Weekly FIVE!

Weekly Five! November 26, 2019

By Eric Olanowski

Reviewing Sweden's trio of newly-named Olympians, and previewing the upcoming Alrosa Cup and Canadian Wrestling Trails. 

1. Three Swedish Wrestlers Olympic Spots Confirmed
Sweden confirmed that Jenny FRANSSON, Henna JOHANSSON and Alexandros KESSIDIS earned their spot on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic team. Fransson and Kessidis were world silver medalists this year, and Johansson was a bronze-medal finisher. 

Fransson, this year's 68kg world runner-up, announced on her Instagram, saying, "I'm so proud that today we were officially selected to represent Sweden in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics."

The 32-year-old's confirmation on the Tokyo Olympic team means she's now a four-time Olympian. The world runner-up finished in ninth place at the Beijing and London Olympic Games before finding the podium with a bronze-medal finish at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. 

On a side note, Fransson has a career Olympic Games record of 4-5, but three of those losses came against two eventual champions and a silver medalist. Wang JIAO (CHN) and Sara DOSHO (JPN) went on to win gold medals at the 2008 and 2016 Olympic Games, respectively, while Stanka HRISTOVA (BUL) was a runner-up at the 2012 Olympics.

Henna Johansson, the 62kg women's wrestling world bronze medalist, will be making her third appearance at the Olympic Games. She;s finished in tenth place at the London and Rio Olympic Games.

Kessidis, who dropped the 77kg Greco-Roman world finals, will make his first trip to the Olympic Games next August. The 24-year-old will be Sweden's leading candidate to win their 21st Greco-Roman Olympic title, but first since Mikael LJUNGBERG's did so at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. 

Bilyal MAKHOV (RUS) will wrestle this weekend at the Alrosa Cup in Moscow, Russia. This is only the fourth time the Olympic silver medalist has wrestled since the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. (Photo: United World Wrestling)

2. Makhov Set to Compete at Alrosa Cup (November 28-30) 
Bilyal MAKHOV (RUS) continues his quest to improve his Olympic silver medal on November 28 when he’ll lace up at the Alrosa Cup in Moscow, Russia. 

The Alrosa Cup will be Makhov's fourth competition since the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and the second time he's competed in 2019. Most recently, Makhov returned to the mat after a 21-month hiatus at the Poland Open, where he finished in second place. 

After August's Poland Open silver-medal finish, Makhov was rumored to be one-of-two replacement candidates for the 2019 World Championships after Russia's starting heavyweight Anzor KHIZRIEV (RUS) suffered an arm injury during a training camp leading up to Nur-Sultan. Instead, Russia ultimately inserted Alan KHUGAEV, who finished in 11th place in Kazakhstan.

Earlier this year, the three-time world champion and former London Olympic bronze medalist had his medal upgraded. Makhov was awarded the silver medal after Artur TAYMAZOV (UZB) was stripped of his 2012 London Olympic gold medal by the IOC Disciplinary Commission (DC) after a reanalysis of his anti-doping test at the 2012 Olympic Games. 


Olympic Erica WIEBE
(CAN) could square off with world champion Justina Di STASIO (CAN) for a potential opportunity to wrestle at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. (Photo: Kadir Caliskan)

3. Canadian Wrestling Trials Begin December 5-7
The Canadian Wrestling Team trials kick off December 5-7 in Niagara, Ontario, Canada, and Erica WIEBE and Justina Di STASIO highlight the premier weight-to-watch, 76kg. 

Wiebe, a Rio Olympic champion, is looking to become the first-ever non-Japanese women's wrestler to win a pair of Olympic titles. But to do so, she'll first have to get through 2018 world champion, Justina Di Stasio, in a best two-of-three match. That is, of course, if they both make the finals. 

Though official seeds won't be released until a few days before the competition begins, Wiebe and Di Stasio are expected to be the first and second-seeded wrestlers, respectively. If the colossal match were to happen, it'd take place Saturday night.

