Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! December 24, 2018

By Eric Olanowski

Reviewing the new Ranking Series point structure and tournament locations. Also taking a look at Icho's win over Kawai, the #UWWAwards, and the 2018 Greco-Roman World Clubs Cup. 

1. Wrestling Revamps Ranking Series System, Names 2019 Host Locations
The United World Wrestling Bureau has approved new regulations for the 2019 Ranking Series. The recommendations were brought forward by the Technical Commission at a meeting last week in Belgrade.

The most important changes to the 2019 Ranking Series centered around the allocation of points at world championships, continental championships, and Ranking Series events. The points were rebalanced to emphasize participation, and success, at the world and continental championships.

New worldwide rankings have been updated on the United World Wrestling website. The 2018 World Championships results are the basis of the rankings, as each year the world championships results will be the first points for the following year.

The seeding process for the World Championships and Olympic Games will now also include a field of the top four wrestlers in each weight category with lower seeded athletes bumping up, should one of the top four not participate in the world championships. The previous version of the world championships did not replace top seeds when they were absent of the competition.

Click HERE to see locations for the freestyle, Greco-Roman, and women's wrestling Ranking Series events. 

 

2. Icho Pulls Off Dramatic Win over Kawai to Move Step Closer to Shot at Olympic 5-peat
Adding another chapter to her bulging legend, Kaori ICHO pulled off a dramatic last-second victory over the new titan on the block, and moved a step closer to gaining a shot at winning a historic fifth Olympic gold medal in her home country.

Icho scored a takedown with 10 seconds left to clinch a 3-2 victory over fellow Rio 2016 Olympic champion Risako KAWAI in a nationally televised women’s 57kg final that brought a close to the All-Japan Championships in Tokyo.

Icho’s stunning victory came a day after Kawai, this year’s world champion at 59kg, edged the four-time Olympic champion 2-1 in a preliminary round-robin group match, handing Icho her first loss to a Japanese opponent since 2001.

I knew it was going to be a tough match, but I’m happy I could pull it off,” said Icho, who let out a short scream of joy and clenched her fists after the victory. “It’s been awhile since I’ve felt this nervousness, so I thought to just try and stay relaxed.”

The 34-year-old Icho won her first national title since 2015 and 13th overall dating back to 2002, despite spending more than two years away from the mat after winning the gold in Rio, which made her the first woman in Olympic history to win four straight titles in a single event.

She returned to competition in September as a prelude for the All-Japan Championships, also referred to as the Emperor’s Cup and which was serving as the first stage in the qualifying process for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Click HERE to read the full recap of the final day of wrestling at the Emperor’s Cup. 
Day One: Emperor's Cup Wrap 
Day Two: Emperor's Cup Wrap 
Day Three: Emperor's Cup Wrap 

3. Bonne, Bacsi and Gray Named Comeback Athletes of the Year

United World Wrestling named Yowls BONNE-RODRIGUEZ (CUB), Peter BACSI (HUN), and Adeline GRAY (USA) the 2018 Comeback Athletes of the Year.

In freestyle, Cuba’s Yowls Bonne-Rodriguez won his first world title just days before his 35th birthday. Bonne finally obtained the elusive world gold medal after three previous attempts, scoring come-from-behind wins in the quarterfinals and finals.

In the quarterfinals, Bonne trailed Iran’s Mohammadbagher YAKHKESHI by two points with five seconds left when he hit a four-point inside trip and stole the match, 10-8.

Then, in the finals, Bonne trailed Russia’s Gadzhimurad RASHIDOV  2-0 before scoring a massive five-point move, which ultimately catapulted him to the top of the podium with a 5-5 criteria win.

This was Bonne's third world medal, previously finishing up the 2014 and 2017 World Championships with bronze medals.

Peter Bacsi, the 35-year-old Hungarian, won his first world championship since 2014 earning himself this year's Greco-Roman Comeback Athlete of the Year.

Basci trailed Turkey’s Emrah KUS 3-0 in the 82kg gold medal bout but scored four unanswered points to give the host nation their first and only gold medal of the Budapest World Championships.

The 2018 World Championships were rumored to be Bacsi’s last, but after his surprise victory he didn't rule out the 2019 Astana World Championships, though he did confirm he will not be making a run for Hungary’s 2020 Tokyo Olympic team.

