Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! January 28, 2020

By Eric Olanowski

Discussing Shiraev shinning in win over Olympic Champ Ramonov at the Ivan Yariguin and Aleksanyan's return to competition. Also looking at entries for the African Championships (February 04-09) and the updated rankings after the Matteo Pellicone.

1. Youngster Shiraev Shines in Win over Olympic Champ Ramonov 
Kurban SHIRAEV (RUS) just showed the wrestling world that he has the potential to be Russia’s next up and coming star and is a serious contender to be his nation’s representative at 65kg at the Tokyo Olympic Games. 

The 20-year-old captured his first gold medal on the senior circuit after picking up massive wins over U23 world medalists Islam DUDAEV (RUS) and Nachyin KUULAR (RUS), before taking out Rio Olympic champion Soslan RAMONOV (RUS) in the 65kg finals.

Against Romanov, the baby faced Shiraev trailed 1-1 on criteria with under 10 seconds left when he struck late with a throw-by and got behind Romanov for the match-deciding takedown. But the pair went out of bounds, and with three seconds left in the match, Shiraev said he knew Ramonov had one last attack in him. “I was wrestling till the end, even for the last 3 seconds.” The 2019 junior world silver medalist stopped Ramonov’s bulldozing attack and gave up a stepout, and hung on to win Ivan Yariguin title, 4-2.

“I am happy. I could make my relatives happy; I could make all my supporters happy. Thanks a lot, to all of them,” Shiraev said after his surprising victory.

Meanwhile, Magomedrasul GAZIMAGOMEDOV (RUS) proved that he belongs in the discussion with Zaurbek SIDAKOV (RUS) as Russia’s top guy at 74kg after winning the loaded bracket in Krasnoyarsk.

Gazimagomedov made his second appearance down at 74kg in the last 19 months and captured back-to-back Ivan Yariguin titles. The two-time 70kg world champion, made his ascent to 74kg starting at last year's Russian National Championships, nabbed a notable 10-0 win over 2014 world champion Khetig TSABOLOV (RUS), then edged reigning U23 world champion Razambek ZHAMALOV (RUS), 3-1, in the finals.

“I was fine-tuned as it was time to declare myself for the Olympic Games. I hope that I will be taken to the European Championships,” Gazimagomedov said. “In Russia, many understand that I will win against Sidakov, but perhaps we will not be allowed to meet on the mat because we don’t have a very transparent selection system.” 

Ivan Yariguin Freestyle Results 
57kg – Azamat TUSKAEV (RUS) df. Akhmed IDRISOV (RUS), 10-3
61kg – Aleksander BOGOMOEV df. Ramazan FERZALIEV, 11-5
65kg – Kurban SHIRAEV (RUS) df. Soslan RAMONOV, 4-2
70kg – Israil KASUMOV df. David BAEV, 5-5
74kg – Magomedrasul GAZIMAGOMEDOV (RUS) df. Razambek ZHAMALOV, (RUS), 3-1
79kg – Magomed RAMAZANOV (RUS) df.  Akhmed GADZHIMAGOMEDOV (RUS), 1-1
86kg – Artur NAIFONOV (RUS) df. Dauren KURUGLIEV (RUS), 2-1
92kg – Batyrbek TSAKULOV df. Alikhan ZHABRAILOV (RUS) 6-3
97kg – Bladislav BAITSAEV (RUS) df. Magomedkhan MAGOMEDOV (RUS), 6-5
125kg – Baldan TSYZHYPOV (RUS) df. Pavel KRIVTSOV (RUS), 14-6

Olga KHOROSHAVTSEVA (RUS) was one of five Russian women who won gold at the Ivan Yariguin. (Photo: Tony Rotundo)

2. Russia Wins Five Women’s Wrestling Golds at Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix
Unlike the freestyle side of the Ivan Yariguin where the Russian Federation swept the competition, the women’s gold medals were divvied up between Russia, Mongolia, Japan, and China. 

But, still, the Russian Federation inserted seven wrestlers into the finals and reached the top of the podium in five weight classes. 

Led by 55kg reigning world bronze medalist, Olga KHOROSHAVTSEVA (RUS), the host nation went a perfect four-for-four in gold-medal matches against Japanese opponents. Veronika CHUMIKOVA (RUS), Maria KUZNETSOVA (RUS) and Khanum VELIEVA (RUS) were the other three Russian wrestlers who downed Japanese opponents on their way to winning gold in Siberia's central city.

Ksenia BURAKOVA (RUS) was the lone Russian gold-medal winner who didn't beat a Japanese opponent in the finals. She pinned Zhamila BAKBERGENOVA (KAZ) in their finals meeting at 72kg.

TSOGTOCHIR Namuuntsetseg (MGL), BAATARJAV Shoovdor (MGL) and KHURELKHUU Bolortuya (MGL) were the trio of Mongolian wrestlers who won women’s wrestling titles in Krasnoyarsk. They nabbed gold at 50kg, 59kg, and 62kg respectively.

Japan and China each had a solo gold medalist. 

Japan’s lone champion was Umi IMAI, who defeated ERDENECHIMEG Sumiya (MGL), 7-2, in the 53kg finals. China’s solo champion was WANG Juan (CHN), who picked up a 7-5 win over OCHIRBAT Burmaa (MGL) in the 76kg gold-medal match.