The pair of stars met earlier this year in the finals of Canada Cup in Calgary, where Wiebe scored the 7-5 come-from-behind win. In that June meeting, Wiebe trailed 3-2 heading into the closing period, but the Olympic champion outscored the world champion, 5-2, and secured the gold medal with the 7-5 victory. 

Other notable Canadian stars that'll be in action at the Canadian Wrestling Team Trials are Danielle LAPPAGE, Linda MORAIS, Alex TOWN and Diana WEICKER.  

Morais, who is coming off winning a world title at the non-Olympic weight of 59kg, is set to move down to 57kg, where Hannah TAYLOR and Alexandra TOWN will challenge her. Taylor is fresh off a bronze-medal finish at the U23 World Championships, while Town is a year removed from handing Canada their first-ever women's wrestling U23 world gold medal. 

Lappage and Weicker, the pair of 2018 world medalists, will also be in action in Ontario. Lappage, the 2018 world runner-up, will wrestle at 68kg, while Weicker, the Budapest bronze medalist, will wrestle at 53kg. 

The winners of the Canadian Wrestling Team Trails cement their spot on Canada's Pan-American Championship/Qualifier teams. Furthermore, they'll lock up their place on Canada's 2020 Tokyo Olympic team if they qualify Canada for the Olympic Games at the world or continental qualifier. 

Event Page
Trials Clarification

Said ABDVALI (IRI) was expected to lead Iran's team at the 2019 Greco-Roman World Cup. The tournament has since been postponed. (Photo: Gabor Martin)

4. Greco-Roman World Cup Postponed
In response to the current instability in Iran, the 2019 Greco-Roman World Cup, originally slated to be held next weekend in Tehran, has been postponed. 

The UWW Executive Committee held a meeting yesterday in Istanbul and assessed a variety of sources including the associated Foreign Ministries recommendations to travellers in Iran and the recent decision of other sports. It was also acknowledged by the Executive Committee that two teams had already withdrawn their participation due to the recommendations of their nations. 

"Considering its responsibility towards athletes and teams; and that the situation has not reached a satisfactory degree of stability for the holding of such an international event; and with a concern for avoiding any risk on our athletes, the Executive Committee has decided to postpone the holding of the World Cup GR until further notice," wrote United World Wrestling general secretary Micheal DUSSON, in a letter to concerned national federations.

Two-time world champion Yui SUSAKI (JPN) has to win the Emperor's Cup in order to lock up her spot on Japan's Asian Olympic qualifier team. (Photo: Sachiko Hotaka)

5. Japan's 50kg Asian Olympic Qualifier Spot to be Determined at Emperor's Cup
Shortly after winning her second consecutive senior world title a season ago in Budapest, Yui SUSAKI (JPN) was looked at by many as one of the best pound-for-pound wrestlers in the world. Through her first two senior World Championships, Susaki was a perfect 9-0 and scored an impressive seven technical superiority victories and a fall en route to her pair of world titles. 

But the seven-time world champion (three cadet, two junior and two senior) was dealt a stunning loss to Yuki IRIE (JPN) and failed to make Japan's Nur-Sultan world team. Susaki was in danger of missing the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, but her rival Irie dropped her quarterfinals match in Nur-Sultan to SUN Yanan (CHN), who ended up falling to eventual champion Mariya STADNIK (AZE) in the semifinals, and left the door wide open for Susaki to return to Japan's lineup prior to the Olympic Games. 

Japan's focus at 50kg moves to December 19-22 Emperor's Cup. The winner of the 50kg weight class, which will feature Irie, Susaki and Rio Olympic champion Erie TOSAKA (JPN), will travel to Xi'an, China, to try to secure Japan's spot at the 2020 Olympic Games.

