Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! April 30, 2019

By Eric Olanowski

Discussing last weekend's Asian Championships, and No. 2 Hasanov's possible weight change. Also looking at the Beat the Streets, updated world rankings, and the third Ranking Series event of the year. 

1. Asian Championships Come to an End in Xi’an, China 
The Asian Championships, which were the fifth and final Continental Championships, wrapped up last weekend in Xi'an, China. 

Iran put on an impressive showing in both freestyle and Greco-Roman, winning the team titles in each, while Japan won the women’s wrestling team title. 

In freestyle, Iran annihilated the competition, wrapping up the team title with seven champions and three bronze-medal finishers. Their ten medal performance was good enough for 220 points, which was 65 points ahead of second place India, who had 155 points. 

Kazakhstan rounded out the top three in the freestyle department with 129 points. 

Iran also won the Greco-Roman team title. They did so by narrowly sneaking past second place Uzbekistan by two points. 

Majority of Iran’s 165 points came from their four champions and a trio of bronze-medal finishers. Uzbekistan, who had 163 points, had more finalists than Iran, but dropped three of those five gold-medal bouts, falling just short of the podiums top spot.

Kazakhstan had 134 points and finished in third place in Greco-Roman. 

In women’s wrestling, powerhouse Japan won the team title with nine finalists and four champions. The lone wrestler who missed out on competing for a gold medal was four-time Olympic champion Kaori ICHO, who was making her return to international competition for the first time since her history-making performance at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. 

Icho scored a win in the 57kg bronze-medal bout, giving Japan, who had 215 points, a medal in all ten weight classes. 

China (183 points) and India (113 points) finished in second and third respectively in the women’s wrestling competition. 

Click here for the Asian Championships event hub. 

No. 2 Ranked 79kg European Champion Hasanov Moving Down to 74kg? 
Azerbaijan’s reigning 79kg European champion Jabrayil HASANOV posted a photo on his Instagram story showing himself on a scale with the weight of 76.4kg. 

Hasanov's current weight of 79kg is not an Olympic weight class, which means if the reigning world runner-up has hopes of improving on his bronze-medal finish from the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, he’ll have to make the move back down to 74kg. 

For Hasanov to represent Azerbaijan at 74kg at the World Championships and Olympic Games, he'll most likely have to go through either No. 13 Abubakr ABAKAROV or No. 15 Khadzhimurad GADZHIYEV. Abakarov represented Azerbaijan at the World Championships where he finished in eighth place, while Gadzhiyev was a fifth-place finisher at this year's European Championships.      

Bajrang Punia (IND), who won the 65kg Asian title, will take over the world's No. 1 spot at 65kg in the latest world rankings. (Photo Sachiko Hotaka)

3. New World Rankings to be Released this Week 
United World Wrestling will be releasing the latest point-based rankings later this week. The May edition of the world rankings are extremely important because they’ll include results from all five of the Continental Championships. 

The top four ranked wrestlers at each weight will be seeded at the 2019 World Championships, which take place in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan on September 14-22. 

Continental Championship Event Hubs
Asian Championships 
African Championships 
European Championships 
Oceania Championships
Pan-American Championships 

4. Beat the Streets Less than a Week Away
The wrestling invades New York City on May 6 for the annual  Beat the Streets (BTS) benefit. This year, the event will take take place at the world famous Hulu Theater, located inside "The World's Most Famous Arena," Madison Square Garden. 

The “Grapple at the Garden's” star-studded lineup includes nine returning world medalists, headlined by reigning world champions David TAYLOR (USA) and J'den COX (USA), and the No. 1 ranked wrestler in the world at 65kg, Bajrang PUNIA (IND). 

Taylor and Punia will both scrap against defending NCAA champions. At 86kg, Taylor will wrestle Drew FOSTER (USA), and Punia will go toe-to-toe with Yianni DIAKOMAHLIS (USA). 

The other reigning world champion in action, J'den Cox, will tussle with Patrick BRUCKI (USA) at 92kg. 

