Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! March 19, 2019

By Eric Olanowski

Discussing Russia winning the Freestyle World Cup on home soil and looking at theThor Masters results. Also looking at the upcoming U23 Asian Championships, "Hollywood wrestles Bollywood" and the European Championships. 

1. Russia Wins Freestyle World Cup on Home Soil  
The Russian Federation closed out the Freestyle World Cup with an impressive 9-1 win over Iran to claim their first team title since the 2011 Makhachkala World Cup. This was their seventh Freestyle World Cup title, but first in eight years. 

Overall, Russia went 4-0 on the weekend and compiled a combined individual record of 36-4 over their 40 matches. In addition to their finals win over Iran, they also picked up wins over Cuba (10-0), Japan (8-2), and Turkey (9-1). 

Meanwhile, in the third-place bout, the defending champion the United States edged Japan, 6-4. 

The pair traded blows and were tied three-all after the first six matches. Sohsuke TAKATANI (JPN) broke that tie after his 14-3 routing of Samuel Joseph BROOKS (USA), but three consecutive American wins from Hayden ZILLMER, Kyven Ross GADSON, and Anthony NELSON gave the Stars and Stripes the 6-4 advantage, and ultimately the third-place finish. 

Cuba finished fifth place after they defeated Mongolia, 6-4, and Georgia claimed seventh place after beating Turkey, 8-2.

RESULTS 
GOLD - Russia df. Iran, 9-1
BRONZE - United States df. Japan, 6-4 
Fifth - Cuba df. Mongolia, 6-4
Seventh - Georgia df. Turkey, 8-2

2. U23 Asian Championships Starts Thursday 
The U23 Continental Championships train continues to roll this weekend and will make its stop in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, for the 2019 U23 Asian Championships

The four-day tournament begins on Thursday and will go through Sunday.

SCHEDULE

Thursday (March 21) 
9:30 - Medical examination and Weigh-in GR - 60,67,72,77,82,97,130kg
11:30 - Qualification rounds and repechage GR - 60,67,72,77,82,97,130kg
14:45 - Draw - GR - 55,63,87kg / WW - 55,59,72kg / FS – 61,92kg
17:30 - Opening Ceremony
18:00 - Finals GR – 60,67,72,77,82,97,130kg

Friday (March 22) 
9:30 - Medical examination and Weigh-in (GR - 55,63,87kg / WW - 55,59,72kg / FS – 61,92kg)
11:30 - Qualification rounds and repechages - GR - 55,63,87kg / WW - 55,59,72kg / FS – 61,92kg 

14:45 - Draw WW – 50,57,65,68kg / FS – 57,65,74,125kg
18: 00 - Finals GR - 55,63,87kg / WW - 55,59,72kg / FS – 61,92kg

Saturday (March 23) 
19:30 - Medical examination and Weigh-in - WW – 50,57,65,68kg / FS – 57,65,74,125kg
11:30 - Qualification rounds and repechages - WW – 50,57,65,68kg / FS – 57,65,74,125kg
14:45 - Draw WW – 53,62,76kg / FS – 70,79,86,97kg
18: 00 - Finals WW – 50,57,65,68kg / FS – 57,65,74,125kg

Sunday (March 24) 
9:30 - Medical examination and Weigh-in - WW – 53,62,76kg / FS – 70,79,86,97kg
11:30 - Qualifications rounds and repechage WW – 53,62,76kg / FS – 70,79,86,97kg 

18:00 - Finals WW – 53,62,76kg / FS – 70,79,86,97kg

Roland SCHWARZ was one of three German wretlers who won a gold medal at the 2019 Thor Masters last weekend. (Photo: Max Rose-Fyne)

3. Germany win Three Thor Masters Golds 
The Thor Masters, an all-Greco-Roman tournament, wrapped up last weekend in Nykobing Falster, Denmark, and Germany was the frontrunner, winning three of the ten gold medals. Denmark and Ukraine had a pair of gold medalists, while Finland, Norway, and Sweden each had a solo gold medalist. 

