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! December 10, 2019

By Eric Olanowski

Reviewing the three Olympic champions who had winning weekends and Chamizo announcing that he'll compete at January's Matteo Pellicone in Rome. Also looking next week's All Japan Championships and U.S. Olympic Trials Qualifier. 

1. Wiebe Outduels Di Stasio in Battle of Olympic vs. World Champion 
Erica WIEBE outdueled Justina DI STASIO in two straight matches at the Canadian Wrestling Trials, as two other Olympians cemented their spots on Canada’s Pan-American Qualifier team.

Wiebe, the 2016 Rio Olympic champion, scored back-to-back victories over 2018 world champion Justina Di Stasio in a best-of-three series and punched her ticket to the Pan-American Olympic Games Qualifier. The Olympic Qualifier is set to take place in her hometown of Ottawa on March 13-15. In her post-match interview, the Rio Olympic champion said, “It’s going to be different. I’ve never wrestled in my hometown of Ottawa, and a lot is on the line, and I’ll just do a lot of what I do every day – that is get one percent better.” 

In the first match, Wiebe scored an inactivity point and held the 1-0 advantage, but Di Stasio scored a takedown and grabbed the 2-1 lead. Wiebe responded in a champion way, scoring four unanswered points and took match one, 5-2. Then, in the second match, Weibe grabbed a pair of one-point exchanges and locked up her spot on Canada’s Pan-American Qualifier team with the 2-0 victory. 

Michelle FAZZARI and Danielle LAPPAGE, who represented Canada at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, also punched their ticket to the Pan-American Olympic Games Qualifier in Ottawa. 

Fazzari, who was returning from a horrific knee injury she suffered while wrestling Adeniyi OLUWAFUNMILAYO (NGR) in the 2018 Commonwealth Games finals, downed Jessica BROUILLETTE in two straight matches. She scored the 3-0 shutout win in the first match, then edged Brouillette, 3-2, in the second match. 

Lappage, the 2018 world runner-up, dropped her first match against three-time Pan-American medalist Olivia DI BACCO, but earned her spot to the Pan-American Olympic Games Qualifier after winning back-to-back matches. She won the second match, 9-0, and the third match, 4-2. 

Meanwhile, Linda MORAIS, the 59kg world champion, dropped down to the Olympic weight of 57kg and easily punched her ticket to Ottawa with a pair of falls over Hannah TAYLOR. 

RESULTS
Women’s Wrestling
50kg - Jessie MACDONALD df. Madison PARKS, two matches to none (7-2, 12-1)
53kg - Samantha STEWART df. Jade PARSONS, two matches to none (11-0, 2-2)
57kg - Linda MORAIS df. Hannah TAYLOR, two matches to none (via fall, via fall)
 62kg - Michelle FAZZARI df. Jessica BROUILLETTE, two matches to none (3-0, 3-2) 
68kg - Danielle LAPPAGE df. Olivia DI BACCO, two matches to one (5-8, 9-0, 4-2) 
76kg - Erica WIEBE df. Justina DI STASIO, two matches to none (5-2, 2-1)
 

Freestyle 
57kg - Ligrit SADIUKU df. Aso PALANI, two matches to one (3-4, 12-2, 4-1)
65kg - Dillon WILLIAMS df. Chris MCISAAC, two matches to none (5-2, 5-1)
74kg - Jasmit PHULKA df. Tyler ROWE, two matches to none (6-2, 6-5)
86kg - Clayton PYE df. Alex BROWN-THERIAULT, two matches to one (15-4, 2-9, 13-2)
97kg - Jordan STEEN df. Nishan RANDHAWA, two matches to none (13-2, 12-2)
125kg - Amar DHESI df. Korey JARVIS, two matches to none (11-0, 10-0)

2. Olympic Champs Ramonov and Snyder Win Alans International Tournament
Olympic champions Soslan RAMONOV (RUS) and Kyle SNYDER (USA) finished atop the podium at the Alans International Tournament in Vladikavkaz, Russia, as nine Russians claimed gold medals.

