle portion of the tournament with 129 points. 

Cuba (115 points), Puerto Rico (72 points), and Venezuela (68 points) rounded out the top five in freestyle. 

Meanwhile, the Stars and Stripes also claimed team titles in Greco-Roman and women’s wrestling.

In Greco-Roman, the USA inserted eight wrestlers into gold-medal bouts and won four gold medals. Cuba (135 points), Brazil (98 points), Venezuela (84 points), and Mexico (64 points), finished second through fifth respectively.

In women’s wrestling, the Red, White, and Blue medaled in nine of ten weights, including reaching the top of the podium in five weight classes. The USA finished with 200 points. The other top-five team finishers respectively were Canada (167 points), Ecuador (89 points), Brazil (89 points), and Cuba (86 points). 

Click here for full Pan-American Results

2. Asian Championships Kicked off Today in Xi’an, China 
The Asian Championships kicked off today at Xi’an's Electronic Science and Technology University Gymnasium and will last through Sunday (March 28). 

The first five freestyle weights were settled today, and it was a trio of Iranian wrestlers who grabbed titles on the opening day, with the 65kg and 70kg gold medals going to India’s Bajrang PUNIA (IND) and Kazakhstan’s Nurkozha KAIPANOV respectively. 

The three Iranian champions who gave their country the lead heading into the final day of freestyle wrestling were Reza Ahmadali ATRINAGHARCHI (57kg), Bahman Mohammad TEYMOURI (79kg), and Reza Mohammad Ali YAZDANI (97kg). 

Women’s wrestling, which returns two champions, one silver, and seven returning bronze medalists, begins on Thursday. Greco-Roman, which features one returning finalist and five bronze medalists, begins on Saturday and will close out the 2019 Asian Championships. 

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

SCHEDULE
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 / Award ceremonies

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 / 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 

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 

Olympic champion Khadshimourad GATSALOV (ARM) will transfer from Russia to Armenia with the hope of competing at the 2019 World Championships. (Photo: Gabor Martin)

3. Olympic Champion Gatsalov Seeking Transfer From Russia to Armenia 
Khadshimourad GATSALOV, the five-time world and Athens Olympic champion, is expected to return to the mat for the first time since 2016. But, it won’t for the Russian Federation where he conquered the world and Olympic stage a combined six times, and will instead be for Armenia. 

Within the last few weeks, Gatsalov began the transfer process and has aspirations of competing in an Armenian singlet at the 2019 World Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, which take place in mid-September. 

According to sources close to the Armenian Wrestling Federation, Gatasalov was originally notified that “the transfer would not be approved until after October or November." But Armenia is "trying to manage that the transfer be approved before September for the World Championships.” 

If Gatsalov’s transfer does get approved before September, he’ll compete for Armenia at 97kg. This means that 97kg at the World Championships will house Olympic champions Abdulrashid SADULAEV (RUS), Kyle SNYDER (USA), and now, Khadshimourad Gatsalov.

Here's Gatasalov's Instagram page. 

Japan's four-time Olympic champion Kaori ICHO returns to the mat on Friday after a 32-month layoff (Photo: Gabor Martin) 

4. Four-Time Olympic Champion Icho to Wrestle Friday 
The most decorated women’s wrestler ever, Kaori ICHO, is set to make her international return for the first time in 32 months. In her last international outing, Icho became the first woman to reach the top of the podium at the Olympic Games four consecutive times. 

The 34-year-old will compete on Friday at 57kg at the 2019 Asian Championships.  

For Icho to win her sixth Asian title, she’ll have to fight through one of the deepest weight classes of the tournament. The favorite to win the 57kg is China’s reigning world champion RONG Ningning (CHN), who is the No. 1 ranked wrestler in the world at this weight. 

Those two will have formidable company in the form of Budapest 2018 world bronze medalist Pooja DHANDA (IND), the Dan Kolov-Nikola Petrov winner at 59kg; Tserenchimed SUKHEE (MGL), the world U23 bronze medalist and Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix winner; and JONG Myong-Suk (PRK), the Asian Games champion and a world bronze medalist at 55kg.

5. Oceania Championships Wrap up in Yona, Guam 
The Oceania Championships wrapped up in Yona, Guam, and the Federated States of Micronesia won the freestyle and Greco-Roman team titles. 

In freestyle, the Federated States of Micronesia had champions at 57kg and 92kg, while also welcoming medalists in four other weight classes. The Federated States of Micronesia (127 points) completed the continental championship run seven points ahead of second place Guam (120 points). American Samoa and Palau tied for third place with 80 points, while French Polynesia, who had 65 points, rounded out the top five in the team race. 

In Greco-Roman, the Federated States of Micronesia (100 points) medaled in five of the nine contested weights, including winning the 63kg gold medal. Their other points came from second-place finishes at the 67kg, 77kg, and 82kg, while also winning the bronze medal at 97kg. 

Palau (90 points) and American Samoa (80 points) rounded out the top three in the team race. 