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media 
1. Big Move Monday -- Euren J. (SWE) -- Greco-Roman World Cup 2015
2. Wrestle Like A Girl 🤼‍♀️ #uww #unitedworldwrestling#wrestlelikeagirl
3. Rashidov Wins Long-Awaited World Title
4. Akgul, Burroughs, Sadulaev and Yazdani are among the freestyle superstars who already have an Olympic title on their resume. Which medalist do you think will medal at the #Tokyo2020 Olympic Games?
5. On the Line: Match Winners

Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! December 10, 2019

By Eric Olanowski

Reviewing the three Olympic champions who had winning weekends and Chamizo announcing that he'll compete at January's Matteo Pellicone in Rome. Also looking next week's All Japan Championships and U.S. Olympic Trials Qualifier. 

1. Wiebe Outduels Di Stasio in Battle of Olympic vs. World Champion 
Erica WIEBE outdueled Justina DI STASIO in two straight matches at the Canadian Wrestling Trials, as two other Olympians cemented their spots on Canada’s Pan-American Qualifier team.

Wiebe, the 2016 Rio Olympic champion, scored back-to-back victories over 2018 world champion Justina Di Stasio in a best-of-three series and punched her ticket to the Pan-American Olympic Games Qualifier. The Olympic Qualifier is set to take place in her hometown of Ottawa on March 13-15. In her post-match interview, the Rio Olympic champion said, “It’s going to be different. I’ve never wrestled in my hometown of Ottawa, and a lot is on the line, and I’ll just do a lot of what I do every day – that is get one percent better.” 

In the first match, Wiebe scored an inactivity point and held the 1-0 advantage, but Di Stasio scored a takedown and grabbed the 2-1 lead. Wiebe responded in a champion way, scoring four unanswered points and took match one, 5-2. Then, in the second match, Weibe grabbed a pair of one-point exchanges and locked up her spot on Canada’s Pan-American Qualifier team with the 2-0 victory. 

Michelle FAZZARI and Danielle LAPPAGE, who represented Canada at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, also punched their ticket to the Pan-American Olympic Games Qualifier in Ottawa. 

Fazzari, who was returning from a horrific knee injury she suffered while wrestling Adeniyi OLUWAFUNMILAYO (NGR) in the 2018 Commonwealth Games finals, downed Jessica BROUILLETTE in two straight matches. She scored the 3-0 shutout win in the first match, then edged Brouillette, 3-2, in the second match. 

Lappage, the 2018 world runner-up, dropped her first match against three-time Pan-American medalist Olivia DI BACCO, but earned her spot to the Pan-American Olympic Games Qualifier after winning back-to-back matches. She won the second match, 9-0, and the third match, 4-2. 

Meanwhile, Linda MORAIS, the 59kg world champion, dropped down to the Olympic weight of 57kg and easily punched her ticket to Ottawa with a pair of falls over Hannah TAYLOR. 

RESULTS
Women’s Wrestling
50kg - Jessie MACDONALD df. Madison PARKS, two matches to none (7-2, 12-1)
53kg - Samantha STEWART df. Jade PARSONS, two matches to none (11-0, 2-2)
57kg - Linda MORAIS df. Hannah TAYLOR, two matches to none (via fall, via fall)
 62kg - Michelle FAZZARI df. Jessica BROUILLETTE, two matches to none (3-0, 3-2) 
68kg - Danielle LAPPAGE df. Olivia DI BACCO, two matches to one (5-8, 9-0, 4-2) 
76kg - Erica WIEBE df. Justina DI STASIO, two matches to none (5-2, 2-1)
 

Freestyle 
57kg - Ligrit SADIUKU df. Aso PALANI, two matches to one (3-4, 12-2, 4-1)
65kg - Dillon WILLIAMS df. Chris MCISAAC, two matches to none (5-2, 5-1)
74kg - Jasmit PHULKA df. Tyler ROWE, two matches to none (6-2, 6-5)
86kg - Clayton PYE df. Alex BROWN-THERIAULT, two matches to one (15-4, 2-9, 13-2)
97kg - Jordan STEEN df. Nishan RANDHAWA, two matches to none (13-2, 12-2)
125kg - Amar DHESI df. Korey JARVIS, two matches to none (11-0, 10-0)

2. Olympic Champs Ramonov and Snyder Win Alans International Tournament
Olympic champions Soslan RAMONOV (RUS) and Kyle SNYDER (USA) finished atop the podium at the Alans International Tournament in Vladikavkaz, Russia, as nine Russians claimed gold medals.

