Weekly FIVE! January 07, 2020
Monday, January 6, 2020 - 19:17 By Eric Olanowski
Discussing Akgul and Yazdani’s surgery and Taylor’s return to the mat after an 8-month layoff. Also looking at the #WrestleRome Matteo Pellicone entries, the 2019 Wrestlers of the Year and Susaki’s quest for Olympic gold.
1. Olympic Champs Akgul and Yazdani to Miss Time After Undergoing Surgery
Rio Olympic champions TAHA AKGUL (TUR) and Hassan YAZDANI (IRI) announced they would miss a good portion of the 2020 season after undergoing surgery over the past few weeks.
Akgul told United World Wrestling, “I fell on my shoulder during wrestling practice. I will be back as soon as possible…hopefully before the Olympics.” The Rio Olympic freestyle champion at 125kg had surgery on his left shoulder and expects to miss at least three months. “I will rest for two months. Then the physical therapy process will begin. I will start training in three months.”
Yazdani, the Rio Olympic champion (at 74kg) and two-time world champion at 86kg, underwent surgery on his right knee and will be sidelined for at least two months. The Iranian superstar told United World Wrestling, “It was a successful surgery. I am in a good situation now. I’ll start training on the mat in two months. I am in good spirits now. Lets see what happens in the future.”
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The road to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games officially kicks off January 15-18 in Rome, Italy, at the first Ranking Series event of the year, the #WrestleRome Matteo Pellicone. The entry list, which will be released on Monday morning, features seven reigning world champions and 33 world medal holders from the 2019 World Championships. — #uww #unitedworldwrestling #wrestlerome
2. Matteo Pellicone Entries Released
The first stop on the road to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games travels through Rome, Italy, for the first of two Ranking Series events, the Matteo Pellicone.
The three-day tournament kicks off January 15-18 in Ostia, a port city of ancient Rome, located 30km away from the city center.
As the entries sit, there are seven reigning world champions and 31 world medal holders from the 2019 World Championships that will wrestle in Rome. Freestyle boasts nine world medalist, Greco-Roman features four podium finishers from Nur-Sultan and women’s wrestlers rounds out the tournament with an astonishing 18 2019 world medalist.
World Champions That Are Registered:
FS 74kg - Kyle Douglas DAKE (USA) – two-time world champion at 79kg
WW 57kg - Linda MORAIS (CAN) – world champion at 59kg
WW 62kg - Inna TRAZHUKOVA (RUS) – world champion at 65kg
WW 62kg - Aisuluu TYNYBEKOVA (KGZ)
WW 69kg - Tamyra Mariama MENSAH (USA)
WW 76kg - Natalia VOROBEVA (RUS)
WW 76kg - Adeline Maria GRAY (USA)
3. David Taylor Set to Return to Action
David TAYLOR (USA) announced on his social media channels that he’ll be returning after sitting out of competition for the last eight months.
In his post, Taylor said, “Dear World, I am back. I’ll be seeing you soon."
Taylor, a 2018 world champion at 86kg, was coming off an undefeated 2018 season, which culminated in gold-medal performances at the World Championships, Pan-American Championships, Ivan Yariguin and Yasar Dogu.
But in May, Taylor was dealt an unfortunate setback on his road to defending his world title.
It was at the Beat the Streets match against Drew FOSTER (USA) where Taylor went down 31 seconds into the match with an apparent right knee injury. In the opening sequence of the bout, Foster got to a low-level shot to the right leg of Taylor and came up through the middle. Foster peaked out the back door and isolated the right leg of Taylor. Foster, who was posted on his right hand, threw his left hip to the mat, which is when Taylor stopped wrestling and immediately grabbed his right knee. The reigning world champion tried to continue, but his right knee buckled the first time he put his body weight on it, and ultimately forced him to injury default out of the match.
4. Susaki Secures Spot on Japan’s Asian Olympic Qualifier Team; Otoguro Locks up Spot on Olympic Team
Yui SUSAKI (JPN) and Rei HIGUCHI (JPN) thought their hopes of gold medal glory at the Tokyo Olympic Games were all but gone, but their fate changed after winning the All Japan Championships in Tokyo a few weeks ago.