Rio Olympic champion No. 2 Kyle SNYDER (USA) and London Olympic gold medalist No. 2 Jordan BURROUGHS (USA) are also set to compete at the event. 

Snyder, the 2018 world runner-up, will take on Canada's Nishan RANDHAWA (CAN) in the 97kg bout, and Burroughs, the 2018 world bronze medalist, will wrestle 2008 Olympian and current UFC fighter Ben ASKREN (USA) at 74kg. 

The event, which has already sold over 3000 tickets, begins on May 6 at 6:30pm and can be watched on www.flowrestling.org. 

"Grapple at the Garden” Matchups 
Freestyle

57kg - Nathan TOMASELLO (USA) vs. Jack MUELLER (USA)  
61kg - Nick SURIANO (USA) vs. Joe COLON (USA)
65kg - Jordan OLIVER (USA) vs. Joseph MCKENNA (USA)  
65kg - Yianni DIAKOMAHLIS (USA) vs. Bajrang PUNIA (IND)
70kg - James GREEN (USA) and Anthony ASHNAULT (USA)
74kg - Jordan BURROUGHS (USA) vs. Ben ASKREN (USA)  
86kg - David TAYLOR (USA) vs. Drew FOSTER  (USA)  
92kg - J'den COX (USA) vs. Patrick BRUCKI (USA)  
97kg - Kyle SNYDER (USA) vs. Nishan RANDHAWA (CAN)
125kg Nick GWIZADOWSKI (USA) vs. Derek WHITE (USA)  

Women's Wrestling
53kg - Becka LEATHERS vs. Dana WEICKER (CAN) 
62kg - Mallory VELETE (USA) vs. Linda MORAIS (CAN)

5. Third Ranking Series Event Just Three Weeks Away 
The entries are starting to pour in for the third Ranking Series event of the year, the Sassari City Matteo Pellicone Memorial. The three-day tournament that begins on May 23 will take place on the Italian island of Sardinia, and will be the first-ever Ranking Series event which will feature freestyle, Greco-Roman, and women’s wrestling. 

Although registration hasn't closed, two-time world champion and Italian superstar Frank CHAMIZO has entered his name into the 74kg bracket. 

In addition to Chamizo, the early entry list at 74kg also includes Russia's 2017 world runner-up Khetik TSABOLOV and three-time European champion Soner DEMIRTAS (TUR). Chamizo defeated Tsabolov at last year's European Championships but fell to Demirtas, who went on to win the gold medal in Dagestan. 

Other notable early entries include Olympic champions KIM Hyeonwoo (KOR) and Erica WIEBE (CAN), and former world champions Aline ROTTER FOCKEN (GER), RYU Hansu (KOR), Vanesa KALADZINSKAYA (BLR),  Sofia MATTSSON (SWE). 

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media 

1. Big Move Monday -- R. SCHWARZ (GER) -- 2019 Senior European C'ships
2. Big Move From Day 6 // #WrestleXian
3. Big Move From Day 5 // فن برتر روز پنجم #WrestleXian
4. Tasmuradov has an incredible match in the 1/4 finals of the 63kg division.
5. The reigning 79kg European🥇and world 🥈@cebrayil313 posted a photo of scale with the weight of 76.4kg. Does this mean the No. 2-ranked wrestler in the world is moving down to 74kg for the #WrestleNurSultan World Championships? 

View this post on Instagram

Big Move From Day 6 // #WrestleXian

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Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! January 21, 2020

By Eric Olanowski

Reviewing Mohammadian's magical Matteo Pellicone run, Lorincz winning his sixth Ranking Series title and Zhou's eight-point comeback on Mensah-Stock. Also looking at the Russian Greco-Roman National Championships and results from Sweden's Klippan Lady Open.

