Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! November 5, 2019

By Eric Olanowski

Reviewing results from the U23 World Championships and previewing the upcoming Women's Wrestling and Greco-Roman World Cups. 

1. Egypt's Rising Star El Sayed Defends U23 World Title 
Ten days. That’s how long it took for Mohamed EL SAYED (EGY) to bolster his resume by a pair of world titles. In just under two weeks, the 21-year-old Egyptian rising star steamrolled his way to the top of the podium at the U23 World Championships and World Military Games. 

El Sayed kick-started his impressive two-week run on October 23, taking out five wrestlers in Wuhan, China, to win the World Military Games title at 67kg. Then, El Sayed downed five foes in Hungary last weekend and defended his U23 world gold medal from a year ago. 

The Nur-Sultan world fifth-place finisher capped off his world-title run by obliterating Aliaksandr LIAVONCHYK (BLR), 8-0, in the 67kg finals. In addition to his finals win, the man who qualified Egypt for the Olympic Games at 67kg, scored perhaps his most significant win of the tournament when he bested Katsuaki ENDO (JPN) in the semifinals. The Egyptian wrestler came out on top of that matchup between returning U23 world champions, 7-5.

Egypt won't compete at the 2019 Greco-Roman World Cup, so the next time wrestling fans can catch El Sayed in action could be at  January's Matteo Pellicone, which is the first Ranking Series event of 2020. 

Taylor Miller's Greco-Roman Wraps:
Novikov Avenges European C’Ships Loss to Defend U23 World Title
Elsayed Collects Second World Title in Less than Two Weeks at #WrestleBudapest

Greco-Roman Finals Results
55kg - Shota OGAWA (JPN) df. Emin Narimanovitch SEFERSHAEV (RUS), 4-3
60kg - Armen MELIKYAN (ARM) df. Zholaman SHARSHENBEKOV (KGZ), 11-7 
63kg - Meysam Karamali DALKHANI (IRI) df. Levani KAVJARADZE (GEO), 7-6 
67kg - Mohamed Ibrahim Elsayed Ibrahi ELSAYED (EGY) df. Aliaksandr LIAVONCHYK (BLR), 9-0 
72kg - Mohammadreza Abdolhamid GERAEI (IRI) df. Sanan SULEYMANOV (AZE), 7-0 
77kg - Islam OPIEV (RUS) df. Kodai SAKURABA (JPN), 3-1 
82kg - Milad Valerikovitch ALIRZAEV (RUS) df. Vjekoslav LUBURIC (CRO), 8-0 
87kg - Semen NOVIKOV (UKR) df. Gurami KHETSURIANI (GEO), 6-1
97kg - Arvi Martin SAVOLAINEN (FIN) df. Giorgi MELIA (GEO), 5-3 
130kg - Aliakbar Hossein YOUSOFIAHMADCHALI (IRI) df. Zviadi PATARIDZE (GEO), via inj. def. 

Haruna OKUNO (JPN) was one of seven Japanese wrestlers to win a U23 women's wrestling title. (Photo: Sachiko Hotaka)

2. Japanese Women Seize Seven of Ten U23 World Golds 
The Japanese women’s wrestling team capped off an extraordinary run to a U23 team world title with a 37-3 record, which culminated in ten medals – seven of which were golds. They finished 125 points ahead of second-place China, who finished with 105 points. 

In total, Japan’s U23 women’s world team had seven champions, two runner-ups, and a bronze-medal finisher. 

Japan’s domination at the U23 World Championships solidifies the island nation’s spot atop the ranks in women’s wrestling after they swept the four major World Championships in 2019. The Far East country took home the team trophy at the cadet, junior, U23 and senior world championships – while grabbing at least six medals at every World Championships. Furthermore, they finished with six champions at the cadet, junior and U23 world championships. 

