Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! January 07, 2020

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.”

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) 

Click HERE for the full list of entries for the Matteo Pellicone.

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Dear World, I am back. I’ll be seeing you soon

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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. 

Click HERE for a full breakdown of the All-Japan Championships.

Japan’s Olympic Team: 
Freestyle
65kg - Takuto OTOGURO

Women’s Wrestling 
53kg - Mayu MUKAIDA
57kg - Risako KAWAI 
62kg - Yukako KAWAI 
76kg - Hiroe MINAGAWA

Greco-Roman 
60kg - Kenichiro FUMITA 

Japan's #WrestleXian Asian Olympic Qualifier Team
Freestyle 
57kg - Rei HIGUCHI
86 kg - Sohsuke TAKATANI 
97kg - Naoya AKAGUMA 
125kg - Tetsuya TANAKA 

Greco-Roman 
67kg - Shogo TAKAHASHI
77kg - Shohei YABIKU 
87kg - Masato SUMI
97kg - Yuta NARA 
130kg - Arata SONODA 

Women’s Wrestling 
50kg - Yui SUSAKI 

Japan's Olympic Spot Wrestle-Offs 
FS 74kg - Shinkichi OKUI vs. Keisuke OTOGURO
WW 68kg - Sara DOSHO vs. Miwa MORIKAWA

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Geno, Cox and the winner, Frank!

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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.

Click HERE for the full release on the 2019 Wrestlers of the Year. 

Freestyle
1. Frank CHAMIZO (ITA, 74kg), 106 points
2. J'den COX (USA, 92kg), 90 points
3. Geno PETRIASHVILI (GEO, 125kg), 88 points

Greco-Roman
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)

Women's Wrestling
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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Sunday Smiles 😁!

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Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! January 21, 2020

By Eric Olanowski

Reviewing Mohammadian's magical Matteo Pellicone run, Lorincz winning his sixth Ranking Series title and Zhou's eight-point comeback on Mensah-Stock. Also looking at the Russian Greco-Roman National Championships and results from Sweden's Klippan Lady Open.

1. Mohammadian Has Magical Run at Matteo Pellicone; Dake Wins in Debut at 74kg 
Mohammadhossein MOHAMMADIAN (IRI) had a magical run to the 97kg title at the Matteo Pellicone. Mohammadian’s five victories included a fall over an Olympic champion, and wins over a U23 world champion, a world bronze medalist, a world fifth-place finisher and a European runner-up.

Mohammadian kickstarted his day by crushing Alisher YERGALI (KAZ), a fifth-place finish in Nur-Sultan. The Iranian downed the man who qualified Kazakhstan for the 2020 Olympic Games, 11-0. He followed up that hot start with a second technical superiority victory. This time, he thumped reigning U23 world champion Bo NICKAL (USA), 10-0.

In the quarterfinals, Mohammadian picked up arguably the biggest win of his career when he flattened Olympian champion, Kyle Snyder while commanding an 8-0 lead. An 11-0 showing against 2018 world bronze-medal finisher Abraham de Jesus CONYEDO RUANO (ITA) inserted the Iranian into the finals, where he met Aliaksandr HUSHTYN (BLR) for the 97kg title. He capped off his dominant run to a Matteo Pellicone gold medal, where he outscored his five opponents 41-0, with a 9-0 blanking of Hushtyn and brought home his first career Rankings Series title.

Kyle DAKE (USA) dismantled a world and Olympic bronze medalist in 35 seconds in the gold-medal match of his debut at 74kg. Dake, who was one of three American freestyle champions, defeated Soner DEMIRTAS (TUR) in his debut down at the Olympic weight of 74kg and joined Thomas GILMAN (USA) and Zahid VALENCIA (USA) on their way to the top of the freestyle podium at the Matteo Pellicone.

In the finals, Dake led 7-0, 16 seconds into the first period, and after his Turkish opponent was hit with a fleeing-the-hold call, the American went back on top in par terre. A pair of gut wrenches less than 20 seconds left gave Dake the 11-0 technical superiority victory and a second Ranking Series title.

