Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! July 9, 2019

By Eric Olanowski

Discussing the Yasar Dogu and results from Russian Nationals. Also looking at Japan's wrestle-off results, Dake's return and Staebler's move down to 67kg. 

1. Yasar Dogu, Final Ranking Series Event, Begins Thursday 
The 47th Annual Yasar Dogu begins this week in Istanbul, Turkey. Brackets for the final freestyle and women’s wrestling Ranking Series event of the year will be released on Wednesday, with the four-day tournament kicking off on Thursday. 

The Yasar Dogu is the last opportunity wrestlers have to earn points towards their season total. The four wrestlers who have accumulated the most Ranking Series points after this weekend will be the top-four seeds at September’s World Championships, which take place in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. 

Though entries are not official until 24 hours before the competition starts, the early entries show four Olympic champions and three of the world’s top-ranked wrestlers who are set to compete. The four Olympic champions who were included in the early entry list were: Taha AKGUL (TUR), Jordan BURROUGHS (USA), Sharif SHARIFOV (AZE) and Erica WIEBE (CAN), and the three No.1-ranked wrestles are J’den COX (USA), Faith ERDIN (TUR) and Bajrang PUNIA (IND). 

Here is the full list of freestyle and women's wrestling entries. 

As always, the tournament can be followed live on www.unitedworldwrestling.org

2. Kawai Topples Icho in Playoff for World Team; Otoguro In, Susaki Out
Risako KAWAI all but dealt a death blow to Kaori ICHO's quest for an epoch-making fifth straight Olympic gold medal. It's now in Kawai's hands to finish the job in two months.

For the second time in three weeks, Kawai toppled her fellow Olympic champion, scoring a 3-3 victory on big-point criteria to earn the women's 57kg berth on Japan's team to the World Championships in Kazakhstan in September.

"I really don't remember much about it, but I'm glad I won," Kawai said at a post-match press conference. "Over this past year, things happened around me that I had never imagined would occur. I had changed the environment around me, and in December, I thought about quitting wrestling and talked it over with my family. I'm glad that I didn't."

The showdown was one of six on a special day of playoffs for tickets to the World Championships in Olympic weight classes, which also saw Takuto OTOGURO earn a shot at keeping the freestyle 65kg crown he won a year ago, while Yui SUSAKI was denied a chance for a third straight women's 50kg world title.

The playoffs in Wako, Saitama Prefecture, about 20 kilometers north of Tokyo, paired the winners of the two national competitions that serve as qualifiers for the World Championships. In the 12 other Olympic divisions, one wrestler won both tourneys to clinch an automatic berth.

Click here to read Ken Marantz’ Full Article 

3. Russian Nationals Wrap up in Sochi, Special Wrestle-Off Set For Poland Open
The Russian National Championships wrapped up in Sochi, and the Russian Federation set a date for their special wrestle-offs to determine their freestyle world team. 

Last weekend, Dagestani wrestlers won six golds, while the four remaining titles were claimed by Ossetian wrestlers. The six wrestlers from Dagestan who won a Russian National title were: Ramiz GAMZATOV, Magomedrasul IDRIVSOV, Gadzhimurad RASHIDOV, Magomed KURBANALIEV, Haji NABIYEV and Alikhan JABRAILOV, and the four Ossetian gold medalists were: David BAYEV, Artur NAIFONOV, Vladislav BAITSAEV and Alan KHUGAEV.

Now, with the Russian National Championships in the rear-view mirror, the Russian Federation will hold special wrestle-offs between last weekend’s winners and the medalists from the European Games at the Poland Open, which takes place in Warsaw, Poland, on August 2-4. After the conclusion of the Poland Open, the Russian coaching staff will announce their Nur-Sultan world team representatives in mid-August. 

57kg - Ramiz GAMZATOV df. Muslim SADULAEV, 9-4
61kg - Magomedrasul IDRIVSOV df.  Ramazan FERZALYEV, 6-4 
65kg - Gadzhimurad RASHIDOV df. Nachyn KUULAR, 5-2
70kg - David BAYEV df. Razambek ZHAMALOV, 10-10

74kg - Magomed KURBANALIEV df. Khetik TSABOLOV, 5-4
79kg - Haji NABIYEV df. Atsamaz SANAKOEV, via forfeit 
86kg - Artur NAIFONOV df. Vladislav VALIEV, 4-2
92kg - Alikhan JABRAILOV df. Magomed KURBANOV, 2-1
97kg - Vladislav BAITSAEV df. Igor OVSIANNIKOV, 3-0
125kg - Alan KHUGAEV df. Said HAMIDOV, 3-1

