Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! March 26, 2019

By Eric Olanowski

Discussing Russia's European C'ship lineups and the 12 reigning world champions who will compete in Bucharest. Also looking at the U23 Asian C'ship results and this week's African C'ships and Hollywood Wrestles Bollywood. 

1. World Champs Sadulaev, Sidakov, and Uguev to Sit Out European C'ships
Registration for the 2019 European Championships has closed, and the Russian Federation has elected to sit out the majority of their No. 1 wrestlers. The reasoning behind the decision to sit their top wrestlers seems to be they'll be preparing for the European Games, which take place June 25-30 in Minsk, Belarus.

Most notably, reigning world champions Abdulrashid SADULAEV, Zaurbek SIDAKOV, and Zaur UGUEV will sit out of the European Championships. Muslim SADULAEV, Magomed KURBANALIEV, and Vladislav BAITCAEV will be replacing the defending world champions at 57kg, 74kg, and 97kg respectively. 

This will be Muslim Sadulaev's first trip to the European Championships, but Kurbanaliev and Baitcaev both represented Russia at last year’s European Championships, where they reached the top of the podium and claimed gold medals.

*The European Championships happen yearly, while the European Games only happen every four years.

Russia’s European Lineup
57kg - Muslim SADULAEV
61kg - Magomedrasul IDRISOV
65kg - Nachyn KUULAR
70kg - Magomedrasul GAZIMAGOMEDOV
74kg - Magomed KURBANALIEV
79kg - Akhmed GADZHIMAGOMEDOV
86kg - Dauren KURUGLIEV
92kg - Magomed KURBANOV
97kg - Vladislav BAITCAEV
125kg - Anzor KHIZRIEV

2. Iran and Mongolia Capture Titles at First U23 Asian Championships
The host country Mongolia captured the women’s wrestling title at the first edition of the U23 Asian Championships, while Iran shined, winning team titles in both freestyle and Greco-Roman.

In women’s wrestling, the host country Mongolia won four gold medals and captured the team title. India also won four gold medals, and the other two titles went to Kazakhstan and Chinese Taipei.

Iran claimed the freestyle and Greco-Roman team titles. 

In freestyle, Iran had seven finalists and ended up taking home four golds to win the team title with 200 points (4 gold, three silver, two bronze).

In Greco-Roman, Iran battled Kyrgyzstan but ultimately came out on top of the team race. 

Both countries had four golds and two bronze medal winners, but Iran grabbed one more silver medal and captured the title with 202 points (four gold, three silver, two bronze). Kyrgyzstan placed second with 182 points (four gold, two silver, two bronze), and Kazakhstan came third with 167 points (two gold, two silver, three bronze).

FULL RESULTS

3. African Championship Underway in Tunisia
The African Championships kicked off Monday in Hammamet, Tunisia, and will last until Sunday (March 31). 

The cadets and juniors wrestle until Thursday, and the senior-level competition begins on Friday. 

The African Championships will be the first senior-level continental championships where the revamped point system will be used. The winner of the continental championships will receive 12 Ranking Series points, with the second, third, fifth, seventh, and eighth-place finishers receiving 10, 8, 6, 4, and 2 points respectively. 

In addition to the placement points, wrestlers will also receive additional entry points based on the number of wrestlers in their brackets. 

For weight categories with 10 or fewer entries, an additional six (6) points will be added. For categories with 11-20 wrestlers entered an additional eight (8) points will be added. Ten (10) points will be added to any weight category with more than 20 entries.

SCHEDULE 

4. Hollywood Wrestles Bollywood This Sunday 
Women's Wrestling stars from the United States and India will battle each other on Sunday in the 'Hollywood Wrestles Bollywood' at Los Angles' historic Wiltern Theater.

According to www.beatthestreets-la.org, "The dual will be a part 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 month’s 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

Reigning world and European champion Petra Maarit OLLI (FIN) is set to compete at the 2019 European Championships. She'll wrestle her world championship weight of 65kg. 

5. European Championships Begin April 8 
The most dominant wrestling continent on the plant, Europe, begins its continental championships on April 8. The early registration closed and of last year's eighteen defending world champions who hailed from Europe, 12 are set to compete in Bucharest, Romania. 

The three women's wrestling European world champions will wrestle, but only two of the five freestyle world champions have entered their names into the field. As mentioned above, Russia's Abdulrashid Sadualev, Zaurbek Sidakov, and Zaur Uguev are the reigning freestyle world gold medalists who won't make the trip to Romania.

Of the ten European Greco-Roman world champions, seven will wrestle in Bucharest. The three who won't be in action will be Peter BACSI (HUN), Aleksander CHEKHIRKIN (RUS), and Frank STAEBLER (GER). 

Though Russia will be without 77kg Greco-Roman world champion Aleksander Chekhirkin, they've entered two-time Olympic champion Roman VLASOV (RUS), who will make his return after missing the 2018 world championships after having knee surgery. 

