Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! July 2, 2019

By Eric Olanowski

Discussing special wrestle-offs for Russia, Canada, and Japan. Also looking at the European Games and the Yasar Dogu entries. 

1. Russian National Championships Begin This Week 
The Ice Palace Sports Arena in Adler, Krasnodar, Russia, will host the National Championships for the defending freestyle world champions July 4-7. But, only four wrestlers will lock up their spot on the world team spot. The other winners will have to wait until early August to hopefully book their trip to Kazakhstan. 

The reason being, and as I mentioned late last week on Twitter, with a slight adjustment, the Russian Federation released European Games champions: Abdulrashid SADULAEV, Zaurbek SIDAKOV, Dauren KURUGLIEV, and Anzor KHIZRIEV, and bronze medalists Zaur UGUEV and Akhmed CHAKAEV from this week’s tournament. Russia will now hold a special wrestle-off at the Poland Open (Aug. 2-4) to determine the six remaining world team representatives. The special wrestle-offs were originally scheduled to take place at the Tbilisi GP but were moved after recent travel restrictions between Russia to Georgia.

SCHEDULE
July 4th (Thursday) 

17.00-17.30 - Draw for weight categories up to 57kg, 65kg, 74kg, 86kg, 97kg.

July 5th (Friday)
08.30-09.00 - Medical examination and weigh in for 57kg, 65kg, 74kg, 86kg, 97kg.
11.00-18.00 - Preliminary matches for 57kg, 65kg, 74kg, 86kg, 97kg. 
18.00-18.30 – Draws for 61kg, 70kg, 79kg, 92kg, 125 kg.
18.30-20.30 - Semifinal for 57kg, 65kg, 74kg, 86kg, 97kg.

July 6th (Saturday) 
08.30-08.45 - Weighing in for 57kg, 65kg, 74kg, 86kg, 97kg.
08.45-09.15 - Medical examination and weigh in for 61kg, 70kg, 79kg, 92kg, 125kg.
11.00-18.00 - Consolation matches for 57kg, 65kg, 74kg, 86kg, 97kg.
11.00-18.00 - Preliminary and semifinal matches for 61kg, 70kg, 79kg, 92kg, 125kg. 
18.00-18.30 - Opening ceremony. 
18.30-20.30 - Finalsl for 57kg, 65kg, 74kg, 86kg, 97kg.

July 7 (Sunday) 
08.30-08.45 - Weighing in for 61kg, 70kg, 79kg, 92kg, 125kg.
11.00-13.00 - Consolation for 61kg, 70kg, 79kg, 92kg, 125kg.
13.00-15.00 - Final matches for 61kg, 70kg, 79kg, 92kg, 125kg.

2. Lappage Gains World Team Spot, Named Canada’s Rep at 68kg
Budapest world silver medalist Danielle LAPPAGE (CAN) bumped up from her world championship weight of 65kg to the Olympic weight of 68kg and defeated Olivia DI BACCO (CAN), two matches to none (2-1 and 11-1) and gained the Canadian world team spot. 

With her win last week, Lappage will represent Canada on the world stage for the third time in her career. In her first trip to the World Championships (2014), she finished in eighth place, then rounded out last year with a world silver medal. In addition to her three times representing Canada at the World Championships, Dappage also represented Canada at the 2016 Olympic Games where she suffered an injury during warms up and was forced to medically forfeit out of her opening round match.

To top off her week, the newly minted 68kg world team rep also won a Canada Cup title. Lappage stomped Jayden LAURENT (USA), 10-0 and took home her first 68kg medal of the year after falling in the finals of the Sassari and the Grand Prix of Germany. 

3. Japan's Olympic-Weight World Team to be Finalized This Weekend
After the July 6 winner-take-all wrestle-offs, Japan will have their world team spots locked up at the Olympic weight classes. There are still three freestyle, two women’s wrestling and one Greco-Roman spot up for grabs, but all eyes will be locked into the three matches where a reigning world champion is one match away from defending their world gold. 

Starting with the 50kg match where two-time defending world champion Yui SUSAKI will meet her nemesis Yuki IRIE. 