Matteo Pellicone Freestyle Recaps:
RECAP: Mohammadian Mauls Snyder En Route to Matteo Pellicone Title
RECAP: Dake Dismantles Demirtas in Debut at 74kg; USA Wins Trio of Day Four Golds

Interviews:
Post-Match Interviews with the Freestyle Champions 

RESULTS 
57kg - Thomas Patrick GILMAN (USA) df. Joseph Daniel COLON (USA), 4-3
61kg - (Nordic Style) - Kumar RAVI (IND) df. Nurislam SANAYEV (KAZ), 6-0
65kg - Bajrang BAJRANG (IND) df. Jordan Michael OLIVER (USA), 4-3
74kg - Kyle Douglas DAKE (USA) df. Soner DEMIRTAS (TUR), 11-0 
86kg - Zahid VALENCIA (USA) df. Alexander David DIERINGER (USA), 7-5 
97kg - Mohammadhossein MOHAMMADIAN (IRI) df. Aliaksandr HUSHTYN (BLR), 9-0 
125kg - Amir Hossein Abbas ZARE (IRI) df. Bilial MAKHOV (RUS), 5-3 

Viktor LORINCZ (HUN) edged Kumar SUNIL (IND), 2-1, at 87kg and became the first wrestler to win six Ranking Series titles. (Photo: Kadir Caliskan)

2. Lorincz Becomes First Wrestler to win Six Ranking Series Golds 
Coming into the Matteo Pellicone, Viktor LORINCZ (HUN) already owned a Ranking Series title for every finger on one hand. The 2019 Greco-Roman Wrestler of the Year now has to move to a second hand to count his Ranking Series gold medals after he captured his sixth career Ranking Series title on Wednesday night in the Roman seaside town of Ostia.

The Hungarian tallied 19 wins in his previous five Ranking Series appearances. With his quartet of wins on Wednesday, Lorincz improved his Ranking Series record to a perfect 23-0 with a 2-1 win over last year’s Asian silver medalist Kumar SUNIL (IND) in the 87kg finals.

“I am very happy to win this tournament. I want to continue this very good series for me. I want to win the last two qualifications (European Championships and Poland Open) because it helps my seed for the Olympic Games,” said Lorincz.

In the finals, Lorincz, last year's world runner-up, picked up an inactivity point and a stepout in the first period. He had his lead cut to a single point when he was dinged for an inactivity point himself. But the Hungarian Hammer relied on his world-renowned defensive skills and hung on to win an unprecedented sixth Ranking Series title, 2-1.

“I came here to win. I had some hard matches, and I’m not where I want to be. I want to (build) my strength and power for the other tournaments.”

Matteo Pellicone Greco-Roman Recap:
RECAP: Lorincz Locks up Sixth Career Ranking Series Gold Medal

Interviews:
Post-Match Interviews with the Greco-Roman Champions 

RESULTS 
55kg - (Nordic Style) - Dogus AYAZCI (TUR) df. Max Emiliano NOWRY (USA), 9-0 
60kg - Sailike WALIHAN (CHN) df. Islomjon BAKHRAMOV (UZB), 4-3 
63kg - (Nordic Style) -  Andres MONTANO ARROYO (VEN) df. Stig-Andre BERGE (NOR), 11-0 
67kg -  Makhmud BAKHSHILLOEV (UZB) df. Abouhalima ABOUHALIMA (EGY), 3-1
72kg -  Mohamed Ibrahim Elsayed Ibrahi ELSAYED (EGY) df. Selcuk CAN (TUR), via fall 
77kg - Zotlan LEVAI (HUN) df. Yunus Emre BASAR (TUR), via fall 
82kg - Singh GURPREET (IND) df. Burhan AKBUDAK (TUR), 8-5 
87kg - Viktor LORINCZ (HUN) df. Kumar SUNIL (IND), 2-1 
97kg - Nikoloz KAKHELASHVILI (ITA) df. Felix BALDAUF (NOR), 5-4 
130kg - Abdellatif MOHAMED (EGY) df. Moises PEREZ HELLBURG (VEN), via fall 

3. Zhou Shocks Mensah with Eight-Point Comback
It's no secret that ZHOU Feng (CHN) was the underdog coming into her Matteo Pellicone finals against reigning world champion Tamyra MENSAH (USA), and though she fell behind by eight points, she remained composed enough to erase an 8-0 second-period deficit to win the 68kg gold medal. Zhou’s shocking win stopped Mensah, the 2019 Women's Wrestler of the Year, from winning her fourth consecutive Ranking Series title.

“For the first period, I didn’t feel prepared or ready, but I didn’t give up,” said Zhou. At that point of the match, Zhou surrendered three takedowns and a trapped arm gut and trailed 8-0. “I was thinking the match is not finished and I didn’t give up.” 

Zhou, a two-time world medalist, kickstarted her unexpected comeback with two points from a defensive stop, which ended in a takedown. She tacked on six additional points from three gut wrenches and closed out the match on top, 8-8. 

