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! 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."