Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! November 19, 2018

By Eric Olanowski

Reviewing results from the U23 World Championships and the U15 Asian Schoolgirl Championships. Also looking at December's World Clubs Cup. ​​​​​​​

1. Bullen Gets Revenge to Win U23 World Championship
Grace BULLEN (NOR) stunned 2018 Senior World champion Ningning RONG (CHN) in the final seconds of the 59kg gold match of the 2018 U23 World Championships in Bucharest, Romania.

“I’m so thrilled. The last two days have been really amazing with how I’ve technically done in the matches and not only using my physical strength all the time,” Bullen said. “[Beating Rong] means more than winning gold. If I had faced her earlier in the bracket and won that way, I think it would feel as amazing as it does right now.”

Two weeks ago, Bullen and Rong met up in the 57 kg semifinals of the Senior World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, with Rong taking a 12-2 win. This time, Bullen came out on top.

Down 2-1 with 12 seconds left, Rong had Bullen’s leg in the air and the Norweigan whipped her opponent to her back for four points to steal the match, 5-2, and bring the crowd to its feet in the exciting finish.

In addition to her World crown, Bullen now owns a 2014 Cadet World gold, 2014 Youth Olympic Games gold and a 2017 Junior World bronze.

Also of note, Yudari SANCHEZ RODRIGUEZ (CUB) became the first Cuban women’s wrestling world champion in any age group. 

Sanchez, a 2017 Junior World silver medalist, and 2017 U23 World bronze medalist, won the crown at 68 kg, taking out Miwa MORIKAWA (JPN). Morikawa is a 2018 Junior World bronze medalist and 2016 Cadet World silver winner.

The Cuban shut down Morikawa’s offense and produced a 6-2 decision for the gold medal.

Women’s Wrestling U23 World Champions
50kg - Momoka KADOYA (JPN)
53kg - Miho IGARASHI (JPN)
55kg - Saki IGARASHI (JPN)
57kg - Alexandria TOWN (CAN)
59kg - Grace BULLEN (NOR)
62kg - Yukako KAWAI (JPN)
65kg - Ayana GEMPEI (JPN)
72kg - Buse TOSUN (TUR)
76kg - Paliha PALIHA (CHN)

Team scores       
1. Japan – 188
2. Russia – 113
3. China – 106
4. Ukraine – 81
5. USA – 76

2. Elsayed Wins Egypt’s First World Gold Since 2006
For the first time in 12 years, at any age group and in any style, Egypt produced a world champion with Mohamed Ibrahim ELSAYED winning the U23 World title at 67kg in Greco-Roman in Bucharest, Romania. The last Egyptian World champion was Mohamed Ibrahim Abdelfattah, who won a 2006 senior-level world gold in Greco-Roman at 84kg.

For Elsayed, it was a dominant run to the gold. At the break, Elsayed held a 2-0 lead over 2012 Cadet World champion Karim JAFAROV (AZE). From there, the Egyptian kept piling on the points, eventually shutting out his opponent for an 8-0 technical fall.

Also making history was Daniel CATARAGA (MDA) who became the first two-time U23 World champion in history, winning the 77kg Greco-Roman U23 world title.

After winning the 2017 U23 World title at 71kg, Cataraga bumped up to 77kg to claim his second, putting together a solid tournament to do so. In the gold-medal match, Cataraga faced 2018 U23 European champion Rajbek Alvievich BISULTANOV (DEN).

The newly minted U23 world champion Zviadi PATARIDZE (GEO) holds up six fingers to symbolize his three junior world titles and two cadet world championships. (Photo by Max Rose-Fyne)

Meanwhile, Zviadi PATARIDZE (GEO) added a U23 world gold to his five age-level world gold medal collection.

In the heavyweight finale, Pataridze, last year's U23 world runner-up, battled back from a five-point deficit against Osman YILDIRIM (TUR) to win gold at 130kg.

Yildirim led 5-0 at the break before Pataridze slowly chipped away at the lead, drawing a passivity, two caution-and-twos and a step out point to win his sixth age-group World championship.

Greco-Roman Wrestling U23 World Champions
55kg - Nugzari TSURTSUMIA (GEO)
60kg - Kenichiro FUMITA (JPN)
62kg - Katsuaki ENDO (JPN)
67kg - Mohamed Ibrahim ELSAYED (EGY)
72kg - Cengiz ARSLAN (TUR)
77kg - Daniel CATARAGA (MDA)
82kg - Gela BOLKVADZE (GEO)
87kg - Semen NOVIKOV (UKR)
97kg - Aleksandr GOLOVIN (RUS)
130kg - Zviadi PATARIDZE (GEO)

Team results (top five)
1. Georgia – 126
2. Russia – 101
3. Turkey – 87
4. Japan – 80
5. Azerbaijan – 71

3. Olympic Silver Medalist Higuchi Wins to U23 World Title 
Among Japan’s pair of U23 freestyle world champions was 2016 Rio silver medalist, Rei HIGUCHI (JPN) at 65kg.

Higuchi relied on a takedown with 14 seconds left to defeat Morteza GHIASI CHEKA (IRI) to advance to the 65kg finals against 2018 Yasar Dogu runner-up Ali RAHIMZADE (AZE).