1. Mohammadian Has Magical Run at Matteo Pellicone; Dake Wins in Debut at 74kg 
Mohammadhossein MOHAMMADIAN (IRI) had a magical run to the 97kg title at the Matteo Pellicone. Mohammadian’s five victories included a fall over an Olympic champion, and wins over a U23 world champion, a world bronze medalist, a world fifth-place finisher and a European runner-up.

Mohammadian kickstarted his day by crushing Alisher YERGALI (KAZ), a fifth-place finish in Nur-Sultan. The Iranian downed the man who qualified Kazakhstan for the 2020 Olympic Games, 11-0. He followed up that hot start with a second technical superiority victory. This time, he thumped reigning U23 world champion Bo NICKAL (USA), 10-0.

In the quarterfinals, Mohammadian picked up arguably the biggest win of his career when he flattened Olympian champion, Kyle Snyder while commanding an 8-0 lead. An 11-0 showing against 2018 world bronze-medal finisher Abraham de Jesus CONYEDO RUANO (ITA) inserted the Iranian into the finals, where he met Aliaksandr HUSHTYN (BLR) for the 97kg title. He capped off his dominant run to a Matteo Pellicone gold medal, where he outscored his five opponents 41-0, with a 9-0 blanking of Hushtyn and brought home his first career Rankings Series title.

Kyle DAKE (USA) dismantled a world and Olympic bronze medalist in 35 seconds in the gold-medal match of his debut at 74kg. Dake, who was one of three American freestyle champions, defeated Soner DEMIRTAS (TUR) in his debut down at the Olympic weight of 74kg and joined Thomas GILMAN (USA) and Zahid VALENCIA (USA) on their way to the top of the freestyle podium at the Matteo Pellicone.

In the finals, Dake led 7-0, 16 seconds into the first period, and after his Turkish opponent was hit with a fleeing-the-hold call, the American went back on top in par terre. A pair of gut wrenches less than 20 seconds left gave Dake the 11-0 technical superiority victory and a second Ranking Series title.

Matteo Pellicone Freestyle Recaps:
RECAP: Mohammadian Mauls Snyder En Route to Matteo Pellicone Title
RECAP: Dake Dismantles Demirtas in Debut at 74kg; USA Wins Trio of Day Four Golds

Interviews:
Post-Match Interviews with the Freestyle Champions 

RESULTS 
57kg - Thomas Patrick GILMAN (USA) df. Joseph Daniel COLON (USA), 4-3
61kg - (Nordic Style) - Kumar RAVI (IND) df. Nurislam SANAYEV (KAZ), 6-0
65kg - Bajrang BAJRANG (IND) df. Jordan Michael OLIVER (USA), 4-3
74kg - Kyle Douglas DAKE (USA) df. Soner DEMIRTAS (TUR), 11-0 
86kg - Zahid VALENCIA (USA) df. Alexander David DIERINGER (USA), 7-5 
97kg - Mohammadhossein MOHAMMADIAN (IRI) df. Aliaksandr HUSHTYN (BLR), 9-0 
125kg - Amir Hossein Abbas ZARE (IRI) df. Bilial MAKHOV (RUS), 5-3 

Viktor LORINCZ (HUN) edged Kumar SUNIL (IND), 2-1, at 87kg and became the first wrestler to win six Ranking Series titles. (Photo: Kadir Caliskan)

2. Lorincz Becomes First Wrestler to win Six Ranking Series Golds 
Coming into the Matteo Pellicone, Viktor LORINCZ (HUN) already owned a Ranking Series title for every finger on one hand. The 2019 Greco-Roman Wrestler of the Year now has to move to a second hand to count his Ranking Series gold medals after he captured his sixth career Ranking Series title on Wednesday night in the Roman seaside town of Ostia.

The Hungarian tallied 19 wins in his previous five Ranking Series appearances. With his quartet of wins on Wednesday, Lorincz improved his Ranking Series record to a perfect 23-0 with a 2-1 win over last year’s Asian silver medalist Kumar SUNIL (IND) in the 87kg finals.