After her remarkable come-from-behind win, Zhou said, “I’m happy and excited. From this competition, most of (these wrestlers) will participate in the Olympic Games, so to get the gold medal makes me very happy.”

Sarah HILDEBRANDT (USA) dropped down from 53kg to 50kg and won the Matteo Pellicone title with a 4-2 come-from-behind win over reigning world silver medalist Emilia VUC (ROU). (Photo: Kadir Caliskan)

If there were any questions surrounding Sarah HILDEBRANDT (USA) moving down to 50kg coming into Rome – they’ve been answered on Friday night. Hildebrandt scored a takedown with two seconds left and stole the gold medal from Emilia VUC (ROU) in the 50kg finals battle that featured a pair of past world silver medalists. With a smile on her face from ear-to-ear, Hildebrandt said, “I like the sound of that, 50kg champ!” 

The American, who was down 2-1 with under 10 seconds left, said she told herself, “You’re not going to win because I'm not going to lose.” And that’s exactly what happened. 

The 2018 world silver medalist used an underhook throw by with under ten seconds left to get to the body of her Romanian opponent. Then, she snaked her left arm out, and barley scored the takedown as time expired to win her second Ranking Series title, 4-2.

Matteo Pellicone Women's Wrestling Recaps:
Zhou Erases Eight-Point Deficit, Downs World Champ Mensah
 

Interviews:
Post-Match Interviews with the Women's Wrestling Champions 

RESULTS 
50kg - Sarah HILDEBRANDT (USA) df. Emilia Alina VUC (ROU), 4-2 
53kg -  Vinesh VINESH (IND) df. Luisa Elizabeth VALVERDE MELENDRES (ECU), 4-0 
55kg - (Nordic Style) - Vanesa KALADZINSKAYA (BLR) df. Solomiia VYNNYK (UKR), 10-0 
57kg - Odunayo Folasade ADEKUOROYE (NGR) df. Anshu ANSHU (IND), 10-0 
59kg - (Nordic Style) -  Anhelina LYSAK (UKR) df. Yuliya PISARENKA (BLR), via fall 
62kg - Aisuluu TYNYBEKOVA (KGZ) df. Liubov OVCHAROVA (RUS), via injury default 
65kg - (Nordic Style) - Inna TRAZHUKOVA (RUS) df. Oksana KUKHTA HERHEL (UKR), 5-0 
68kg - Feng ZHOU (CHN) df. Tamyra Mariama MENSAH (USA), 8-8 
72kg - (Nordic Style) - Maria SELMAIER (GER) df. Anastasiya ZIMIANKOVA (BLR), 8-6 
76kg -  Erica Elizabeth WIEBE (CAN) df. Qian ZHOU (CHN), 10-0 

Davit CHAKVETADZE defeated Alexander KOMAROV, 4-2, in the 87kg Greco-Roman Russian National fInals. (Photo: Tony Rotundo)

4. Russian Greco-Roman National Championships Wrap up in Novosibirsk
The southwestern Siberian city Novosibirsk, known for breeding two of the most feared Greco-Roman wrestlers in Olympic history, Aleksandr KARELIN (RUS) and Roman VLASOV (RUS), hosted the 2020 Russian Greco-Roman National Championships over the weekend.

Rio Olympic champion Davit CHAKVETADZE reemerged as the favorite to represent Russia at the continental representative at 87kg, while Sergey SEMENOV showed that he’s back to his winning ways after a disappointing 2019 campaign.

Chakvetadze, who defeated Alexander KOMAROV, 4-2, in the finals, was triumphant in his quest to win a second 87kg national title in the last three years and may have cemented himself as Russia’s European Championship representative. And though Chakvetadze was the reigning 87kg national champion, he finished behind Komarov at the 2019 Grand Prix of Germany, which kept him off of Russia’s 2019 Nur-Sultan team. And after Komarov’s 11th-place finish in Kazakhstan, whoever Russia elects to roll with moving forward, whether it’ll be Chakvetadze or Komarov, will have to qualify their nation for the 2020 Olympic Games at 87kg.

At 130kg, 2018 world champion Sergey Semenov sealed up at 3-0 win over Zurabi GEDEHAURI and got back to his winning ways after he failed to lock up an Olympic qualification spot with a disappointing 17th-place in Nur-Sultan.

According to www.wrestrus.ru ’s correspondent Tigran AVANIAN, Russia’s lineup for the 2020 European Championships is scheduled to be released on February 6.