Taylor Miller's Women's Wrestling Wraps Wraps:
Marin Potrille Takes Down Senior World Medalist for U23 World Title
Furuichi Wins Seventh World Gold, Paliha Defends U23 World Title at #WrestleBudapest

2019 U23 World Champions: 
50kg - Kika KAGATA (JPN)
53kg - Haruna OKUNO (JPN)
55kg - Sae NANJO (JPN)
59kg - Yumeka TANABE (JPN)
62kg - Yuzuka INAGAKI (JPN)
65kg - Misuzu ENOMOTO (JPN)
68kg - Masako FURUICHI (JPN)

2019 World Championships Medal Breakdown: 
Cadet – Six gold and three bronze – nine medals 
Junior – Eight gold and two bronze – ten medals 
U23 – Seven gold, two silver and one bronze – ten medals 
Senior – One gold, three silver and two bronze – six medals

Razambek ZHAMALOV (RUS) helped Russia claim their fourth freestyle world title across all divisions with an 8-1 victory over  Mohammad Ashghar NOKHODILARIMI (IRI) in the 74kg finals. (Photo: Kadir Caliskan)

3. Russia Edges Iran at U23 Worlds, Sweeps Freestyle World Championships 
The Russia Federation hoisted a freestyle 2019 team trophy for the fourth time this year at the World Championships after edging second-place Iran by six points at the U23 World Championships. 

Russia’s run to a fourth consecutive freestyle team trophy came on the back of Razambek ZHAMALOV’S 74kg title-winning effort. Zhamalov, a 2018 junior world runner-up, became a world champion for the first time in his career with a smothering 8-1 victory over Mohammad Ashghar NOKHODILARIMI (IRI) in the 74kg finals. Four other Russians joined Zhamalov in the finals, but that quartet settled for silver medals after falling in their respective gold-medal matches. The Russian Federation also had a pair of bronze medalists – bringing their overall medal count to seven. 

Russia finished six points ahead of second-place Iran and 34 points ahead of third-place Azerbaijan. 

Taylor Miller's Freestyle Wraps:
Zholdoshbekov Claims First Men’s Freestyle World Title for Kyrgyzstan Since 2005
Andreu Ortega and Goleij Claim Second U23 World Titles at #WrestleBudapest

Freestyle Finals Results
57kg - Reineri ANDREU ORTEGA (CUB) df. Adlan ASKAROV (KAZ), 10-0 
61kg - Ulukbek ZHOLDOSHBEKOV (KGZ) df. Ravinder RAVINDER (IND), 5-3 
65kg - Turan BAYRAMOV (AZE) df. Takuma TANIYAMA (JPN), 3-2 
70kg - Mirza SKHULUKHIA (GEO) df. Chermen VALIEV (RUS), 7-5 
74kg - Razambek ZHAMALOV (RUS) df. Mohammad Ashghar NOKHODILARIMI (IRI), 8-2 
79kg - Tariel GAPHRINDASHVILI (GEO) df. Abubakr ABAKAROV (AZE), via fall 
86kg - Kamran Ghorban GHASEMPOUR (IRI) df. Gadzhimurad MAGOMEDSAIDOV (AZE), 9-3 
92kg - Bo Dean NICKAL (USA) df. Batyrbek TCAKULOV (RUS), 12-2 
97kg - Mojtaba Mohammadshafie GOLEIJ (IRI) df. Shamil Alievitch MUSAEV (RUS), 8-2 
125kg - Amir Hossein Abbas ZARE (IRI) df. Vitalii GOLOEV (RUS), 10-0 

Three-time world and Rio Olympic champ Risako KAWAI (JPN) will compete at 57kg at the Women's Wrestling World Cup. (Photo: Kadir Caliskan) 

4. Japan Gearing up to Host Women's World Cup (November 16-17)
For the sixth time in its 18-year run, the Women’s Wrestling World Cup returns to the winningest women’s wrestling country in the world, Japan. The four-time defending World Cup champions will host the annual dual meet event November 16-17 at the Nakadai Sports & Recreation Park Gymnasium in Narita, Japan. 

Risako KAWAI (JPN) and Adeline Maria GRAY (USA) headline a group of five reigning world champions and 19 total medalists that'll compete in Narita. 

Kawai and Gray, who combine for eight world titles and a Rio Olympic gold medal, are unquestionably the most dominant women's wrestlers in the world. Kawai, who'll scrap at 57kg, has won three consecutive world titles after claiming gold in Rio de Janerio at the 2016 Olympic Games. Gray, who is coming off winning her American history-making fifth women's wrestling world title, will wrestle at 76kg. 

