Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! November 13, 2018

By Eric Olanowski

Reviewing Tuesday's U23 Greco-Roman finals and Olympic champion Ramonov's recent back surgery. Also looking at the American Wrestling League's matchups and the final point-base rankings of the year. 

1. Cartaraga and Pataridze Return to U23 World Finals in #BuchaWrestU23
The first day of the 2018 U23 World Championships have come to a close, but not before two wrestlers earned their second-consecutive U23 World finals bids.

2017 U23 World champion at 71 kg Daniel CARTARAGA (MDA) made his second-straight U23 World finals, this time at 77 kg, pinning 2018 Junior World silver medalist and 2017 Junior World bronze medalist Sajan SAJAN (IND) in the first period.

In the finals, Cartaraga will meet 2018 U23 European champion Rajbek BISULTANOV (DEN), who knocked off reigning U23 World champion Fatih CENGIZ (TUR) with a 4-1 decision.

Also advancing to his second U23 World finals was Zviadi PATARIDZE (GEO), who is a five-time age-group World champion, winning three Junior World titles and two Cadet World titles.

To earn a spot in the finals, the Georgian finished off 2017 U23 World bronze medalist Konsta MAEENPAEAE (FIN) with an 8-0 technical fall in 56 seconds.

Pataridze looks to improve on his silver-medal finish from last year. To do so, he will have to go through 2016 Junior World silver medalist and two-time Junior World bronze medalist Osman YILDIRIM (TUR) in the 130 kg finals.

The Greco-Roman finals begin on Tuesday at 18:00 local time.

Click HERE to see all Greco-Roman finals matchups. 

Soslan RAMONOV (RUS) carries his regional flag along with the Russian flag after winning the 2016 Rio gold medal. (Photo by Gabor Martin) 

2. Olympic Champion Ramonov Undergoes Back Surgery 
Rio Olympic champion Soslan RAMONOV (RUS) is expected to miss three to six months after undergoing spinal surgery to correct a back issue that has long troubled him. Ramonov said, “It’s true that I had an operation on my back last week, but I’ve already got back to work and started physical therapy.”

The timing of the surgery could not have come at a worse time for the two-time world medalist, as it’ll sideline him for two of Russia’s most significant tournaments, the 2018 Alans and next January’s Ivan Yarygin. 

“I expect to return to the mat in January, and hopefully enter a tournament at 65kg closer to the fall.” 

This statement should raise eyebrows of wrestling fans because Ramonov was arguably the most dominant wrestler in the world during his run to the 65kg Rio Olympic gold medal. After that win, he bumped up to 70kg and failed to make it back on the Russian world team in back-to-back years after earning medals at three consecutive medals at the World Championships and Olympic Games. 

David Taylor carries the American flag around the mat after winning the 2018 world championship.(Photo by Gabor Martin) 

3. Starting Line-ups announced for November 30 American Wrestling League 
Reigning world champions Kyle DAKE (USA) and David TAYLOR (USA) drafted their teams two weeks for the inaugural “American Wrestling League I The Beginning,” and this weekend, the pair of gold-medal winners finalized their rosters for the event that will take place on for November 30 at U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. 

The premier bout of the ten match card comes at 65kg where Jordan OLIVER (USA) will meet Zain RETHERFORD (USA). Team Dake’s Oliver is coming back from a year-long suspension, while Team Taylor’s Retherford returns after sitting out the 2017 season. 

This will not be the last time these two meet, as they are expected to both compete for the 2019 world team spot at 65kg. 

Each of the starters from Team Dake and Team Taylor will pick up $2,500 to show, and $5,000 to win. Fans can follow all of the AWL action live on trackwrestling.com on November 30.

AWL I Matchups
Team Dake vs. Team Taylor 
57kg - Frank PERRELLI vs. Nico MEGALUDIS 
61kg - Tony RAMOS vs. Cory CLARK 
65kg - Jordan OLIVER vs. Zain RETHERFORD 
70kg - James GREEN vs. Brandon SORENSEN 
74kg - Richie LEWIS vs. Tommy GANTT 
79kg - Isaiah MARTINEZ vs. Alex DIERINGER 
86kg - Nick HEFLIN vs. Sam BROOKS 
92kg - Deron WINN vs. Mike MACCHIAVELLO 
97kg - Jacob KASPER vs. Kyven GADSON 
125kg - Dom BRADLEY vs. Adam COON 

RONG Ningning (CHN), this year's 57kg world champion is entered at 59kg. (Photo by Max Rose-Fyne) 

4. Women’s Wrestling at the U23 World Championships Begins Tomorrow 
Greco-Roman wrestling at the U23 World Championships is wrapping up and women’s wrestling is next in line to shine at the Polyvalent Hall in Bucharest, Romania. 