Click here for full Oceania Championship results

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media 

1. Senior Asian C'ships From the 25th to the 28th Of April.
2. Selection of early action from the #wrestlebuenosaires w/lots of action!
3. Bajrang (IND) comes out on top after being down on points to take gold at the 2019 Asian Championships in Xi'an 🇮🇳
4. Slick wrestling from Kaipanov KAZ in the 1/4 finals. 
5. Big Move from Day 4 of #wrestlebuenosaires! 🤭

Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! May 14, 2019

By Eric Olanowski

Discussing next week's Sassari City Matteo Pellicone Memorial, along with results from the International Ukrainian Tournament, and the Beach Wrestling World Series. Also looking at Gadzhimagomedov's surgery and the latest set of Greco-Roman rankings. 

1. Sassari City Matteo Pellicone Memorial Begins Next Thursday 
United World Wrestling’s third Ranking Series event of the year, the Sassari City Matteo Pellicone Memorial, is just over a week away. It’ll be the first-ever Ranking Series event which will feature freestyle, Greco-Roman, and women’s wrestling under one roof. 

The three-day tournament, which begins on May 23, will take place 655km west of Rome on the Italian island destination of Sardinia. The thought of wrestling with the breeze of the Tyrrhenian Sea on your back has intrigued some of the sports biggest stars to sign up for the event. Though registration is not official until 24 hours before the first whistle, here are some of the stars that fans can expect to see in Sardinia: 

GR 77kg - KIM Hyeonwoo (KOR) – Olympic champion
FS 70kg - Soslan RAMONOV (RUS) – Olympic champion 
WW 76kg - Erica WIEBE (CAN) – Olympic champion
WW 72kg - Anna FRANSSON (SWE) – Olympic bronze
FS 74kg - Frank CHAMIZO (ITA) –  Two-time world champion 
GR 67kg - 
RYU Hansu (KOR) – World champion 
WW 76kg - Aline ROTTER FOCKEN (GER) – World champion
WW 55kg - Vanesa KALADZINSKAYA (BLR) – World champion
WW 55kg - Sofia MATTSSON (SWE) – World champion
GR 77kg - Tamas LORINCZ (HUN) – World runner-up 
FS 74kg - Khetik TSABALOV (RUS) - World runner-up 
FS 65kg - Gadzhimurad RASHIDOV (RUS) – Two-time world silver 
GR 87kg -Erik SZILVASSY (HUN) – U23 World champion 
WW 57kg - Grace Jacob BULLEN (NOR) – U23 World champion
FS 57kg - Suleyman ATLI (TUR) – Ranked No. 1 at 57kg 
FS 68kg - Fatih ERDIN (TUR) – Ranked No. 1 at 86kg

SCHEDULE

2. Brazilian Women, Georgian Men Sweep Beach Gold in Rio
Brazilian funk music thumped Saturday afternoon as four of the nation’s beach wrestling women captured gold at the second stop of the Beach Wrestling World Series (BWWS). The Brazilian side, who laughed and danced their way to the unlikely quadruple gold also each collected 1000 CHF for winning their respective weight classes at the event.

Kamila BARBOSA (50kg), Camila FAMA (60kg), Brenda AGUIAR DOS SANTOS (70kg), and Aline DA SILVA FERREIRA (BRA) each cruised their way to gold over the course of the two-day event, creating a buzz among the hometown crowd.

Also similar to the first stop, four Georgians made the finals of the event, only this time all four Georgians managed to take home top billing.

Click here for Tim Foley’s full Beach Wrestling wrap. 

3. Nine Europeans Ranked First in Latest Greco-Roman World Rankings
United World Wrestling has released their latest point-based Greco-Roman world rankings, and European nations own nine of the ten top spots heading into the final pair of Ranking Series events before the Nur-Sultan World Championships.

Even more impressive, the Russian Federation owns five of Europe’s nine top-spots. The five No. 1-ranked Russian wrestlers are Sergey EMELIN (60kg), Stepan MARYANYAN (63kg), Artem SURKOV (67kg), Musa EVLOEV (97kg), and Sergey SEMENOV (130kg). 

In addition to the Russian-five, Azerbaijan’s Eldaniz AZIZLI (55kg), Germany’s Frank STAEBLER (72kg) , Turkey’s Emrah KUS (82kg), and Ukraine’s Zhan BELENIUK (87kg) also hold the top spot at their respective weight classes. 

The lone non-European top-ranked wrestler is Korea’s  Olympic champion Hyeonwoo KIM who is ranked No. 1 at 77kg.

Click here for full breakdown of Greco-Roman rankings.

4. Gadzhimagomedov Undergoes Surgery After European C'ship Injury 
Russia’s reigning 79kg world bronze medalist Akhmed GADZHIMAGOMEDOV underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus and cruciate ligament in his right knee – but he's expected to make a full recovery before July’s Russian National Championships, where he's expected to move down to 74kg.

