Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! July 23, 2019

By Eric Olanowski

Discussing the Oleg Karavaev, German Grand Prix and the Cadet World Championships. Also looking wrestle-off news surrounding Russia and Japan. 

1. Oleg Karavaev Begins Friday
The top-four freestyle and women's wrestling world championship seeds are cemented, and after this weekend, the top-four Greco-Roman seeds will be, too. The regular season closes out this weekend with the final Greco-Roman Ranking Series event, the Oleg Karavaev. The two-day tournament, which will be in Minsk, Belarus, will feature 175 wrestlers from 19 different nations.

Leading the nearly 200-man field is Emrah KUS (TUR), the reigning world runner-up and No. 1-ranked wrestler in the world at 82kg. Kus leads an entry list littered with 24 wrestlers who are ranked inside the top-20 of the latest Greco-Roman rankings. 

Kus' weight of 82kg will feature six ranked wrestlers -- which is the most top-20 guys in one bracket. A pair of other stacked weight classes to pay close attention to are 67kg and 130kg. Both of these weight classes house at least four top-20 competitors.

ENTRIES: Click Here for full entries. 

2. Cadet World Championships Start This Upcoming Monday 
It’s officially world championship season! The 2019 Cadet World Championships begin in less than one week in Sofia, Bulgaria. 

The first set of brackets will come out on Sunday night, but freestyle action kicks off on Monday. Women’s wrestling takes over center stage on Wednesday, and Greco-Roman closes out the first World Championships of the year beginning on Friday. 

Here is the full schedule for the Cadet World Championships.

Nanami IRIE joined her sister on Japan's world team after she defeated Haruna OKUNO 3-1. (Photo: Sachiko Hotaka)

3. Japan’s World Team Set 
After what felt like months of wrestle-offs, Japan has their world team set after the conclusion of the non-Olympic weight wrestle-offs which took place in Tokyo last weekend. 

For the second time in two weeks, a reigning world champion was knocked off Japan's team to this year's World Championships. And for the second time, the conqueror was a wrestler named Irie.

Nanami IRIE earned a place alongside older sister Yuki on the plane to Kazakhstan when she defeated Haruna OKUNO 3-1 in a playoff for the women's 55kg berth on the Japanese squad.

Irie, a former world junior and cadet champion, scored a takedown off a counter early in the second period and held on to beat Okuno, the 2018 world champion at 53kg who missed out on the world team in that weight class.

Meanwhile, Rio 2016 silver medalist Shinobu OTA showed he could handle the extra weight at Greco 63kg when he crushed national champion Yoshiki YAMADA by 11-0 technical fall as he eyes winning his first senior world medal.

Japan National Team
Freestyle
57kg - Yuki TAKAHASHI
61kg -Kaiki YAMAGUCHI
65kg- Takuto OTOGURO
70kg - Kojiro SHIGA
74kg- Mao OKUI
79kg- Yudai TAKAHASHI
86kg- Sosuke TAKATANI
92kg -Tkuma OTSU
97kg -Naoya AKAGUMA
125 kg - Nobuyoshi ARAKIDA

Greco-Roman
55kg - Shota OGAWA
60kg - Kenichiro FUMITA
63kg - Shinobu OTA
67kg -  Shogo TAKAHASHI
72kg - Tomohiro INOUE
77kg - Shohei YABIKU
82kg - Yuya OKAJIMA
87kg - Masato SUMI
97kg - Yuta NARA
130kg - Arata SONODA

Women's Wrestling
50kg - Yuki IRIE
53kg - Mayu MUKAIDA
55kg - Nanami IRIE
57kg - Risako KAWAI
59kg - Yuzuka INAGAKI
62kg - Yukako KAWAI
65kg - Naomi RUIKE
68kg - Sara DOSHO
72kg - Masako FURUICHI
76kg - Hiroe MINAGAWA

Click here to read Ken Marantz' full wrap of the non-Olympic weight wrestle-offs. 

Reigning 74kg world champion Zaurbek SIDAKOV will have to outplace 2016 world champion Magomed KURBANALIEV at the Poland Open in order to make Russia's Nur-Sultan world team. (Photo: Gabor Martin) 

4. Russia's 86kg Wrestle-Off Scheduled for Poland Open 
Next week’s Ziolkowski - Pytlasinski Tournament in Warsaw, Poland will double up as the host site for the Russian Federation’s special wrestle-offs at 86kg between Dauren KURUGLIEV and Artur NAIFONOV. 

