Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! May 14, 2019

By Eric Olanowski

Discussing next week's Sassari City Matteo Pellicone Memorial, along with results from the International Ukrainian Tournament, and the Beach Wrestling World Series. Also looking at Gadzhimagomedov's surgery and the latest set of Greco-Roman rankings. 

1. Sassari City Matteo Pellicone Memorial Begins Next Thursday 
United World Wrestling’s third Ranking Series event of the year, the Sassari City Matteo Pellicone Memorial, is just over a week away. It’ll be the first-ever Ranking Series event which will feature freestyle, Greco-Roman, and women’s wrestling under one roof. 

The three-day tournament, which begins on May 23, will take place 655km west of Rome on the Italian island destination of Sardinia. The thought of wrestling with the breeze of the Tyrrhenian Sea on your back has intrigued some of the sports biggest stars to sign up for the event. Though registration is not official until 24 hours before the first whistle, here are some of the stars that fans can expect to see in Sardinia: 

GR 77kg - KIM Hyeonwoo (KOR) – Olympic champion
FS 70kg - Soslan RAMONOV (RUS) – Olympic champion 
WW 76kg - Erica WIEBE (CAN) – Olympic champion
WW 72kg - Anna FRANSSON (SWE) – Olympic bronze
FS 74kg - Frank CHAMIZO (ITA) –  Two-time world champion 
GR 67kg - 
RYU Hansu (KOR) – World champion 
WW 76kg - Aline ROTTER FOCKEN (GER) – World champion
WW 55kg - Vanesa KALADZINSKAYA (BLR) – World champion
WW 55kg - Sofia MATTSSON (SWE) – World champion
GR 77kg - Tamas LORINCZ (HUN) – World runner-up 
FS 74kg - Khetik TSABALOV (RUS) - World runner-up 
FS 65kg - Gadzhimurad RASHIDOV (RUS) – Two-time world silver 
GR 87kg -Erik SZILVASSY (HUN) – U23 World champion 
WW 57kg - Grace Jacob BULLEN (NOR) – U23 World champion
FS 57kg - Suleyman ATLI (TUR) – Ranked No. 1 at 57kg 
FS 68kg - Fatih ERDIN (TUR) – Ranked No. 1 at 86kg

SCHEDULE

2. Brazilian Women, Georgian Men Sweep Beach Gold in Rio
Brazilian funk music thumped Saturday afternoon as four of the nation’s beach wrestling women captured gold at the second stop of the Beach Wrestling World Series (BWWS). The Brazilian side, who laughed and danced their way to the unlikely quadruple gold also each collected 1000 CHF for winning their respective weight classes at the event.

Kamila BARBOSA (50kg), Camila FAMA (60kg), Brenda AGUIAR DOS SANTOS (70kg), and Aline DA SILVA FERREIRA (BRA) each cruised their way to gold over the course of the two-day event, creating a buzz among the hometown crowd.

Also similar to the first stop, four Georgians made the finals of the event, only this time all four Georgians managed to take home top billing.

Click here for Tim Foley’s full Beach Wrestling wrap. 

3. Nine Europeans Ranked First in Latest Greco-Roman World Rankings
United World Wrestling has released their latest point-based Greco-Roman world rankings, and European nations own nine of the ten top spots heading into the final pair of Ranking Series events before the Nur-Sultan World Championships.

Even more impressive, the Russian Federation owns five of Europe’s nine top-spots. The five No. 1-ranked Russian wrestlers are Sergey EMELIN (60kg), Stepan MARYANYAN (63kg), Artem SURKOV (67kg), Musa EVLOEV (97kg), and Sergey SEMENOV (130kg). 

In addition to the Russian-five, Azerbaijan’s Eldaniz AZIZLI (55kg), Germany’s Frank STAEBLER (72kg) , Turkey’s Emrah KUS (82kg), and Ukraine’s Zhan BELENIUK (87kg) also hold the top spot at their respective weight classes. 

The lone non-European top-ranked wrestler is Korea’s  Olympic champion Hyeonwoo KIM who is ranked No. 1 at 77kg.

Click here for full breakdown of Greco-Roman rankings.

4. Gadzhimagomedov Undergoes Surgery After European C'ship Injury 
Russia’s reigning 79kg world bronze medalist Akhmed GADZHIMAGOMEDOV underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus and cruciate ligament in his right knee – but he's expected to make a full recovery before July’s Russian National Championships, where he's expected to move down to 74kg.

Gadzhimagomedov hurt his right knee in the closing seconds of the first period in his European Championship semifinals bout against Oleksii DOMANYTSKYI (UKR). Gadzhimagomedov stopped an arm spin attempt and went down in pain, grabbing his right knee. He was up 3-0 at that point and continued wrestling on one knee in the second period. The Russian scored a pair of heroic takedowns, and ultimately won the bout, 7-0. 

