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! March 26, 2019

By Eric Olanowski

Discussing Russia's European C'ship lineups and the 12 reigning world champions who will compete in Bucharest. Also looking at the U23 Asian C'ship results and this week's African C'ships and Hollywood Wrestles Bollywood. 

1. World Champs Sadulaev, Sidakov, and Uguev to Sit Out European C'ships
Registration for the 2019 European Championships has closed, and the Russian Federation has elected to sit out the majority of their No. 1 wrestlers. The reasoning behind the decision to sit their top wrestlers seems to be they'll be preparing for the European Games, which take place June 25-30 in Minsk, Belarus.

Most notably, reigning world champions Abdulrashid SADULAEV, Zaurbek SIDAKOV, and Zaur UGUEV will sit out of the European Championships. Muslim SADULAEV, Magomed KURBANALIEV, and Vladislav BAITCAEV will be replacing the defending world champions at 57kg, 74kg, and 97kg respectively. 

This will be Muslim Sadulaev's first trip to the European Championships, but Kurbanaliev and Baitcaev both represented Russia at last year’s European Championships, where they reached the top of the podium and claimed gold medals.

*The European Championships happen yearly, while the European Games only happen every four years.

Russia’s European Lineup
57kg - Muslim SADULAEV
61kg - Magomedrasul IDRISOV
65kg - Nachyn KUULAR
70kg - Magomedrasul GAZIMAGOMEDOV
74kg - Magomed KURBANALIEV
79kg - Akhmed GADZHIMAGOMEDOV
86kg - Dauren KURUGLIEV
92kg - Magomed KURBANOV
97kg - Vladislav BAITCAEV
125kg - Anzor KHIZRIEV

2. Iran and Mongolia Capture Titles at First U23 Asian Championships
The host country Mongolia captured the women’s wrestling title at the first edition of the U23 Asian Championships, while Iran shined, winning team titles in both freestyle and Greco-Roman.

In women’s wrestling, the host country Mongolia won four gold medals and captured the team title. India also won four gold medals, and the other two titles went to Kazakhstan and Chinese Taipei.

Iran claimed the freestyle and Greco-Roman team titles. 

In freestyle, Iran had seven finalists and ended up taking home four golds to win the team title with 200 points (4 gold, three silver, two bronze).

In Greco-Roman, Iran battled Kyrgyzstan but ultimately came out on top of the team race. 

Both countries had four golds and two bronze medal winners, but Iran grabbed one more silver medal and captured the title with 202 points (four gold, three silver, two bronze). Kyrgyzstan placed second with 182 points (four gold, two silver, two bronze), and Kazakhstan came third with 167 points (two gold, two silver, three bronze).

FULL RESULTS

3. African Championship Underway in Tunisia
The African Championships kicked off Monday in Hammamet, Tunisia, and will last until Sunday (March 31). 

The cadets and juniors wrestle until Thursday, and the senior-level competition begins on Friday. 

The African Championships will be the first senior-level continental championships where the revamped point system will be used. The winner of the continental championships will receive 12 Ranking Series points, with the second, third, fifth, seventh, and eighth-place finishers receiving 10, 8, 6, 4, and 2 points respectively. 

In addition to the placement points, wrestlers will also receive additional entry points based on the number of wrestlers in their brackets. 

For weight categories with 10 or fewer entries, an additional six (6) points will be added. For categories with 11-20 wrestlers entered an additional eight (8) points will be added. Ten (10) points will be added to any weight category with more than 20 entries.

SCHEDULE 

4. Hollywood Wrestles Bollywood This Sunday 
Women's Wrestling stars from the United States and India will battle each other on Sunday in the 'Hollywood Wrestles Bollywood' at Los Angles' historic Wiltern Theater.

According to www.beatthestreets-la.org, "The dual will be a part of Beat the Streets Los Angeles’ 5th Annual Benefit and International Competition, which is a yearly fundraising and awareness event for the LA-based wrestling non-profit."