Ramonov, who has been wrestling at 70kg since 2017, returned to 65kg for the first time since his magical run to Olympic gold in Rio, and defeated Kurban SHIRAEV (RUS), 3-0, in the finals at 65kg. 

The Alans was Ramonov’s third tournament back since undergoing back surgery over a year ago. The Olympic champion finished in second place at the Akhmed Kadyrov Cup and third place at the Vladimir Semenov Tournament. 

Last November, Ramonov told United World Wrestling, “It’s true that I had an operation on my back last week, but I’ve already got back to work and started physical therapy.” Ramonov went on to say, “I expect to return to the mat in January, and hopefully enter a tournament at 65kg closer to the fall.” 

America’s Kyle Snyder was the second Olympic champion who won an Alans gold medal. To win his gold, “Captain America” used a takedown and three one-point maneuvers to move past 2018 European champion Vladislav BAITSAEV (RUS), 5-2, in the 97kg finals.

Meanwhile, Ahmed IDRISOV (RUS) and Khetik TSABOLOV (RUS) were also apart of Russia’s gold-medal winning cast. 

Idrisov, the younger brother of reigning world silver medalist Magomedrasul IDRISOV (RUS), scored a three-point win (5-2) over the two-time world bronze medalist ERDENEBAT Behbayar (MGL) in the 57kg finals.

Tsabolov, the 2014 world champion, defeated two-time world medalist James GREEN (USA), 7-4, in the 74kg finals. Up until the Alans, Tsabolov's finals opponent had competed down at 70kg for 20 consecutive tournaments and was making his first career appearance up at the Olympic weight class of 74kg.

In the finals, the Russian gave up an early takedown and trailed 2-0, but scored an inactivity point that was followed by a takedown and a pair of laces to win the match by three points. 

Freestyle
57kg - Ahmed IDRISOV (RUS) df. ERDENEBAT Behbayar (MGL), 5-2
61kg - Ramazan FERZALIEV (RUS) df. Abasgadzhi MAGOMEDOV (RUS), 10-7
65kg - Soslan RAMONOV (RUS) df. Kurban SHIRAEV (RUS), 3-0
70kg - Chermen VALIEV (RUS) df. Ramazan RAMAZANOV (RUS), 4-2
74kg - Khetik TSABOLOV (RUS) df. James GREEN (USA), 7-4
79kg - Khalil AMINOV (RUS) df. Kakhaber KHUBEZHTY (RUS), 8-6
86kg - Soslan KTSOEV (RUS) df. Georgy RUBAEV (MDA), 11-1
92kg - Magomed KURBANOV (RUS) df. Mohammad EBRAHIMI (IRI), 4-2
97kg - Kyle SNYDER (USA) df. Vladislav BAITSAEV (RUS), 5-2
125kg - Batraz GAZZAYEV (RUS) df. Baldan TSYZHIPOV (RUS), 10-0

Yui SUSAKI (JPN) will try to get back on Japan's women's wrestling team by winning next weekend's All Japan Championships. (Photo: Sachiko Hotaka)

3. All Japan Championships Begin Next Week in Tokyo 
Yui SUSAKI will join Rio Olympic silver medalists Shinobu OTA and Rei HIGUCHI next week on their quest to claim All Japan Championship gold and lock up their spots on Japan’s Asian Olympic Games Qualifier team. 

The winners of the All Japan Championships, which will take place at Tokyo’s Komazawa Gymnasium on December 19-22, and will travel to China in March with hopes of doing what their fellow Japanese teammates couldn’t do at the 2019 World Championships -- qualify their respective weight for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. 

Susaki, a two-time world champion, will be joined by career rival Yuki IRIE and Rio Olympic champion Erie TOSAKA in the 50kg bracket. Earlier this year, Susaki was stunned by Irie, which kept her from defending her world titles from 2017 and ’18. 