Gadzhimagomedov hurt his right knee in the closing seconds of the first period in his European Championship semifinals bout against Oleksii DOMANYTSKYI (UKR). Gadzhimagomedov stopped an arm spin attempt and went down in pain, grabbing his right knee. He was up 3-0 at that point and continued wrestling on one knee in the second period. The Russian scored a pair of heroic takedowns, and ultimately won the bout, 7-0. 

But, Gadzhimagomedov medically forfeited out of his finals match against reigning world runner-up Jabrayil HASANOV (AZE) and settled for a silver medal. 

Olena KREMZER (UKR) defeated Anzhelina LYSAK (UKR) to win the 59kg title. (Photo: Gabor Martin)

5. International Ukrainian Tournament Concludes in Kiev
The International Ukrainian Tournament wrapped up in Kiev, Ukraine, and according to sources in the Ukrainian Wrestling Federation, the host nation will use last weekend’s results as the determining factor for June’s European Games. The highest placing Ukrainian wrestler at each weight will represent their nation in Minsk, Belarus, at the 2019 European Games. 

Of the nine gold medals up for grabs (no entries at 72kg), Ukrainian wrestlers won seven of those nine titles. Arguably, the most notable upset of the tournament came at 57kg, where Irina KHARIV (UKR) shocked reigning European runner-up Tatyana KIT (UKR) to steal the European Games spot. 

Additionally, European champions Alla CHERKASOVA (68kg) and Iryna HUSYAK (55kg), and European runner-up Lilya HORISHNA (53kg), sat out of last weekend’s competition. It’s not clear if they’ve done enough to automatically grant themselves a spot in the lineup at the European Games, or there will be a special wrestle-off prior to June's competition.

Japan’s Miyuu NAKAMURA (50kg) and Vasilisa MARZALIUK (76kg) were the two non-Ukrainian wrestlers who reached the top of the podium in their respective weight classes. 

Nakamura, the 2016 junior world champion, upset returning world bronze medalist No.2-ranked Oksana LIVACH (UKR) in the 50kg finals. In her finals, No. 19 Vasilisa Marzaliuk defeated Ukraine’s European Championship representative Alla BELINSKAYA in the 76kg gold-medal bout. 

Results

50kg    
GOLD - Miyuu NAKAMURA (JPN)
SILVER - Oksana LIVACH (UKR)  
BRONZE Anna LUKASIAK (POL)
BRONZE - Maria VINNIK (UKR)

53kg
GOLD - Yuliia BLAHINYA (UKR)  
SILVER - Kristina BEREZA(UKR)
BRONZE - Paula KOZLOV (POL)
BRONZE - Maria PPREVOLARAKL (GRE)

55kg
GOLD - Alina AKOBIYAN (UKR)  
SILVER - Zalina SIDAKOVA (BLR)           
BRONZE - Khristina DEMKO (UKR)

57kg
GOLD - Irina KHARIV (UKR)         
SILVER - Tatyana KIT (UKR)          
BRONZE - Irina KURCHKINA (BLR)

59kg    
GOLD - Olena KREMZER (UKR)    
SILVER - Anzhelina LYSAK (UKR)            
BRONZE - Sofia BODNAR (UKR)

62kg    
GOLD - Yulia TKACH (UKR)                                              

65kg    
GOLD - Irina KOLIADENKO (UKR)          
SILVER - Tatyana RYSHKO (UKR)
BRONZE - Anastasia LAVRENCHUK (UKR)

68kg    
GOLD - Kristina BEREZA (UKR)                                        

72kg                                                                        
No Competition 

76kg    
GOLD - Vasilisa MARZALIUK (BLR)        
SILVER - Alla BELINSKAYA (UKR)         
BRONZE - Irina PASICHNIK (UKR)

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media 

1. Big Move Monday -- DATUNASHVILI Z. (GEO) -- 2015 European Games
2. Talk about earning the No.1 ranking in the world? Here’s @koreawrestlingfederation ‘s Olympic champion and No.1-ranked (at 77kg) KIM Hyeonwoo’s (71 points) resume since the World Championships: 
World Championships:🥉 Asian Championships:🥇 Zagreb Open:🥉 Hungarian GP:🥉 
3. The Hungarian head-scratcher. 
Who should Hungary 🇭🇺 enter into the #WrestleNurSultan World Championships at 87kg?
No. 3 Erik SZILVASSY - U23 🌎🥇and European🥉or No. 5 Viktor LORINCZ - 2x 🌎🥉, Hungarian GP and Zagreb Open 🥇. Lorincz is 2-0 against Szilvassy in 2019
4. Saturday smiles with No. 5 RYU Hansu 🇰🇷. 📸: @sachikohotaka
5. Hungary’s 🇭🇺 reigning world champion Peter BACSI has retired since winning world gold on home soil - meaning the 82kg seeds (as of now) at the #WrestleNurSultanWorld Championships will be: 
No. 1 - Emrah KUS 🇹🇷.
No. 2 - @saeid.abdovali68 🇮🇷.
No. 3 - Viktar SASUNOUSKI 🇧🇾.
No. 4 - @bisultanov_077 🇩🇰.