Kurugliev, the European Games champion, was released from the Russian National Championships where Naifonov, the 2018 European champion, was the winner of the 86kg bracket. The other weights that were excused from the National Championships were 57kg, 65kg, 74kg, 97kg and 125kg. But, those weights will not be contested at the Poland Open. 

The standard in years past at these special wrestle-offs has been that the highest placer at each weight will go on to represent Russia at their respective weight at the World Championships. That is expected to be the case again at 86kg. After the conclusion of the Poland Open and the final five wrestle-offs, the Russian coaching staff will announce their Nur-Sultan world team representatives in late-August.

Remaining Wrestle-Offs 
57kg - Zaur UGUEV vs. Ramiz GAMZATOV or Aryian TYUTRIN
65kg - Akhmed CHAKAEV vs. Gadzhimurad RASHIDOV
74kg - Zaurbek SIDAKOV vs. Magomed KURBANALIEV
97kg - Abdulrashid SADULAEV vs. Vladislav BAITSAEV
125kg - ANZOR KHIZRIEV vs. Alan KHUGAEV

Three-time world champion Frank STAEBLER (GER) will be making his first appearance down at 67kg at next weekend's German Grand Prix. (Photo: Max Rose-Fyne)

5. Staebler Makes 67kg Return, Four World or Olympic Champions to Compete at German GP 
Germany’s three-time world champion Frank STAEBLER will be making his first appearance down to 67kg next weekend at the 36th Annual German Grand Prix in Dortmund, Germany (August 3-4). 

Stebler, the reigning 72kg world champion, is dropping down to 67kg in preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games where he’s eyeing his first Olympic medal. The German Grand Prix will be the first time Staebler has competed down at 67kg (previously 66kg) since taking seventh place at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. He'll be looking to win his fourth career German GP title, but first since 2016. He didn’t compete in the tournament in 2017 but fell to Toni OJALA (FIN) in last year’s finals. 

The German Grand Prix is also set to feature four Olympic medalists and two other reigning world champions. 

Olympic champions Roman VLASOV (RUS) and Davit CHAKVETADZE (RUS) will compete at 77kg and 87kg, respectively, while Rio bronze Stig Andre BERGE (NOR) and London runner-up Heiki NABI (EST) will take part in the tournament at 60kg and 130kg, respectively. 

In addition to all the Olympic medalists in action, returning world champions Artem SURKOV (RUS) and Musa EVLOEV (RUS) will take the mat in Germany, too. 

Surkov will compete at 67kg, where he’s the reigning world champion. Evloev will also compete at the weight where he’s the reigning world champion, 97kg. 

ENTRIES: https://www.ringen.de/

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media 

1. Big Move Monday -- @snyderman45 -- Yasar Dogu Ranking Series 2019
2. Here are the final top-four rankings heading into the #WrestleNurSultan World Championships. Who are your 🔒 to win a world🥇in Kazakhstan 🇰🇿? 
3. United World Wrestling Joins World Taekwondo for Historic Event at Azraq Refugee Camp.
4. Instead of a #THROWBackThursday, lets throw it forward to the the 2050 European Championships!
5. Are you coming to support your wrestlers in #WrestleNurSultan? Buy your tickets!

Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! September 3, 2019

By Eric Olanowski

Discussing Iran's new freestyle line up and Retherford downing Diakomihalis to claim USA's 65kg world team spot. Also looking at the most wide-open weight at the World Championships and when rosters are scheduled to be released. 

1. Iran’s New-Look Lineup 
Iran finalized their freestyle roster over the weekend and made two major unexpected updates to the top half of their lineup. 

Reza YAZADANI (IRI) and Parviz HADI (IRI) were entered at 97kg and 125kg respectively, but both suffered injuries during their final training cycle and will no longer compete in Kazakhstan. 

Yazdani, the two-time world champion, will be replaced by Ali Khalil SHABANIBENGAR (IRI) at 97kg. Shabanibengar was a runner-up at the Yasar Dogu, where he lost to Kyle SNYDER (USA) in the finals. 

Yadollah MOHEBI (IRI) will replace returning world bronze medalist Parviz Hadi at 125kg. This season, Mohebi won the Takhti Cup and Asian Championships and also finished in fifth place at the Yasar Dogu. 

