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! February 4, 2020

By Eric Olanowski

Discussing David Taylor's return date and the updated world rankings. Also looking at the upcoming African, European and Asian Championships. 

1. David Taylor Long-Awaited Return Set for Pan-Am Qualifier 
David TAYLOR announced he’ll return to competition on March 15 at the Pan-American OG Qualifier in Ottowa, Canada. The “Magic Man” reported his comeback on his Instagram, saying, “I’m so excited to return to competition at the Pan American Olympic Qualifier in 7 weeks  Ottawa, Canada. Let’s Go!!!” 

Taylor, a 2018 world champion, suffered a season-ending knee injury while wrestling Drew FOSTER (USA) at Beat the Streets and has been sidelined since May 6, 2019.

The United States failed to qualify for the Olympic Games at 86kg at the 2019 World Championships. They'll rely heavily on Taylor to qualify the weight in Canada after his 315-day layoff. Taylor has to finish top-two in Ottawa to cement the USA’s spot in Tokyo at 86kg. 

If Taylor fails to finish top-two at the Pan-American OG Qualifier, the United States will likely send their Olympic Trials winner to the “Last Chance Qualifier” on April 30 - May 3 in Sofia, Bulgaria. Whoever the Stars and Stripes sends to Bulgaria must to finish with at least a silver medal or the United States will not be represented at 86kg at the Olympic Games.

United States Tokyo Olympic Freestyle Qualified Weights 
57kg – n/a 
65kg – n/a 
74kg – Jordan BURROUGHS (USA) – 2019 world bronze
86kg – n/a 
97kg – Kyle SNYDER (USA) – 2019 world bronze
125kg – n/a 

2. Tokyo 2020 Qualifiers Bajrang, Kaisanov, Micic Improve Freestyle Rank in January
Bajrang PUNIA (IND), Stevan MICIC (SRB), and Daniyar KAISANOV (KAZ) moved one step closer to sealing up seeds for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo after the trio medaled at this month’s Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series tournament in Rome. 

Indian superstar Bajrang had the most successful outing in Rome -- earning gold and taking home 16 points -- while Kaisanov and Micic each earned 12 points for taking bronze. 

In the 65kg finals, Bajrang upended Jordan OLIVER (USA) 4-3 to catapult himself from No. 4 to No. 2 in the rankings. He now trails  No. 1 Gadzhimurad RASHIDOV (RUS) by 19 points and sits ahead of No. 3 Daulet NIYAZBEKOV (KAZ) by one point. All three are expected to compete in their respective continental championships this February and can earn up to an additional 22 points.  Selahattin KILICSALLAYAN (TUR) jumped to No. 5 at 65kg where he now trails No. 4 Iszmail MUSZUKAJEV (HUN) by a single point.

Click here to read the full breakdown of the latest freestyle rankings.

Top Ranked Freestyle Wrestlers
57kg - Zavur UGUEV (RUS) - 60
61kg - Beka LOMTADZE (GEO) - 60
65kg - Gadzhimurad RASHIDOV (RUS) - 60
70kg - David BAEV (RUS) - 60
74kg - Zaurbek SIDAKOV (RUS) -  60
79kg - Kyle Douglas DAKE (USA) - 60
86kg - Hassan YAZDANICHARATI  (IRI) - 60
92kg - J'Den COX (USA) - 58
97kg - Abdulrashid SADULAEV (RUS) - 60
125kg - Geno PETRIASHVILI (GEO) - 60

3. "Wrestler of the Year" Lorincz in Pursuit of Top Seed at Tokyo 2020
Viktor LORINCZ (HUN), United World Wrestling’s reigning “Wrestler of the Year” in Greco-Roman, made it clear this month that he’s out to defend his well-earned title and win Olympic gold.

Lorincz improved his Ranking Series tournament record to a perfect 23-0 this month with a one-point victory over 2019 Asian silver medalist Kumar SUNIL (IND) in the finals of the Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series. With the win, the Hungarian added 16 points to his second ranking leaving him just four points shy of world champion Zhan BELENIUK (UKR) heading into next month’s continental championships. 

But Lorincz is poised to shake up the top spot of the 87kg ranking and gain control of the world's No. 1 spot. Beleniuk elected to sit out of the European Championships, so Lorincz only needs to finish top-eight in Rome to reach the summit of the 87kg rankings.

