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! February 19, 2019

By Eric Olanowski

Previewing this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix and reviewing results from the 25th Annual Klippan Lady Open. Also looking at Makhmudov's injury,  Ramonov's return, and Magomed Kurbanaliev opening up his sports school in Dagestan.

1. Hungarian Grand Prix Begins This Weekend 
Azerbaijan's reigning world champion Eldaniz AZIZLI headlines a Hungarian Grand Prix field of over 175 wrestlers from 25 different nations which boasts an impressive eight returning world medalists (listed in bold in below link).

Though they only enter three wrestlers, Azerbaijan has arguably the most successful team in the tournament. Their three entries are Azizli, Rasul CHUNAYEV, and Sabah SHARIATI. 

Azizli is coming off a run to his first world title and is the No. 1 ranked wrestler in the world at 55kg, while Chunayev and Shariati both hold Rio Olympic bronze medals. 

Chunayev, who's 25 points is good enough for the No. 4-ranking in the world at 72kg has three world medals to go along with his Rio bronze-medal finish. In 2015, he won the world title and grabbed bronze medals at the 2014 and 2018 world championships.

The last Azeri entry is Sabah Shariati, who will be making his 2019 season debut at 130kg. 

Korea and Serbia are two other nations that enter stacked squads into the second Ranking Series event of the year.

Korea's team features Olympic champion KIM Hyeonwoo, two-time world champion RYU Hansu, and reigning 130kg world bronze medalist KIM Minseok. 

Kim Hyeonwoo brings 25 Ranking Series points into the Hungarian Grand Prix and is ranked third in the world after a bronze-medal finish at last weekend's Zagreb Open. 

Kim Minseok, the fifth-ranked wrestler in the world at 130kg, is looking to bounce back after failing to medal at the Zagreb Open, and two-time world champion Ryu Hansu will make his season debut at 67kg. 

Viktor NEMES, the 2017 world champion and reigning world bronze medalist Mihail KAJALA lead Serbia's team into the second Ranking Series event of the year. Both wrestlers are ranked fourth in the world at 77kg and 97kg respectively. 

The Hungarian Grand Prix begins on February 23 at the Olimpiai Sportpark in Gyor, Hungary.

Click here for full list of entries. 

Schedule 

Friday (February 22) 
Till 12:00 - Final entries for GR cat. 55, 63, 72, 82, 97 kg
15:00 - Referee meeting
16:00 - Technical conference – all teams 
17:00 - Draw – GR cat. 55, 63, 72, 82, 97 kg

Saturday (February 23) 
08:00 - Medical examination & Weigh-in for GR cat. 55, 63, 72, 82, 97kg
10:00 - Qualification rounds and repechage for GR cat. 55, 63, 72, 82, 97kg
Till 12:00 - Final entries/ Inscriptions définitives pour GR cat. 60, 67, 77, 87, 130kg
16:30 - Draw – GR cat. 60, 67, 77, 87, 130kg
17:00 - Opening Ceremony 
18:00 - Finals for GR cat. 55, 63, 72, 82, 97kg Award ceremonies 

Sunday (February 24) 
8.30- Medical examination & Weigh-in for GR cat. 60, 67, 77, 87, 130kg
10.00 - Qualification rounds and repechage for GR cat. 60, 67, 77, 87, 130kg
16.00 - Finals for GR cat. 60, 67, 77, 87, 130kg and Award ceremonies

Monday (February 25) 
Departure of the delegations

China's reigning world champion NINGNING Rong grabbed her first Klippan Lady Open title. (Photo: Martin Gábor )

2. China Wins Four Golds at 25th Annual Klippan Lady Open 
The 25th Annual Klippan Lady Open, one of the oldest all women's wrestling tournaments in the world, took place in Sweden last weekend and four different nations had wrestlers claim a gold medal, but it was China who led the way with a quartet of gold medalists. 

China’s 2018 world champion Rong NINGNING and Rio Olympic bronze medalist YANAN Sun (CHN) were the leaders of the Chinese squad that had four champions. 

Rong, who made her first Klippan Lady Open appearance, won the 57kg gold medal, while Sun improved on her 2015 fifth-place finish by winning the 50kg title. 

The other two Chinese champions were FENG Zhou (CHN) and JUAN Wang (CHN). The pair won the 68kg and 76kg championships respectively. 

