Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! July 23, 2018

By Eric Olanowski

Taking a look at Japan's seven Asian Junior gold medal performance and India's strong finish. Also looking at the pair of Olympic silver medalists who won the final Greco-Roman Ranking Series event of the year and this weeks freestyle Ranking Series event, the Yasar Dogu. 

1.Japanese Women One-Up Iran, Win Seven Asian Junior Golds 
Japan closed out women’s wrestling at the 2018 Asian Junior Championships with eight finalists, winning seven gold medals and one-upping Iran’s Greco-Roman squad who won six gold medals earlier in the week. 

With their seven gold medals, Japan one-upped the Greco-Roman team champions, Iran. During the Greco-Roam portion of the tournament, nine Iranian wrestlers qualified for the gold-medal bout, but “only” six clutched a gold medal after it was all said and done.

Women's Wrestling Results
Team Scores 
GOLD – Japan (213 points)
SILVER – China (168 points)
BRONZE – India (135 points)
Fourth – Kazakhstan (123 points)
Fifth – Mongolia (113 points) 

The six-time world and Olympic finalist, Riza KAYAALP (TUR). (Photo by Martin Gabor) 

2. Olympic Finalists Show Out at Vehbi Emre & Hamit Kaplan
The fourth and final Ranking Series event of the year, the Vehbi Emre & Hamit Kaplan took place last weekend in Istanbul, Turkey and two Olympic finalists bounced the competition and won gold medals. 

The host nation, Turkey won the team title with four individual champions, which included six-time world and Olympic finalist, Riza KAYAALP (TUR). 

Kayaalp, who coming off winning his eighth European championship outscored his first two opponents 11-0 but was tested in his semifinal and finals match-ups, winning both by a single point. 

In the finals, the three-time world champion outlasted Kiryl HRYSHCHANKA (BLR), 2-1 to win his seventh Vehbi Emre & Hamit Kaplan gold medal. 

Zhan BELENYUK (UKR), the 2015 world champion and Rio Olympic silver medalist, competing in his second tournament of the year also won a gold medal. 

Belenyuk defeated two-time age-level world champion Islam ABBASOV (AZE), 3-1 in the 87kg finals. These two also met in the International Ukrainian Tournament finals, where Belenyuk was also the victor.

Vehbi Emre & Hamit Kaplan Results

Team Scores 
GOLD - Turkey (191 points)
SILVER - Belarus (121 points)
BRONZE - Azerbaijan (121 points)
Fourth - Japan (104 points)
Fifth - Kazahkstan (102 points)

Amin Yavar KAVIYANINEJAD (IRI), 72kg Asian Junior champion. (Photo by Sachiko Hotaka)

3. Iran Finishes Asian Juniors with Eleven Overall Gold Medals 
Iran wrapped up freestyle action at the Asian Junior Championships by winning five gold medals, bringing their overall tournament total to eleven championship performances. 

After the first day of freestyle wrestling, their squad was on par to match their Greco-Roman countryman’s six gold medal performances from earlier this week but only grabbed two golds on the final day to fall one short in the friendly race with their Greco-Roman team. 

Freestyle Results
Freestyle Team Scores 
GOLD - Iran (189 points)
SILVER - India (173 points)
BRONZE - Uzbekistan (128 points)
Fourth - Japan (126 points)
Fifth - Kazahkstan (125 points)

Sachin RATHI (IND) gave India one of their three Asian Junior gold medals. (Photo by Sachiko Hotaka)

4. India Closes Out Asian Junior C'Ships with Pair of Gold Medals After Seven Straight Runner-Up Finishes
India had to wait until the final day of the 2018 Asian Junior Championships to add to Sajan SAJAN's (IND) gold medal, but they finally got the gold medals they were hoping for. In total, ten Indian wrestlers made the championship finals but seven straight wrestlers failed to come out on top. It all came down to Deepak PUNIA (IND) and Sachin RATHI (IND) to carry the country’s flag one more time, and they did so in significant fashion.


Olympic champion, Taha AKGUL (TUR). (Photo by Martin Gabor) 

5. Yasar Dogu, the Third Freestyle Ranking Series Event Begins This Weekend 
Istanbul, Turkey is set to host the 46th Annual Yasar Dogu International on July 27-29. 

On June 8, United World Wrestling announced that the tournament has been named a Ranking Series event in men’s freestyle wrestling after the South African Open was canceled due to a lack of early sign-ups. 

