Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! June 19, 2019

By Eric Olanowski

Reviewing the three Japanese reigning world champions who'll need a special wrestle-off to make it to the World Championships. Also looking at United States' Nur-Sultan freestyle world team and Amine being named San Marino's European Games flag-bearer

1. Japan’s Special Wrestle-Off Scheduled for July 6 
Japan’s Meiji Cup wrapped up last weekend in Tokyo, Japan, and three reigning world champions still need a win in a special wrestle-off on July 6 to lock up their spot for the 2019 World Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. 

“The Meiji Cup serves as the second of the two national tournaments for selection to the World Championships, along with the All-Japan Championships (Emperor’s Cup) in December. Winners of both tournaments automatically made the world team; different winners means a playoff to decide who gets the berth.”

For the second year in a row, two-time world champion Yui SUSAKI will clash with her nemesis Yuki IRIE for a spot on Japan’s 50kg world team squad. 

Irie, the reigning Asian and Emperor’s Cup champion, is the only wrestler in the world to defeat Susaki multiple times, but it was Susaki who came out on top of their opening round match-up last weekend at the Meiji Cup. Susaki used a last-second four-point move to score the 6-2 win over Irie before knocking off Rio Olympic champion Erie TOSAKA en route to the Meiji Cup gold medal. 

Risako KAWAI and Kaori ICHO, who combine for five Olympic titles, will meet for Japan’s Nur-Sultan spot at 57kg. Kawai fell to Icho in the All-Japan finals but got revenge last weekend and redeemed herself with a 6-4 victory over the four-time Olympic champion. 

The youngest male world champion in Japanese wrestling history Takuto OTOGURO fell in his Meiji Cup final to Rio silver medalist Rei HIGUCHI, 15-5, and will need to win on July 6 to regain his 65kg spot on the freestyle team. 

Jordan BURROUGHS defeated Isiah MARTINEZ in three matches to head back to his ninth consecutive World Championship or Olympic Games. (Photo: Sam Janicki)

2. United States Freestyle Nur-Sultan World Team Set 
The second of two Final X’s finished last weekend in Lincoln, Nebraska, and hometown favorites Jordan BURROUGHS and James GREEN are headed back to the World Championships to represent the United States. For Burroughs, the defending 74kg bronze medalist, it’ll be his ninth consecutive appearance at the World Championships, and for Green, it’ll be his fifth straight time representing the United States. 

Burroughs was tested in his attempts in making another world team. He needed three matches to grab his spot from Isiah MARTINEZ. Burroughs scored a late takedown and stole the first match, 5-4. In the second match, Martinez edged Burroughs, 5-5. In match three, the London Olympic champion showed his experience, scoring the 7-1 victory and locked up his ninth consecutive spot on United States' world or Olympic team.  

Green’s impressive first match against Ryan DEAKIN came by scoring the 18-second 10-0 technical superiority victory, then closed out the series with a 4-3 win in the second match.

Meanwhile, Daton FIX and Tyler GRAFF defeated world medalists to make their first senior-level teams. Fix took the 57kg spot from 2017 world silver medalist Thomas GILMAN, and Tyler GRAFF grabbed the 61kg position from reigning world bronze medalist Joe COLON. 

Kyle SNYDER, the two-time world Olympic champion, also locked up his spot on USA's World Team after handling Kyven GADSON in two straight matches. 

RESULTS 
57kg - Daton FIX df. Thomas GILMAN, two matches to one. (9-1, 2-3, 6-3) 
61kg: Tyler GRAFF df. Joe COLON, two matches to one. (4-6, 9-2, 12-2) 
70kg: James GREEN df. Ryan DEAKIN, two matches to none. (10-0, 4-3) 
74kg: Jordan BURROUGHS df. Isaiah MARTINEZ, two matches to one. (5-4, 5-5, 7-1) 
97kg: Kyle SNYDER df. Kyven GADSON, two matches to none. (4-0, 12-1) 

USA’s #WrestleNurSultan Freestyle Squad: 
57kg: Daton Fix 
61kg: Tyler Graff 
65kg: Zain Retherford 
70kg: James Green 
74kg: Jordan Burroughs 
79kg: Dake / Dieringer *Dake has requested a special wrestle-off.
86kg: Pat Downey 
92kg: J’den Cox 
97kg: Kyle Snyder 
125kg: Nick Gwiazdowski


Myles AMINE has been named San Marino's flag-bearer at the 2019 European Games. (Photo: Gabor Martin)

3. Amine Named San Marino’s European Games Flag-Bearer 
Myles AMINE received a call from an unfamiliar number a few weeks ago that he’ll never forget. Who was on the other line? It was a correspondent from the Olympic Committee. What did they want? They wanted to know if Amine, San Marino’s first-ever freestyle wrestler to win a match at the European Championships, was free on June 22nd to bear his nation’s flag during the opening ceremonies at the European Games in Minsk, Belarus. “It’s an incredible honor to represent my heritage and San Marino on such a big stage,” said Amine.

Amine, who was a top-ten finisher at the European Championships, where he only fell to eventual champion Vladislav VALIEV (RUS) and bronze medalist Ali SHABANAU (BLR), received the nod to carry San Marino’s flag over several other high-level athletes. “There were a few other athletes who were past Olympians, so to pass up those people and select me shows they have high expectations for me,” said Amine. 

As for the expectations Amine has for himself, he said, “I have the same expectations going into the Games as I do for every competition I compete in. That is to have fun, compete hard, and to win a gold medal.” He added, “I’m looking forward to this new experience as well as my future competing for San Marino.” 

Amine ended by saying, “My brother (Malik) and I are the first freestyle wrestlers (San Marino) has had, so I hope this helps grow the sport in San Marino.”

To follow their European Games journey, here are Myles Amine and Malik Amine's Instagram accounts.  

4. Yasar Dogu to Dictate Top-Four Seeds at World C’ships for Nearly Every Weight 
The Yasar Dogu, the final freestyle Ranking Series event of the year, is a less than a month away and will have huge implications on the top-four seeds for the 2019 World Championships. Of the current 40 top-four seeds, five wrestlers have seized the No. 1 seed, 17 wrestlers have cemented at least a top-four seed, leaving 23 seeds open for the taking. Wildly enough, there are still 150 non-seeded wrestlers that can steal a seed for September's World Championships.

Here is a full breakdown of who has an opportunity to steal a seed with a promising performance at the Yasar Dogu.

5. Cadet European Championships Underway in Faenza, Italy 
The Cadet European Championships are in full swing in Faenza, Italy and will go through Sunday. 

After the second day of wrestling, Azerbaijan, led by Malik ALIYEV (AZE) and Nihat MAMMADLI (AZE), won a pair of Day 2 gold medals and head into the final day of Greco-Roman wrestling trailing first-place Russia by 23 points. Armenia rounds out the top-three in the Greco-Roman team race after the second day of wrestling. Armenia and Azerbaijan both have 65 points, but the Azeris hold criteria because of their two champions.

The medal matches for the final day of Greco-Roman wrestling begin on Wednesday at 18:00 (local time) and can be watched live on www.unitedworldwrestling.org

RESULTS

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media

1. Big Move Monday -- MOROZ L. (MDA) -- 2018 Cadet Europeans
2. Big Moves From Day 1 // Cadet European Championships #WrestleFaenza
3. Shots from the #WrestleFaenza Cadet European C'ships 
4. Big Moves from day 2 // Cadet European Championships #WrestleFaenza
5. Enjoying #wrestlefaenza? Check out this recap of #wrestleguatemalacity!

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 conclusing 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

A post shared by Kyle Dake (@kyledake444) on

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