Irie, the reigning Asian champion, is the only wrestler on Earth who has defeated Susaki multiple times. She gained the advantage over Susaki after winning December’s All-Japan Championships (Emperor’s Cup) - - a tournament in which Susaki was forced to sit out after she dislocated her elbow. 

Susaki then defeated Irie en route to her Meiji Cup gold and forced the July 6 wrestle-off. 

In the second highly anticipated match, Olympic champions Risako KAWAI and Kaori ICHO will meet for the world team spot at one of the deepest women’s weights in the world, 57kg. 

Rio Olympic champion Kawai fell to four-time Olympic champion Icho in the All-Japan finals but got revenge at the Meiji Cup and redeemed herself with a 6-4 victory. 

The third match featuring a returning world champion will take place at 65kg where Japan’s youngest male world champion in wrestling history Takuto OTOGURO will square off against Rio silver medalist Rei HIGUCHI.

Otoguro fell in his Meiji Cup final to Higuchi, 15-5, and will need to win on July 6 to regain his 65kg spot on the freestyle team.

4. Yasar Dogu Entries Released 
The most anticipated freestyle Ranking Series event of the year, the Yasar Dogu, will take place July 11 to 14 in Istanbul, and more than 275 wrestlers from 21 countries are expected to make the journey to Turkey's most populated city. The goal remains simple: try to pocket the remaining Ranking Series points before heading to Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, for September's World Championships. 

Since the Budapest World Championships, wrestlers have been stashing away Ranking Series points with hopes of becoming one of the forty top-four seeded wrestlers come September. The Yasar Dogu leaves those on the cusp of earning a top-four seed one last opportunity to gain those additional much-needed Ranking Series points. 

Heading into Istanbul, five wrestlers have seized the No. 1 seed, 17 wrestlers have cemented at least a top-four seed, leaving 23 seeds open for the taking in Istanbul. Though they're not all entered, there are still 150 wrestlers who could steal a seed from a current top-four seeded wrestler if they were to win a gold medal in a weight class with 20+ wrestlers in Turkey. 

Click HERE for full list of entries. 

5. Successful European Games Conclude in Minsk, Belarus 
The 2nd European Games wrapped up in Minsk, Belarus, with Russia winning the freestyle and Greco-Roman team titles, while Ukraine walked off with the women’s wrestling team title. 

In freestyle, Russia finished with six medalists, four of which were gold, and won the team title 20 points ahead of second-place Azerbaijan, and 52 points ahead of third place Georgia. The main storyline coming from the freestyle side of the competition was Abdulrashid Sadulaev becoming the first freestyle wrestler to win back-to-back European Games titles. 

In Greco-Roman, Russia won the team title, while 2016 Olympic champion Artur ALEKSANYAN (ARM) got back to his winning ways after failing to medal in Budapest. Aleksanyan lifted and tossed his way to his first European Games title at 97kg in Greco-Roman. The 27-year-old Armenian shut out local favorite Aliaksandr HRABOVIK (BLR) 5-0 in the gold-medal match.

In women’s wrestling, Ukraine finished in first place, 18 points ahead of the host nation Belarus, while two women made history by reaching the podium for a second consecutive time. 

Sweden’s Sofia MATTSSON and Vasilisa MARZALIUK (BLR) became the first women two-time champions in the short history of the European Games. 

In the finals, Mattsson, a Rio Olympic bronze medalist, narrowly edged Yulia KHAVALDZHY (UKR), 6-6 after giving up a what seemed to be a match-deciding takedown. However, after a Swedish challenge, Mattsson luckily found herself on the winning end of the match and became the first-ever wrestler to win two European Games golds.  

Marzaliuk was the second women to win two straight European Games titles. Her finals match went a little different than Mattsson's, as she dominated Francy RAEDELT (GER), 9-0 in the 76kg finals.

Click HERE for the European Games event hub. 

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media! 

