Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! June 11, 2019

By Eric Olanowski

Discussing Final X results plus Russia and the USA sweeping their continental c'ships. Also looking at the newest set of world rankings and Russia's European Games roster. 

1. First Set of Final X Matches Wrap up in New Jersey 
The United States wrapped up the first of two Nur-Sultan World Team selection tournaments, dubbed “Final X,” last weekend on the campus of Rutgers University. Nearly 5,400 fans were in attendance on Saturday to watch the 14 wrestlers who punched their ticket to the 2019 World Championships. 

The biggest storyline wasn’t reigning world J’den COX or two-time world bronze medalist Gable STEVESON sweeping their opponents, or David TAYLOR forfeiting his Nur-Sultan spot to Pat DOWNEY. What caused the most chatter at Final X was the 65kg matchup between USA’s 2017 world team member Zain RETHERFORD and Yianni DIAKOMIHALIS, who is coming off a win over No. 1-ranked Bajrang PUNIA (IND). 

Retherford won the first match, 10-4, and also won the second match, but that match is currently under protest. 

Diakomihalis, clearly unhappy with the timing of a late challenge that awarded Zain the second match on criteria, announced on his twitter that he’s protesting the match, saying, “Currently protesting the call to potentially have a wrestle-off to decide match 3/who wrestles at the world championships.”

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The controversial moment of the match came with 65 seconds left in the second match. 

Retherford, trailing 6-4, shot a head outside single and got chest wrapped. Two points were awarded to each wrestler, which meant Diakomihalis controlled the 8-6 advantage and tied the series at one match apiece. But, after the final scramble that lasted over a minute, Retherford’s corner, manned by Olympic champion Cael SANDERSON, threw the brick to review the two-and-two. Ultimately, the call was overturned and instead of awarding both wrestlers two, Diakomihalis’ two was erased, giving Retherford the 6-6 victory on criteria. 

It’s not clear if Diakomihalis will be awarded the third match, but if he does, the winner of that rubber match will punch their ticket to the 2019 Nur-Sultan World Championships. 

The second and final set of matchups will take place this Saturday on the campus of the University of Nebraska. 

RESULTS 

Men’s freestyle
65kg - Zain RETHERFORD df. Yianni DIAKOMIHALIS, two matches to none (10-4, 6-6) 
86kg - Pat DOWNEY df. David TAYLOR, two matches to none (injury default) 
92kg - J’den COX df. Bo NICKAL, two matches to none (4-2, 5-0) 
125kg - Nick GWIAZDOWSKI df. Gable STEVESON, two matches to none (4-4, 3-3) 

Women’s freestyle
50kg - Whitney CONDER df. Victoria ANTHONY, two matches to none (7-4, fall) 
57kg - Jenna BURKERT df.  Becka LEATHERS, two matches to none (4-2, 5-0)
65kg - Forrest MOLINARI df.  Maya NELSON, two matches to one (3-5, 12-2, 4-1) 
68kg - Tamyra MENSAH-STOCK df. Alexandria GLAUDE, two matches to none (fall, 10-0) 
72kg - Victoria FRANSIS df.  Alyvia FISKE, two matches to none (7-2, fall) 

Greco-Roman
55kg - Max NOWRY df. Brady KOONTZ, two matches to none (3-0, 11-5)
67kg - Ellis Coleman df.  Jamel Johnson, two matches to none (9-1, 6-0)
77kg - Pat SMITH df. Kamal BEY, two matches to one (2-11, 2-1, 6-3)
82kg - John STEFANOWICZ df. Kendrick SANDERS, two matches to none (8-5, 3-2) 
87kg - Joe RAU df. Ben PROVISIOR, 2 two matches to none (2-1, 5-1) 

Saipudin MAGOMEDOV (RUS) was one of Russia's nine Junior European champions. He was the 125kg title. (Photo: Gabor Martin)

2. Russia Sweeps Team Titles at Junior European Championships 
The Russian Federation swept the freestyle, Greco-Roman, and women’s wrestling team titles at the 2019 Junior European Championship -- doing so by winning a combined nine gold medals. Their freestyle and women’s wrestlers each won a quartet of titles, and their Greco-Roman squad grabbed a solo gold medal.

In freestyle, Russia (205 points) medaled at all ten weight classes and captured the team title 89 points ahead of second place Moldova (116 points). Though Azerbaijan had two champions, which was one more than Moldova, they finished in third place with 115 points. 

The Russian women had 154 points, won four golds and two bronzes, and edged a Ukrainian (144 points) team that medaled in seven weight classes by ten points. Belarus had two champions and closed out the women’s wrestling portion of the tournament in third place with 126 points. 

