Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! June 25, 2019

By Eric Olanowski

Discussing the European Games and last weekend's Cadet European Championships. Also looking at women's wrestling rankings, Alili making North Macedonian history, and tickets going on sale for the #WrestleNurSultan World Championships. 

1. The European Games Underway in Minsk, Belarus 
The 2nd European Games started this morning in Minsk, Belarus and Stevan MICIC (SRB) and Ali SHABANAU (BLR) scored the biggest upsets of the first day of competition. They both defeated Turkish wrestlers who are ranked No. 1 in the world at their respective weight classes. 

Micic, Serbia’s first-ever freestyle European medalist (bronze in 2018), scored a 6-5 come-from-behind win over reigning European champion Suleyman ATLI (TUR). Micic’s six points all came in the second period. The Serbian scored a pair of takedowns and an exposure to end the No. 1-ranked wrestler's gold-medal hopes at 57kg.

Micic will square off with Taras MARKOVYCH (UKR) in the semifinals. The winner of that match will most likely have reigning world champion Zavur UGUEV (RUS). 

Ali Shabanau also stopped the world’s No. 1 ranked wrestler. The Belarusian trailed Turkey’s No. 1 -ranked Faith ERDIN 3-1 with less than five seconds left when he hit an underhook throw by to take the 3-3 lead on criteria as time expired. 

Shabanau will wrestle Ahmed DUDAROV (GER) in the semifinals. Whoever wins that match will take on the winner of Alexander GOSTIYEV (AZE) and Dauren KURUGLIEV (RUS). 

The third weight competing on Monday was 74kg. 

Reigning world champion Zaurbek SIDAKOV (RUS) made it to the semifinals after scoring a 5-3 quarterfinals win against his world finals opponent Avtandil KENTCHADZE (GEO). He’ll take on Azamat NURYKAU (BLR) for a spot in the finals. 

The winner of Sidakov and Nurykau will wrestle in the 74kg gold-medal bout against the winner of Soner DEMIRTAS (TUR) vs. Vasyl MYKHAILOV (UKR). 

The final opening-day weight being wrestled was 125kg. U23 world champion Givi MATCHARASHVILI (GEO) will face two-time world medalist Jammaladdin MAGOMEDOV (AZE) on the top half, and Anzor KHIZRIEV (RUS), the two-time fifth-place finisher will meet European bronze medalist Oleksandr KHOTSIANIVSKYI (UKR) on the bottom half.

The Day 1 semifinals for the first four freestyle weight classes are scheduled to begin at 18:00 local time.

RESULTS
57kg 
SEMIFINAL - Mahir AMIRASLANOV (AZE) vs. Zavur UGUEV (RUS) 
SEMIFINAL - Taras MARKOVYCH (UKR) vs. Stevan MICIC (SRB)

74kg 
SEMIFINAL -Soner DEMIRTAS (TUR) vs. Vasyl MYKHAILOV (UKR) 
SEMIFINAL -Zaurbek SIDAKOV (RUS) vs. Azamat NURYKAU (BLR)

86kg 
SEMIFINAL -Alexander GOSTIYEV (AZE) vs. Dauren KURUGLIEV (RUS) 
SEMIFINAL -Ali SHABANAU (BLR) vs. Ahmed DUDAROV (GER)

125kg
SEMIFINAL - Givi MATCHARASHVILI (GEO) vs. Jammaladdin MAGOMEDOV (AZE)
SEMIFINAL - Anzor KHIZRIEV (RUS) vs. Oleksandr KHOTSIANIVSKYI (UKR)

lga KOZYREVA (RUS) celebrates with the Russian flag after her 12-2 victory Jennifer ROESLER (GER) in the 73kg finals. (Photo: Kadir Caliskan)

2. Cadet European Championships Wrap up in Italy With Russia Sweeping Team Races
The Cadet European Championships wrapped up in Faenza, Italy last weekend and for the second straight age-group European Championships, the Russian Federation swept the team race. Their junior team also won the freestyle, Greco-Roman and women's wrestling team tiles two weeks ago in Pontevedra, Spain. In total, through the cadet, junior, and senior European Championships, Russia has won eight of nine team titles – only dropping the women’s wrestling team race at the senior European Championships. 

In freestyle, seven different nations won a gold medal, but Russia’s four gold medalists pushed their team to the top of the standings with 190 points. They finished 37 points ahead of second place Azerbaijan and 50 points ahead of third place Georgia. 

Russia’s Greco-Roman squad was the team that kick-started the team title winner parades after they opened up the Cadet European Championships with six finalists and three gold medalists. Similar to freestyle, Azerbaijan (points) and Georgia (117 points) rounded out the top three in the team race. 

Russia’s most dominant performances of the weekend came from their women, who scored an impressive 220 points from ten medals. They capped off the weekend with six gold medals after inserting eight into gold-medal bouts. Ukraine (140 points) and Belarus (83 points) were second and third respectively in the women’s wrestling team race. 