Jacarra Gwenisha WINCHESTER (USA), Inna TRAZHUKOVA (RUS) and Tamyra Mariama MENSAH (USA) are the trio of newly-minted world champs that'll join Kawai and Gray at the World Cup. 

The Women's Wrestling World Cup starts on November 16 and will be streamed live on www.unitedworldwrestling.org. 

Reigning World Champions Entered
55kg - Jacarra Gwenisha WINCHESTER (USA)
57kg - Risako KAWAI (JPN)
62kg - Inna TRAZHUKOVA (RUS)
68kg - Tamyra Mariama MENSAH (USA)
76kg - Adeline Maria GRAY (USA)

Ismael BORRERO MOLINA (CUB) (Photo: Tony Rotundo)

5. Loaded Field Entered into Greco-Roman World Cup (November 28-29) 
The Azadi Stadium in Iran's capital city of Tehran will welcome a loaded field of top-level talent to the 2019 Greco-Roman World Cup from November 28-29. Six reigning world gold medalists will travel to Tehran to compete in the Greco-Roman World Cup, but 67kg will be the weight-to-watch, as a potential Olympic finals rematch between Ismael BORRERO MOLINA (CUB) and Shinobu OTA (JPN) could be looming on the horizion. 

Borrero and Ota both won world titles in Nur-Sultan, but the Japanese wrestler will begin his ascent from his title-winning non-Olympic weight of 63kg to the Olympic weight of 67kg, where the Cuban wrestler is the current world-title holder. Shortly after winning his world title last month, Ota announced that he'll climb up 4kg to 67kg to make a run at improving his silver medal from the Rio Olympic Games where he fell to Borrero in the finals.

In addition to Borrero and Ota, the Greco-Roman World Cup will also welcome four other world champs. The returning world champs are: Nugzari TSURTSUMIA (GEO), Kenichiro FUMITA (JPN), Abuiazid MANTSIGOV (RUS) and Lasha GOBADZE (GEO). 

The Greco-Roman World Cup starts on November 28 and will be streamed live on www.unitedworldwrestling.org. 

Reigning World Champions Entered
55kg - Nugzari TSURTSUMIA (GEO)
60kg - Kenichiro FUMITA (JPN) 
67kg - Ismael BORRERO MOLINA (CUB)
67kg - Shinobu OTA (JPN)
72kg - Abuiazid MANTSIGOV (RUS)
82kg - Lasha GOBADZE (GEO)

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media

1. Big Move Monday -- Akmataliev E. @akmataliev_ernazar -- U23 Worlds 2019
2. SEFERSHAEV (RUS) gets the win in a crazy match against HALAKURKI (IND) 🔥 .
3. Big throws by FENG (CHN) 🇨🇳 🛬 🤼‍♂️
4. GHASEMPOUR (IRI) defeats SADOWIK (POL) will he win the gold again? 🥇 🇮🇷 🔥
5. Back and forth match between IBRAGIMOV (AZE) and PANTALEO (USA) with IBRAGIMOV grabbing the 9-8 win 🇦🇿 💪 🌟

Weekly FIVE!

Weekly Five! November 12, 2019

By Eric Olanowski

Discussing the Women’s World Cup team race, wrestlers and weights to watch and Iran hosting the Greco-Roman World Cup (November 28-29).

1. The Road to the Finals 
In the 18-year history of the Women’s World Cup, Japan, China and the United States are the only teams to hoist the annual dual meet team trophy. But, dating back to 2003 when the United States claimed their lone team title, Japan or China has had a stronghold on women’s wrestling -- claiming 14 consecutive World Cup championships. 

Japan and China met in the previous two World Cup finals, with Japan coming out on the winning end of both of those meetings. But, this year is slated to be a different story, as Japan and China will wrestle on Saturday night in Group A action for a potential spot in Sunday night’s gold-medal dual. That is, of course, if they both get past a fairly young and inexperienced Ukrainian team that’s looking to send shock waves through the wrestling world and make their first finals appearance since 2005. 

Russia, the United States and Mongolia are the three Group B teams.