Meanwhile, Rio Olympic runner-ups Ota and Higuchi will be moving weight classes in preparations to improve their silver medals from 2016. 

Ota, this year’s 63kg world champion, will be moving up to 67kg. He planned on dropping down to 60kg, but Kenichiro FUMITA (JPN) not only won the world title, but he also locked up his seat on Japan’s Olympic team at the weight. So that left Ota with no choice but to go up to 67kg.

Next weekend, Ota will challenge defending national champion Shogo TAKAHASHI, defending national runner-up Tsuchika SHIMOYAMADA and last year’s U23 world champion Katsuaki ENDO, for the 67kg spot.

Rei HIGUCHI, who is dropping down to 57kg from 65kg, will have to get through Yuki TAKAHASHI if he has hopes of representing Japan in a second straight Olympics. The task won't be easy, as Takahashi has been one of the best wresters at the weight over the past three years. Higuchi's potential opponent was the world champion in 2017 and world bronze medalist in 2018. But after a disappointing 10th-place finish in Nur-Sultan, Takahashi left the door open for others to challenge, which is why Higuchi is making the change. 

For more information about the All Japan Championships, visit http://www.japan-wrestling.org.

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Talks Tokyo, Burroughs, Sidakov and injury recovery.

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4. Chamizo Announces Plans to Compete at January’s Matteo Pellicone
In an interview with United World Wrestling, Italian superstar Frank CHAMIZO announced that he’ll wrestle at the first Ranking Series event of 2020, the Matteo Pellicone. “I’m going to Rome for the Ranking Series tournament. Right now, I’m training for there in New York,” said the two-time world champion. Chamizo went further, saying, “It will be good. It’s home!”

Chamizo has been one of the biggest supporters of UWW’s Ranking Series events. After winning a gold medal at the third Ranking Series tournament of the year, the Sassari City Tournament, Chamizo said, “I need the training and I need the matches. But the reason for competing so much is I need the Ranking Series points. That’s important.”

Chamizo has competed in four of the eight Ranking Series events since its inception in 2018 and has medaled in each of those four appearances. This year, Chamizo used the Ranking Series events to climb to the top of the world ranking, and ultimately the No. 1 seed at the World Championships, after collecting points at the European Championships, Dan Kolov, Sassari City Tournament and Yasar Dogu.   

With the Olympics seeding the top-four wrestlers at each weight for the first time ever, you can bet that Chamizo will again have his eye on the top seed, and his quest to grab that top seed kicks off at the Matteo Pellicone, which takes place January 15-18. 

Chamizo’s Ranking Series Resume
2018 
Yasar Dogu – gold 

2019 
Sassari – gold 
Yasar Dogu – silver 

Dan Kolov – bronze 

5. Fort Worth to Host U.S. Olympic Trials Qualifier Next Week
The road to State College, Pennsylvania, for the Olympic Trials made its first stop in New York for the Bill Farrell Memorial and will make its second stop next weekend in Fort Worth, Texas, for the U.S. Olympic Trials Qualifier. The Fort Worth Convention Center will host the two-day tournament from December 20-22.

According to USA Wrestling, “The Senior Freestyle top-5 finishers per weight category at the 2019 U.S. Olympic Trials Qualifier will earn a spot in the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials,” which will take place in State College, Pennsylvania, on April 4-5.

Our friends at www.flowrestling.org have the streaming rights to the U.S. Olympic Trials Qualifier. Wrestling kicks off at 11:00 (local time) on December 20. 

Selection Process for 2020 Toyko Olympic Games

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media

1. Big Move Monday -- El Sayed M. (EGY)
2. Top-10 Throws from 2019
3. Top-Five Scrambles from 2019
4. Who scored on this exchange?
5. #TBT - Semenov Smashes Coon, Giving Russia Sixth GR World Gold

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— #uww #unitedworldwrestling

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