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. 

FINALS
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
125kg - ANZOR KHIZRIEV vs. Alan KHUGAEV

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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.  

RESULTS
‪Round 1: df. Dauletmurat ORAZGYLYOV (TKM), 7-5
‪Round 2: df. Carlos GILABERT (ESP), 10-0 
‪QUARTERFINAL: df. Sarmat TSARAKHOV (RUS), 12-0
‪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! March 17, 2020

By Eric Olanowski

Discussing Valencia Escoto and Destribats' historic performances at the Pan-Am Olympic Qualifiers. Also looking at Cuba's GR team qualifying every weight for #Tokyo2020 and Olympic champs Maroulis and Wiebe qualifying their nation's for the Tokyo Games.

1. Valencia Escoto First Mexican Woman to Qualify for Olympic Games
Alma Jane VALENCIA ESCOTO (MEX) became the first-ever Mexican women's wrestler to qualify for the Olympic Games after winning the 57kg gold medal at the Pan-American Olympic Qualifier. She won all four of her bouts in Ottawa – including a win by fall over world champion Linda MORAIS (CAN) and a victory via forfeit over Helen MAROULIS (USA).

Valencia Escoto opened her day up with a pair of decisive wins over Betzabeth SARCO COLMENAREZ (VEN) and Nes RODRIGUEZ TIRADO (PUR), which inserted her into the semifinals against Canada's reigning world champion, Linda Morais. 

In her semifinals meeting with the current 59kg world-title holder, Valencia Escoto stopped an early open double-leg attempt with a counter-offensive throw. She snuck in an underhook on the Canadian's right side during her shot attempt and tossed her to her back for the early 4-0 lead. 

Valencia Escoto's opponenet fought off her back and nearly scored a takedown of a slide by attempt. Still, somehow, the newly-minted Olympian had the world champion fighting off her back for the second time in the opening period. 

The tides turned quickly, and Valencia Escoto was the one fighting off her back. She got saved by the period-ending whistle and carried the 6-2 lead into the closing period.

In the final period, Valencia Escoto halted a left side high crotch attempt and flattened Morais for the fall – becoming the first-ever Mexican women to wrestle at the Olympic Games.

Agustin DESTRIBATS (ARG) finished in second place at 65kg at the Pan-American Olympic Qualifier and qualified Argentina for the Olympic Games. (Photo: Tony Rotundo)

2. Destribats Ends 24-year Argentinean Freestyle Olympic Drought
Agustin DESTRIBATS (ARG) ended a 24-year Argentinean freestyle Olympic drought and qualified his nation for the Tokyo Olympics after he pinned American Zain RETHERFORD (USA) in the 65kg semifinals. With his semifinal victory via fall, Destribats became the first Argentinean freestyle wrestler to qualify for the Olympic Games since Paulo IBIRE (ARG) did so at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.

In his meeting with the Retherford, Destribats conceded an open double leg and nearly gave up an ankle lace but was able to fend off the turn and catch the American on his back. He held Retherford on his back for 25 seconds before picking up the opening period fall to secure his spot at the Tokyo Olympics. 

Helen MAROULIS (USA) qualified the United States for the Olympic Games at 57kg with her silver-medal finish at the Pan-American Olympic Qualifier. (Photo: Tony Rotundo)

3. Olympic Champs Maroulis and Wiebe Qualify Nation's for Olympic Games 
Olympic champions Helen MAROULIS (USA) and Erica WIEBE (CAN) qualified their nations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games after finishing in the top-two of their respective weights at the Pan-American Olympic Qualifier. The pair remained on course to defend their gold medals from the Rio Olympic Games. 

Maroulis, who was wrestling in her first international competition since the 2018 World Championships, won four matches before injury defaulting out of the finals after locking up the United States' spot at 57kg for the Olympics.

In her first match, Maroulis easily handled Canada's Linda Morias, 10-2, in the battle of Olympic champion and world champion. 