Highlighting the women’s wrestling field is Yukako KAWAI (JPN), RONG Ningning (CHN), and Khanum VELIEVA (RUS). 

Rong, who will be up 2kg from her world championship weight of 57kg, will try to cap off 2018 with another world title. Last month, Rong grabbed the senior-level gold medal, adding to her impressive twelve-month run where she reached the top of the podium at the Asian Championships, China Open, Ivan Yarygin, and Poland Open. 

Another 2018 world champion that’ll be competing this week is Russia’s junior world champion Khanum Valieva. Two months ago, Valieva captured her fourth age-level when she won her second straight junior world gold medal at the 2018 Junior World Championships in Trnava, Slovakia. 

Though she fell short in the 2018 senior-level gold-medal bout, Japan’s Kawai is fresh off a second-place finish at the senior-level World Championship two weeks ago in Budapest, Hungary. In the finals, Kawai lost to Bulgaria's Taybe YUSEIN (BUL), 6-2 in the 62kg gold-medal bout, improving on her 2017 eighth-place finish.

Click here for the full schedule.

 Bajrang BAJRANG (IND) fist-pumps after making it to the gold medal bout of the 2018 World Championships. (Photo by Max Rose-Fyne) 

5. Post World Championship Rankings Published 
The final point-base rankings of the 2018 calendar year are posted on www.unitedworldwrestling.org. 

In freestyle, eight different nations finished the year with a top-ranked wrestler, as Russia led the way with a trio of No. 1 ranked guys. Of the ten wrestlers who own a freestyle top ranking, Zavur UGUEV (RUS) is the only one who claimed a gold medal at the 2018 World Championships. 

In Greco-Roman, seven different nations have a wrestler ranked in the top position to end the season. Hungary is the front-runner, having three wrestlers in the first spot. The two Greco-Roman world champions that end the season as the top-ranked wrestler are Sergey EMELIN (RUS) and Artem SURKOV (RUS). 

Ukraine and Turkey lead the way in women's wrestling with a pair of wrestlers sitting atop of the final rankings. Of the ten world champions, only Alla CHERKASOVA (UKR), Petra OLLI (FIN) and Ningning RONG (CHN) end the year in the top spot of the final 2018 point-base rankings. 

57kg - Zavur UGUEV (RUS)
61kg - Gadzhimurad RASHIDOV (RUS)
65kg - Bajrang BAJRANG (IND)
70kg - Andriy KVYATKOVSKYY (UKR)
86kg - Fatih ERDIN (TUR) 
92kg - Alireza KARIMIMACHIANI (IRI) 
97kg - Elizbar ODIKADZE (GEO) 
125kg - Nicholas Edward GWIAZDOWSKI (USA)

55kg - Ekrem OZTURK (TUR)
60kg - Sergey EMELIN (RUS) 
63kg - Elmurat TASMURADOV (UZB) 
67kg - Artem SURKOV (RUS) 
72kg - Balint KORPASI (HUN) 
77kg - Tamas Lörincz (HUN) 
82kg - Viktar SASUNOUSKI (BLR) 
87kg - Islam ABBASOV (AZE) 
97kg - Balazs KISS (HUN) 
130kg - Oscar PINO HINDS (CUB) 

Women's Wrestling 
50kg -  Mariya STADNIK (AZE) 
53kg - Sarah HILDEBRANDT (USA) 
55kg - Zalina SIDAKOVA (BLR) 
57kg - Ningning RONG (CHN) 
59kg - Elif YESILIRMAK (TUR) 
62kg - Yuliia TKACH OSTAPCHUK (UKR) 
65kg - Petra OLLI (FIN) 
68kg - Alla CHERKASOVA (UKR) 
72kg - Nasanburmaa OCHIRBAT (MGL) 
76kg - Yasemin ADAR (TUR) 

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media 

1. Mihut (ROU) is an arm throw wizard 🤼‍♂️. #unitedworldwrestling #uww #wrestling
2. Who do you think wins the race? Comment👇1, 2, 3 or 4!
3. Highlights from the Greco-Roman qualification round at #buchawrest2018
4. You’re rubbing off on the kids, @aligaraii!
5. Kozliuk (UKR) makes his way to the next round 🇺🇦 🤼‍♂️ . #wrestling #uww #unitedworldwrestling

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Who do you think wins the race? Comment👇1, 2, 3 or 4!