"I want to win the [European Championships and Poland Open] because it will help my seed for the Olympic Games," said Lorincz, the defending world silver medalist at 87kg. “I will also be in the lead for the Ranking Series again.”

Germany's Denis KUDLA, who is ranked fourth at 87kg, is also expected to miss the European Championships. Without Beleniuk and Kudla, Lorincz needs nine points at the European Championships to ensure a top-four seed in Tokyo.

Click here to read the full breakdown of the latest Greco-Roman rankings.

Top Ranked Greco-Roman Wrestlers
55kg - Nugzari TSURTSUMIA (GEO) - 58
60kg - Kenichiro FUMITA (JPN) - 60
63kg - Shinobu OTA (JPN) - 58
67kg - Ismael BORRERO MOLINA (CUB) - 60
72kg - Abuiazid MANTSIGOV (RUS) - 60
77kg - Tamas LORINCZ (HUN) - 60
82kg - Lasha GOBADZE (GEO) - 60
87kg - Zhan BELENIUK (UKR) - 60
97kg - Musa EVLOEV (RUS) - 60
130kg - Riza KAYAALP (TUR) - 60

4. Tynybekova and Mensah Inch Closer to Locking up Top Seed at Olympics
Aisuluu TYNYBEKOVA (KGZ) and Tamyra MENSAH-STOCK (USA) inched closer to locking up top seeds at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo after medalling at the Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series tournament this month in Rome. 

Tynybekova, who took gold at the Matteo Pellicone, has amassed a comfortable 36-point lead over No. 2 Taybe YUSEIN (BUL) and will earn the No. 1 seed at 62kg in Tokyo if she earns four points at the Asian Championships February 18-23 in Delhi. Tynybekova is the defending Asian champion.

Mensah-Stock finds herself in a similar situation heading into the Pan-American Championships March 6-9 in Ottawa.

Mensah-Stock (74 points) earned 60 with her gold at the world championships last September and added another 14 after taking silver at the Matteo Pellicone. She has a 34-point advantage over Jenny FRANSSON (SWE) and can put her out of striking distance -- and become the No. 1 seeded 68kg woman at the Olympic Games -- if she scores six points at the Pan-American Championships.

Click here to read the full breakdown of the latest women’s wrestling rankings.

Top Ranked Women's Wrestlers
50kg - Mariya STADNIK (AZE) - 60
53kg - Yong Mi PAK (PRK) - 60
55kg - Jacarra Gwenisha WINCHESTER (USA) - 58
57kg - Risako KAWAI (JPN) - 60
59kg - Linda MORAIS (CAN) - 58
62kg - Aisuluu TYNYBEKOVA (KGZ) - 76
65kg - Inna TRAZHUKOVA (RUS) - 72
68kg - Tamyra Mariama MENSAH (USA) - 74
72kg - Natalia VOROBEVA (RUS) - 58
76kg - Adeline Maria GRAY (USA) - 60

5. February to Feature Trio of Continental Championships
February might as well be called “Continental Championship Month.” The African, European and Asian Championships are all sandwiched between February 4-23. 

This year’s continental championships hold extra weight -- especially during the Olympic year. The continental championships grant those Olympic-qualified wrestlers an opportunity to improve on their ranking and earn up to 22 Ranking Series points.

The African Championships kick-off first. They’ll take place February 04-09 in Alger, Algeria, and will be highlighted by 23 of last year’s 30 returning champions. The senior-level portion of the competition takes place Saturday and Sunday. Women’s wrestling and Greco-Roman starts on Saturday (February 8), and Freestyle closes out the tournament on Sunday (February 9).

The European Championships begin February 10-16 and feature eleven reigning world champions and 17 returning European champions that highlight the list of 515 entries. 

New Delhi, India, will host the Asian Championships February 18-23. The Asian Championship entry list will be released on February 13.  

Continental Championship Entries 
African Championship Full Entries 
European Championship Full Entries 

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media 

1. Big Move Monday -- Sushil K. (IND) -- Senior Worlds 2019 #WrestleNursultan
2. #TBT - Shiraev Wrestles in Junior World Finals before Winning Yariguin Gold
3. Happy Friday, wrestling fans!
4. Who ya got in these three potential #WrestleAlgerAfrican championship matchups?
5. Who are the wrestlers to watch at the #WrestleAlger African Championships (February 4-9)?