RESULTS

55kg
GOLD  - Fabian SCHMITT (GER)
SILVER - Marat GARIPOV (BRA)
BRONZE - Anders ROENNINGEN (NOR)

60kg
GOLD - Etienne KINSINGER (GER)
SILVER - Christoph KRAEMER (GER)     
BRONZE - Lauri MAEHOENEN (FIN)

63kg
GOLD - Stig ANDREW BERG (NOR)
SILVER - Lenur TEMIROV (UKR)
BRONZE - Nasrullakh NASIBO (UKR)

67kg
GOLD - Fredrik BJERREHUUS (DEN)
SILVER - Ruslan  KUDRYNETS (UKR)      
BRONZE - Aleksey  KALINICHENKO (UKR)

72kg
GOLD - Parviz NASIBOV (UKR)  
SILVER - Vegard JOERGENSEN (NOR)    
BRONZE - Michael WIDMAYER (GER) 

77kg
GOLD - Roland SCHWARZ (GER)
SILVER - Florian NEUMAIER (GER)
BRONZE - Vladimir YAKOVLEV (UKR)

82kg
GOLD - Raibek BISULTANOV (DEN)        
SILVER - Hannes WAGNER (GER)          

BRONZE - Bogdan KOURINNOI (SWE)

87kg
GOLD - Zakarias BERG (SWE)   
SILVER - Denis KUDLA (GER)    
BRONZE - Amer HRUSTANOVIC (AUT) 

97kg
GOLD - Matti KUOSMANEN (FIN)        
SILVER - Felix BALDAUF (NOR)  
BRONZE - G'Angelo HANCOCK (USA)

130kg          
GOLD - Nikolai  KUCHMIY (UKR)          
SILVER - Eduard POPP (GER)   
BRONZE - Konsta MAEENPAEAE (FIN)

4. "Hollywood wrestles Bollywood" Begins March 31 
Women's Wrestling stars from the United States and India will face off against each other on Sunday, March 31 in the 'Hollywood Wrestles Bollywood' at Los Angles' historic Wiltern Theater.

According to www.beatthestreets-la.org, "The dual will be apart of Beat the Streets Los Angeles’ 5th Annual Benefit and International Competition, which is a yearly fundraising and awareness event for the LA-based wrestling non-profit."

There will be eleven top-15 ranked wrestlers in action, with six of those being ranked in the top-5 of the latest world rankings. (The latest rankings can be found on www.unitedworldwrestling.org 's homepage) 

Of the ten star-studded bouts, the most intriguing matchup comes at 53kg, where returning world runner-up and top-ranked Sarah HILDEBRANDT (USA) will take on No. 11 Vinesh VINESH (IND). 

This will be a rematch of last months Dan Kolov semifinals, where Vinesh stuck Hildebrant to put herself in the Ranking Series tournament finals. She ultimately fell to China's PANG Qianyu in the finals. 

The dual starts at 15:00 on March 31. 

United States vs. India 
50kg: No. 15 Whitney CONDER vs. Sheetal TOMAR 
53kg: No. 1 Sarah HILDEBRANDT vs. No. 11 Vinesh VINESH
55kg: No. 6 Jacarra WINCHESTER vs. Pinki PINKI
57kg: Jenna BURKERT vs. No. 6 Pooja DHANDA
59kg: Alli RAGAN vs. No. 4 Sarita SARITA
62kg: No. 5 Mallory VELTE vs. Sakshi MALIK  
65kg: No. 2 Forrest MOLINARI vs. Navjot KAUR 
68kg: No. 2 Tamyra MENSAH vs. Divya KAKRAN 
72kg: Rachel WATTERS vs. No. 12 (at 76kg) Kiran KIRAN 
76kg: No. 1 Adeline GRAY vs. Sudesh SUDESH 

Abdulrashid SADUALEV (RUS) is expected to compete for Russia at the 2019 European Championships. (Photo: Max Rose-Fyne) 

5. European Championships Less Than Three Weeks Away 
In less than three weeks, 20 days to be exact, Bucharest, Romania, will be the host site for the 2019 European Championships. Europe proves year in and year out to be the deepest wrestling continent in the world when it comes to placing wrestlers on the podium at the World Championships. 

In total, eighteen of last year’s thirty world champions hailed from Europe. Ten Greco-Roman, five freestyle and three women’s wrestling world champions came from Europe.

The tournament begins on April 8 and will go until April 14 and can be watched on www.unitedworldwrestling.org. 