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You’re rubbing off on the kids, @aligaraii!

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Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! February 12, 2019

By Eric Olanowski

Reviewing the Freestyle World Cup draws and Kazakhstan's National Championships. Also looking at results from the Zagreb Open and how they changed the Greco-Roman rankings.

1. Wrestling Announces Groups for 2019 Freestyle World Cup

United World Wrestling has announced the draw for the 2019 Freestyle World Cup in Yakutia, Russia. The annual dual-meet event is a highlight of the international wrestling calendar and features the top eight teams from the 2018 World Championships in Budapest. 

The UWW executive board determined this week that all World Cup competitions, including the Greco-Roman and Women’s World Cup, should follow the same competition format for placement of teams in their respective pools, or groups. With the new system, the No. 1 team will be paired with the No.4, No.5, and No.8 teams from the world championships. 

The No.2 team will in a group with the No.3, No.6, and No.7.

The groups for the 2019 Freestyle World Cup:

Group A - RUS (1), CUB (4), JPN (5), TUR (8)
Group B - USA (2), GEO (3), IRI (6), MGL (7)

Kerem KAMAL, two-time junior world champion, led Turkey to the Zagreb Open team title with his 60kg gold-medal performance. (Photo: Kadir Caliskan)

2. First GR Ranking Series Event, Zagreb Open Concludes in Croatia

The first Greco-Roman Ranking Series event of the year, the Zagreb Open, wrapped up in Croatia, and Turkey captured the team title with their solo champion Kerem KAMAL (TUR) and three runner-ups. They finished 31 points ahead of second place Uzbekistan, who had two champions, and one second-place finisher. 

Croatia’s hometown wrestler Bozo STARCEVIC capped off his impressive run to a fifth consecutive Zagreb Open title with a tactical 2-1 victory over Turkey’s Yunus BASAR in the 77kg finals.

Meanwhile, Bulgaria’s Daniel ALEKSANDROV and Russia’s Ilia BORISOV knocked off reigning world runner-up’s Emrah KUS (TUR) and Kiril MILOV (BUL) respectively to with their first Zagreb Open titles.

Daniel Aleksandrov erased a 7-0 opening-period deficit and scored eight unanswered points in the final period to upend returning world runner-up Emrah KUS (TUR), 8-7, in the 82kg Zagreb Open gold-medal bout.

In the 97kg finals, Ilia Borisov also knocked off a returning Budapest world champion to win his Zagreb Open title. Borisov, the lone Russian finalist, tossed around returning world runner-up Kiril MILOV (BUL) with ease and scored the 9-0 technical superiority victory in the opening period.

Click HERE for a full recap of the Zagreb Open.

Team Scores
GOLD - Turkey (132 points) 
SILVER - Uzbekistan (101 points) 
BRONZE - Croatia (91 points) 
Fourth - Bulgaria (85 points) 
Fifth - Hungary (83 points) 

55kg (Round-Robin) 
GOLD -   Poya Soulat DAD MARZ (IRI) 
BRONZE - Alexandru Vasile BOTEZ (ROU)

60kg - Kerem KAMAL (TUR) df. Milad Ali REZANEZHAD (IRI), 9-3
63kg - Islomjon BAKHRAMOV (UZB) df. Xavier JOHNSON (USA), 10-2 
67kg - Elmurat TASMURADOV (UZB) df. Mihai Radu MIHUT (ROU), 4-1 
72kg - Robert Attila FRITSCH (HUN)  df. Ramaz ZOIDZE (GEO), via injury default
77kg - Bozo STARCEVIC (CRO) df. Yunus BASAR (TUR), 2-1 
82kg - Daniel ALEKSANDROV (BUL) df. Emrah KUS (TUR), 8-7
87kg - Viktor LORINCZ (HUN) df. Kristoffer Zakarias BERG (SWE), 3-1 
97kg - Ilia BORISOV (RUS) df.  Kiril Milenov MILOV (BUL), 9-0 
130kg - Oskar MARVIK (NOR) df. Muminjon ABDULLAEV (UZB) , 1-0 

3. Kazakhstan National Championships 

Kazakhstan, the host nation for this year’s 2019 Astana World Championships, wrapped up their National Championships in freestyle, Greco-Roman, and women’s wrestling last weekend. 

In freestyle, six of Kazakhstan’s 2018 world representatives captured a medal at last weekend’s Nationals Championships, but only Daulet NIYAZBEKOV and Adilet DAVLUMBAYEV walked away with gold medals. The other five wrestlers who competed in Budapest all took home bronze medals. 