Wrestle-Off Match-ups 
57kg - Zaur UGUEV vs. Ramiz GAMZATOV
65kg - Akhmed CHAKAEV vs. Gadzhimurad RASHIDOV
74kg - Zaurbek SIDAKOV vs. Magomed KURBANALIEV
86kg - Dauren KURUGLIEV vs. Artur NAIFONOV
97kg - Abdulrashid SADULAEV vs. Vladislav BAITSAEV

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Thanks to all who serve #USA 📸: @robbert_wijtman

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4. Kyle Dake Makes Return, Wins Spanish GP Gold
Kyle DAKE (USA) made his return last weekend at the Spanish Grand Prix and went 5-0 en route to claiming the 79kg title. The reigning world champion has been out with an injury and hasn’t competed since winning his first world title last October in Budapest. 

Dake’s toughest match came in the opening round, where he scored the close 7-5 win over Dauletmurat ORAZGYLYOV (TKM), but after being out for nearly eight months, a little rust was to be expected. After his opening round match, Dake scored three consecutive technical superiority victories over Carlos GILABERT (ESP), Sarmat TSARAKHOV (RUS) and Max BUDGEY (CAN) before closing the tournament out with a 5-0 win over Batyr ORAZGYLYJOV (TKM) in the gold-medal bout. 

In other Dake news, USA Wrestling announced late last week that “Kid Dynomite” will wrestle-off Alex DIERINGER (USA) on August 17 in Austin, Texas, for the 79kg world team spot. The best-of-three series will be broadcasted live on www.flowrestling.org.  

‪Round 1: df. Dauletmurat ORAZGYLYOV (TKM), 7-5
‪Round 2: df. Carlos GILABERT (ESP), 10-0 
‪SEMIFINAL: df. Max BUDGEY (CAN), 12-2 
‪FINAL: df. Batyr ORAZGYLYJOV (TKM), 5-0 

5. Staebler Eyeing German Grand Prix as First Test Down at 67kg
Germany’s three-time world champion Frank STAEBLER informed United World Wrestling that he'd be dropping down to 67kg in preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and is eyeing August’s German Grand Prix for his return.

The German Grand Prix will be the first time since 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 will take place in Dortmund, Germany, on August 3-4. 

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media

1. Big Move Monday -- Nouri Khorje F. (IRI) -- U23 Asians 2019
2. Who is your favorite wrestler at the Yasar Dogu 2019?
3. Who is your favorite woman wrestler at the Yasar Dogu 2019?
4. Per @vinaysiwach@bajrangpunia60, the No.1-ranked wrestler in the world at 65kg, will wrestle at 70kg at the #YasarDogu.
5. Big Moves From Day 1 // Junior Asian Championships Chon_Buri2019

Weekly FIVE!

Weekly Five! November 19, 2019

By Eric Olanowski

Discussing results from Women's World Cup, four matches you may have missed, and the top-three upsets. Also, looking at Snyder's run to a Bill Farrell title and the upcoming Greco-Roman World Cup. 

1. Japan Wins Fifth Consecutive World Cup 
Japan won its fifth consecutive Women’s World Cup and tied China (2007-’11) for the annual dual meet event’s longest win streak. The host nation defeated the United States in the gold-medal dual after taking out rival China and a young Ukrainian team in pool play. 

The four-time defending champions kick-started their day with an impressive 9-1 routing of Ukraine. Japan won the first seven matches before Alla BELINSKA, a 2019 World Military Games bronze medalist, put Ukraine on the board with a fall over Mei SHINDO (JPN) in their 72kg meeting. Japan’s domination in the dual was highlighted by Sae NANJO’s (JPN) 10-0 blanking of last year’s U23 world bronze medalist, Olena KREMZER (UKR). 

Japan’s win over Ukraine set up an all-star dual between them and China – who combine for 17 of the 18 Women’s World Cup titles. 

Yui SUSAKI (JPN), a two-time world champion, returned to Japan’s lineup with a massive bang -- taking down world champion and Rio Olympic bronze medalist, Yanan SUN (CHN), 3-2. Japan followed Susaki’s 3-2 victory over Sun by winning five straight matches before dropping the final four matches. Japan's strong early lead cemented their spot in the finals against the USA with the 6-4 advantage over China. 

In the gold-medal dual, Japan won seven of ten matches and captured their fifth straight Women’s World Cup title -- tying China’s run, which lasted from 2007-’11.