1. Big Move Monday -- N. NARMANDAKH (MGL) -- 2017 Cadet Worlds
2. #best10 from Day 4 at the U-15 European 
3. HERSTORY MADE! @sofiammattsson becomes the first-ever two-time European Games champion! 
4. Has Mahir AMIRASLANOV (AZE) been the most impressive wrestler of the European Games thus far?
5. Tickets for #WrestleNurSultan are on sale! Go to http://ow.ly/obUz50uM54Q to buy your tickets and come support the best wrestlers in the world. Are you in?

Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! December 10, 2019

By Eric Olanowski

Reviewing the three Olympic champions who had winning weekends and Chamizo announcing that he'll compete at January's Matteo Pellicone in Rome. Also looking next week's All Japan Championships and U.S. Olympic Trials Qualifier. 

1. Wiebe Outduels Di Stasio in Battle of Olympic vs. World Champion 
Erica WIEBE outdueled Justina DI STASIO in two straight matches at the Canadian Wrestling Trials, as two other Olympians cemented their spots on Canada’s Pan-American Qualifier team.

Wiebe, the 2016 Rio Olympic champion, scored back-to-back victories over 2018 world champion Justina Di Stasio in a best-of-three series and punched her ticket to the Pan-American Olympic Games Qualifier. The Olympic Qualifier is set to take place in her hometown of Ottawa on March 13-15. In her post-match interview, the Rio Olympic champion said, “It’s going to be different. I’ve never wrestled in my hometown of Ottawa, and a lot is on the line, and I’ll just do a lot of what I do every day – that is get one percent better.” 

In the first match, Wiebe scored an inactivity point and held the 1-0 advantage, but Di Stasio scored a takedown and grabbed the 2-1 lead. Wiebe responded in a champion way, scoring four unanswered points and took match one, 5-2. Then, in the second match, Weibe grabbed a pair of one-point exchanges and locked up her spot on Canada’s Pan-American Qualifier team with the 2-0 victory. 

Michelle FAZZARI and Danielle LAPPAGE, who represented Canada at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, also punched their ticket to the Pan-American Olympic Games Qualifier in Ottawa. 

Fazzari, who was returning from a horrific knee injury she suffered while wrestling Adeniyi OLUWAFUNMILAYO (NGR) in the 2018 Commonwealth Games finals, downed Jessica BROUILLETTE in two straight matches. She scored the 3-0 shutout win in the first match, then edged Brouillette, 3-2, in the second match. 

Lappage, the 2018 world runner-up, dropped her first match against three-time Pan-American medalist Olivia DI BACCO, but earned her spot to the Pan-American Olympic Games Qualifier after winning back-to-back matches. She won the second match, 9-0, and the third match, 4-2. 

Meanwhile, Linda MORAIS, the 59kg world champion, dropped down to the Olympic weight of 57kg and easily punched her ticket to Ottawa with a pair of falls over Hannah TAYLOR. 

RESULTS
Women’s Wrestling
50kg - Jessie MACDONALD df. Madison PARKS, two matches to none (7-2, 12-1)
53kg - Samantha STEWART df. Jade PARSONS, two matches to none (11-0, 2-2)
57kg - Linda MORAIS df. Hannah TAYLOR, two matches to none (via fall, via fall)
 62kg - Michelle FAZZARI df. Jessica BROUILLETTE, two matches to none (3-0, 3-2) 
68kg - Danielle LAPPAGE df. Olivia DI BACCO, two matches to one (5-8, 9-0, 4-2) 
76kg - Erica WIEBE df. Justina DI STASIO, two matches to none (5-2, 2-1)
 

Freestyle 
57kg - Ligrit SADIUKU df. Aso PALANI, two matches to one (3-4, 12-2, 4-1)
65kg - Dillon WILLIAMS df. Chris MCISAAC, two matches to none (5-2, 5-1)
74kg - Jasmit PHULKA df. Tyler ROWE, two matches to none (6-2, 6-5)
86kg - Clayton PYE df. Alex BROWN-THERIAULT, two matches to one (15-4, 2-9, 13-2)
97kg - Jordan STEEN df. Nishan RANDHAWA, two matches to none (13-2, 12-2)
125kg - Amar DHESI df. Korey JARVIS, two matches to none (11-0, 10-0)

2. Olympic Champs Ramonov and Snyder Win Alans International Tournament
Olympic champions Soslan RAMONOV (RUS) and Kyle SNYDER (USA) finished atop the podium at the Alans International Tournament in Vladikavkaz, Russia, as nine Russians claimed gold medals.