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media 

1. Big Move Monday!
2. “Taha Akgul will be back to train for 20 days in August. The #1heavyweight in the world. Thankful we can prepare for the World Championships together 🇺🇸🇹🇷” @snyderman45
3. @frankchamizo92 practising. Отработки Чамизо. 🎥 @nycrtc
4. We’re 92 days away from the #Budapest2018 World Championships which means we get to highlight three-time world and Olympic champion @sadulaev_abdulrashid (RUS). Sadulaev won the 92kg gold medal at the European Championships in Dagestan, Russia earlier this year. #92on92 ‬
5. Olympic🥈@zhanbeleniuk playing with 🕷! 😬

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Big Move Monday ! @iranwrestling @norooziomid

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Olympic🥈@zhanbeleniuk playing with 🕷! 😬

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Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! April 16, 2019

By Eric Olanowski

Discussing the European C'ship results, this week's Pan-American C'ships, and next week's Asian's C'ships. Also looking at the newly released Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games wrestling schedule. 

1. European Championships Wrap up in Bucharest 
The 2019 European Championships wrapped up on Sunday night in Bucharest, Romania, and it was the Russian Federation who claimed team titles in both freestyle and Greco-Roman, while Ukraine won the women’s wrestling team trophy. 

In freestyleThe Russian Federation trailed Azerbaijan by five points heading into the final day of wrestling but closed out the freestyle competition with two golds, two silvers, and four bronze medals to win the team title six points ahead of second place Turkey. 

Azerbaijan (145 points), Georgia (104 points), and Ukraine (80 points) rounded out the top-five in freestyle. 

In Greco-Roman, the Russian Federation repeated as European champions, winning five individual gold medals and having nine of ten wrestlers reach the podium. Russia finished 60 points ahead of second-place Turkey. 

Azerbaijan (76 points), Germany (72 points), and Georgia (72 points) finished third through fifth respectively. 

In women’s wrestling, Ukraine, who had a solo bronze medalist and finished last year’s Kaspiisk European Championships in seventh place, capped off their improbable run to a European team title on the backs of four individual women’s wrestling championship performances. 

Bulgaria (112 points), Turkey (98 points), Azerbaijan (96 points), and Russia (89 points) were the other top-five finishers respectively.  

Click HERE for the full #WrestleBucharest event hub. 

Canada's Erica WIEBE (CAN) is one of four Olympic champions wrestling at the 2019 Pan-American Championships. (Photo: Max Rose-Fyne)

2. Four Olympic Champions Make Up 2019 Pan American Championships Field
Six Olympic medalists, including four Olympic champions, highlight the field at the 2019 Senior Pan American Championships in Buenos Aires, Argentina, April 18-21. Each style has at least one Olympic champion in the field.  

Three of the four Olympic medalists in the men’s freestyle brackets come from USA, including 2012 champion Jordan BURROUGHS, 2016 champion Kyle SNYDER and 2016 bronze medalist J’den COX.

In women's wrestling, 2016 Olympic champion Erica WIEBE (CAN) will compete this week at 76kg, while Rio Greco-Roman Olympic champion and five-time Pan American champion Ismael BORRERO MOLINA (CUB) at 67kg.

Click HERE for Taylor Miller's full Pan-American Championship preview. 

Japan's Kaori ICHO will be looking for her fifth women's wrestling Olympic gold medal. (Photo: Gabor Martin)

3. Women’s Wrestling at Center Stage as Tokyo 2020 Announces Detailed Competition Schedule
The Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) has announced the detailed competition schedule for the sport of wrestling at the 2020 Olympic Games. The two-day competition format will feature women’s wrestling as the final gold medal bout on each day of competition. 

Japan is the most dominant women’s wrestling nation in the world having won 11 of 18 Olympic gold medals since 2004, the first year the sport was included on the Olympic programme. The island nation has also won 22 world team titles since the first women’s wrestling world championships in 1987, including 11 of the last 13.

“The schedule announced by Tokyo 2020 will help wrestling ensure high attendance for each day of the competition,” said United World Wrestling president Nenad Lalovic. “We saw nice crowds in Brazil and expect that this schedule will help us reach even more fans and create a positive and energetic environment for all our competitors. The stars of women’s wrestling will guarantee that interest-level.”

Greco-Roman will join women for the first half of the schedule, with freestyle set to wrap up the Games alongside the aforementioned women’s weight categories.

Click HERE for Tim Foley's breakdown of the full Olympic schedule. 

4. Kayaalp, Bisultanov, and Ciobanu Make History at European Championships 
Turkey’s Riza KAYAALP authored a new page in the Turkish wrestling history books on Saturday night by winning his ninth European title. Kayaalp entered the night tied with Hamza YERLIKAYA, who also had eight European titles, but surpassed Yerlikaya with his Day 6 win at the Polyvalent Hall in Bucharest, Romania.