The only three losses Japan suffered in the finals came from the Stars and Stripes trio of world champions, Jacarra WINCHESTER (USA), Tamyra MENSAH (USA) and Adeline GRAY (USA). 

China closed out the tournament with a 7-3 win over Mongolia in the bronze-medal match, and Ukraine edged Russia, 5-5 on criteria, in the fifth-place match. 

Japan df. The United States, 7-3 
50kg: Yui SUSAKI (JPN) df. Whitney CONDER (USA) by TF, 10-0, 3:17
53kg: Haruna OKUNO (JPN) df. Sarah HILDEBRANDT (USA) by TF, 10-0, 5:32
55kg: Jacarra WINCHESTER (USA) df. Akie HANAI (JPN), 5-1
57kg: Risako KAWAI (JPN) df. Kelsey CAMPBELL (USA) by TF, 11-0, 4:10
59kg: Yuzuka INAGAKI (JPN) df. Desiree ZAVALA (USA) by TF, 10-0, 4:12
62kg: Yukako KAWAI (JPN) df. Macey KILTY (USA), 7-0
65kg: Naomi RUIKE (JPN) df. Forrest MOLINARI (USA), 5-1
68kg: Tamyra MENSAH-STOCK (USA) df. Naruha MATSUYUKI (JPN), 8-1
72kg: Yuka KAGAMI (JPN) df. Victoria FRANCIS (USA), 3-1
76kg: Adeline GRAY (USA) df. Hiroe MINAGAWA (JPN) by Fall, 5:04 (3-1) 

Yui SUSAKI (JPN) and Yanan SUN (CHN) trade gifts before clashing at the 2019 Women's World Cup. (Photo: Sachiko Hotaka)

2. Four Women’s World Cup Matches You May Have Missed 
With 17 returning world medalists entered at this weekend’s Women’s World Cup, it wasn’t a question if there would be good matches; the question is when they would take place. 

Yui SUSAKI (JPN) df. Yanan SUN (CHN), 3-2 
Yui SUSAKI (JPN) downed Yanan SUN (CHN) for the second time in three years at the Women’s World Cup and improved her career record against the Chinese world champion to 3-0. Outside of their two World Cup meetings, their third meeting came at the 2017 Asian Championships, where Susaki defeated Sun 9-4 in the quarterfinals. She ultimately went on to grab the continental title. 

Sarah HILDEBRANDT (USA) df. Milana DADASHEVA (RUS), 10-7
Maybe one of the most confusing endings to a match that I’ve ever seen, but after a challenge that lasted nearly five minutes, Sarah HILDEBRANDT (USA) defeated Milana DADASHEVA (RUS), 10-7. 

The 2018 world runner-up fought off a late flurry of attacks and scored the three-point victory over last year's U23 world silver medalist, Milana Dadasheva. 

Adeline Maria GRAY (USA) df. Hiroe MINAGAWA SUZUKI (JPN), via fall 
One of the most highly anticipated matches coming into the tournaments that left wrestling fans licking their chops was the potential 76kg world finals rematch between Adeline Maria GRAY (USA) and Hiroe MINAGAWA SUZUKI (JPN). 

Both Japan and the United States went undefeated in pool play, which set up the Gray and Minagawa matchup that we were all waiting for. But, this match was much different than the six-point match the two put in the world finals. In their World Cup matchup last weekend, Gray went big early and scored the fall over Minagawa and handed the United States their third win of the dual. 

Adeline GRAY (USA) df. Ekaterina BUKINA (RUS), 11-6 
Adeline Gray may have more world medals than Ekaterina BUKINA (RUS), but the Russian has one thing that the American is still searching for -- an Olympic medal. But that wasn’t on Gray's mind this weekend when the two heavyweights closed out the United States and Russian dual with an impressive back and forth 17-point showing. 

3. Top-Three Upsets from the Women’s World Cup 
1. Bolortuya BAT OCHIR (MGL) df. Jacarra WINCHESTER (USA), via fall 
The four reigning world champions who wrestled in Narita last weekend went 10-1, and the only wrestler who scored a victory over a Nur-Sultan gold medalist was BAT OCHIR Bolortuya (MGL). Bat Ochir, this year's world bronze medalist, stuck 55kg world champion Jacarra WINCHESTER (USA). 

Bat Ochir gave up a takedown but strung together a pair of step-outs and trailed 2-2 on criteria mid-way through the first period. A second American takedown put the Mongolian down 4-2, but Bat Ochir remained calm and caught Winchester on her heels during an underhook throw by attempt -- pancaking the world champion to her back for the fall. 