Adeline Gray (USA) was named the women’s wrestling Comeback Athlete of the Year after returning from a year absence to win her fourth world title.

The American’s impressive road to her fourth world title went through reigning Olympic champion Erica WIEBE (CAN), and reigning world champion, Yasmin ADAR (TUR).

In the semifinals, Gray edged Wiebe, 3-1, and wrapped up the gold-medal bout early with a 13-1 win over Adar, winning the gold medal in a weight class that featured eight previous world champions.

4. Burroughs and Chamizo, Snyder and Sadulaev Headline Biggest Rivalries of the Year

United World Wrestling has named four of the Biggest Rivalries of the Year. There were two in freestyle, and one in Greco-Roman and women's wrestling.

The freestyle season saw more than one top-level rivalry, so a pair were selected for this category. The first freestyle rivalry selected was the 74kg showdown between Jordan BURROUGHS (USA) and Frank CHAMIZO (ITA), and the second was Abdulrashid SADULAEV (RUS) and Kyle SNYDER (USA).

Perhaps no weight category was more competitive in 2018 than women’s wrestling’s 76kg. Lead by reigning world champion, Yasmin ADAR (TUR), four-time world champion, Adeline GRAY (USA), and Rio Olympic champion, Erica WIEBE (CAN). It was the American Adeline Gray who prevailed and won her fourth world title.

In Greco-Roman, Kyrgyzstan’s Akzhol MAKHMUDOV (KGZ) was looking for redemption coming into the Junior World Championships the American Kamal Ameer BEY (USA) was victorious in the 2017 junior world finals. Makhmudov dominated the bronze-medal bout at the Junior World Championships and picked up the 8-1 win.

5.  Iran Team Wins GR World Clubs Cup, Azizli & Kayaalp Remain Undefeated
Iran's Team Bimeh Razi Ardabil defeated Team Russia to capture 2018 Greco-Roman World Clubs Cup title in Ardabil city of Iran. 

The Iranian team, lifted by Eldaniz AZIZLI and Sergey SEMENOV, the pair of reigning world 2018 world champions, defeated Russia, 8-2 to claim the 2018 Greco-Roman World Clubs Cup team title. 

Azerbaijan’s 55kg world champion Eldaniz Azizli gave Bimeh Razi their first win of the finals with a technical fall victory over Vitalii Kabaloev (RUS). 

Bimeh Razi added wins from Mehrdad MARDANI and Saman ABDEVALI (Bimeh) and took a three match lead into the 67kg matchup between Maksim SURKOV (RUS) df. Mohammad ELYASI (Bimeh). Surkov put Russia on the board with a 1-1 criteria win, and closed the scored to 3-1. Denis MURTAZIN (RUS) gave Russia their second and final win of the night with a 10-8 win over Boroumand ASLAN. 

Bimeh Razi closed out the gold-medal bout on a five match win steak, including two 5-0 shutout wins at 82kg and 87kg, and a fall from Russia’s reigning 130kg world champion, Sergey Semenov, who was competing for the Iranian side. 

In the bronze medal match, Iran’s Sina Sanat Izeh narrowly defated Turkey, 6-4. 

In the fifth-place match, Georgia defeated Iran’s Shohadaye Modafe Haram, 6-4, while Ukraine beat Serbia, 8-2 in the seventh-place bout. 

Click HERE for full results of the final day of the 2018 Greco-Roman World Clubs Cup.

Day One: Greco-Roman World Clubs Cup Wrap 

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media 

1. REPOST: @usawrestling you don’t wanna miss this one! 🔥🔥🔥@btslosangeles#wrestlelikeagirl
2. Over the next two weeks @unitedworldwrestling will share our most popular videos and photos from 2018. 
#FrankChamizo VS  #JordanBurroughs
📷 @beatthestreets 
В течении следующих двух недель мы будем делиться с вами лучшими публикациями 2018 года. 
#ФрэнкЧамизо VS  #ДжорданБарроуз
#thebestof2018
#лучшееиз2018
3. Over the next two weeks @unitedworldwrestling will share our most popular videos and photos from 2018. 
#DavidTaylor 📷 @kadircaliskan
В течении следующих двух недель мы будем делиться с вами лучшими публикациями 2018 года. 
#ДэвидТэйлор
#thebestof2018
#лучшееиз2018
4. Best photos of 2018 GR World Clubs Cup in Iran, Ardabil city.