Russia’s Greco-Roman team inserted four wrestlers into gold-medal bouts, but only won one of those four finals matches. They finished with 159 points and narrowly edged Georgia (151 points), who won three individual titles, by eight points. Hungary, who had a trio of women reach the top of the podium in Spain, rounded out the top three with 124 points.

3. USA Wins Freestyle, Greco-Roman, and Women's Wrestling Junior Pan-American Team Titles 
The United States dominated the Junior Pan-American Championships in Guatemala, City, Guatemala, and won team titles in freestyle, Greco-Roman, and women's wrestling. 

Their freestyle wrestlers reached the finals in all ten weights and won eight gold medals. The United States (240 points) doubled second place Canada’s (120 points) point total. Canada had five wrestlers medal and finished seven points ahead of Mexico, who had 113 points. 

Mexico’s Greco-Roman team won four of the ten titles but had to settle for a second-place finish after the American wrestlers medaled in all ten weight classes. The United States ended the Greco-Roman competition with 190 points, Mexico finished with 130 points, and Colombia, with their pair of golds, finished in third with 122 points. 

The American women placed nine wrestlers into the finals, won three gold medals, and won the team title with 210 points. Canada won a silver and six bronzes and finished in second place with 134 points. Brazil, who had 102 points, captured a pair of golds and two bronze medals and finished in third place. 

4. Russia Released European Games Lineup 
The Russian Federation recently released their roster for the upcoming European Games, which takes place in Mink, Belarus (June 25-30). Their six-man roster features returning world champions Zavur UGUEV (57kg), Zaurbek SIDAKOV (74kg), and Abdulrashid SADULAEV (97kg). 

They’ll be led by No. 1-ranked three-time world and Rio Olympic champion Abdulrashid Sadulaev. Sadulaev, the pound-for-pound best wrestler in the world, is coming off winning his fourth European Championship gold medal and will be looking to defend his European Games title from 2015. 

Uguev will be making his second appearance since winning the 57kg world title in Budapest. He sat out the majority of the year with an apparent knee injury but made his return at the Ali Aliev Tournament where he won the gold medal. 

Sidakov, the No. 1-ranked wrestler in the world at 74kg, will be making his third appearance of the year. In January, Sidakov won the Ivan Yariguin, then competed in the World Cup where he went 2-0.  

The team also features two-time world bronze medalist Ahmed CHAKAEV (65kg), and world fifth-place finishers Dauren KURUGLIEV (86kg) and Anzor KHIZRIEV (125kg). 

Russia’s European Games Team 
57kg - Zavur UGUEV – 2018 world champion 
65kg - Ahmed CHAKAEV - two-time world bronze medalist 
74kg - Zaurbek SIDAKOV - World Champion 
86kg - Dauren KURUGLIEV - 2017 European Champion 
97kg - Abdulrashid SADULAEV - Olympic champion, three-time world champion.
125kg - Anzor KHIZRIEV – European bronze medalist 

Frank CHAMIZO (ITA) won the Sassari in his home country of Italy and jumped to the No. 2 spot at 74kg in the latest world rankings. (Photo: Gabor Martin)

5. Updated World Rankings Published on UWW's Homepage 
United World Wrestling has released the latest set of point-based rankings. This month’s rankings have been updated with the points from the third Ranking Series event, the Sassari City Matteo Pellicone Memorial, which took place on the Italian island of Sardinia. 

After June’s set of rankings, the point-based rankings will only be updated one additional time before September’s 2019 Nur-Sultan World Championships. They’ll be updated after the final freestyle and women’s wrestling Ranking Series event of the year, the Yasar Dogu (July 11-14), and the last Greco-Roman Ranking Series event, Oleg Karavaev (July 26-28). 

Though several wrestlers have locked up their top four seed at the World Championships, many are still within contention to slide into a top-four seed. With that being said, you can expect the final two Ranking Series events to be stacked with loads of talented wrestlers who are looking to solidify one of the top-four seeds at their respective weight classes. 

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media 

1. Big Move Monday -- BANDARENKA M. (BLR) -- 2019 Junior European C'ships
2. Scenes from our upcoming Wrestling 360 Documentary on the Canadian women's team featuring Olympic champion @eweebz . 
3. Big Move From Day 3 // Junior Panams #WrestleGuatemalaCity
4. Kerymov (UKR) Wins in athletic fashion in the early rounds of freestyle competition. 
5. Big Move from Day One of #wrestleguatemalacity ... Gabriel ROSILLO KINDLEAN (CUB)

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!