SCHEDULE 

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media 
1. Big Move Monday -- Nugzari TSURTSUMIA (GEO) -- 2019 U-23 Europe
2. Big Move from Day 2 at the Freestyle World Cup • Yakutsk 2019
#wrestleyakutsk
3. Big Move from Day 1 at the Freestyle World Cup • Yakutsk 2019
#wrestleyakutsk
4. MARGHZARI (IRI) comes back from near loss with a throw straight into a pin!! 🇮🇷 💪 #unitedworldwrestling #wrestling#wrestleyakutsk
5. Big Throw in round 3 from GHIASI CHEKA (IRI) 💪🇮🇷#wrestleyakutsk #uww #wrestling

Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! August 20, 2019

By Eric Olanowski

Discussing Japan's eight gold-medal performance at Junior Worlds and Kamal claiming his third consecutive junior world title. Also looking at Russia's final wrestle-offs, Dake downing Dieringer, and counting down until the first whistle at the World Championships. 

1. Japanese Women Win Eight of Ten World Golds 
Japan’s women’s wrestling team went eight-for-eight in world title bouts -- claiming an unheard-of eight of ten gold medals at the 2019 Junior World Championships last week in Tallinn, Estonia. They also added on a pair of bronze medals and brought their tournament grand total medal count to ten on their way to doubling Russia’s second place team score. Japan finished the tournament with 230 points, while the Russian Federation, who finished in second place, had 115 points. Ukraine (91 points) rounded out the top three 139 points behind the Japanese women. 

The team champions were led by the pair of two-time senior-level world champions Yui SUSAKI (50kg) and Haruno OKUNO (53kg). 

Susaki claimed back-to-back junior world titles after seizing a 10-0 victory over 2016 cadet world silver medalist Daria KHVOSTOVA (RUS) in the 50kg finals.

With her win last week, Susaki brought her grand total to seven overall world gold medals since appearing at her first World Championships in 2014. When asked where this world title stacks up on her list, Susaki said, “My final goal is an Olympic gold medal. I will do my best and I will try to practice towards my final goal.” 

Susaki pushed her total world championship record to 31-0 -- with 29 of those wins being shutout victories. Perhaps a more impressive stat is Susaki has now outscored her 31 world championship opponents 290-6 en route to reaching the top of the podium.

She believes the reason she’s so successful is because her strength and mind. She said, “The reason why I get the championships is my own strength and mind.” 

Haruno OKUNO was one of Japan's eight wrestlers who won a junior world title. (Photo: Kadir Caliskan)

Japan’s second two-time senior world champ to win junior world gold last week was Haruno Okuno, who won the 53kg title. 

Okuno said she keeps all of her world title belts at her parent’s ’house. Well, their house gained an additional world championship belt after their daughter claimed her fifth world title in as many tries. The reigning two-time senior-level world champion added her first junior world title to her list of accomplishments after expelling Anudari NANDINTSETSEG (MGL), 7-2 in the 53kg gold-medal bout. 

By watching Okuno’s four matches, where she outscored her opponents 35-2, you would have never been able to tell that she was facing extreme neck pain on her right side. After her finals match, she talked about having to work on her counter offensive attacks because of her pain, saying “Now I feel neck pain, so I didn’t try to (tackle). In this tournament, the counterattack was very nice for me.” 

In her finals match, the always calm and stoic Okuno shot a low-level attack and picked up the early two-point lead. Her counter offense came into play when she stopped a Nandintsetseg attack and used a fluid arm-drag to a head outside single leg to pick up four points – improving her lead to 6-0. She then surrendered her first points of the tournament, an inactivity point and a stepout, but was awarded a brutality point after her Mongolian opponent was warned several times for hands-to-the-face. Okuno closed out her run to her first junior world title with a 7-2 victory. 

When asked if there’s a difference between a junior world title and a senior world title, Okuno said, “There isn’t difference between junior and senior because it means the same. It a world championship.  I’m always feeling very happy to (wrestle) against the world’s wrestlers.” 

Japanese Medal Winners: 
50kg - Yui SUSAKI (GOLD)
53kg - Haruna OKUNO (GOLD) 
55kg - Saki IGARASHI (BRONZE) 
57kg - Akie HANAI (GOLD)
59kg - Sae NANJO (GOLD)
62kg - Yuzuka INAGAKI (GOLD)
65kg - Miwa MORIKAWA (GOLD) 
69kg - Naruha MATSUYUKI (GOLD)
72kg - Yuka KAGAMI (GOLD)
76kg - Yasuha MATSUYUKI (BRONZE)

2. Kamal Wins Third Straight Junior World Title
Kerem KAMAL (TUR) will represent Turkey in Nur-Sultan in mid-September at the World Championships, but first, he made the journey to Estonia and claimed his third straight junior world title. 