“I am very happy to win this tournament. I want to continue this very good series for me. I want to win the last two qualifications (European Championships and Poland Open) because it helps my seed for the Olympic Games,” said Lorincz.

In the finals, Lorincz, last year's world runner-up, picked up an inactivity point and a stepout in the first period. He had his lead cut to a single point when he was dinged for an inactivity point himself. But the Hungarian Hammer relied on his world-renowned defensive skills and hung on to win an unprecedented sixth Ranking Series title, 2-1.

“I came here to win. I had some hard matches, and I’m not where I want to be. I want to (build) my strength and power for the other tournaments.”

Matteo Pellicone Greco-Roman Recap:
RECAP: Lorincz Locks up Sixth Career Ranking Series Gold Medal

Interviews:
Post-Match Interviews with the Greco-Roman Champions 

RESULTS 
55kg - (Nordic Style) - Dogus AYAZCI (TUR) df. Max Emiliano NOWRY (USA), 9-0 
60kg - Sailike WALIHAN (CHN) df. Islomjon BAKHRAMOV (UZB), 4-3 
63kg - (Nordic Style) -  Andres MONTANO ARROYO (VEN) df. Stig-Andre BERGE (NOR), 11-0 
67kg -  Makhmud BAKHSHILLOEV (UZB) df. Abouhalima ABOUHALIMA (EGY), 3-1
72kg -  Mohamed Ibrahim Elsayed Ibrahi ELSAYED (EGY) df. Selcuk CAN (TUR), via fall 
77kg - Zotlan LEVAI (HUN) df. Yunus Emre BASAR (TUR), via fall 
82kg - Singh GURPREET (IND) df. Burhan AKBUDAK (TUR), 8-5 
87kg - Viktor LORINCZ (HUN) df. Kumar SUNIL (IND), 2-1 
97kg - Nikoloz KAKHELASHVILI (ITA) df. Felix BALDAUF (NOR), 5-4 
130kg - Abdellatif MOHAMED (EGY) df. Moises PEREZ HELLBURG (VEN), via fall 

3. Zhou Shocks Mensah with Eight-Point Comback
It's no secret that ZHOU Feng (CHN) was the underdog coming into her Matteo Pellicone finals against reigning world champion Tamyra MENSAH (USA), and though she fell behind by eight points, she remained composed enough to erase an 8-0 second-period deficit to win the 68kg gold medal. Zhou’s shocking win stopped Mensah, the 2019 Women's Wrestler of the Year, from winning her fourth consecutive Ranking Series title.

“For the first period, I didn’t feel prepared or ready, but I didn’t give up,” said Zhou. At that point of the match, Zhou surrendered three takedowns and a trapped arm gut and trailed 8-0. “I was thinking the match is not finished and I didn’t give up.” 

Zhou, a two-time world medalist, kickstarted her unexpected comeback with two points from a defensive stop, which ended in a takedown. She tacked on six additional points from three gut wrenches and closed out the match on top, 8-8. 

After her remarkable come-from-behind win, Zhou said, “I’m happy and excited. From this competition, most of (these wrestlers) will participate in the Olympic Games, so to get the gold medal makes me very happy.”

Sarah HILDEBRANDT (USA) dropped down from 53kg to 50kg and won the Matteo Pellicone title with a 4-2 come-from-behind win over reigning world silver medalist Emilia VUC (ROU). (Photo: Kadir Caliskan)

If there were any questions surrounding Sarah HILDEBRANDT (USA) moving down to 50kg coming into Rome – they’ve been answered on Friday night. Hildebrandt scored a takedown with two seconds left and stole the gold medal from Emilia VUC (ROU) in the 50kg finals battle that featured a pair of past world silver medalists. With a smile on her face from ear-to-ear, Hildebrandt said, “I like the sound of that, 50kg champ!” 

The American, who was down 2-1 with under 10 seconds left, said she told herself, “You’re not going to win because I'm not going to lose.” And that’s exactly what happened. 

