Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! February 12, 2019

By Eric Olanowski

Reviewing the Freestyle World Cup draws and Kazakhstan's National Championships. Also looking at results from the Zagreb Open and how they changed the Greco-Roman rankings.

1. Wrestling Announces Groups for 2019 Freestyle World Cup

United World Wrestling has announced the draw for the 2019 Freestyle World Cup in Yakutia, Russia. The annual dual-meet event is a highlight of the international wrestling calendar and features the top eight teams from the 2018 World Championships in Budapest. 

The UWW executive board determined this week that all World Cup competitions, including the Greco-Roman and Women’s World Cup, should follow the same competition format for placement of teams in their respective pools, or groups. With the new system, the No. 1 team will be paired with the No.4, No.5, and No.8 teams from the world championships. 

The No.2 team will in a group with the No.3, No.6, and No.7.

The groups for the 2019 Freestyle World Cup:

Group A - RUS (1), CUB (4), JPN (5), TUR (8)
Group B - USA (2), GEO (3), IRI (6), MGL (7)


Kerem KAMAL, two-time junior world champion, led Turkey to the Zagreb Open team title with his 60kg gold-medal performance. (Photo: Kadir Caliskan)

2. First GR Ranking Series Event, Zagreb Open Concludes in Croatia

The first Greco-Roman Ranking Series event of the year, the Zagreb Open, wrapped up in Croatia, and Turkey captured the team title with their solo champion Kerem KAMAL (TUR) and three runner-ups. They finished 31 points ahead of second place Uzbekistan, who had two champions, and one second-place finisher. 

Croatia’s hometown wrestler Bozo STARCEVIC capped off his impressive run to a fifth consecutive Zagreb Open title with a tactical 2-1 victory over Turkey’s Yunus BASAR in the 77kg finals.

Meanwhile, Bulgaria’s Daniel ALEKSANDROV and Russia’s Ilia BORISOV knocked off reigning world runner-up’s Emrah KUS (TUR) and Kiril MILOV (BUL) respectively to with their first Zagreb Open titles.

Daniel Aleksandrov erased a 7-0 opening-period deficit and scored eight unanswered points in the final period to upend returning world runner-up Emrah KUS (TUR), 8-7, in the 82kg Zagreb Open gold-medal bout.

In the 97kg finals, Ilia Borisov also knocked off a returning Budapest world champion to win his Zagreb Open title. Borisov, the lone Russian finalist, tossed around returning world runner-up Kiril MILOV (BUL) with ease and scored the 9-0 technical superiority victory in the opening period.

Click HERE for a full recap of the Zagreb Open.

Team Scores
GOLD - Turkey (132 points) 
SILVER - Uzbekistan (101 points) 
BRONZE - Croatia (91 points) 
Fourth - Bulgaria (85 points) 
Fifth - Hungary (83 points) 

55kg (Round-Robin) 
GOLD -   Poya Soulat DAD MARZ (IRI) 
SILVER - Ekrem OZTURK (TUR) 
BRONZE - Alexandru Vasile BOTEZ (ROU)

60kg - Kerem KAMAL (TUR) df. Milad Ali REZANEZHAD (IRI), 9-3
63kg - Islomjon BAKHRAMOV (UZB) df. Xavier JOHNSON (USA), 10-2 
67kg - Elmurat TASMURADOV (UZB) df. Mihai Radu MIHUT (ROU), 4-1 
72kg - Robert Attila FRITSCH (HUN)  df. Ramaz ZOIDZE (GEO), via injury default
77kg - Bozo STARCEVIC (CRO) df. Yunus BASAR (TUR), 2-1 
82kg - Daniel ALEKSANDROV (BUL) df. Emrah KUS (TUR), 8-7
87kg - Viktor LORINCZ (HUN) df. Kristoffer Zakarias BERG (SWE), 3-1 
97kg - Ilia BORISOV (RUS) df.  Kiril Milenov MILOV (BUL), 9-0 
130kg - Oskar MARVIK (NOR) df. Muminjon ABDULLAEV (UZB) , 1-0 

3. Kazakhstan National Championships 

Kazakhstan, the host nation for this year’s 2019 Astana World Championships, wrapped up their National Championships in freestyle, Greco-Roman, and women’s wrestling last weekend. 