SCHEDULE

Returning World Champions Competing
55kg (GR) - Eldaniz AZIZLI(AZE)
60kg (GR) - Sergey EMELIN (RUS) 
62kg (WW) - Taybe Mustafa YUSEIN (BUL) 
63kg (GR) - Stepan MARYANYAN (RUS) 
65kg (WW) - Petra Maarit OLLI (FIN) 
67kg (GR) - Artem SURKOV (RUS) 
68kg (WW) - Alla CHERKASOVA (UKR) 
70kg (FS) - Magomedrasul GAZIMAGOMEDOV
82kg (GR) - Metehan BASAR (TUR) 
97kg (GR) - Musa EVLOEV (RUS)
125kg (FS) - Geno PETRIASHVILI (GEO) 
130kg - (GR) - Sergey SEMENOV (RUS) 

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media

1. Big Move Monday -- Vladen KOZLIUK (UKR) -- U23 Europe
2. Highlights from the 2019 Freestyle World Cup #wrestleyakutsk #uww #wrestling
3. Freestyle wrestlers started competing today at #U23AsianChampionship in Mongolia.🥇61 kg - Ulukbek Zholdoshbekov🇰🇬 🥇92 kg - Arashk Mohammadkazem Mohebi🇮🇷
4. Egypt's Yassar NASR punches his ticket to the 65KG final tonight with a powerful preformance in the Semifinal. #wrestling #uww#unitedworldwrestling#WrestleHammamet
5. Day 1 Wrestlers preparing to take to the mats at the 2019 African Championship.  #wrestling #uww#unitedworldwrestling#WrestleHammamet

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Big Move Monday -- Vladen KOZLIUK (UKR) -- U23 Europe

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Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! February 4, 2020

By Eric Olanowski

Discussing David Taylor's return date and the updated world rankings. Also looking at the upcoming African, European and Asian Championships. 

1. David Taylor Long-Awaited Return Set for Pan-Am Qualifier 
David TAYLOR announced he’ll return to competition on March 15 at the Pan-American OG Qualifier in Ottowa, Canada. The “Magic Man” reported his comeback on his Instagram, saying, “I’m so excited to return to competition at the Pan American Olympic Qualifier in 7 weeks  Ottawa, Canada. Let’s Go!!!” 

Taylor, a 2018 world champion, suffered a season-ending knee injury while wrestling Drew FOSTER (USA) at Beat the Streets and has been sidelined since May 6, 2019.

The United States failed to qualify for the Olympic Games at 86kg at the 2019 World Championships. They'll rely heavily on Taylor to qualify the weight in Canada after his 315-day layoff. Taylor has to finish top-two in Ottawa to cement the USA’s spot in Tokyo at 86kg. 

If Taylor fails to finish top-two at the Pan-American OG Qualifier, the United States will likely send their Olympic Trials winner to the “Last Chance Qualifier” on April 30 - May 3 in Sofia, Bulgaria. Whoever the Stars and Stripes sends to Bulgaria must to finish with at least a silver medal or the United States will not be represented at 86kg at the Olympic Games.

United States Tokyo Olympic Freestyle Qualified Weights 
57kg – n/a 
65kg – n/a 
74kg – Jordan BURROUGHS (USA) – 2019 world bronze
86kg – n/a 
97kg – Kyle SNYDER (USA) – 2019 world bronze
125kg – n/a 

2. Tokyo 2020 Qualifiers Bajrang, Kaisanov, Micic Improve Freestyle Rank in January
Bajrang PUNIA (IND), Stevan MICIC (SRB), and Daniyar KAISANOV (KAZ) moved one step closer to sealing up seeds for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo after the trio medaled at this month’s Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series tournament in Rome. 

Indian superstar Bajrang had the most successful outing in Rome -- earning gold and taking home 16 points -- while Kaisanov and Micic each earned 12 points for taking bronze. 

In the 65kg finals, Bajrang upended Jordan OLIVER (USA) 4-3 to catapult himself from No. 4 to No. 2 in the rankings. He now trails  No. 1 Gadzhimurad RASHIDOV (RUS) by 19 points and sits ahead of No. 3 Daulet NIYAZBEKOV (KAZ) by one point. All three are expected to compete in their respective continental championships this February and can earn up to an additional 22 points.  Selahattin KILICSALLAYAN (TUR) jumped to No. 5 at 65kg where he now trails No. 4 Iszmail MUSZUKAJEV (HUN) by a single point.

Click here to read the full breakdown of the latest freestyle rankings.

Top Ranked Freestyle Wrestlers
57kg - Zavur UGUEV (RUS) - 60
61kg - Beka LOMTADZE (GEO) - 60
65kg - Gadzhimurad RASHIDOV (RUS) - 60
70kg - David BAEV (RUS) - 60
74kg - Zaurbek SIDAKOV (RUS) -  60
79kg - Kyle Douglas DAKE (USA) - 60
86kg - Hassan YAZDANICHARATI  (IRI) - 60
92kg - J'Den COX (USA) - 58
97kg - Abdulrashid SADULAEV (RUS) - 60
125kg - Geno PETRIASHVILI (GEO) - 60

3. "Wrestler of the Year" Lorincz in Pursuit of Top Seed at Tokyo 2020
Viktor LORINCZ (HUN), United World Wrestling’s reigning “Wrestler of the Year” in Greco-Roman, made it clear this month that he’s out to defend his well-earned title and win Olympic gold.