In his 130kg Greco-Roman gold-medal bout, Kayaalp scored three points from a stepout and a takedown to defeat Iakobi KAJAIA (GEO), 3-0.

Moldova’s Victor Ciobanu and Denmark’s Rajbek Bisultanov reached the top of the European championship podium and made history for their countries on the closing day of the wrestling in Bucharest.

In the 60kg Greco-Roman finals, Victor Ciobanu pulled off perhaps the biggest upset of these European Championships, defeating the defending world and European champion Sergey EMELIN (RUS), 5-5, on criteria, and became the first-ever Moldovan Greco-Roman European champion.  

In the 82kg Greco-Roman finals, Rajbek Bisultanov ended Denmark’s 93-year drought without a European gold medal, becoming the first wrestler from his nation to circle the mat with a Danish flag since Johannes JACOBSEN did so at the Riga European title in 1926. 

Bisultanov fell behind 1-0 to Georgia’s Lasha GOBADZE (GEO) but scored two exposure points and a takedown, ending the opening frame with a 4-1 lead. In the closing period, the Danish wrestler was dinged for a caution-and-two but held on to win 4-3.

China's No. 1-ranked RONG Ningning will be one of two returning world champs competing at this year's Asian Championships. (Photo: Max Rose-Fyne) 

5. Asian Championships Kick off Next Week in Xi'an, China 
Xi’an's Electronic Science and Technology University Gymnasium will be the host site for this year's Asian Championships, which take place in Xi'an, China from March 23-28. 

In total, 19 returning medalists from last year's world championships will be in action. 

Women's wrestling leads the way with ten returning podium finishers. They'll have two champions, one silver, and seven returning bronze competing. 

Greco-Roman will have one returning finalist and five bronze medalists, while freestyle has a pair of 2018 runner-ups and two bronze-medal finishers taking the mat in China next week. 

All the action can be followed live on www.unitedworldwrestling.org. 

Monday (March 22) 
17:00 - Draw FS – 57-65-70-79-97kg

Tuesday (March 23) 
9:30 - Medical examination and Weigh-in FS – 57-65-70-779-97kg
11:30 - Qualification rounds and repechage FS – 57-65-70-79-97kg
14:45 - Draw FS – 61-74-86-92-125kg
17:30 - Opening ceremony
18:00 - Finals FS – 57-65-70-79-97kg
18:00 - Award ceremonies 

Wednesday (March 24) 
9:30 - Medical examination and Weigh-in FS – 61-74-86-92-125kg 
11:30 - Qualification rounds and repechage FS – 61-74-86-92-125kg
14:45 - Draw WW – 50-55-59-68-76kg
18:00 - Finals FS – 61-74-86-92-125kg
18:00 - Award ceremonies / Cérémonies protocolaires

Thursday (March 25) 
9:30 - Medical examination and Weigh-in WW – 50-55-59-68-76kg 11:30 - Qualification rounds and repechage WW – 50-55-59-68-76kg
14:45 - Draw WW – 53-57-62-65-72kg
18:00 - Finals WW – 50-55-59-68-76kg
18:00 - Award ceremonies

Friday (March 26) 
9:30 - Medical examination and Weigh-in WW – 53-57-62-65-72kg 11:30 - Qualification rounds and repechage WW – 53-57-62-65-72kg
14:45 - Draw GR – 55-63-77-87-130kg
18:00 - Finals WW – 53-57-62-65-72kg
Award ceremonies / Cérémonies protocolaires

Saturday (March 27) 
9:30 - Medical examination and Weigh-in GR – 55-63-77-87-130kg 
11:30 - Qualification rounds and repechage GR – 55-63-77-87-130kg
14:45 - Draw GR – 60-67-72-82-97kg
18:00 - Finals GR – 55-63-77-87-130kg
Award ceremonies 

Sunday (March 28) 
9:30 - Medical examination and Weigh-in GR – 60-67-72-82-97kg
11:30 - Qualification rounds and repechage GR – 60-67-72-82-97kg 
18:00 - Finals matches GR – 60-67-72-82-97kg Award ceremonies 

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media 

1. Greco-Roman highlights from the European Championships 🔥😲 // Head over to our stories for the full video . .
2. Big Move(s) From Day 7 // #WrestleBucharest
3. Big Move From Day 6 // #WrestleBucharest
4. 🇦🇲 @maxim_manukyan 🇦🇲 🖐️ ➡ 📍
5. Big Move From Day 3 // #WrestleBucharest

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Big Move From Day 6 // #WrestleBucharest

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