Susaki saw her Olympic dreams deteriorate in front of her own eyes after losing her world championship starting spot in a July 6 special wrestle-off against Yuki IRIE (JPN). Or, at least, she thought so. But after a disappointing showing in Nur-Sultan by Irie, Susaki was granted the one shot she needed to regain her starting spot. And she took full advantage of it.
Over the holiday break, Susaki took a significant step in recovering her quest to become an Olympic champion by exacting revenge on Irie in the finals of the All Japan Championships in Tokyo. The two-time world champion outlasted Irie in a tactical 2-1 battle and locked up her spot on Japan’s Asian Olympic Qualifier team. Now, she’ll have to travel to Xi’an, China, in March and finish top-two to cement Japan’s spot at the Olympic Games at 50kg.
Meanwhile, Rio Olympic runner-up Rei Higuchi will also be headed to Xi’an, after he dropped from 65kg to 57kg and upset 2017 world champion Yuki TAKAHASHI in a one-point barnburner (7-6) the 57kg gold-medal bout.
Also of note, Takuto OTOGURO cemented his spot on Japan’s Olympic squad at 65kg. The 2018 world champion, who secured Japan’s Olympic berth at 65kg with a fifth-place finish at this year’s World Championships, cruised to the 65kg crown with a 10-0 finals routing of Rinya NAKAMURA.
Japan’s Olympic Team:
65kg - Takuto OTOGURO
53kg - Mayu MUKAIDA
57kg - Risako KAWAI
62kg - Yukako KAWAI
76kg - Hiroe MINAGAWA
60kg - Kenichiro FUMITA
Japan's #WrestleXian Asian Olympic Qualifier Team
57kg - Rei HIGUCHI
86 kg - Sohsuke TAKATANI
97kg - Naoya AKAGUMA
125kg - Tetsuya TANAKA
67kg - Shogo TAKAHASHI
77kg - Shohei YABIKU
87kg - Masato SUMI
97kg - Yuta NARA
130kg - Arata SONODA
50kg - Yui SUSAKI
Japan's Olympic Spot Wrestle-Offs
FS 74kg - Shinkichi OKUI vs. Keisuke OTOGURO
WW 68kg - Sara DOSHO vs. Miwa MORIKAWA
5. United World Wrestling Names Chamizo, Mensah-Stock and Lorincz Wrestlers of the Year
United World Wrestling has announced its Wrestler of the Year Award winners for 2019: Frank CHAMIZO (ITA) in freestyle, Viktor LORINCZ (HUN) in Greco-Roman, and Tamyra MENSAH (USA) in women's wrestling.
Each of the three Wrestler of the Year Award winners claimed 30,000 CHF in prize money, while second-place finishers earned 20,000 CHF and third place winners won 10,000 CHF. United World Wrestling is committed to increasing financial incentives in a manner that is sustainable and is equal to all athletes.
The awards winners were selected based on their performances in this year's Ranking Series events, continental championships and the World Championships. Award winners did not have to be world champions, which was a change from last year.
1. Frank CHAMIZO (ITA, 74kg), 106 points
2. J'den COX (USA, 92kg), 90 points
3. Geno PETRIASHVILI (GEO, 125kg), 88 points
1. Viktor LORINCZ (HUN, 87kg), 92 points
2. Shinobu OTA (JPN, 63kg), 88 points
3. Zhan BELENIUK (UKR, 87kg)/Musa EVLOEV (RUS, 97kg), 82 points (5,000 CHF each)
1. Tamyra MENSAH (USA, 68kg), 108 points
2. Aisuluu TYNYBEKOVA (KGZ, 62kg), 94 points
3. Aline ROTTER FOCKEN (GER, 76kg), 87 points
Weekly FIVE! In Social Media
1. Big Move Monday -- Ciobanu V. (MDA) -- Senior Worlds 2019 #WrestleNursultan
2. #ScoreThat: How would you score this exchange for 🔴 and 🔵?
3. #TBT - Gray Grabs Third of Five World Titles
4. Sunday Smiles!
5. How loaded is 76kg for the #WrestleRome Matteo Pellicone?
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Adeline GRAY (USA) fell behind early against then-reigning world bronze medalist ZHOU Qian (CHN) but scored 13 unanswered points to win gold at the 2015 World Championships. Since winning gold in Vegas, @adelinegray added a pair of world titles to her resume and brought her overall world gold medal tally to five. — #uww #unitedworldwrestling #womenswrestling