Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! May 7, 2019

By Eric Olanowski

Discussing results from Beat the Streets and the 50th Annual Ali Aliyev. Also looking at the latest world rankings and David Taylor suffering a right knee injury. 

1. Burroughs Bullies Askren at Beat the Streets 
A star-studded crowd that featured Kelly Rippa and Neil deGrasse Tyson, among many others, showed up to see Jordan BURROUGHS (USA) bully Ben ASKREN, 11-0 in Beat the Streets’ featured bout of the night at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater in New York City. 

The London Olympic champion Burroughs was up 9-0 after the opening period and used a second-period takedown to close out the match against the 2008 Olympian and current UFC fighter Ben Askren. 

In the co-main event of the night, American youngster Yianni DIAKOMIHALIS (USA) pulled off the shocking upset over India’s No. 1-ranked Bajrang PUNIA (IND), 10-8. 

The pair traded takedowns in the opening period, but it was Bajrang who led 2-2 on criteria heading into the second period. In the closing three minutes, the American scored eight points from two takedowns off his own shots, and a pair of counter-offensive maneuvers to stun the reigning world silver medalist by two points.

Another young wrestler who picked up a win over a returning world medalist was Nick SURIANO (USA). Suriano, the third year college student, scored a second-period takedown and grabbed the 3-1 upset victory over Budapest world bronze medalist Joe COLON (USA). 

Other stars that were victorious on the night were J'den COX (USA), James GREEN (USA), Nick GWIAZDOWSKI (USA), and Kyle SNYDER (USA). 

RESULTS
57kg - Jack MUELLER (USA) df. Nick PICCININNI (USA), 11-0
62kg (WW) - Mallory VELTE (USA) df. Linda MORAIS (CAN), 10-0
70kg - James GREEN (USA) df. Anthony ASHNAULT (USA), 8-4 
97kg - Kyle SNYDER (USA) df. Nishan RANDHAWA (CAN), 15-1
125kg - Nick GWIAZDOWSKI (USA) df. Derek WHITE( USA), 9-0
57kg (WW) - Becka LEATHERS (USA) df. Diana WEICKER (CAN), 10-6
61kg - Nick SURIANO (USA) df. Joe COLON (USA), 3-1
86kg - Drew FOSTER (USA) df. David TAYLOR (USA), via injury default (0:31)
92kg - J'den COX (USA) df. Patrick BRUCKI (USA), 10-0
65kg - Yianni DIAKOMIHALIS (USA) df. Bajrang PUNIA (IND), 10-8
74kg - Jordan BURROUGHS (USA) df. Ben ASKREN (USA), 11-0

Reiniging 57kg world champion Zaur UGUEV (RUS)  made his return to the mat for the first time since his run to a world title and won the 50th Annual Ali Aliyev 57kg gold medal. (Photo: Gabor Martin)

2. 50th Annual Ali Aliyev Wraps up in Dagestan 
The Russian Federation reeled in seven of ten gold medals at the 50th annual Ali Aliyev Memorial tournament - which was held in Kaspiisk, Dagestan at the namesake arena, the Ali Aliyev Palace of Sport and Youth.

The biggest storylines from Russia’s seven-gold-medal performances came at 57kg and 125kg where Zaur UGUEV (RUS) and Vladislav BAITSAEV (RUS) respectively reached the top of the podium. 

Uguev, the reigning 57kg world champion, made his return to the mat for the first time since last October’s World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, when he went 4-0 and capped off his world title run with a 4-3 win over Kazakhstan’s Nurislam (Artas) SANAYEV (SANAA) (KAZ) in the gold-medal bout. 

In the Ali Aliyev finals, Uguev completed his gold-medal run with a 3-0 win over fellow Russia Azamat TUSKAEV to win his first Ali Aliyev title. His previous highest finish came in 2016 when he finished in fifth place. 

At 125kg, Vladislav Baitsaev easily handled Pavel KRIVTSOV (RUS), 11-1 and also won his first Ali Aliyev title. This was Baitsaev’s first competition up from his normal weight of 97kg. The Russian won the European title last year at 97kg before surrendering his spot to eventual 97kg world champion Abdulrashid SADULAEV (RUS).

Instead of trying to upend “The Russian Tank,” Baitsaev will move up to 125kg with hopes of making the Russian World Team for the first time in his career. To represent the Russian Federation in Nur-Sultan, Baitsaev will have to beat two-time world fifth-place finisher Anzor KHIZRIEV, who has held the 125kg spot since 2017. 

The three non-Russian gold medals weight to Bajrang PUNIA (IND), Sharip SHARIPOV (AZE), and Magomed IBRAGIMOV (UZB). 

Bajrang scored a 13-8 come-from-behind win over Viktor RASSADIN (RUS) in the 65kg finals. 