But, Gadzhimagomedov medically forfeited out of his finals match against reigning world runner-up Jabrayil HASANOV (AZE) and settled for a silver medal. 

Olena KREMZER (UKR) defeated Anzhelina LYSAK (UKR) to win the 59kg title. (Photo: Gabor Martin)

5. International Ukrainian Tournament Concludes in Kiev
The International Ukrainian Tournament wrapped up in Kiev, Ukraine, and according to sources in the Ukrainian Wrestling Federation, the host nation will use last weekend’s results as the determining factor for June’s European Games. The highest placing Ukrainian wrestler at each weight will represent their nation in Minsk, Belarus, at the 2019 European Games. 

Of the nine gold medals up for grabs (no entries at 72kg), Ukrainian wrestlers won seven of those nine titles. Arguably, the most notable upset of the tournament came at 57kg, where Irina KHARIV (UKR) shocked reigning European runner-up Tatyana KIT (UKR) to steal the European Games spot. 

Additionally, European champions Alla CHERKASOVA (68kg) and Iryna HUSYAK (55kg), and European runner-up Lilya HORISHNA (53kg), sat out of last weekend’s competition. It’s not clear if they’ve done enough to automatically grant themselves a spot in the lineup at the European Games, or there will be a special wrestle-off prior to June's competition.

Japan’s Miyuu NAKAMURA (50kg) and Vasilisa MARZALIUK (76kg) were the two non-Ukrainian wrestlers who reached the top of the podium in their respective weight classes. 

Nakamura, the 2016 junior world champion, upset returning world bronze medalist No.2-ranked Oksana LIVACH (UKR) in the 50kg finals. In her finals, No. 19 Vasilisa Marzaliuk defeated Ukraine’s European Championship representative Alla BELINSKAYA in the 76kg gold-medal bout. 

Results

50kg    
GOLD - Miyuu NAKAMURA (JPN)
SILVER - Oksana LIVACH (UKR)  
BRONZE Anna LUKASIAK (POL)
BRONZE - Maria VINNIK (UKR)

53kg
GOLD - Yuliia BLAHINYA (UKR)  
SILVER - Kristina BEREZA(UKR)
BRONZE - Paula KOZLOV (POL)
BRONZE - Maria PPREVOLARAKL (GRE)

55kg
GOLD - Alina AKOBIYAN (UKR)  
SILVER - Zalina SIDAKOVA (BLR)           
BRONZE - Khristina DEMKO (UKR)

57kg
GOLD - Irina KHARIV (UKR)         
SILVER - Tatyana KIT (UKR)          
BRONZE - Irina KURCHKINA (BLR)

59kg    
GOLD - Olena KREMZER (UKR)    
SILVER - Anzhelina LYSAK (UKR)            
BRONZE - Sofia BODNAR (UKR)

62kg    
GOLD - Yulia TKACH (UKR)                                              

65kg    
GOLD - Irina KOLIADENKO (UKR)          
SILVER - Tatyana RYSHKO (UKR)
BRONZE - Anastasia LAVRENCHUK (UKR)

68kg    
GOLD - Kristina BEREZA (UKR)                                        

72kg                                                                        
No Competition 

76kg    
GOLD - Vasilisa MARZALIUK (BLR)        
SILVER - Alla BELINSKAYA (UKR)         
BRONZE - Irina PASICHNIK (UKR)

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media 

1. Big Move Monday -- DATUNASHVILI Z. (GEO) -- 2015 European Games
2. Talk about earning the No.1 ranking in the world? Here’s @koreawrestlingfederation ‘s Olympic champion and No.1-ranked (at 77kg) KIM Hyeonwoo’s (71 points) resume since the World Championships: 
World Championships:🥉 Asian Championships:🥇 Zagreb Open:🥉 Hungarian GP:🥉 
3. The Hungarian head-scratcher. 
Who should Hungary 🇭🇺 enter into the #WrestleNurSultan World Championships at 87kg?
No. 3 Erik SZILVASSY - U23 🌎🥇and European🥉or No. 5 Viktor LORINCZ - 2x 🌎🥉, Hungarian GP and Zagreb Open 🥇. Lorincz is 2-0 against Szilvassy in 2019
4. Saturday smiles with No. 5 RYU Hansu 🇰🇷. 📸: @sachikohotaka
5. Hungary’s 🇭🇺 reigning world champion Peter BACSI has retired since winning world gold on home soil - meaning the 82kg seeds (as of now) at the #WrestleNurSultanWorld Championships will be: 
No. 1 - Emrah KUS 🇹🇷.
No. 2 - @saeid.abdovali68 🇮🇷.
No. 3 - Viktar SASUNOUSKI 🇧🇾.
No. 4 - @bisultanov_077 🇩🇰.

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."