Maroulis defeated Giullia RODRIGUES (BRA) and Lissette ANTES (ECU) in the next two rounds and was one win away from earning a second berth to the Olympic Games for the United States. 

In the semifinals, Maroulis crushed Nes RODRIGUEZ (PUR), 10-0, and qualified the Stars and Stripes for the Olympic Games at 57kg. 

She'll now have to win the Olympic Trials to become the United States' Olympic representative at 57kg.

Canada's Erica Wiebe was the second Olympic champion who qualified for the Olympic Games over the weekend. Wiebe, who was wrestling in her hometown of Ottawa, won the 76kg bracket and locked up her shot at repeating as Olympic champion. 

She opened up her day with a narrow 2-1 win over Aline DA SILVA FERREIRA (BRA). She tacked on dominant wins over Milaimys de la Caridad MARIN POTRILLE (CUB) and Andrimar LAZARO (VEN), setting up a semifinals match with Genesis REASCO (ECU).

Wiebe shutout Reasco Valdez, 6-0, in their semifinals meeting and earned her berth to the Olympic Games. She injury defaulted out of the gold-medal match against Aline Da Silva Ferreira and finished with a silver medal.

Wiebe won the Canadian Wrestling Trails in December and will represent Canada at 76kg at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Yosvanys PENA FLORES (CUB) is one of six Cuban Greco-Roman wrestlers who will wrestle at the Tokyo Olympic Games. (Photo: Tony Rotundo) 

4. Cuba Sending All Six GR Wrestlers to Olympics 
Cuba’s Greco-Roman team came into the Pan-American Olympic Qualifier searching for four qualification spots after earning two Olympic berths from the Nur-Sultan World Championships from Ismael BORRERO MOLINA (CUB) Oscar PINO HINDS (CUB). Over the weekend, they had three wrestlers win gold medals and one individual finish in second place at the Pan-American Olympic Qualifier – which took their qualification total to all six weight categories. 

Their three champions were Luis Alberto ORTA SANCHEZ (CUB), Yosvanys PENA FLORES (CUB) and Gabriel Alejandro ROSILLO KINDELAN (CUB), while Daniel GREGORICH HECHAVARRIA (CUB) finished in second place.

In addition to their Greco-Roman success, Cuba's women's wrestling team also shined in Ottawa. 

Coming into the Pan-American Olympic Qualifier, Katherine VIDIAUX (CUB) was the lone Cuban woman who ever wrestled at the Olympic Games. She'll now be joined in the history books by Lianna MONTERO (CUB) and Yusneylis GUZMAN (CUB), who won gold medals at 50kg and 53kg, respectively, and qualified for the Olympic Games. 

Greco-Roman Qualifying Weights/Athletes
60kg - Luis Alberto ORTA SANCHEZ (CUB) – Pan-Am OG Qualifier gold 
67kg - Ismael BORRERO MOLINA (CUB) – World Championships gold 
77kg - Yosvanys PENA FLORES (CUB) – Pan-Am OG Qualifier gold
87kg - Daniel GREGORICH HECHAVARRIA (CUB) – Pan-Am OG Qualifier silver
97kg - Gabriel Alejandro ROSILLO KINDELAN (CUB) – Pan-Am OG Qualifier gold
130kg - Oscar PINO HINDS (CUB) World Championships silver

5. European, World 'Last Chance' Olympic Qualifiers Postponed
The European Qualifier for the 2020 Olympic Games, scheduled for March 19-22 in Budapest, along with the World "Last Chance" Qualifier in Sofia, Bulgaria, scheduled for April 30-May 3, have been postponed.

The events will be rescheduled, with the European Qualifier expected to take place in mid-May and the World "Last Chance" Qualifier held at the beginning of June.

"We are closely monitoring the governmental response to COVID-19 and will continue to provide updates to our wrestlers, coaches, and fans with more information as it becomes available," said United World Wrestling president Nenad Lalovic.

"The process for determining our Olympic participants will happen on the field of play, but we need to remain patient and vigilant as the worldwide community battles this pandemic. The health and well-being of the athletes is an absolute priority."