In the finals, 2016 Olympic silver medalist Higuchi edged in a 5-4 battle. Rahimzade rallied from a 4-1 deficit to tie the score as the clock ran out, but Higuchi held criteria. Azerbaijan’s corner challenged, looking for a fleeing call, but lost the challenge, resulting in another point for Higuchi.

Japan’s second champion was 57kg gold medalist Toshihiro HASEGAWA (JPN). In the finals, Hasegawa, a 2013 cadet world bronze medalist, went up 4-0 halfway through the first period against Kumar RAVI (IND) before locking up a cradle and getting the pin at the 2:08 mark.

Freestyle U23 World Champions 
57kg - Toshihiro HASEGAWA (JPN)
61kg - Magomedrasul IDRISOV (RUS)
65kg - Rei HIGUCHI (JPN)
70kg - Taimuraz SALKAZANOV (SVK)

74kg - Avtandil KENTCHADZE (GEO)
79kg - Nika KENTCHADZE (GEO)
86kg - Kamran GHASEMPOUR (IRI)
92kg - Shamil ZUBAIROV (AZE)
125kg - Said GAMIDOV (RUS)

Team results
1. Russia – 181
2. Georgia – 108
3. Iran – 105
4. Japan – 93
5. USA – 92

4. Rising Star Fujinami Leads Japan Gold Rush at Asian U-15 Girls
Having already surpassed her world medalist brother in one aspect, Akari FUJINAMI (JPN) continues to establish herself as a likely future star in Japan's women wrestling.

Fujinami, a junior high schooler who this summer became a world cadet champion, stormed to victory in the 54kg division to lead a gold rush by the host country at the Asian U-15 Girls Championships on Friday in Fujimi, north of Tokyo.

Fujinami was one of six Japanese who made it to the top of the medal podium in the 10 weight classes, with Miu OBATA (39kg),  Yu SAKAMOTO (46kg), Moe KIYOOKA (50kg), Kanami YAMANOUCHI (58kg) and Ayano MORO (62kg) also emerging victorious. Japan also won two silver medals.

India claimed three golds, including a victory at 42kg by world cadet bronze medalist SWEETY (IND), along with three silvers and a bronze, while Uzbekistan took the remaining title in the heaviest weight of 66kg as well as four bronzes. It was a bittersweet day for Mongolia, which had to settle for four silver medals to go with one bronze.

Women's Wrestling U15 Asian Champions 
36kg - Komal KOMAL (IND)
39kg - Miu OBATA (JPN)
42kg - Sweety SWEETY (IND)
46kg - Yu SAKAMOTO (JPN) 
50kg - Moe KIYOOKA (JPN)
54kg - Akari FUJINAMI (JPN)
58kg - Kanami YAMANOUCHI (JPN)
62kg - Ayano MORO (JPN)
66kg - Rushana ABDIRASULOVA (UZB)

Team Standings
1. Japan - 202
2. India - 181 
3. Kazakhstan -125 
4. Mongolia - 114
5. Uzbekistan - 105

5. Tehran to Host 2018 World Wrestling Clubs Cup in Three Weeks 
Tehran, Iran is set to host the fifth annual World Wrestling Clubs Cup on December 13-14. 

Last year, 16 World and Olympic medalists took part in the two-day competition, but it was Iran's Easy Pipe Kashan who edged defending champions from the United States, Titan Mercury, 6-4, while Setaregan Sari (IRI) downed Khimori (MGL) in the third-place dual.

2017 Finals Results 
57kg - Reza ATARI (Easy Pipe) df. Thomas GILMAN (TMWC), 6-4 
61kg- Vladimir KHINCHEGASHVILI (Easy Pipe) df. Alan WATERS (TMWC), 7-0
65kg- Farzad AMOUZAD KHALILI df. (Easy Pipe) Bernard FUTRELL (TMWC), 6-3
70kg- Mohammad NADERI (Easy Pipe) df. Franklin GOMEZ (TMWC), 2-2
74kg- Nazariy KULCHYTSKYY (TMWC) df. Hossein ELYASI (Easy Pipe), 5-4 
79kg- Kyle DAKE (TMWC) TF. Reza AFZALI (Easy Pipe), 12-0
86kg- David TAYLOR (TMWC) df. Alireza KARIMI (Easy Pipe), 3-1 
92kg- Hossein SHAHBAZI (Easy Pipe) df. Nickolas HEFLIN (Titan), 4-2
97kg- Kyle SNYDER (TMWC) TF. Vladislav BAITSAEV (Easy Pipe), 11-0
125kg - Geno PETRIASHVILI (Easy Pipe) df. Nick GWIAZDOWSKI (Titan), 6-5

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media 

1. Big throws and Takedowns at U23 World Championships 2018. #uww #unitedworldwrestling
2. Iran 💪💪. Ghasempour wins gold 🇮🇷💪🇮🇷
طلای قاسم پور برای ایران. پرچم بالاست 💪💪 🇮🇷
#unitedworldwrestling #uww #wrestling
3. Big Move From Day 6 and the fastest fight 🤼‍♂️🚄 // #Bucharest2018 #freestylewrestling #olympic #wrestling#bigmove #throw #takedown
4. Big Move From Day 4 // #Bucharest2018 #grecoromanwrestling #olympic #wrestling#bigmove #throw #takedown
5. An amazing throw by Pilidis from Greece who comes back from behind to get the win! 🇬🇷💪#unitedworldwrestling #uww #wrestling

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