Iran’s Freestyle Lineup 
57kg - Reza ATRINAGHARCHI
61kg - Behnam Eshagh EHSANPOOR
65kg - Amirmohammad Babak YAZDANICHERATI
70kg - Yones Aliakbar EMAMICHOGHAEI
74kg - Reza Alireza AFZALIPAEMAMI
79kg - Bahman Mohammad TEYMOURI
86kg - Hassan Aliazam YAZDANICHARATI
92kg - Alireza Mohammad KARIMIMACHIANI
97kg - Ali Khalil SHABANIBENGAR
125kg - Yadollah MOHEBI

2. Retherford Takes Down Diakomihalis, to Represent USA at 65kg 
Zain RETHERFORD (USA) downed Yianni DIAKOMIHALIS (USA), 2-1, and will represent the United States of America at 65kg at the 2019 World Championships. 

Retherford won the first Final X series a few months ago, but after an arbitrator negated the result from the second match, Retherford had the 1-0 series lead coming into Monday’s match. Retherford only needed to win one match to punch his ticket, while Diakomihalis needed to win two straight matches.

In their Monday matchup, all the action came in the first period. Retherford trailed 1-0 after a failed challenge but capitalized on a counter-offensive crotch lift and took the 2-1 lead into the second period. 

A scoreless final three minutes gave Retherford the victory he needed to punch his ticket to the 2019 World Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. 

This'll be his second trip to the World Championships. He also represented the United States at the 2017 World Championships in Paris, where he finished in 11th place. 

USA’s Freestyle World Team: 
57kg - Daton FIX 
61kg - Tyler GRAFF
65kg - Zain RETHERFORD
70kg - James GREEN 
74kg - Jordan BURROUGHS 
79kg - Kyle DAKE 
86kg - Pat DOWNEY 
92kg - J'den COX 
97kg - Kyle SNYDER 
125kg - Nick GWIAZDOWSKI

Takuto OTOGURO (JPN) returns to the World Championships with hopes of defending his 65kg title from a year ago. (Photo: Max Rose-Fyne)

3. The Most Wide-Open Weight: 65kg 
The most wide-open weight class for the World Championships is going to 65kg. There are three of the four returning world medalists who are currently entered, and an Olympic gold medalist and a three-time world champion.

The returning medalists, who finished with gold through bronze respectively, were Takuto OTOGURO (JPN), Bajrang PUNIA (IND), and Alejandro VALDES TOBIER (CUB). 

Although they failed to medal at last year's World Championships, two other wrestlers who have a shot at winning the 65kg world title are Haji ALIYEV (AZE) and Vladimer KHINCHEGASHVILI (GEO). 

Aliyev comes into the Nur-Sultan looking for his fourth world title since 2014. This season, the Azeri is undefeated and has won the European Championships and European Games. 

Khinchegashvili, the Rio Olympic champion, is another serious threat to win the world title at 65kg. He's coming off a European Games runner-up-finish where he fell to Aliyev in the gold-medal bout. 

Myles AMINE (SMR), a European Games bronze medalist, will be the first freestyle wrestler from San Marino to compete at the World Championships. He's entered at 86kg. (Photo: Gabor Martin)

4. World Lineup to be Released This Week
The deadline for teams to make updates to their world team entries ends tomorrow, September 4. After the deadline has passed, United World Wrestling will be releasing the entries through the week. Currently, the entry list is just shy of 1000 wrestlers from 100 different nations.

5. World Championships Countdown: 11 Days
The wait is almost over. We’re into the month of September, which means its officially World Championships month. The 2019 World Championships kick off on September 14 in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. 

This year’s World Championships will hold immense weight because the top-six wrestlers in each weight category will qualify their nation's spot for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. 

The schedule for this year’s Worlds is much different than that of the Budapest World Championships. Unlike last year, where Greco-Roman closed out the 2018 World Championships, Greco-Roman will instead kick things off this year -- beginning on September 14. Women’s wrestling will be sandwiched in between Greco-Roman and freestyle -- starting on September 17. Finally, freestyle will close out the World Championships, with the potential third match-up between the three-time world and Olympic champions Abdulrashid Sadualev and Kyle Snyder squaring off the 97kg gold medal. The pair have split the last two world titles at 97kg, with Snyder winning in Paris and Sadualev exacting revenge in Budapest by picking up the 70-second fall. 

Here is the World Championships SCHEDULE

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media
1. Big Move Monday -- Sadulaev A. (RUS) -- Senior Worlds 2015
2. #TBT Petriashvili Edges Akgul to Win First World Title
3. Follow The Beach Wrestling World Series Final This Week-end!!
4. Will @hasan_yazdani73 reclaim his crown? Let us know what you think!
5. Tickets for #WrestleNurSultan are On Sale!

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Big Move Monday -- Sadulaev A. (RUS) -- Senior Worlds 2015

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