Phtos by @alireza_akbari_62 
بهترین تصاویر از مسابقات کشتی فرنگی باشگاه های جهان در اردبیل
5. Check out the 2019 Ranking Series events! Link in stories!

Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! July 9, 2019

By Eric Olanowski

Discussing the Yasar Dogu and results from Russian Nationals. Also looking at Japan's wrestle-off results, Dake's return and Staebler's move down to 67kg. 

1. Yasar Dogu, Final Ranking Series Event, Begins Thursday 
The 47th Annual Yasar Dogu begins this week in Istanbul, Turkey. Brackets for the final freestyle and women’s wrestling Ranking Series event of the year will be released on Wednesday, with the four-day tournament kicking off on Thursday. 

The Yasar Dogu is the last opportunity wrestlers have to earn points towards their season total. The four wrestlers who have accumulated the most Ranking Series points after this weekend will be the top-four seeds at September’s World Championships, which take place in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. 

Though entries are not official until 24 hours before the competition starts, the early entries show four Olympic champions and three of the world’s top-ranked wrestlers who are set to compete. The four Olympic champions who were included in the early entry list were: Taha AKGUL (TUR), Jordan BURROUGHS (USA), Sharif SHARIFOV (AZE) and Erica WIEBE (CAN), and the three No.1-ranked wrestles are J’den COX (USA), Faith ERDIN (TUR) and Bajrang PUNIA (IND). 

Here is the full list of freestyle and women's wrestling entries. 

As always, the tournament can be followed live on www.unitedworldwrestling.org

2. Kawai Topples Icho in Playoff for World Team; Otoguro In, Susaki Out
Risako KAWAI all but dealt a death blow to Kaori ICHO's quest for an epoch-making fifth straight Olympic gold medal. It's now in Kawai's hands to finish the job in two months.

For the second time in three weeks, Kawai toppled her fellow Olympic champion, scoring a 3-3 victory on big-point criteria to earn the women's 57kg berth on Japan's team to the World Championships in Kazakhstan in September.

"I really don't remember much about it, but I'm glad I won," Kawai said at a post-match press conference. "Over this past year, things happened around me that I had never imagined would occur. I had changed the environment around me, and in December, I thought about quitting wrestling and talked it over with my family. I'm glad that I didn't."

The showdown was one of six on a special day of playoffs for tickets to the World Championships in Olympic weight classes, which also saw Takuto OTOGURO earn a shot at keeping the freestyle 65kg crown he won a year ago, while Yui SUSAKI was denied a chance for a third straight women's 50kg world title.

The playoffs in Wako, Saitama Prefecture, about 20 kilometers north of Tokyo, paired the winners of the two national competitions that serve as qualifiers for the World Championships. In the 12 other Olympic divisions, one wrestler won both tourneys to clinch an automatic berth.

Click here to read Ken Marantz’ Full Article 

3. Russian Nationals Wrap up in Sochi, Special Wrestle-Off Set For Poland Open
The Russian National Championships wrapped up in Sochi, and the Russian Federation set a date for their special wrestle-offs to determine their freestyle world team. 

Last weekend, Dagestani wrestlers won six golds, while the four remaining titles were claimed by Ossetian wrestlers. The six wrestlers from Dagestan who won a Russian National title were: Ramiz GAMZATOV, Magomedrasul IDRIVSOV, Gadzhimurad RASHIDOV, Magomed KURBANALIEV, Haji NABIYEV and Alikhan JABRAILOV, and the four Ossetian gold medalists were: David BAYEV, Artur NAIFONOV, Vladislav BAITSAEV and Alan KHUGAEV.

Now, with the Russian National Championships in the rear-view mirror, the Russian Federation will hold special wrestle-offs between last weekend’s winners and the medalists from the European Games at the Poland Open, which takes place in Warsaw, Poland, on August 2-4. After the conclusing of the Poland Open, the Russian coaching staff will announce their Nur-Sultan world team representatives in mid-August. 