Alla CHERKASOVA (UKR) is one of the five wrestle who has locked up their No. 1 seed for the World Championships. (Photo: Max Rose-Fyne) 

3. Five Women’s Wrestling No. 1 Seeds to be Determined at Yasar Dogu 
The fourth and final Ranking Series event, the Yasar Dogu, is set to have huge implications when it comes to seeding the top-four women’s wrestlers at September's Nur-Sultan World Championships. Heading into Istanbul, 25 of the top-40 seeds are still open for the taking. Combining that with freestyle's 23 top-four seeds that remain available, the Yasar Dogu could determine 48 of the 80 freestyle and women's wrestling top-four seeds.

Come Nur-Sultan, there will be 40 seeded wrestlers, but only 15 wrestlers have cemented their seed heading into the Yasar Dogu. Of those 25 openings still up for grabs, there are 74 wrestlers who head into the Yasar Dogu with enough points to overthrow one of the current top-four ranked wrestlers.

CLICK HERE FOR WEIGHT-BY-WEIGHT RANKINGS BREAKDOWN 


Besir ALILI (MKD) became North Macedonia's first-ever cadet European champion. (Photo: Kadir Caliskan) 

4. Alili Makes North Macedonian History, Wins European Gold 
Coming into Saturday's European finals, North Macedonia had three wrestlers reach the gold-medal bout but never had a cadet wrestler win a continental title in any style. Besir ALILI (MKD) changed that after winning his nations first-ever cadet European title with a 7-6 come-from-behind win against Harutyun HOVHANNISYAN (ARM) in the 48kg finals.

The match couldn’t have started any worse for Alili, but he wasn’t going to be denied a gold medal. His Armenian opponent hit a slide by to start the match, and as Alili squared up, Hovhannisyan shot a fireman’s carry. With Alili’s arm trapped, Hovhannisyan came up to his feet and thunderously tossed the Macedonian to his back. The referrers awarded five points to Hovhannisyan for his spectacular throw, leaving Alili down 5-0 less than 30 seconds into the match. To end the exchange that left him behind 5-0, Alili was able to somehow worm his way on top for the reversal, cutting his deficit to four points. 

With under 30 seconds left in the first period, Alili pulled Hovhannisyan’s head down to the mat and locked up a front head pinch, rolling his Armenian opponent over his back three consecutive times. His six points from the front head pinches, coupled with the reversal, gave Alili the 7-5 lead heading into the break. 

From there, there was nothing flashy from Alili’s end, just sound defense and near perfect position that helped him cruise to the 7-6 victory after being down 5-0 to start the match.

5. Tickets for 2019 Wrestling World C'Ships in Nur-Sultan Now on Sale
United World Wrestling announced the start of ticket sales for the 2019 Senior Wrestling World Championships, which are set to take place September 14-22 at the Barys Arena in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.

The 2019 Wrestling World Championships should draw even more fan attention as it will serve as the first qualification event for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. The top six finishers in each Olympic weight category in Nur-Sultan will secure an Olympic qualification for their nation. The remaining qualification spots will be earned at continental competitions and a "Last Chance Qualifier" during the 2020 competition calendar.

All-session passes and single-day tickets for the 2019 Senior Wrestling World Championships are available NOW and can be purchased at: https://kassir.kz/category/chempionat-mira-po-borbe.

Schedule: 2019 Senior Wrestling World Championships 
Saturday, September 14 
GR – 55-63-72-82kg 

Sunday, September 15 
GR – 55-63-72-82kg 
GR – 67-87-97kg 

Monday, September 16 
GR – 67-87-97kg 
GR – 60-77-130kg 

Tuesday, September 17 
GR – 60-77-130kg 
WW – 50-53-55-72kg 

Wednesday, September 18 
WW – 50-53-55-72kg 
WW – 57-59-65-76kg 

Thursday, September 19 
WW – 57-59-65-76kg 
WW – 62-68kg 
FS – 57-65kg 

Friday, September 20 
WW – 62-68kg 
FS – 57-65kg 
FS – 70-74-92-125kg 

Saturday, September 21 
FS – 70-74-92-125kg 
FS – 61-79-86-97kg 

Sunday, September 22 
FS – 61-79-86-97kg

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media 
1. 
Wrestling 360: King Vlad Goes for Gold
2. #best10 from Day 6 at the Cadet European Championship in #WrestleFaenza
3. Big Moves From Day 6// Cadet European Championships Faenza2019
4. Big Moves From Day 4// Cadet European Championships Faenza2019
5. Big Move From Day 3// Cadet European Championships Faenza2019

View this post on Instagram

Big Move From Day 3// Cadet European Championships Faenza2019

A post shared by Olympic Wrestling (@unitedworldwrestling) on

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!

View this post on Instagram

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

A post shared by Olympic Wrestling (@unitedworldwrestling) on