2. Yuzuka INAGAKI (JPN) df. Ningning RONG (CHN), 2-0 
Although it wasn’t flashy or high scoring, high schooler Yuzuka INAGAKI (JPN) struck down reigning two-time world finalist RONG Ningning (CHN), 2-0, in their 59kg meeting. 

Inagaki, this year’s junior and U23 world champion, scored both points while the Chinese wrestler was on the activity clock and picked up the 2-0 win.

It should be noted, to avoid a 57kg world finals rematch with rival Risako KAWAI (JPN), the three-time world and Olympic champion, Rong bumped up to 59kg from her Nur-Sultan world silver-medal winning weight of 57kg. 

3. ZHOU Qian (CHN) df. Hiroe MINAGAWA SUZUKI (JPN), 7-0 
ZHOU Qian (CHN) and Hiroe MINAGAWA SUZUKI (JPN) have been going back and forth for years, and after the Chinese wrestler “upset” the Japanese wrestler last weekend, it doesn’t look like the rivalry is dying down anytime soon. 

Zhou lost to Minagawa 3-1 in the quarterfinals of the World Championships but avenged her loss with a 7-0 shutout win in the second round at the Women’s World Cup. 

4. Snyder Highlights Bill Farrell Memorial Champions 
The first Olympic Team Trial qualification tournament, the Bill Farrell Memorial, wrapped up at the historic New York Athletic Club and the two-time world and Olympic champion Kyle SNYDER (USA) highlighted the list of six American champions. 

Kyle SNYDER (USA) highlighted the list of six American Bill Farrell Memorial champions. (Photo: Tony Rotundo)

Snyder only needed just over two and a half minutes to demolish Michael MACCHIAVELLO (USA), 10-0,  in the 97kg finals.

He kicked off the match with monstrous double to his feet for the opening takedown then quickly extended his lead to six points with a pair of right side gut wrenches. The Rio Olympic used a counter-offensive spin behind to push his lead to eight points before closing the match out with an uncharacteristic open double leg. 

Other notable Bill Farrell Memorial champions were Alex DIERINGER (USA) and Gable STEVESON (USA). 

Dieringer, the Alexander Medved, Dan Kolov and Yasar Dogu champion added a second Bill Farrell Memorial gold medal to his resume after taking down Myles MARTIN (USA), 7-2, in the 86kg finals, which is a weight up from his normal weight of 79kg. 

At 125kg, Gable STEVESON (USA), a three-time age-group world champion, won his first senior-level gold medal with a three-point finals win over Dominique BRADLEY (USA). 

The highest finisher at each weight class qualified their spot for April's Olympic Trials. In cases where the highest finished already qualified for the Olympic Trials (97kg), the next highest finisher earned the qualification spot. 

57kg - Seth GROSS (USA) df. Nathan TOMASELLO (USA), 11-1 
65kg - Jordan OLIVER (USA) df. Frank MOLINARO (USA), 8-6 
74kg - Isaiah MARTINEZ (USA) df. Jason NOLF (USA), 12-0 

86kg - Alex DIERINGER (USA) df. Myles MARTIN (USA), 7-2 
97kg - Kyle SNYDER df. Michael MACCHIAVELLO (USA), 10-0 
125kg - Gable STEVESON (USA) df. Dominique BRADLEY (USA), 4-1 

Two-time world and Olympic champion BORRERO MOLINA (CUB) highlights the entries for the 2019 Greco-Roman World Cup. (Photo: Tony Rotundo)

5. Greco-Roman World Cup Begins Next Friday
The third and final World Cup begins next Friday (November 28-29) in Tehran, Iran's Azadi Stadium. As the entries sit heading into this week, there are six reigning world gold medalists who will travel to Tehran to compete in the Greco-Roman World Cup. 

The schedule and the full set of entries for the Greco-Roman World Cup will be released later this week. 

Reigning World Champions Entered
55kg - Nugzari TSURTSUMIA (GEO)
60kg - Kenichiro FUMITA (JPN) 
67kg - Ismael BORRERO MOLINA (CUB)
67kg - Shinobu OTA (JPN)
72kg - Abuiazid MANTSIGOV (RUS)
82kg - Lasha GOBADZE (GEO)

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media

1. Big Move Monday -- Wang J. (CHN) -- Women's World Cup 2019 #wrestlenarita
2. World Championship Highlights: Mariya STADNIK (AZE)
3. Two trips to the World Championships. Two gold medals for @kyledake444.
4. 1/2 Final Matches | Women's Wrestling World Cup 2019
5. ‪Happy Friday, wrestling fans!

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