Ivan Yariguin Women’s Wrestling Results 
50kg – TSOGTOCHIR Namuuntsetseg (MGL) df. Nadeshda SOKOLOVA (RUS), 7-2
53kg – Umi IMAI (JPN) df. ERDENECHIMEG Sumiya (MGL), 7-2
57kg – Veronika CHUMIKOVA (RUS) df, Andoria SAWA (JPN), 8-4
59kg – BAATARJAV Shoovdor (MGL) df.  Khadizhat MURTAZALIEVA (RUS), 8-0
62kg – KHURELKHUU Bolortuya (MGL) df. ULZISAIKHAN Purevsuren (MGL), 5-5 
65kg – Maria KUZNETSOVA (RUS) df. My IMAI (JPN) , 8-0
68kg – Khanum VELIEVA (RUS) df. Rin MIYAJI (JPN), 12-2
72kg – Ksenia BURAKOVA (RUS) df. Zhamila BAKBERGENOVA (KAZ), via fall (4:46)
76kg – WANG Juan (CHN) df. OCHIRBAT Burmaa (MGL), 7-5

Artur ALEKSANYAN (ARM) returned to action for the first time since injury defaulting out of world finals in Kazakhstan. (Photo: Tony Rotundo)

3. Aleksanyan Returns from Injury, Wins Grand Prix de France Henri Deglane 
Artur ALEKSANYAN (ARM) returned to the mat for the first time since injury defaulting out the 97kg world finals in Nur-Sultan with an apparent rib injury and reached the top of the podium in France at the Henri Deglane. 

“I felt good about (my performance), taking into account that it was my first tournament back,” Aleksanyan told United World Wrestling. 

The three-time world and Rio Olympic champion went 4-0 on his way to the 97kg gold medal in Nice, France. He outscored Kevin MEJIA (HON) and Valerian MURVANIDZE (GEO) 18-0 in his first two matches and locked up a spot in semifinals. 

"The White Bear" scored a one-point (2-1) semifinal win over Aliaksandr HRABOVIK (BLR), then downed Orkhan NURIEV (AZE), 3-1, in the gold-medal match.

“It took a while to recover after my injury, but I feel much better now. This is why I decided to participate in Nice, so after that, I can participate in the European Championships,” said Aleksanyan. 

Greco-Roman Results 
55kg – Amangali BEKBOLATOV (KAZ) df. Rudik MKRTCHYAN (ARM)
60kg – Murad MAMMADOV (AZE) df. Amiran SHAVADZE (GEO), 9-0 
63kg - Levan KAVJARADZE (GEO) df. Kerim MACHALIKASHVILI, via default
67kg - Ramaz ZOIDZE (GEO) df. Giorgi SHOTADZE (GEO), 8-0 
72kg - Ulvu GANIZADEH (AZE) df. Sanan SULEYMANOV, 6-2 
77kg – Demeu ZHADRAYEV (KAZ) df.  Karapet CHALYAN (ARM), 5-2 
82kg – Rafik HUSEYNOV (AZE) df. Aivengo RIKADZE (GEO), 2-1 
87kg – Kiril MASKEVICH (BLR) df. Nikolai STADUB (BLR), 8-1 
97kg – Artur ALEKSANYAN (ARM) df. Orkhan NURIEV (AZE), 3-1 
130kg – Sabah SHARIATI (AZE) df. Nurmakhan TINALIEV (KAZ), via default

Two-time U23 world champion Mohamed ELSAYED (EGY) is the headlining Greco-Roman athlete entered into the African Championships (February 04-09). (Photo: Tony Rotundo)

4. African Championships Begin Next Tuesday
We’re seven days out from the start first of three continental championships that’ll take place in February. The African Championships are up first and kick-off February 04-09 in Alger, Algeria. 

In total, 23 of last year’s 30 champions return to action looking to defend their crowns from a season ago. 

Second-ranked Odunayo ADEKUOROYE (NGR) headlines a group of nine women’s wrestling returning champions. 

Adama DIATTA (SEN), who is searching for his tenth African title, highlights a list of stars that includes eight reigning gold-medal winners.

Egypt’s pair of top-five ranked wrestlers, Mohamed ELSAYED and Abdellatif MOHAMED, are two of the six Greco-Roman wrestlers who are looking to win a second consecutive title.

The African Championships begin (with cadet and junior action) next Tuesday (February 4) at 10:30 local time and can be followed live on www.unitedworldwrestling.org

Click HERE for the full set of entries for the 2020 African Championships.

Friday (February 7)
14:00 - Technical conference – all SENIOR teams

Saturday (February 8)
8:30 - Medical examination and Weigh-in WW – GR / SENIOR
10:30 - Qualification rounds and repechage WW – GR / SENIOR
17: 00 - Finals WW – GR / SENIOR

Sunday (February 9)
8:30 - Medical examination and Weigh-in FS / SENIOR
10:30 - Qualification rounds FS / SENIOR
17:00 - Finals FS / SENIOR

Bajrang PUNIA (IND) inched his way closer to locking up a seed at the Olympic Games after winning the Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series event. (Photo: Kadir Caliskan)

5. Updated Rankings Published on United World Wrestling Homepage
With the Olympic Games seeding the top-four ranked wrestlers at each weight, the rankings couldn't hold any more weight than they do in 2020. The first set of 2020 rankings, which combine points from the Nur-Sultan World Championships and Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series event, have been published on the homepage of www.unitedworldwrestling.org. 

Full breakdowns of each style will be released this week: 
Wednesday: Freestyle 
Thursday: Greco-Roman 
Friday: Women’s Wrestling

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media 

1. Big Move Monday -- Geraei M. (IRI) @aligaraii -- Senior Worlds 2019 #WrestleNursultan
2. Four-time world and Olympic champion @sadulaev_abdulrashid is only 14K followers away from becoming the FIRST wrestler with 1,000,000 @instagram followers! 
3. Best throws ✈ of 2020 Greco-Roman tournament 'Takhti Cup'
4. #ScoreThat: How would you score this exchange for 🔴 and 🔵?
5. #tbt Jordan Burroughs First World Championship!

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)?