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! 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 🇩🇰.