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!

Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! March 17, 2020

By Eric Olanowski

Discussing Valencia Escoto and Destribats' historic performances at the Pan-Am Olympic Qualifiers. Also looking at Cuba's GR team qualifying every weight for #Tokyo2020 and Olympic champs Maroulis and Wiebe qualifying their nation's for the Tokyo Games.

1. Valencia Escoto First Mexican Woman to Qualify for Olympic Games
Alma Jane VALENCIA ESCOTO (MEX) became the first-ever Mexican women's wrestler to qualify for the Olympic Games after winning the 57kg gold medal at the Pan-American Olympic Qualifier. She won all four of her bouts in Ottawa – including a win by fall over world champion Linda MORAIS (CAN) and a victory via forfeit over Helen MAROULIS (USA).

Valencia Escoto opened her day up with a pair of decisive wins over Betzabeth SARCO COLMENAREZ (VEN) and Nes RODRIGUEZ TIRADO (PUR), which inserted her into the semifinals against Canada's reigning world champion, Linda Morais. 

In her semifinals meeting with the current 59kg world-title holder, Valencia Escoto stopped an early open double-leg attempt with a counter-offensive throw. She snuck in an underhook on the Canadian's right side during her shot attempt and tossed her to her back for the early 4-0 lead. 

Valencia Escoto's opponenet fought off her back and nearly scored a takedown of a slide by attempt. Still, somehow, the newly-minted Olympian had the world champion fighting off her back for the second time in the opening period. 

The tides turned quickly, and Valencia Escoto was the one fighting off her back. She got saved by the period-ending whistle and carried the 6-2 lead into the closing period.

In the final period, Valencia Escoto halted a left side high crotch attempt and flattened Morais for the fall – becoming the first-ever Mexican women to wrestle at the Olympic Games.

Agustin DESTRIBATS (ARG) finished in second place at 65kg at the Pan-American Olympic Qualifier and qualified Argentina for the Olympic Games. (Photo: Tony Rotundo)

2. Destribats Ends 24-year Argentinean Freestyle Olympic Drought
Agustin DESTRIBATS (ARG) ended a 24-year Argentinean freestyle Olympic drought and qualified his nation for the Tokyo Olympics after he pinned American Zain RETHERFORD (USA) in the 65kg semifinals. With his semifinal victory via fall, Destribats became the first Argentinean freestyle wrestler to qualify for the Olympic Games since Paulo IBIRE (ARG) did so at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.

In his meeting with the Retherford, Destribats conceded an open double leg and nearly gave up an ankle lace but was able to fend off the turn and catch the American on his back. He held Retherford on his back for 25 seconds before picking up the opening period fall to secure his spot at the Tokyo Olympics. 

Helen MAROULIS (USA) qualified the United States for the Olympic Games at 57kg with her silver-medal finish at the Pan-American Olympic Qualifier. (Photo: Tony Rotundo)

3. Olympic Champs Maroulis and Wiebe Qualify Nation's for Olympic Games 
Olympic champions Helen MAROULIS (USA) and Erica WIEBE (CAN) qualified their nations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games after finishing in the top-two of their respective weights at the Pan-American Olympic Qualifier. The pair remained on course to defend their gold medals from the Rio Olympic Games. 

Maroulis, who was wrestling in her first international competition since the 2018 World Championships, won four matches before injury defaulting out of the finals after locking up the United States' spot at 57kg for the Olympics.

In her first match, Maroulis easily handled Canada's Linda Morias, 10-2, in the battle of Olympic champion and world champion. 

Maroulis defeated Giullia RODRIGUES (BRA) and Lissette ANTES (ECU) in the next two rounds and was one win away from earning a second berth to the Olympic Games for the United States. 

In the semifinals, Maroulis crushed Nes RODRIGUEZ (PUR), 10-0, and qualified the Stars and Stripes for the Olympic Games at 57kg. 

She'll now have to win the Olympic Trials to become the United States' Olympic representative at 57kg.

Canada's Erica Wiebe was the second Olympic champion who qualified for the Olympic Games over the weekend. Wiebe, who was wrestling in her hometown of Ottawa, won the 76kg bracket and locked up her shot at repeating as Olympic champion. 

She opened up her day with a narrow 2-1 win over Aline DA SILVA FERREIRA (BRA). She tacked on dominant wins over Milaimys de la Caridad MARIN POTRILLE (CUB) and Andrimar LAZARO (VEN), setting up a semifinals match with Genesis REASCO (ECU).

Wiebe shutout Reasco Valdez, 6-0, in their semifinals meeting and earned her berth to the Olympic Games. She injury defaulted out of the gold-medal match against Aline Da Silva Ferreira and finished with a silver medal.

Wiebe won the Canadian Wrestling Trails in December and will represent Canada at 76kg at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Yosvanys PENA FLORES (CUB) is one of six Cuban Greco-Roman wrestlers who will wrestle at the Tokyo Olympic Games. (Photo: Tony Rotundo) 

4. Cuba Sending All Six GR Wrestlers to Olympics 
Cuba’s Greco-Roman team came into the Pan-American Olympic Qualifier searching for four qualification spots after earning two Olympic berths from the Nur-Sultan World Championships from Ismael BORRERO MOLINA (CUB) Oscar PINO HINDS (CUB). Over the weekend, they had three wrestlers win gold medals and one individual finish in second place at the Pan-American Olympic Qualifier – which took their qualification total to all six weight categories. 

Their three champions were Luis Alberto ORTA SANCHEZ (CUB), Yosvanys PENA FLORES (CUB) and Gabriel Alejandro ROSILLO KINDELAN (CUB), while Daniel GREGORICH HECHAVARRIA (CUB) finished in second place.

In addition to their Greco-Roman success, Cuba's women's wrestling team also shined in Ottawa. 

Coming into the Pan-American Olympic Qualifier, Katherine VIDIAUX (CUB) was the lone Cuban woman who ever wrestled at the Olympic Games. She'll now be joined in the history books by Lianna MONTERO (CUB) and Yusneylis GUZMAN (CUB), who won gold medals at 50kg and 53kg, respectively, and qualified for the Olympic Games. 

Greco-Roman Qualifying Weights/Athletes
60kg - Luis Alberto ORTA SANCHEZ (CUB) – Pan-Am OG Qualifier gold 
67kg - Ismael BORRERO MOLINA (CUB) – World Championships gold 
77kg - Yosvanys PENA FLORES (CUB) – Pan-Am OG Qualifier gold
87kg - Daniel GREGORICH HECHAVARRIA (CUB) – Pan-Am OG Qualifier silver
97kg - Gabriel Alejandro ROSILLO KINDELAN (CUB) – Pan-Am OG Qualifier gold
130kg - Oscar PINO HINDS (CUB) World Championships silver

5. European, World 'Last Chance' Olympic Qualifiers Postponed
The European Qualifier for the 2020 Olympic Games, scheduled for March 19-22 in Budapest, along with the World "Last Chance" Qualifier in Sofia, Bulgaria, scheduled for April 30-May 3, have been postponed.

The events will be rescheduled, with the European Qualifier expected to take place in mid-May and the World "Last Chance" Qualifier held at the beginning of June.

"We are closely monitoring the governmental response to COVID-19 and will continue to provide updates to our wrestlers, coaches, and fans with more information as it becomes available," said United World Wrestling president Nenad Lalovic.

"The process for determining our Olympic participants will happen on the field of play, but we need to remain patient and vigilant as the worldwide community battles this pandemic. The health and well-being of the athletes is an absolute priority."