Kamal held up three fingers to the crowd, signaling his possession of a third consecutive junior world title after he defeated Sahak HOVHANNISYAN (ARM), 7-2 in the 60kg gold-medal bout. “I’m very happy to win the third gold medal in the junior category. I was before in the cadet finals three times and I lost,” said Kamal.  

In his gold-medal bout, the Turkish wrestler trailed after the first period, but he expected to be in that position. “The match plan was (to be) safe in the first (period)…Safety first.” The second period was pivotal for Kamal in picking up his third world. After playing it safe in the first period, Kamal said, “In the second period, I go full power.” That’s exactly what he did. In the final three minutes, Kamal got to work quickly, smothering Hovhannisyan with a right-side gut wrench follow by a four-point lift from the right side and commanded the 7-1 lead. He conceded a second-period point but ended up carrying the Turkish flag around the mat at a World Championships for the third consecutive year with a 7-2 victory. 

Kamal’s attention now shifts towards the Senior World Championships, where he’ll be Turkey’s 60kg world team representative. The new minted three-time junior world champ begins his quest to win a senior world gold on September 16. 

3. Russia’s Freestyle World Team Set 
The final wrestle-offs for Russia’s freestyle team took place last weekend, and a trio of world champions will be heading to Nur-Sultan looking to defend their world titles from last year’s Budapest World Championships. 

The three world champs who hadn’t locked up their spot until last weekend were Zaur UGUEV (57kg), Zaurbek SIDAKOV (74kg) and Abdulrashid SADULAEV (97kg).

At 57kg, defending world champion Zaur Uguev was excused from the Russian National Championships after a bronze-medal finish at the European Games. 

To make his third straight world team, Uguev had to take out Arian TYUTRIN ​​​​to earn his spot on the world team. There were questions surrounding Ugev’s health coming into the match, but he clearly showed he’s the best 57kg wrestler in the most dominant freestyle nation on earth with a 10-0 win in his wrestle-off. 

In the 74kg wrestle-offs, defending world and European Games champion Zaurbek Sidakov, who was also granted a release from the Russian National Championships, earned his spot on this year’s team as he narrowly snuck got past 2016 world champion Magomed KURBANALIEV, 2-1. 

Four-time world and Olympic champion Abdulrashid Sadulaev was the final wrestler to cement his spot on the world team. The defending European champion and European Games gold medalist pulverized Vladislav BAITSAEV, 10-0 in their wrestle off. 

Sadualev’s win last weekend leaves hope for the wrestling community to see the rematch between the three-time world and Olympic champions “The Russian Tank” and Kyle “Captain America” Snyder in the 97kg finals. 

Russia’s Freestyle World Team: 
56kg – Zaur UGUEV 
61kg – Magomedrasul IDRISOV 
65kg – Gadzhimurad  RASHIDOV 
70kg – David BAEV
74kg – Zaurbek SIDAKOV
79kg – Gadzhi  NAVIEV
86kg – Artur NAIFONOV
92kg – Alikhan  JABRAILOV
97kg – Abdulrashid SADULAEV 
125kg – Anzor KHIZRIEV 

4. Dake Downs Dieinger in Two Straight Matches, Will Represent USA at 79kg 
Reigning 79kg world champion Kyle DAKE (USA) returned from injury and defeated Alex DIERINGER (USA) in two straight matches to make his second consecutive United States world team. Dake scored a tactical 3-2 victory in match one, then opened up a little in the second match and grabbed the 4-1 victory -- booking his ticket to the 2019 World Championships. 

Last year, in his World Championships debut, Dake outscored his opponents 37-0 en route to his first world title. After defeating Dierging in two straight matches last weekenk, Dake heads to Kazakhstan as the favorite to repeat in a weight depleted due to Olympic weight changes. 

USA’s Freestyle World Team: 
57kg - Daton FIX 
61kg - Tyler GRAFF

65kg - Yianni DIAKOMIHALIS / Zain RETHERFORD
70kg - James GREEN 
74kg - Jordan BURROUGHS 
79kg - Kyle DAKE 
86kg - Pat DOWNEY 
92kg - J'den COX 
97kg - Kyle SNYDER 
125kg - Nick
GWIAZDOWSKI 

5. The Countdown Begins to the World Championships
We’re officially under a month away from the start of the 2019 World Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. Today marks the 25th day until the first whistle at the Barys Arena in Kazakhstan's capital city formally known as Astana.

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