In freestyle, six of Kazakhstan’s 2018 world representatives captured a medal at last weekend’s Nationals Championships, but only Daulet NIYAZBEKOV and Adilet DAVLUMBAYEV walked away with gold medals. The other five wrestlers who competed in Budapest all took home bronze medals. 

Also of note, two of Kazakhstan’s most successful wrestlers from last season, Nurislam SANAYEV and Zhandos ISMAILOV sat out of the competition due to injury. 

Sanayev was last year’s world team representative at the Budapest World Championships, where he fell to Russia’s Zaur UGUEV in the 57kg gold-medal bout. Sanayev also had success at the Asian Championships a season ago, capturing the gold medal, though that title-winning performance came at 61kg. 

Kazakhstan’s 57kg Asian Championship bronze medalist Zhandos Ismailov sat this weekend due to injury. 

Both of these guys were expected to compete for the 61kg title. Instead, it was Kazakhstan’s U23 world representative Bauirzhan TOREBEK who grabbed the gold medal. 

Though a win last weekend puts most of the championship wrestlers into the continental championships, it does not guarantee them a spot on the 2019 Astana World Championship team. That decision won't come after several international tournaments.

Freestyle Results 

57kg
GOLD - Meirambek KARTBAY 
SILVER - Akbar KURBANOV 
BRONZE - Rakhat KALZHAN 
BRONZE - Berdakh PIRIMBAYEV 

61kg
GOLD-  Bauirzhan TOREBEK 
SILVER -  Rasul KALIYEV 
BRONZE - Kuat AMIRTAYEV 
BRONZE - Vladidmir KUDRIN 

65kg
GOLD - Daulet NIYAZBEKOV 
SILVER - Sayatbek OKASSOV 
BRONZE -Ilyas ZHUMAY 
BRONZE - Meirzhan ASHIROV 

70 kg
GOLD - Nurgozha KAIPANOV 
SILVER - Azhikul NURDAULET 
BRONZE - Kanat MUSABEKOV 
BRONZE - Amandik BAKEYEV 

74 kg
GOLD - Daniyar KAISANOV 
SILVER - Nurlan BEKZHANOV 
BRONZE - Bolat SAKAYEV 
BRONZE -  Azamat OMIRZHANOV 

79 kg
GOLD - Galymzhan USSERBAYEV 
SILVER - Shamil MURTAZOV 

BRONZE - Zhaksibek KARABALAYEV 
BRONZE - Abilay NURSULTANOV 

86 kg
GOLD - Adilet DAVLUMBAYEV 
SILVER - Azamat DAULETBEKOV 
BRONZE - Zhiger ZAKIROIV 
BRONZE - Elkhan ASADOV 

92 kg
GOLD - Yerali ABDRASHEV 
SILVER - Abdumanap BAIKENZHEYEV 
BRONZE - Abubakr TORGAYEV 
BRONZE - Shamil MAGOMEDOV 

97 kg
GOLD - Alisher YERGALI
SILVER - Bakdaulet ALMENTAY.
BRONZE - Mamed IBRAGIMOV 
BRONZE - Bakhitkhanov SERIK 

125kg
GOLD - Oleg BOLTIN 
SILVER - Yusup BATYRMIRZAYEV 
BRONZE - Duman BOLTIRIKOV 
BRONZE - Daulet SHABANBAY 

*Kazakhstan's 2018 national team members listed in bold. 

Click HERE to review Kazahkstan's Greco-Roman and women's wrestling results. 

4. Vlasov and Staebler Train Together in Sochi

The Russian Federation welcomed teams from Germany, Kyrgyzstan, Switzerland, and Uzbekistan, to attend their first training camp of the 2019 season in Russia’s Olympic host city of Sochi. 

The camp in Sochi brought together two Greco-Roman superstars in two-time Olympic champion Roman VLASOV (RUS) and three-time world champion Frank STAEBLER (GER), who was a part of a German squad that brought ten wrestlers to train with Russia’s No. 1 Greco-Roman National Team. 

Staebler told United World Wrestling that a highlight of the camp was training with Vlasov. “It’s been very hard, but great fun and we both learn from each other and get stronger together. Staebler hopes to one day return to Russia to train, saying, “There’s a great respectful friendship between Germany and Russia, and I hope we can return as soon as possible.” 

