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) 
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 

GOLD - Meirambek KARTBAY 

GOLD-  Bauirzhan TOREBEK 
BRONZE - Vladidmir KUDRIN 


70 kg

74 kg

79 kg


86 kg

92 kg

97 kg
BRONZE - Bakhitkhanov SERIK 


*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! April 16, 2019

By Eric Olanowski

Discussing the European C'ship results, this week's Pan-American C'ships, and next week's Asian's C'ships. Also looking at the newly released Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games wrestling schedule. 

1. European Championships Wrap up in Bucharest 
The 2019 European Championships wrapped up on Sunday night in Bucharest, Romania, and it was the Russian Federation who claimed team titles in both freestyle and Greco-Roman, while Ukraine won the women’s wrestling team trophy. 

In freestyleThe Russian Federation trailed Azerbaijan by five points heading into the final day of wrestling but closed out the freestyle competition with two golds, two silvers, and four bronze medals to win the team title six points ahead of second place Turkey. 

Azerbaijan (145 points), Georgia (104 points), and Ukraine (80 points) rounded out the top-five in freestyle. 

In Greco-Roman, the Russian Federation repeated as European champions, winning five individual gold medals and having nine of ten wrestlers reach the podium. Russia finished 60 points ahead of second-place Turkey. 

Azerbaijan (76 points), Germany (72 points), and Georgia (72 points) finished third through fifth respectively. 

In women’s wrestling, Ukraine, who had a solo bronze medalist and finished last year’s Kaspiisk European Championships in seventh place, capped off their improbable run to a European team title on the backs of four individual women’s wrestling championship performances. 

Bulgaria (112 points), Turkey (98 points), Azerbaijan (96 points), and Russia (89 points) were the other top-five finishers respectively.  

Click HERE for the full #WrestleBucharest event hub. 

Canada's Erica WIEBE (CAN) is one of four Olympic champions wrestling at the 2019 Pan-American Championships. (Photo: Max Rose-Fyne)

2. Four Olympic Champions Make Up 2019 Pan American Championships Field
Six Olympic medalists, including four Olympic champions, highlight the field at the 2019 Senior Pan American Championships in Buenos Aires, Argentina, April 18-21. Each style has at least one Olympic champion in the field.  

Three of the four Olympic medalists in the men’s freestyle brackets come from USA, including 2012 champion Jordan BURROUGHS, 2016 champion Kyle SNYDER and 2016 bronze medalist J’den COX.

In women's wrestling, 2016 Olympic champion Erica WIEBE (CAN) will compete this week at 76kg, while Rio Greco-Roman Olympic champion and five-time Pan American champion Ismael BORRERO MOLINA (CUB) at 67kg.

Click HERE for Taylor Miller's full Pan-American Championship preview. 

Japan's Kaori ICHO will be looking for her fifth women's wrestling Olympic gold medal. (Photo: Gabor Martin)

3. Women’s Wrestling at Center Stage as Tokyo 2020 Announces Detailed Competition Schedule
The Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) has announced the detailed competition schedule for the sport of wrestling at the 2020 Olympic Games. The two-day competition format will feature women’s wrestling as the final gold medal bout on each day of competition. 

Japan is the most dominant women’s wrestling nation in the world having won 11 of 18 Olympic gold medals since 2004, the first year the sport was included on the Olympic programme. The island nation has also won 22 world team titles since the first women’s wrestling world championships in 1987, including 11 of the last 13.

“The schedule announced by Tokyo 2020 will help wrestling ensure high attendance for each day of the competition,” said United World Wrestling president Nenad Lalovic. “We saw nice crowds in Brazil and expect that this schedule will help us reach even more fans and create a positive and energetic environment for all our competitors. The stars of women’s wrestling will guarantee that interest-level.”

Greco-Roman will join women for the first half of the schedule, with freestyle set to wrap up the Games alongside the aforementioned women’s weight categories.

Click HERE for Tim Foley's breakdown of the full Olympic schedule. 

4. Kayaalp, Bisultanov, and Ciobanu Make History at European Championships 
Turkey’s Riza KAYAALP authored a new page in the Turkish wrestling history books on Saturday night by winning his ninth European title. Kayaalp entered the night tied with Hamza YERLIKAYA, who also had eight European titles, but surpassed Yerlikaya with his Day 6 win at the Polyvalent Hall in Bucharest, Romania.

In his 130kg Greco-Roman gold-medal bout, Kayaalp scored three points from a stepout and a takedown to defeat Iakobi KAJAIA (GEO), 3-0.