Lorincz improved his Ranking Series tournament record to a perfect 23-0 this month with a one-point victory over 2019 Asian silver medalist Kumar SUNIL (IND) in the finals of the Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series. With the win, the Hungarian added 16 points to his second ranking leaving him just four points shy of world champion Zhan BELENIUK (UKR) heading into next month’s continental championships. 

But Lorincz is poised to shake up the top spot of the 87kg ranking and gain control of the world's No. 1 spot. Beleniuk elected to sit out of the European Championships, so Lorincz only needs to finish top-eight in Rome to reach the summit of the 87kg rankings.

"I want to win the [European Championships and Poland Open] because it will help my seed for the Olympic Games," said Lorincz, the defending world silver medalist at 87kg. “I will also be in the lead for the Ranking Series again.”

Germany's Denis KUDLA, who is ranked fourth at 87kg, is also expected to miss the European Championships. Without Beleniuk and Kudla, Lorincz needs nine points at the European Championships to ensure a top-four seed in Tokyo.

Click here to read the full breakdown of the latest Greco-Roman rankings.

Top Ranked Greco-Roman Wrestlers
55kg - Nugzari TSURTSUMIA (GEO) - 58
60kg - Kenichiro FUMITA (JPN) - 60
63kg - Shinobu OTA (JPN) - 58
67kg - Ismael BORRERO MOLINA (CUB) - 60
72kg - Abuiazid MANTSIGOV (RUS) - 60
77kg - Tamas LORINCZ (HUN) - 60
82kg - Lasha GOBADZE (GEO) - 60
87kg - Zhan BELENIUK (UKR) - 60
97kg - Musa EVLOEV (RUS) - 60
130kg - Riza KAYAALP (TUR) - 60

4. Tynybekova and Mensah Inch Closer to Locking up Top Seed at Olympics
Aisuluu TYNYBEKOVA (KGZ) and Tamyra MENSAH-STOCK (USA) inched closer to locking up top seeds at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo after medalling at the Matteo Pellicone Ranking Series tournament this month in Rome. 

Tynybekova, who took gold at the Matteo Pellicone, has amassed a comfortable 36-point lead over No. 2 Taybe YUSEIN (BUL) and will earn the No. 1 seed at 62kg in Tokyo if she earns four points at the Asian Championships February 18-23 in Delhi. Tynybekova is the defending Asian champion.

Mensah-Stock finds herself in a similar situation heading into the Pan-American Championships March 6-9 in Ottawa.

Mensah-Stock (74 points) earned 60 with her gold at the world championships last September and added another 14 after taking silver at the Matteo Pellicone. She has a 34-point advantage over Jenny FRANSSON (SWE) and can put her out of striking distance -- and become the No. 1 seeded 68kg woman at the Olympic Games -- if she scores six points at the Pan-American Championships.

Click here to read the full breakdown of the latest women’s wrestling rankings.

Top Ranked Women's Wrestlers
50kg - Mariya STADNIK (AZE) - 60
53kg - Yong Mi PAK (PRK) - 60
55kg - Jacarra Gwenisha WINCHESTER (USA) - 58
57kg - Risako KAWAI (JPN) - 60
59kg - Linda MORAIS (CAN) - 58
62kg - Aisuluu TYNYBEKOVA (KGZ) - 76
65kg - Inna TRAZHUKOVA (RUS) - 72
68kg - Tamyra Mariama MENSAH (USA) - 74
72kg - Natalia VOROBEVA (RUS) - 58
76kg - Adeline Maria GRAY (USA) - 60

5. February to Feature Trio of Continental Championships
February might as well be called “Continental Championship Month.” The African, European and Asian Championships are all sandwiched between February 4-23. 

This year’s continental championships hold extra weight -- especially during the Olympic year. The continental championships grant those Olympic-qualified wrestlers an opportunity to improve on their ranking and earn up to 22 Ranking Series points.

The African Championships kick-off first. They’ll take place February 04-09 in Alger, Algeria, and will be highlighted by 23 of last year’s 30 returning champions. The senior-level portion of the competition takes place Saturday and Sunday. Women’s wrestling and Greco-Roman starts on Saturday (February 8), and Freestyle closes out the tournament on Sunday (February 9).

The European Championships begin February 10-16 and feature eleven reigning world champions and 17 returning European champions that highlight the list of 515 entries. 

New Delhi, India, will host the Asian Championships February 18-23. The Asian Championship entry list will be released on February 13.  

Continental Championship Entries 
African Championship Full Entries 
European Championship Full Entries 

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media 

1. Big Move Monday -- Sushil K. (IND) -- Senior Worlds 2019 #WrestleNursultan
2. #TBT - Shiraev Wrestles in Junior World Finals before Winning Yariguin Gold
3. Happy Friday, wrestling fans!
4. Who ya got in these three potential #WrestleAlgerAfrican championship matchups?
5. Who are the wrestlers to watch at the #WrestleAlger African Championships (February 4-9)?