Staebler, who trained out of a barn for the finals three months leading up to Budapest after he got kicked out of his previous gym, reflected on how improbable his run to a third world title was. The German said he now realizes “How incredible it is that I’ve achieved what I have with my opportunities in Germany. My options compared to what Russia has are ridiculous. Thus, I learned to be even more proud of my German success.” 


Oskar MARVIK (NOR) won the 125kg title at the Zagreb Open and moved up to No. 4 in the rankings. (Photo: Kadir Caliskan) 

5. New Greco-Roman Rankings Released 

The first set of updated Greco-Roman rankings have been updated after the Zagreb Open and are up on United World Wrestling’s homepage. 

The biggest movers in the first set of Greco-Roman rankings were: 

55kg - Ekrem OZTURK (TUR) takes sole ownership of the No. 3 spot after a runner-up finish at the Zagreb Open. Ozturk now has 37 points after the Zagreb Open and fifth place finish at the world championships. 

67kg - Danijel JANECIC (CRO) leaps Budapest bronze medalists Meiirzhan SHERMAKHANBET (KAZ) (25 points) and Gevorg SAHAKYAN (POL) (25 points) with his fifth-place finish at the Zagreb Open. He now has 30 points. 

72kg - Aik MNATSAKANIAN (BUL) was tied with fellow world bronze medalist Rasul CHUNAYEV (AZE) for the third spot with 25 points, but broke that tie with his bronze-medal finish at the Zagreb Open. MNatsakanian now has 39 points. 

77kg - KIM Hyeonwoo (KOR) took possession of the No. 3 ranking with his third-place finish at the Zagreb Open. Kim has 37 points. 

125kg - Yasmani ACOSTA FERNANDEZ (CHI) and Oskar MARVIK (NOR) moved up to the third and fourth spot after being eighth and tenth respectively. Marvik won the gold medal, while Acosta finished in third place. 

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media 

1. Big Move Monday -- RUBAEV G. (MDA) -- 2018 Dan Kolov
2. Here are some of our favorite shots of @kadircaliskan ‘s from the #Zagreb2019
3. Two time World Champion Geno Petriashvili training with the national team in the mountains of Bakuriani @petro700
4. Images from the historic wrestling room in Gori, Georgia.
5. Best match of FR Takhti Cup- 79kg final: Bahman Teymouri (IRI) df. Jabrayil Hasanov (AZE), 6-4

Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! September 3, 2019

By Eric Olanowski

Discussing Iran's new freestyle line up and Retherford downing Diakomihalis to claim USA's 65kg world team spot. Also looking at the most wide-open weight at the World Championships and when rosters are scheduled to be released. 

1. Iran’s New-Look Lineup 
Iran finalized their freestyle roster over the weekend and made two major unexpected updates to the top half of their lineup. 

Reza YAZADANI (IRI) and Parviz HADI (IRI) were entered at 97kg and 125kg respectively, but both suffered injuries during their final training cycle and will no longer compete in Kazakhstan. 

Yazdani, the two-time world champion, will be replaced by Ali Khalil SHABANIBENGAR (IRI) at 97kg. Shabanibengar was a runner-up at the Yasar Dogu, where he lost to Kyle SNYDER (USA) in the finals. 

Yadollah MOHEBI (IRI) will replace returning world bronze medalist Parviz Hadi at 125kg. This season, Mohebi won the Takhti Cup and Asian Championships and also finished in fifth place at the Yasar Dogu. 

Iran’s Freestyle Lineup 
57kg - Reza ATRINAGHARCHI
61kg - Behnam Eshagh EHSANPOOR
65kg - Amirmohammad Babak YAZDANICHERATI
70kg - Yones Aliakbar EMAMICHOGHAEI
74kg - Reza Alireza AFZALIPAEMAMI
79kg - Bahman Mohammad TEYMOURI
86kg - Hassan Aliazam YAZDANICHARATI
92kg - Alireza Mohammad KARIMIMACHIANI
97kg - Ali Khalil SHABANIBENGAR
125kg - Yadollah MOHEBI

2. Retherford Takes Down Diakomihalis, to Represent USA at 65kg 
Zain RETHERFORD (USA) downed Yianni DIAKOMIHALIS (USA), 2-1, and will represent the United States of America at 65kg at the 2019 World Championships. 