The host nation of Sweden finished with the second most gold medalists, grabbing a trio of titles. 

Jenny FRANSSON, Sweden's 2016 Rio bronze medalist, won her second consecutive 72kg Klippan Lady Open title and third overall while making her tenth Lady Open appearance. 

The other two Swedish wrestlers who won gold medals were Moa NYGREN (SWE) Henna JOHANSSON (SWE). 

Nygren, who was wrestling in her fifth Klippan Lady Open had never placed higher than eight before winning the 62kg title on Sunday. 

Johansson finally got over the hump and claimed a Klippan Lady Open title after nine previous attempts. 

Japan grabbed two titles and Russia rounded out the winners with a solo gold medalist.

Umi IMAI (JPN) and Sena NAGAMOTO (JPN) won the 53kg and 55kg gold medals respectively, while Russia’s Svetlana LIPATOVA (RUS) won the last gold medal, which came at 59kg. 

RESULTS

50kg 
GOLD - YANAN Sun (CHN) 
SILVER -  Remina YOSHIMOTO (JPN)
BRONZE - Nadezhda SOKOLOVA (RUS) 
BRONZE -  Iwona MATKOWSKA (POL)

53kg 
GOLD -  Umi IMAI (JPN)
SILVER -  QIANYU Pang CHN)
BRONZE - Annika WENDLE (GER) 
BRONZE - Ekaterina POLESHCHUK (RUS)

55kg 
GOLD - Sena NAGAMOTO (JPN) 
SILVER -  Vanesa KALADZINSKAYA (BLR) 
BRONZE - Diana WEICKER (CAN) 

BRONZE -  Marina SIMONYAN (RUS)

57kg 
GOLD - NINGNING Rong (CHN)
SILVER -  Iryna KURACHKINA (BLR) 
BRONZE - Roksana ZASINA (POL)
BRONZE -  Ramóna GALAMBOS (HUN)

59kg 
GOLD - Svetlana LIPATOVA (RUS) 
SILVER -  Pei XINGRU (CHN)
BRONZE - Lauren LOUIVE (USA) 
BRONZE - Emma JOHANSSON (SWE)

62kg
GOLD - Moa NYGREN (SWE)
SILVER -   Jessica BROUILLETTE (CAN)
BRONZE - Veranika IVANOVA (BLR) 
BRONZE -  JUAN Kang (CHN)

65kg
GOLD -  Henna JOHANSSON (SWE)
SILVER -   Gabriella SLEISZ (HUN)
BRONZE - Kriszta INCZE (ROM)
BRONZE - Naomi RUIKE (JPN)

68kg (One bronze) 
GOLD - FENG Zhou (CHN)
SILVER -  Natalia KHRAMENKOVA (RUS) 
BRONZE - Alena SUKHAREVA (RUS)

72kg 
GOLD -  Jenny FRANSSON (SWE) 
SILVER -  CHUCHU Yan (CHN)
BRONZE - Yuka KAGAMI (JPN)

BRONZE - Tatiana KOLENIKOVA (RUS)

76kg 
GOLD - JUAN Wang (CHN)
SILVER -   Epp MAE (EST) 
BRONZE - Masako FURUICHI (JPN) 

BRONZE -  Francy RADELT (GER)

3. Kyrgyzstan’s Makhumdov to miss Two Months
The future of Kyrgyzstani Greco-Roman wrestling Akzhol MAKHMUDOV (KGZ) is set to have surgery to repair torn ligaments in his left knee and is expecting to miss at least two months. 

Makhmudov told United World Wrestling that he will depart Kyrgyzstan on February 18 and will travel to Germany where he'll have surgery February 20. 

The 19-year-old expects to return to the mat in mid-April and projects that he'll compete at the September’s Astana World Championships, which are seven months away. 

If you’re not familiar with Makhmudov, he’s the three-time age-level Greco-Roman world medalist who introduced himself to the senior level by forging an 8-6 win over Paris 2017 world silver medalist Demeu ZHADRAYEV (KAZ) in the 72kg Asian finals. That match, which took place in Bishkek Kyrgyzstan’s Kozhomkul Sports Palace, was voted United World Wrestling's Greco-Roman Match of the Year. 

In his memorable post-match interview, Makhmudov thanked the Kyrgyzstani fans for their support, saying, "When I heard it, I thought, 'I can die here on the floor, but I will still win. This win will be for them.'"