Ramonov, who has been wrestling at 70kg since 2017, returned to 65kg for the first time since his magical run to Olympic gold in Rio, and defeated Kurban SHIRAEV (RUS), 3-0, in the finals at 65kg. 

The Alans was Ramonov’s third tournament back since undergoing back surgery over a year ago. The Olympic champion finished in second place at the Akhmed Kadyrov Cup and third place at the Vladimir Semenov Tournament. 

Last November, Ramonov told United World Wrestling, “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.” Ramonov went on to say, “I expect to return to the mat in January, and hopefully enter a tournament at 65kg closer to the fall.” 

America’s Kyle Snyder was the second Olympic champion who won an Alans gold medal. To win his gold, “Captain America” used a takedown and three one-point maneuvers to move past 2018 European champion Vladislav BAITSAEV (RUS), 5-2, in the 97kg finals.

Meanwhile, Ahmed IDRISOV (RUS) and Khetik TSABOLOV (RUS) were also apart of Russia’s gold-medal winning cast. 

Idrisov, the younger brother of reigning world silver medalist Magomedrasul IDRISOV (RUS), scored a three-point win (5-2) over the two-time world bronze medalist ERDENEBAT Behbayar (MGL) in the 57kg finals.

Tsabolov, the 2014 world champion, defeated two-time world medalist James GREEN (USA), 7-4, in the 74kg finals. Up until the Alans, Tsabolov's finals opponent had competed down at 70kg for 20 consecutive tournaments and was making his first career appearance up at the Olympic weight class of 74kg.

In the finals, the Russian gave up an early takedown and trailed 2-0, but scored an inactivity point that was followed by a takedown and a pair of laces to win the match by three points. 

Freestyle
57kg - Ahmed IDRISOV (RUS) df. ERDENEBAT Behbayar (MGL), 5-2
61kg - Ramazan FERZALIEV (RUS) df. Abasgadzhi MAGOMEDOV (RUS), 10-7
65kg - Soslan RAMONOV (RUS) df. Kurban SHIRAEV (RUS), 3-0
70kg - Chermen VALIEV (RUS) df. Ramazan RAMAZANOV (RUS), 4-2
74kg - Khetik TSABOLOV (RUS) df. James GREEN (USA), 7-4
79kg - Khalil AMINOV (RUS) df. Kakhaber KHUBEZHTY (RUS), 8-6
86kg - Soslan KTSOEV (RUS) df. Georgy RUBAEV (MDA), 11-1
92kg - Magomed KURBANOV (RUS) df. Mohammad EBRAHIMI (IRI), 4-2
97kg - Kyle SNYDER (USA) df. Vladislav BAITSAEV (RUS), 5-2
125kg - Batraz GAZZAYEV (RUS) df. Baldan TSYZHIPOV (RUS), 10-0

Yui SUSAKI (JPN) will try to get back on Japan's women's wrestling team by winning next weekend's All Japan Championships. (Photo: Sachiko Hotaka)

3. All Japan Championships Begin Next Week in Tokyo 
Yui SUSAKI will join Rio Olympic silver medalists Shinobu OTA and Rei HIGUCHI next week on their quest to claim All Japan Championship gold and lock up their spots on Japan’s Asian Olympic Games Qualifier team. 

The winners of the All Japan Championships, which will take place at Tokyo’s Komazawa Gymnasium on December 19-22, and will travel to China in March with hopes of doing what their fellow Japanese teammates couldn’t do at the 2019 World Championships -- qualify their respective weight for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. 

Susaki, a two-time world champion, will be joined by career rival Yuki IRIE and Rio Olympic champion Erie TOSAKA in the 50kg bracket. Earlier this year, Susaki was stunned by Irie, which kept her from defending her world titles from 2017 and ’18. 