It should be noted that the following wrestlers were released from the 2020 Russian National Championships:  
60kg – Sergey EMELIN (2018 world champion, 2019 world silver)
60kg – Stepan MARYANYAN (2018 world champion, 2019 world silver)
67kg – Artem SURKOV (2018 world champion, 2019 world silver)
77kg – Roman VLASOV (Two-time Olympic champion)
97kg – Musa EVLOEV (2019 and ‘18 world champion)

RESULTS 
55kg - Vitaly KABALOEV df. Emin SEFERSAEV, 3-2 
60kg – Zambolat LOKIYAEV df. Artur PETROSYAN, 7-0 
63kg – Ibrahim LABAZANOV df. Marat MARIPOV, 5-5
67kg - Alain MIRZOYAN df. Nazir ABDULAEV - 5: 6
72kg - Adam KURAK df. Magomed YARILBOV, 3-0 
77kg - Alexander CHEKHIRKIN df. Islam OPIEV, 7-0 
82kg - Shamil OZHAEV df. Ruslan VARDANYAN, 6-2 
87kg - Davit CHAKVETADZE df. Alexander KOMAROV, 4-2 
97kg - Alexander GOLOVIN df. Nikita MELNIKOV, 3-1 
130kg - Sergey SEMENOV df. Zurabi GEDEHAURI, 3-0

5. Japan Wins Five Klippan Lady Open Golds; Bullen Wrestles in Italy and Sweden Days Apart
Japan won five of nine gold medals at the Klippan Lady Open, while Grace BULLEN (NOR) grabbed gold in Sweden days after competing in Italy at the Matteo Pellicone.

Umi ITO (JPN), Rino KATAOKA (JPN), Tsugumi SAKURAI (JPN) and Yuka KAGAMI (JPN) won their respective traditional brackets as Ami ISHII (JPN) won the 65kg Nordic style bracket. 

Ita and Kataoka, who won the 50kg and 53kg titles, respectively, each ended their matches early with 10-0 shutout wins. Ito blanked Felicia GALLO (FRA) and Kataoka shutout Ellen RIESTERER (GER). 

Sakurai scored the biggest win for Japan when she snuck past seven-time world and Olympic medalist, Sofia MATTSSON (SWE), 4-2, for the gold at 55kg. 

Japan’s final gold medalist was Yuka Kagami, who edged Dymond GUILFORD (USA), 2-1, in the 76kg gold medal bout. 

Meanwhile, Norway’s Grace Bullen won gold at 59kg at the Klippan Lady Open days after going wrestling in Italy at the Matteo Pellicone. In Italy, Bullen went 2-2 but fell to eventual 57kg silver and bronze medalists, respectively, Anshu ANSHU (IND) and Linda MORAIS (CAN). In Sweden, the 2018 U23 world champion throttled Abigail NETTE (USA), 10-0, in the finals at 59kg. 

RESULTS
50kg - Umi ITO (JPN) df. Felicia GALLO (FRA), 10-0 
53kg - Rino KATAOKA (JPN) df. Ellen RIESTERER (GER), 10-0 
55kg - Tsugumi SAKURAI (JPN) df. Sofia MATTSSON (SWE), 4-2 
57kg - (Nordic Style) - Lauren LOUIVE (USA) df.  Cameron GUERIN (USA), 8-0 
59kg - Grace BULLEN (NOR) df. Abigail NETTE (USA), 10-0 
62kg - Jennifer PAGE (USA) df. Emma JOHANSSON (SWE), via fall 
65 kg - (Nordic Style) - Ami ISHII (JPN) df. Rin TERAMOTO (JPN), 8-3 
72 kg - (Nordic Style) - Danuté DOMIKAITYE (LTU) df. Mizuki NAGASHIMA (JPN), 13-3
76kg - Yuka KAGAMI (JPN) df. Dymond GUILFORD (USA), 2-1

Weekly FIVE In Social Media

1. Big Move Monday -- Temirtassova A. (KAZ) -- Senior Worlds 2019 #WrestleNursultan
2. We want to thank all 400k wrestling fans for the continued support. 👏 🌟 #unitedworldwrestling
3. Behind the scenes at #wrestlerome
4. @frankchamizo92 talks about why he's sitting out of Matteo Pellicone and potential matchups with Dake, Burroughs and Sidakov 🇮🇹🔥 // Full interview on our Instagram bio
5. Big Move Of Day 3 at #WrestleRome Ranking Series Matteo Pellicone!