Ramonov, who has been wrestling at 70kg since 2017, returned to 65kg for the first time since his magical run to Olympic gold in Rio, and defeated Kurban SHIRAEV (RUS), 3-0, in the finals at 65kg. 

The Alans was Ramonov’s third tournament back since undergoing back surgery over a year ago. The Olympic champion finished in second place at the Akhmed Kadyrov Cup and third place at the Vladimir Semenov Tournament. 

Last November, Ramonov told United World Wrestling, “It’s true that I had an operation on my back last week, but I’ve already got back to work and started physical therapy.” Ramonov went on to say, “I expect to return to the mat in January, and hopefully enter a tournament at 65kg closer to the fall.” 

America’s Kyle Snyder was the second Olympic champion who won an Alans gold medal. To win his gold, “Captain America” used a takedown and three one-point maneuvers to move past 2018 European champion Vladislav BAITSAEV (RUS), 5-2, in the 97kg finals.

Meanwhile, Ahmed IDRISOV (RUS) and Khetik TSABOLOV (RUS) were also apart of Russia’s gold-medal winning cast. 

Idrisov, the younger brother of reigning world silver medalist Magomedrasul IDRISOV (RUS), scored a three-point win (5-2) over the two-time world bronze medalist ERDENEBAT Behbayar (MGL) in the 57kg finals.

Tsabolov, the 2014 world champion, defeated two-time world medalist James GREEN (USA), 7-4, in the 74kg finals. Up until the Alans, Tsabolov's finals opponent had competed down at 70kg for 20 consecutive tournaments and was making his first career appearance up at the Olympic weight class of 74kg.

In the finals, the Russian gave up an early takedown and trailed 2-0, but scored an inactivity point that was followed by a takedown and a pair of laces to win the match by three points. 

Freestyle
57kg - Ahmed IDRISOV (RUS) df. ERDENEBAT Behbayar (MGL), 5-2
61kg - Ramazan FERZALIEV (RUS) df. Abasgadzhi MAGOMEDOV (RUS), 10-7
65kg - Soslan RAMONOV (RUS) df. Kurban SHIRAEV (RUS), 3-0
70kg - Chermen VALIEV (RUS) df. Ramazan RAMAZANOV (RUS), 4-2
74kg - Khetik TSABOLOV (RUS) df. James GREEN (USA), 7-4
79kg - Khalil AMINOV (RUS) df. Kakhaber KHUBEZHTY (RUS), 8-6
86kg - Soslan KTSOEV (RUS) df. Georgy RUBAEV (MDA), 11-1
92kg - Magomed KURBANOV (RUS) df. Mohammad EBRAHIMI (IRI), 4-2
97kg - Kyle SNYDER (USA) df. Vladislav BAITSAEV (RUS), 5-2
125kg - Batraz GAZZAYEV (RUS) df. Baldan TSYZHIPOV (RUS), 10-0

Yui SUSAKI (JPN) will try to get back on Japan's women's wrestling team by winning next weekend's All Japan Championships. (Photo: Sachiko Hotaka)

3. All Japan Championships Begin Next Week in Tokyo 
Yui SUSAKI will join Rio Olympic silver medalists Shinobu OTA and Rei HIGUCHI next week on their quest to claim All Japan Championship gold and lock up their spots on Japan’s Asian Olympic Games Qualifier team. 

The winners of the All Japan Championships, which will take place at Tokyo’s Komazawa Gymnasium on December 19-22, and will travel to China in March with hopes of doing what their fellow Japanese teammates couldn’t do at the 2019 World Championships -- qualify their respective weight for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. 