Retherford won the first Final X series a few months ago, but after an arbitrator negated the result from the second match, Retherford had the 1-0 series lead coming into Monday’s match. Retherford only needed to win one match to punch his ticket, while Diakomihalis needed to win two straight matches.

In their Monday matchup, all the action came in the first period. Retherford trailed 1-0 after a failed challenge but capitalized on a counter-offensive crotch lift and took the 2-1 lead into the second period. 

A scoreless final three minutes gave Retherford the victory he needed to punch his ticket to the 2019 World Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. 

This'll be his second trip to the World Championships. He also represented the United States at the 2017 World Championships in Paris, where he finished in 11th place. 

USA’s Freestyle World Team: 
57kg - Daton FIX 
61kg - Tyler GRAFF
65kg - Zain RETHERFORD
70kg - James GREEN 
74kg - Jordan BURROUGHS 
79kg - Kyle DAKE 
86kg - Pat DOWNEY 
92kg - J'den COX 
97kg - Kyle SNYDER 
125kg - Nick GWIAZDOWSKI

Takuto OTOGURO (JPN) returns to the World Championships with hopes of defending his 65kg title from a year ago. (Photo: Max Rose-Fyne)

3. The Most Wide-Open Weight: 65kg 
The most wide-open weight class for the World Championships is going to 65kg. There are three of the four returning world medalists who are currently entered, and an Olympic gold medalist and a three-time world champion.

The returning medalists, who finished with gold through bronze respectively, were Takuto OTOGURO (JPN), Bajrang PUNIA (IND), and Alejandro VALDES TOBIER (CUB). 

Although they failed to medal at last year's World Championships, two other wrestlers who have a shot at winning the 65kg world title are Haji ALIYEV (AZE) and Vladimer KHINCHEGASHVILI (GEO). 

Aliyev comes into the Nur-Sultan looking for his fourth world title since 2014. This season, the Azeri is undefeated and has won the European Championships and European Games. 

Khinchegashvili, the Rio Olympic champion, is another serious threat to win the world title at 65kg. He's coming off a European Games runner-up-finish where he fell to Aliyev in the gold-medal bout. 

Myles AMINE (SMR), a European Games bronze medalist, will be the first freestyle wrestler from San Marino to compete at the World Championships. He's entered at 86kg. (Photo: Gabor Martin)

4. World Lineup to be Released This Week
The deadline for teams to make updates to their world team entries ends tomorrow, September 4. After the deadline has passed, United World Wrestling will be releasing the entries through the week. Currently, the entry list is just shy of 1000 wrestlers from 100 different nations.

5. World Championships Countdown: 11 Days
The wait is almost over. We’re into the month of September, which means its officially World Championships month. The 2019 World Championships kick off on September 14 in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. 

This year’s World Championships will hold immense weight because the top-six wrestlers in each weight category will qualify their nation's spot for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. 

The schedule for this year’s Worlds is much different than that of the Budapest World Championships. Unlike last year, where Greco-Roman closed out the 2018 World Championships, Greco-Roman will instead kick things off this year -- beginning on September 14. Women’s wrestling will be sandwiched in between Greco-Roman and freestyle -- starting on September 17. Finally, freestyle will close out the World Championships, with the potential third match-up between the three-time world and Olympic champions Abdulrashid Sadualev and Kyle Snyder squaring off the 97kg gold medal. The pair have split the last two world titles at 97kg, with Snyder winning in Paris and Sadualev exacting revenge in Budapest by picking up the 70-second fall. 

Here is the World Championships SCHEDULE

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media
1. Big Move Monday -- Sadulaev A. (RUS) -- Senior Worlds 2015
2. #TBT Petriashvili Edges Akgul to Win First World Title
3. Follow The Beach Wrestling World Series Final This Week-end!!
4. Will @hasan_yazdani73 reclaim his crown? Let us know what you think!
5. Tickets for #WrestleNurSultan are On Sale!

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Big Move Monday -- Sadulaev A. (RUS) -- Senior Worlds 2015

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