Azerbaijan’s Olympic champion Sharip Sharipov picked up a 7-4 victory over Alikhan ZHABRAILOV (RUS) in the 92kg finals, and Uzbekistan’s Magomed Ibragimov stuck Cuba’s Reineris SALAS PEREZ to win the 97kg title. 

RESULTS 
57kg – Zaur UGUEV (RUS) df. Azamat TUSKAEV (RUS), 3-0
61kg – Zelimkhan ABAKAROV (RUS) df. Magomedrasul IDRISOV (RUS),4-0
65kg – Bajrang PUNIA (IND) df. Viktor RASSADIN (RUS), 13-8
70kg – Razambek ZHAMALOV (RUS) df. Gitinomagomed GADZHYEV (AZE), 8-0 
74kg – Darsan DSHAPAROV (RUS) df. Akhmed USMANOV (RUS)5-2
79kg – Magomed RAMAZANOV (RUS) df. Artur BICHENOV (RUS), via fall
86kg – Artur NAIFONOV (RUS) df. Dauren KURUGLIEV (RUS), 2-2
92kg Sharip SHARIPOV (AZE) df. Alikhan ZHABRAILOV (RUS),7-4
97kg – Magomed IBRAGIMOV (UZB) df. Reineris SALAS PEREZ (CUB), via fall
125kg – Vladislav BAITSAEV (RUS) df. Pavel KRIVTSOV (RUS),11-1

3. Punia and Atli Ascend to Top of Freestyle World Rankings After Continental Title Runs
Six European wrestlers own a No. 1-ranking in the latest set of United World Wrestling’s point-based freestyle world rankings. Pan-American countries boast a trio of wrestlers who are ranked No. 1, while Asia has the remaining wrestler sitting atop of the world rankings heading into the final set of freestyle Ranking Series events.

The most significant changes atop this month’s rankings came at 57kg and 65kg where Suleyman ATLI (TUR) and Bajrang BAJRANG (IND) respectively gained control of the world No. 1 ranking with their continental title-winning performances.

Click HERE for a full breakdown of freestyle world rankings. 

4. Nine World Champions Hold onto Top Ranking
In the lastest women’s wrestling rankings nine gold medalists from last year’s Budapest World Championships sit atop of their respective weight classes. Asia has four top-ranked wrestlers, while Europe and Pan-American countries each have three. 

Japan has three of the four top-ranked Asian wrestlers. Their trio of No.1’s are Yui SUSAKI (JPN) (50kg), Mayu MUKAIDA (JPN) (55kg), and Risako KAWAI (JPN) (59kg). The fourth Asian wrestler who owns a top ranking is China’s RONG Ningning (CHN)(57kg). 

Taybe YUSEIN (BUL) (62kg), Petra Maarit OLLI (FIN) (65kg), and Alla CHERKASOVA (UKR) (68kg) are the three European No.1-ranked wrestlers. 

Sarah HILDEBRANDT (USA) (86 points), Justina DI STASIO (CAN) (72kg), and Adeline GRAY (USA) (76kg), who are all from Pan-American nations, round out the first-ranked wrestlers in this month’s rankings. 

Of the ten wrestlers sitting atop of the rankings, the lone non-returning world champion that owns a No.1-ranking is the United States’ Sarah Hildebrandt. She started the season with 40 points from her world silver medal, then earned 20 points for her Pan-American gold, 14 points for her Ivan Yariguin title, and 12 points for her third-place finish at the Dan Kolov. 

Click HERE for a full breakdown of women's wrestling world rankings. 

5. Taylor Goes Down at Beat the Streets 
The reigning 86kg world champion and one of the pound-for-pound best wrestlers in the world David TAYLOR (USA) injury defaulted out of his Beat the Streets match against Drew FOSTER (USA) after going down with an apparent right knee injury, 31 seconds into the match. 

In the opening sequence of the bout, Foster got to a low-level shot to the right leg of Taylor and came up through the middle. Foster peaked out the back door and isolated the right leg of Taylor. Foster, who was posted on his right hand, threw his left hip to the mat, which is when Taylor stopped wrestling and immediately grabbed his right knee. 

The reigning world champion tried to continue, but his right knee buckled the first time he put his body weight on it, and ultimately forced him to injury default out of the match. 

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media 
1. Big Move Monday -- TASMURADOV E. (UZB) -- 2015 Senior Asian C'ships
2. Reigning world champion @magomedrasul_gazimagomedov70(92 points) has locked up the 70kg No.1 seed at the #WrestleNurSultanWorld Championships after building a commanding 52 point lead over the rest of the weight class. 📸: @sachikohotaka
3. @sadulaev_abdulrashid (80 points) and @snyderman45 (78 points) are guaranteed a top-three seed (97kg) at the #WrestleNurSultan World Championships.
4. Bajrang Never Stops Wrestling!
5. Saturday smiles with SUN Yanan 🇨🇳 during her visit to Switzerland 🇨🇭for the UWW Athletes Commission. 📸: @flo_wrestling_uww

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!

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

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