Susaki, a two-time world champion, will be joined by career rival Yuki IRIE and Rio Olympic champion Erie TOSAKA in the 50kg bracket. Earlier this year, Susaki was stunned by Irie, which kept her from defending her world titles from 2017 and ’18. 

Meanwhile, Rio Olympic runner-ups Ota and Higuchi will be moving weight classes in preparations to improve their silver medals from 2016. 

Ota, this year’s 63kg world champion, will be moving up to 67kg. He planned on dropping down to 60kg, but Kenichiro FUMITA (JPN) not only won the world title, but he also locked up his seat on Japan’s Olympic team at the weight. So that left Ota with no choice but to go up to 67kg.

Next weekend, Ota will challenge defending national champion Shogo TAKAHASHI, defending national runner-up Tsuchika SHIMOYAMADA and last year’s U23 world champion Katsuaki ENDO, for the 67kg spot.

Rei HIGUCHI, who is dropping down to 57kg from 65kg, will have to get through Yuki TAKAHASHI if he has hopes of representing Japan in a second straight Olympics. The task won't be easy, as Takahashi has been one of the best wresters at the weight over the past three years. Higuchi's potential opponent was the world champion in 2017 and world bronze medalist in 2018. But after a disappointing 10th-place finish in Nur-Sultan, Takahashi left the door open for others to challenge, which is why Higuchi is making the change. 

For more information about the All Japan Championships, visit http://www.japan-wrestling.org.

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Talks Tokyo, Burroughs, Sidakov and injury recovery.

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4. Chamizo Announces Plans to Compete at January’s Matteo Pellicone
In an interview with United World Wrestling, Italian superstar Frank CHAMIZO announced that he’ll wrestle at the first Ranking Series event of 2020, the Matteo Pellicone. “I’m going to Rome for the Ranking Series tournament. Right now, I’m training for there in New York,” said the two-time world champion. Chamizo went further, saying, “It will be good. It’s home!”

Chamizo has been one of the biggest supporters of UWW’s Ranking Series events. After winning a gold medal at the third Ranking Series tournament of the year, the Sassari City Tournament, Chamizo said, “I need the training and I need the matches. But the reason for competing so much is I need the Ranking Series points. That’s important.”

Chamizo has competed in four of the eight Ranking Series events since its inception in 2018 and has medaled in each of those four appearances. This year, Chamizo used the Ranking Series events to climb to the top of the world ranking, and ultimately the No. 1 seed at the World Championships, after collecting points at the European Championships, Dan Kolov, Sassari City Tournament and Yasar Dogu.   

With the Olympics seeding the top-four wrestlers at each weight for the first time ever, you can bet that Chamizo will again have his eye on the top seed, and his quest to grab that top seed kicks off at the Matteo Pellicone, which takes place January 15-18. 

Chamizo’s Ranking Series Resume
2018 
Yasar Dogu – gold 

2019 
Sassari – gold 
Yasar Dogu – silver 

Dan Kolov – bronze 

5. Fort Worth to Host U.S. Olympic Trials Qualifier Next Week
The road to State College, Pennsylvania, for the Olympic Trials made its first stop in New York for the Bill Farrell Memorial and will make its second stop next weekend in Fort Worth, Texas, for the U.S. Olympic Trials Qualifier. The Fort Worth Convention Center will host the two-day tournament from December 20-22.

According to USA Wrestling, “The Senior Freestyle top-5 finishers per weight category at the 2019 U.S. Olympic Trials Qualifier will earn a spot in the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials,” which will take place in State College, Pennsylvania, on April 4-5.

Our friends at www.flowrestling.org have the streaming rights to the U.S. Olympic Trials Qualifier. Wrestling kicks off at 11:00 (local time) on December 20. 

Selection Process for 2020 Toyko Olympic Games

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media

1. Big Move Monday -- El Sayed M. (EGY)
2. Top-10 Throws from 2019
3. Top-Five Scrambles from 2019
4. Who scored on this exchange?
5. #TBT - Semenov Smashes Coon, Giving Russia Sixth GR World Gold

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— #uww #unitedworldwrestling

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