Moldova’s Victor Ciobanu and Denmark’s Rajbek Bisultanov reached the top of the European championship podium and made history for their countries on the closing day of the wrestling in Bucharest.

In the 60kg Greco-Roman finals, Victor Ciobanu pulled off perhaps the biggest upset of these European Championships, defeating the defending world and European champion Sergey EMELIN (RUS), 5-5, on criteria, and became the first-ever Moldovan Greco-Roman European champion.  

In the 82kg Greco-Roman finals, Rajbek Bisultanov ended Denmark’s 93-year drought without a European gold medal, becoming the first wrestler from his nation to circle the mat with a Danish flag since Johannes JACOBSEN did so at the Riga European title in 1926. 

Bisultanov fell behind 1-0 to Georgia’s Lasha GOBADZE (GEO) but scored two exposure points and a takedown, ending the opening frame with a 4-1 lead. In the closing period, the Danish wrestler was dinged for a caution-and-two but held on to win 4-3.

China's No. 1-ranked RONG Ningning will be one of two returning world champs competing at this year's Asian Championships. (Photo: Max Rose-Fyne) 

5. Asian Championships Kick off Next Week in Xi'an, China 
Xi’an's Electronic Science and Technology University Gymnasium will be the host site for this year's Asian Championships, which take place in Xi'an, China from March 23-28. 

In total, 19 returning medalists from last year's world championships will be in action. 

Women's wrestling leads the way with ten returning podium finishers. They'll have two champions, one silver, and seven returning bronze competing. 

Greco-Roman will have one returning finalist and five bronze medalists, while freestyle has a pair of 2018 runner-ups and two bronze-medal finishers taking the mat in China next week. 

All the action can be followed live on www.unitedworldwrestling.org. 

Monday (March 22) 
17:00 - Draw FS – 57-65-70-79-97kg

Tuesday (March 23) 
9:30 - Medical examination and Weigh-in FS – 57-65-70-779-97kg
11:30 - Qualification rounds and repechage FS – 57-65-70-79-97kg
14:45 - Draw FS – 61-74-86-92-125kg
17:30 - Opening ceremony
18:00 - Finals FS – 57-65-70-79-97kg
18:00 - Award ceremonies 

Wednesday (March 24) 
9:30 - Medical examination and Weigh-in FS – 61-74-86-92-125kg 
11:30 - Qualification rounds and repechage FS – 61-74-86-92-125kg
14:45 - Draw WW – 50-55-59-68-76kg
18:00 - Finals FS – 61-74-86-92-125kg
18:00 - Award ceremonies / Cérémonies protocolaires

Thursday (March 25) 
9:30 - Medical examination and Weigh-in WW – 50-55-59-68-76kg 11:30 - Qualification rounds and repechage WW – 50-55-59-68-76kg
14:45 - Draw WW – 53-57-62-65-72kg
18:00 - Finals WW – 50-55-59-68-76kg
18:00 - Award ceremonies

Friday (March 26) 
9:30 - Medical examination and Weigh-in WW – 53-57-62-65-72kg 11:30 - Qualification rounds and repechage WW – 53-57-62-65-72kg
14:45 - Draw GR – 55-63-77-87-130kg
18:00 - Finals WW – 53-57-62-65-72kg
Award ceremonies / Cérémonies protocolaires

Saturday (March 27) 
9:30 - Medical examination and Weigh-in GR – 55-63-77-87-130kg 
11:30 - Qualification rounds and repechage GR – 55-63-77-87-130kg
14:45 - Draw GR – 60-67-72-82-97kg
18:00 - Finals GR – 55-63-77-87-130kg
Award ceremonies 

Sunday (March 28) 
9:30 - Medical examination and Weigh-in GR – 60-67-72-82-97kg
11:30 - Qualification rounds and repechage GR – 60-67-72-82-97kg 
18:00 - Finals matches GR – 60-67-72-82-97kg Award ceremonies 

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media 

1. Greco-Roman highlights from the European Championships 🔥😲 // Head over to our stories for the full video . .
2. Big Move(s) From Day 7 // #WrestleBucharest
3. Big Move From Day 6 // #WrestleBucharest
4. 🇦🇲 @maxim_manukyan 🇦🇲 🖐️ ➡ 📍
5. Big Move From Day 3 // #WrestleBucharest

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Big Move From Day 6 // #WrestleBucharest

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