The 2018 world silver medalist used an underhook throw by with under ten seconds left to get to the body of her Romanian opponent. Then, she snaked her left arm out, and barley scored the takedown as time expired to win her second Ranking Series title, 4-2.

Matteo Pellicone Women's Wrestling Recaps:
Zhou Erases Eight-Point Deficit, Downs World Champ Mensah
 

Interviews:
Post-Match Interviews with the Women's Wrestling Champions 

RESULTS 
50kg - Sarah HILDEBRANDT (USA) df. Emilia Alina VUC (ROU), 4-2 
53kg -  Vinesh VINESH (IND) df. Luisa Elizabeth VALVERDE MELENDRES (ECU), 4-0 
55kg - (Nordic Style) - Vanesa KALADZINSKAYA (BLR) df. Solomiia VYNNYK (UKR), 10-0 
57kg - Odunayo Folasade ADEKUOROYE (NGR) df. Anshu ANSHU (IND), 10-0 
59kg - (Nordic Style) -  Anhelina LYSAK (UKR) df. Yuliya PISARENKA (BLR), via fall 
62kg - Aisuluu TYNYBEKOVA (KGZ) df. Liubov OVCHAROVA (RUS), via injury default 
65kg - (Nordic Style) - Inna TRAZHUKOVA (RUS) df. Oksana KUKHTA HERHEL (UKR), 5-0 
68kg - Feng ZHOU (CHN) df. Tamyra Mariama MENSAH (USA), 8-8 
72kg - (Nordic Style) - Maria SELMAIER (GER) df. Anastasiya ZIMIANKOVA (BLR), 8-6 
76kg -  Erica Elizabeth WIEBE (CAN) df. Qian ZHOU (CHN), 10-0 

Davit CHAKVETADZE defeated Alexander KOMAROV, 4-2, in the 87kg Greco-Roman Russian National fInals. (Photo: Tony Rotundo)

4. Russian Greco-Roman National Championships Wrap up in Novosibirsk
The southwestern Siberian city Novosibirsk, known for breeding two of the most feared Greco-Roman wrestlers in Olympic history, Aleksandr KARELIN (RUS) and Roman VLASOV (RUS), hosted the 2020 Russian Greco-Roman National Championships over the weekend.

Rio Olympic champion Davit CHAKVETADZE reemerged as the favorite to represent Russia at the continental representative at 87kg, while Sergey SEMENOV showed that he’s back to his winning ways after a disappointing 2019 campaign.

Chakvetadze, who defeated Alexander KOMAROV, 4-2, in the finals, was triumphant in his quest to win a second 87kg national title in the last three years and may have cemented himself as Russia’s European Championship representative. And though Chakvetadze was the reigning 87kg national champion, he finished behind Komarov at the 2019 Grand Prix of Germany, which kept him off of Russia’s 2019 Nur-Sultan team. And after Komarov’s 11th-place finish in Kazakhstan, whoever Russia elects to roll with moving forward, whether it’ll be Chakvetadze or Komarov, will have to qualify their nation for the 2020 Olympic Games at 87kg.

At 130kg, 2018 world champion Sergey Semenov sealed up at 3-0 win over Zurabi GEDEHAURI and got back to his winning ways after he failed to lock up an Olympic qualification spot with a disappointing 17th-place in Nur-Sultan.

According to www.wrestrus.ru ’s correspondent Tigran AVANIAN, Russia’s lineup for the 2020 European Championships is scheduled to be released on February 6.