FINALS
57kg - Ramiz GAMZATOV df. Muslim SADULAEV, 9-4
61kg - Magomedrasul IDRIVSOV df.  Ramazan FERZALYEV, 6-4 
65kg - Gadzhimurad RASHIDOV df. Nachyn KUULAR, 5-2
70kg - David BAYEV df. Razambek ZHAMALOV, 10-10

74kg - Magomed KURBANALIEV df. Khetik TSABOLOV, 5-4
79kg - Haji NABIYEV df. Atsamaz SANAKOEV, via forfeit 
86kg - Artur NAIFONOV df. Vladislav VALIEV, 4-2
92kg - Alikhan JABRAILOV df. Magomed KURBANOV, 2-1
97kg - Vladislav BAITSAEV df. Igor OVSIANNIKOV, 3-0
125kg - Alan KHUGAEV df. Said HAMIDOV, 3-1

Wrestle-Off Match-ups 
57kg - Zaur UGUEV vs. Ramiz GAMZATOV
65kg - Akhmed CHAKAEV vs. Gadzhimurad RASHIDOV
74kg - Zaurbek SIDAKOV vs. Magomed KURBANALIEV
86kg - Dauren KURUGLIEV vs. Artur NAIFONOV
97kg - Abdulrashid SADULAEV vs. Vladislav BAITSAEV
125kg - ANZOR KHIZRIEV vs. Alan KHUGAEV

View this post on Instagram

Thanks to all who serve #USA 📸: @robbert_wijtman

A post shared by Kyle Dake (@kyledake444) on

4. Kyle Dake Makes Return, Wins Spanish GP Gold
Kyle DAKE (USA) made his return last weekend at the Spanish Grand Prix and went 5-0 en route to claiming the 79kg title. The reigning world champion has been out with an injury and hasn’t competed since winning his first world title last October in Budapest. 

Dake’s toughest match came in the opening round, where he scored the close 7-5 win over Dauletmurat ORAZGYLYOV (TKM), but after being out for nearly eight months, a little rust was to be expected. After his opening round match, Dake scored three consecutive technical superiority victories over Carlos GILABERT (ESP), Sarmat TSARAKHOV (RUS) and Max BUDGEY (CAN) before closing the tournament out with a 5-0 win over Batyr ORAZGYLYJOV (TKM) in the gold-medal bout. 

In other Dake news, USA Wrestling announced late last week that “Kid Dynomite” will wrestle-off Alex DIERINGER (USA) on August 17 in Austin, Texas, for the 79kg world team spot. The best-of-three series will be broadcasted live on www.flowrestling.org.  

RESULTS
‪Round 1: df. Dauletmurat ORAZGYLYOV (TKM), 7-5
‪Round 2: df. Carlos GILABERT (ESP), 10-0 
‪QUARTERFINAL: df. Sarmat TSARAKHOV (RUS), 12-0
‪SEMIFINAL: df. Max BUDGEY (CAN), 12-2 
‪FINAL: df. Batyr ORAZGYLYJOV (TKM), 5-0 

5. Staebler Eyeing German Grand Prix as First Test Down at 67kg
Germany’s three-time world champion Frank STAEBLER informed United World Wrestling that he'd be dropping down to 67kg in preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and is eyeing August’s German Grand Prix for his return.

The German Grand Prix will be the first time since Staebler has competed down at 67kg (previously 66kg) since taking seventh place at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. He'll be looking to win his fourth career German GP title, but first since 2016. He didn’t compete in the tournament in 2017 but fell to Toni OJALA (FIN) in last year’s finals. 

The German Grand Prix will take place in Dortmund, Germany, on August 3-4. 

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media

1. Big Move Monday -- Nouri Khorje F. (IRI) -- U23 Asians 2019
2. Who is your favorite wrestler at the Yasar Dogu 2019?
3. Who is your favorite woman wrestler at the Yasar Dogu 2019?
4. Per @vinaysiwach@bajrangpunia60, the No.1-ranked wrestler in the world at 65kg, will wrestle at 70kg at the #YasarDogu.
5. Big Moves From Day 1 // Junior Asian Championships Chon_Buri2019