Meanwhile, Rio Olympic runner-ups Ota and Higuchi will be moving weight classes in preparations to improve their silver medals from 2016. 

Ota, this year’s 63kg world champion, will be moving up to 67kg. He planned on dropping down to 60kg, but Kenichiro FUMITA (JPN) not only won the world title, but he also locked up his seat on Japan’s Olympic team at the weight. So that left Ota with no choice but to go up to 67kg.

Next weekend, Ota will challenge defending national champion Shogo TAKAHASHI, defending national runner-up Tsuchika SHIMOYAMADA and last year’s U23 world champion Katsuaki ENDO, for the 67kg spot.

Rei HIGUCHI, who is dropping down to 57kg from 65kg, will have to get through Yuki TAKAHASHI if he has hopes of representing Japan in a second straight Olympics. The task won't be easy, as Takahashi has been one of the best wresters at the weight over the past three years. Higuchi's potential opponent was the world champion in 2017 and world bronze medalist in 2018. But after a disappointing 10th-place finish in Nur-Sultan, Takahashi left the door open for others to challenge, which is why Higuchi is making the change. 

For more information about the All Japan Championships, visit http://www.japan-wrestling.org.

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Talks Tokyo, Burroughs, Sidakov and injury recovery.

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4. Chamizo Announces Plans to Compete at January’s Matteo Pellicone
In an interview with United World Wrestling, Italian superstar Frank CHAMIZO announced that he’ll wrestle at the first Ranking Series event of 2020, the Matteo Pellicone. “I’m going to Rome for the Ranking Series tournament. Right now, I’m training for there in New York,” said the two-time world champion. Chamizo went further, saying, “It will be good. It’s home!”

Chamizo has been one of the biggest supporters of UWW’s Ranking Series events. After winning a gold medal at the third Ranking Series tournament of the year, the Sassari City Tournament, Chamizo said, “I need the training and I need the matches. But the reason for competing so much is I need the Ranking Series points. That’s important.”

Chamizo has competed in four of the eight Ranking Series events since its inception in 2018 and has medaled in each of those four appearances. This year, Chamizo used the Ranking Series events to climb to the top of the world ranking, and ultimately the No. 1 seed at the World Championships, after collecting points at the European Championships, Dan Kolov, Sassari City Tournament and Yasar Dogu.   

With the Olympics seeding the top-four wrestlers at each weight for the first time ever, you can bet that Chamizo will again have his eye on the top seed, and his quest to grab that top seed kicks off at the Matteo Pellicone, which takes place January 15-18. 

Chamizo’s Ranking Series Resume
2018 
Yasar Dogu – gold 

2019 
Sassari – gold 
Yasar Dogu – silver 

Dan Kolov – bronze 

5. Fort Worth to Host U.S. Olympic Trials Qualifier Next Week
The road to State College, Pennsylvania, for the Olympic Trials made its first stop in New York for the Bill Farrell Memorial and will make its second stop next weekend in Fort Worth, Texas, for the U.S. Olympic Trials Qualifier. The Fort Worth Convention Center will host the two-day tournament from December 20-22.

According to USA Wrestling, “The Senior Freestyle top-5 finishers per weight category at the 2019 U.S. Olympic Trials Qualifier will earn a spot in the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials,” which will take place in State College, Pennsylvania, on April 4-5.

Our friends at www.flowrestling.org have the streaming rights to the U.S. Olympic Trials Qualifier. Wrestling kicks off at 11:00 (local time) on December 20. 

Selection Process for 2020 Toyko Olympic Games

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media

1. Big Move Monday -- El Sayed M. (EGY)
2. Top-10 Throws from 2019
3. Top-Five Scrambles from 2019
4. Who scored on this exchange?
5. #TBT - Semenov Smashes Coon, Giving Russia Sixth GR World Gold

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— #uww #unitedworldwrestling

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