Also of note, two of Kazakhstan’s most successful wrestlers from last season, Nurislam SANAYEV and Zhandos ISMAILOV sat out of the competition due to injury. 

Sanayev was last year’s world team representative at the Budapest World Championships, where he fell to Russia’s Zaur UGUEV in the 57kg gold-medal bout. Sanayev also had success at the Asian Championships a season ago, capturing the gold medal, though that title-winning performance came at 61kg. 

Kazakhstan’s 57kg Asian Championship bronze medalist Zhandos Ismailov sat this weekend due to injury. 

Both of these guys were expected to compete for the 61kg title. Instead, it was Kazakhstan’s U23 world representative Bauirzhan TOREBEK who grabbed the gold medal. 

Though a win last weekend puts most of the championship wrestlers into the continental championships, it does not guarantee them a spot on the 2019 Astana World Championship team. That decision won't come after several international tournaments.

Freestyle Results 

GOLD - Meirambek KARTBAY 

GOLD-  Bauirzhan TOREBEK 
BRONZE - Vladidmir KUDRIN 


70 kg

74 kg

79 kg


86 kg

92 kg

97 kg
BRONZE - Bakhitkhanov SERIK 


*Kazakhstan's 2018 national team members listed in bold. 

Click HERE to review Kazahkstan's Greco-Roman and women's wrestling results. 

4. Vlasov and Staebler Train Together in Sochi

The Russian Federation welcomed teams from Germany, Kyrgyzstan, Switzerland, and Uzbekistan, to attend their first training camp of the 2019 season in Russia’s Olympic host city of Sochi. 

The camp in Sochi brought together two Greco-Roman superstars in two-time Olympic champion Roman VLASOV (RUS) and three-time world champion Frank STAEBLER (GER), who was a part of a German squad that brought ten wrestlers to train with Russia’s No. 1 Greco-Roman National Team. 

Staebler told United World Wrestling that a highlight of the camp was training with Vlasov. “It’s been very hard, but great fun and we both learn from each other and get stronger together. Staebler hopes to one day return to Russia to train, saying, “There’s a great respectful friendship between Germany and Russia, and I hope we can return as soon as possible.” 

Staebler, who trained out of a barn for the finals three months leading up to Budapest after he got kicked out of his previous gym, reflected on how improbable his run to a third world title was. The German said he now realizes “How incredible it is that I’ve achieved what I have with my opportunities in Germany. My options compared to what Russia has are ridiculous. Thus, I learned to be even more proud of my German success.” 

Oskar MARVIK (NOR) won the 125kg title at the Zagreb Open and moved up to No. 4 in the rankings. (Photo: Kadir Caliskan) 

5. New Greco-Roman Rankings Released 

The first set of updated Greco-Roman rankings have been updated after the Zagreb Open and are up on United World Wrestling’s homepage. 

The biggest movers in the first set of Greco-Roman rankings were: 

55kg - Ekrem OZTURK (TUR) takes sole ownership of the No. 3 spot after a runner-up finish at the Zagreb Open. Ozturk now has 37 points after the Zagreb Open and fifth place finish at the world championships. 

67kg - Danijel JANECIC (CRO) leaps Budapest bronze medalists Meiirzhan SHERMAKHANBET (KAZ) (25 points) and Gevorg SAHAKYAN (POL) (25 points) with his fifth-place finish at the Zagreb Open. He now has 30 points. 

72kg - Aik MNATSAKANIAN (BUL) was tied with fellow world bronze medalist Rasul CHUNAYEV (AZE) for the third spot with 25 points, but broke that tie with his bronze-medal finish at the Zagreb Open. MNatsakanian now has 39 points. 

77kg - KIM Hyeonwoo (KOR) took possession of the No. 3 ranking with his third-place finish at the Zagreb Open. Kim has 37 points. 

125kg - Yasmani ACOSTA FERNANDEZ (CHI) and Oskar MARVIK (NOR) moved up to the third and fourth spot after being eighth and tenth respectively. Marvik won the gold medal, while Acosta finished in third place. 

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media 

1. Big Move Monday -- RUBAEV G. (MDA) -- 2018 Dan Kolov
2. Here are some of our favorite shots of @kadircaliskan ‘s from the #Zagreb2019
3. Two time World Champion Geno Petriashvili training with the national team in the mountains of Bakuriani @petro700
4. Images from the historic wrestling room in Gori, Georgia.
5. Best match of FR Takhti Cup- 79kg final: Bahman Teymouri (IRI) df. Jabrayil Hasanov (AZE), 6-4