There will be eleven top-15 ranked wrestlers in action, with six of those being ranked in the top-5 of the latest world rankings. (The latest rankings can be found on www.unitedworldwrestling.org 's homepage) 

Of the ten star-studded bouts, the most intriguing matchup comes at 53kg, where returning world runner-up and top-ranked Sarah HILDEBRANDT (USA) will take on No. 11 Vinesh VINESH (IND). 

This will be a rematch of last month’s Dan Kolov semifinals, where Vinesh stuck Hildebrant to put herself in the Ranking Series tournament finals. She ultimately fell to China's PANG Qianyu in the finals. 

The dual starts at 15:00 on March 31. 

United States vs. India 
50kg: No. 15 Whitney CONDER vs. Sheetal TOMAR 
53kg: No. 1 Sarah HILDEBRANDT vs. No. 11 Vinesh VINESH
55kg: No. 6 Jacarra WINCHESTER vs. Pinki PINKI
57kg: Jenna BURKERT vs. No. 6 Pooja DHANDA
59kg: Alli RAGAN vs. No. 4 Sarita SARITA
62kg: No. 5 Mallory VELTE vs. Sakshi MALIK  
65kg: No. 2 Forrest MOLINARI vs. Navjot KAUR 
68kg: No. 2 Tamyra MENSAH vs. Divya KAKRAN 
72kg: Rachel WATTERS vs. No. 12 (at 76kg) Kiran KIRAN 
76kg: No. 1 Adeline GRAY vs. Sudesh SUDESH

Reigning world and European champion Petra Maarit OLLI (FIN) is set to compete at the 2019 European Championships. She'll wrestle her world championship weight of 65kg. 

5. European Championships Begin April 8 
The most dominant wrestling continent on the plant, Europe, begins its continental championships on April 8. The early registration closed and of last year's eighteen defending world champions who hailed from Europe, 12 are set to compete in Bucharest, Romania. 

The three women's wrestling European world champions will wrestle, but only two of the five freestyle world champions have entered their names into the field. As mentioned above, Russia's Abdulrashid Sadualev, Zaurbek Sidakov, and Zaur Uguev are the reigning freestyle world gold medalists who won't make the trip to Romania.

Of the ten European Greco-Roman world champions, seven will wrestle in Bucharest. The three who won't be in action will be Peter BACSI (HUN), Aleksander CHEKHIRKIN (RUS), and Frank STAEBLER (GER). 

Though Russia will be without 77kg Greco-Roman world champion Aleksander Chekhirkin, they've entered two-time Olympic champion Roman VLASOV (RUS), who will make his return after missing the 2018 world championships after having knee surgery. 

SCHEDULE

Returning World Champions Competing
55kg (GR) - Eldaniz AZIZLI(AZE)
60kg (GR) - Sergey EMELIN (RUS) 
62kg (WW) - Taybe Mustafa YUSEIN (BUL) 
63kg (GR) - Stepan MARYANYAN (RUS) 
65kg (WW) - Petra Maarit OLLI (FIN) 
67kg (GR) - Artem SURKOV (RUS) 
68kg (WW) - Alla CHERKASOVA (UKR) 
70kg (FS) - Magomedrasul GAZIMAGOMEDOV
82kg (GR) - Metehan BASAR (TUR) 
97kg (GR) - Musa EVLOEV (RUS)
125kg (FS) - Geno PETRIASHVILI (GEO) 
130kg - (GR) - Sergey SEMENOV (RUS) 

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media

1. Big Move Monday -- Vladen KOZLIUK (UKR) -- U23 Europe
2. Highlights from the 2019 Freestyle World Cup #wrestleyakutsk #uww #wrestling
3. Freestyle wrestlers started competing today at #U23AsianChampionship in Mongolia.🥇61 kg - Ulukbek Zholdoshbekov🇰🇬 🥇92 kg - Arashk Mohammadkazem Mohebi🇮🇷
4. Egypt's Yassar NASR punches his ticket to the 65KG final tonight with a powerful preformance in the Semifinal. #wrestling #uww#unitedworldwrestling#WrestleHammamet
5. Day 1 Wrestlers preparing to take to the mats at the 2019 African Championship.  #wrestling #uww#unitedworldwrestling#WrestleHammamet

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Big Move Monday -- Vladen KOZLIUK (UKR) -- U23 Europe

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