It should be noted that the following wrestlers were released from the 2020 Russian National Championships:  
60kg – Sergey EMELIN (2018 world champion, 2019 world silver)
60kg – Stepan MARYANYAN (2018 world champion, 2019 world silver)
67kg – Artem SURKOV (2018 world champion, 2019 world silver)
77kg – Roman VLASOV (Two-time Olympic champion)
97kg – Musa EVLOEV (2019 and ‘18 world champion)

RESULTS 
55kg - Vitaly KABALOEV df. Emin SEFERSAEV, 3-2 
60kg – Zambolat LOKIYAEV df. Artur PETROSYAN, 7-0 
63kg – Ibrahim LABAZANOV df. Marat MARIPOV, 5-5
67kg - Alain MIRZOYAN df. Nazir ABDULAEV - 5: 6
72kg - Adam KURAK df. Magomed YARILBOV, 3-0 
77kg - Alexander CHEKHIRKIN df. Islam OPIEV, 7-0 
82kg - Shamil OZHAEV df. Ruslan VARDANYAN, 6-2 
87kg - Davit CHAKVETADZE df. Alexander KOMAROV, 4-2 
97kg - Alexander GOLOVIN df. Nikita MELNIKOV, 3-1 
130kg - Sergey SEMENOV df. Zurabi GEDEHAURI, 3-0

5. Japan Wins Five Klippan Lady Open Golds; Bullen Wrestles in Italy and Sweden Days Apart
Japan won five of nine gold medals at the Klippan Lady Open, while Grace BULLEN (NOR) grabbed gold in Sweden days after competing in Italy at the Matteo Pellicone.

Umi ITO (JPN), Rino KATAOKA (JPN), Tsugumi SAKURAI (JPN) and Yuka KAGAMI (JPN) won their respective traditional brackets as Ami ISHII (JPN) won the 65kg Nordic style bracket. 

Ita and Kataoka, who won the 50kg and 53kg titles, respectively, each ended their matches early with 10-0 shutout wins. Ito blanked Felicia GALLO (FRA) and Kataoka shutout Ellen RIESTERER (GER). 

Sakurai scored the biggest win for Japan when she snuck past seven-time world and Olympic medalist, Sofia MATTSSON (SWE), 4-2, for the gold at 55kg. 

Japan’s final gold medalist was Yuka Kagami, who edged Dymond GUILFORD (USA), 2-1, in the 76kg gold medal bout. 

Meanwhile, Norway’s Grace Bullen won gold at 59kg at the Klippan Lady Open days after going wrestling in Italy at the Matteo Pellicone. In Italy, Bullen went 2-2 but fell to eventual 57kg silver and bronze medalists, respectively, Anshu ANSHU (IND) and Linda MORAIS (CAN). In Sweden, the 2018 U23 world champion throttled Abigail NETTE (USA), 10-0, in the finals at 59kg. 

RESULTS
50kg - Umi ITO (JPN) df. Felicia GALLO (FRA), 10-0 
53kg - Rino KATAOKA (JPN) df. Ellen RIESTERER (GER), 10-0 
55kg - Tsugumi SAKURAI (JPN) df. Sofia MATTSSON (SWE), 4-2 
57kg - (Nordic Style) - Lauren LOUIVE (USA) df.  Cameron GUERIN (USA), 8-0 
59kg - Grace BULLEN (NOR) df. Abigail NETTE (USA), 10-0 
62kg - Jennifer PAGE (USA) df. Emma JOHANSSON (SWE), via fall 
65 kg - (Nordic Style) - Ami ISHII (JPN) df. Rin TERAMOTO (JPN), 8-3 
72 kg - (Nordic Style) - Danuté DOMIKAITYE (LTU) df. Mizuki NAGASHIMA (JPN), 13-3
76kg - Yuka KAGAMI (JPN) df. Dymond GUILFORD (USA), 2-1

Weekly FIVE In Social Media

1. Big Move Monday -- Temirtassova A. (KAZ) -- Senior Worlds 2019 #WrestleNursultan
2. We want to thank all 400k wrestling fans for the continued support. 👏 🌟 #unitedworldwrestling
3. Behind the scenes at #wrestlerome
4. @frankchamizo92 talks about why he's sitting out of Matteo Pellicone and potential matchups with Dake, Burroughs and Sidakov 🇮🇹🔥 // Full interview on our Instagram bio
5. Big Move Of Day 3 at #WrestleRome Ranking Series Matteo Pellicone!