View this post on Instagram

Ну вот и все...👍 Так как реабилитация моя практически подошла к концу,хочу поделиться неполным тренировочным днём в больнице🙋🏻‍♂️,где меня прооперировали и вернули в строй не отходя от кассы как говорится😁 Очень много было разговоров и есть,что после таких операций в большой спорт не возвращаются,нету даже кого привести в пример,но это совсем не пугает😉😎,даже наоборот🏆🤼‍♂️🥇 Посмотрим как все будет на деле!К тренировкам на ковре уже приступил🤼‍♂️,чувствую себя великолепно💪 Уже на этих выходных присоединюсь к сборной команде России🇷🇺U23 лет,в Адлере где и начну подготовку вместе с ними!👋🎊🎉💪🤼‍♂️😎🙋🏻‍♂️ И обязательно слова благодарности,@dr.dzukaev ,Вы мастер своего дела и невероятный талант медицины!!!И конечно,его команде,за профессионализм,за индивидуальный подход и за ваши старания😊😉👏

A post shared by Soslan Ramonov (@soslan__ramonov) on

4. Olympic Champion Ramonov Returns After Three-Month Layoff 
Rio Olympic champion Soslan RAMONOV (RUS) returned to the mat for the first time since undergoing spinal surgery in early November to correct a back issue that has long troubled him. 

Ramonov told United World Wrestling, “I’ve returned to the mat. I’m going to wrestle at the Russian National Championships and possibly the World Championships.” (The dates for this year's Russian National Championships have not been announced, but they're usually one month before the World Championships so we can expect them to be in late July or early August.)  

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

Ramonov's November announcement that he's dropping back down to 65kg should raise eyebrows of wrestling fans around the world because the Russian was arguably the most dominant wrestler in the world during his run to the 65kg Rio Olympic gold medal. On that run, he outscored his Olympic opponents 53-11 and thumped the returning Olympic champion Toghrul ASGAROV (AZE) 11-0 in the gold-medal bout.

But, since his title-winning performance in Rio, Ramonov hasn't been the same and a big reason is that he bumped up to 70kg. While up at 70kg, Ramonov has failed to make it back on the Russian world team in back-to-back years after earning medals at three consecutive World Championships and Olympic Games. 

For a healthy Ramonov to represent Russia in Astana, he'll have to make a run in one of the countries deepest weight classes. The 65kg weight class in Russia houses returning 65kg world bronze medalist Akhmed Chakaev (RUS), returning two-time 61kg world runner-up Gazhimurad RASHIDOV (RUS) and Yariguin runner-up Nachyin KUULAR. 

5. Kurbanaliev Opens Up Wrestling School in Dagestan  
Russia’s 2016 world champion Magomed KURBANALIEV recently opened the doors to his namesake sports facility, the Kurbanaliev Sports School, which is “located high in the mountains of Dagestan, in the village of Bezhta that's in the Tsunta district.” 

“This sports school is located in my small homeland, where I was born and raised,” said Kurbanaliev. 

The reigning European champion went further, saying he aspired to open the school because “We did not have the right conditions for normal training, and there was only a small room and a mat. Our youth had no place to train, and I understand them.” 

In addition to freestyle wrestling, the Kurbanaliev Sports School will also be a practice facility for students training boxing, sambo, and volleyball. 

The gym is currently open for wrestling practices, but Kurbanaliev won't officially celebrate the grand opening until the summer. “The official opening will take place in the summer, and now training has begun in various sports.” 

For more information about the Kurbanaliev Sports School, please visit the school’s official Instagram account. 

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media 

1. Big Move Monday -- Rəsul Çunayev (AZE) -- 2018 Dan Kolov
2. Sunday Smiles 😃. 📸: Lu Marin
3. #ScoreThat - Who do you think scored on this exchange? Was it red or was it blue? (Find out by watching the full match, which is linked in our bio).
4. We traveled to Puerto Rico with members of the USA Women’s national team as they took part in a 10-day training camp on the island. Video: Lu Marin @ Lu Marin Creative
5. Four days until the #HungarianGP2019 .

View this post on Instagram

Sunday Smiles 😃. 📸: Lu Marin

A post shared by Olympic Wrestling (@unitedworldwrestling) on