Though Mongolia has a pair of returning world bronze medalists, they likely won’t have enough firepower to match that of the Russian Federation or the United States -- who both have at least one world champ on their squad. 

The premier Group B matchup between Russia and the United States, which will take place on Saturday afternoon, will feature four of the ten women’s wrestling world champions. 

Inna TRAZHUKOVA (RUS), this year’s 62kg world champion, will lead the Russian Federation in the dual, while reigning world champions Jacarra WINCHESTER, Tamyra MENSAH and Adeline GRAY headline the entries for the Stars and Stripes. 

The two teams with the best record after their pair of group matches will meet in Sunday’s gold-medal match. The third and fourth-place match will feature the two teams with the second-best record in their groups and the remaining teams will meet for fifth and sixth place. 

Number of World Cup Titles 
Japan: 10 
China: 6
United States: 1

Saturday (November 16) 
10:30 – Mat A: JPN vs. UKR / Mat B: RUS vs. MGL 
12: 00 – Mat A: RUS vs. USA / Mat B: CHN vs. UKR 
16:30 – Opening Ceremony 
17:00 – Mat A: JPN vs. CHN / Mat B: USA vs. MGL

Sunday (November 17) 
8:00 – Medical Examination & Weigh-in
10:30 – Finals 5/6
13:00 – Finals 3/4
14:30 – Finals 1/2
16:00 – Award Ceremonies

Jacarra WINCHESTER (USA) is one of five world champions that'll be wrestling at this weekend's Women's World Cup. (Photo: Kadir Caliskan)

2. Wrestlers to Watch: The Five World Champs
Five of the six teams entered into the Women’s Wrestling World Cup bring at least two returning world medalists – totaling 17 podium finishers from this year’s World Championships (Ukraine is the lone team without a 2019 world medalist entered). But, without a doubt, the five newly-crowned must-watch world champions are: 

55kg - Jacarra WINCHESTER (USA)
57kg - Risako KAWAI (USA)
62kg - Inna TRAZHUKOVA (RUS)
68kg - Tamyra MENSAH (USA)
76kg - Adeline GRAY (USA)

Risako KAWAI (JPN) and Ningning RONG (CHN) met in the world finals at 57kg just over a month ago. They could square off again at this weekend's Women's World Cup. (Photo: Gabor Martin)

3. Weights to Watch: 57kg and 76kg 
The two can't-miss weights at this weekend’s Women’s Wrestling World Cup will be 57kg and 76kg. Both weight classes will feature the reigning world champion and the wrestler they defeated to win their world title. This means, there could be a pair of world finals rematches that take place this weekend.

Risako KAWAI (JPN) and Ningning RONG (CHN), who met in Nur-Sultan for the 57kg world title, could square off on Saturday night when Japan takes on China. That match will take place at 17:00 (local time).

Kawai is widely regarded as the top women’s wrestler in the world. Since winning her Rio Olympic title in 2016, Kawai has won three consecutive world titles. Her potential Chinese opponent, Ningning Rong, is a 2018 world champion and 2019 world runner-up. The highly emotional Chinese star is coming off a second consecutive year where she made the world finals, claimed a continental title and won at least three tournaments. 

Two other wrestlers that could cause Kawai and Rong fits at 57kg are ALTANTSETSEG Battsetseg (MGL) and Olena KREMZER (UKR). The 25-year-old Mongolian wrestler was a 2017 U23 world runner-up, while the Ukrainian wrestler was a 2018 U23 world bronze medalist. 

At 76kg, the two best women’s heavyweights in the world, Adeline Gray and Hiroe MINAGAWA (JPN), could square off in a rematch of September’s 76kg finals, but that all depends on how the group stage plays out. Additionally, Ekaterina BUKINA (RUS) and ZHOU Qian (CHN) will also wrestle at 76kg. Bukina is a Rio Olympic bronze medalist, and Zhou is a 2015 world runner-up. 

Reigning world champion Abuiazid MANTSIGOV (RUS) leads a loaded Russian team into Tehran for the Greco-Roman World Cup. (Photo: Gabor Martin)

4. Iran Set to Host Greco-Roman World Cup (November 28-29) 
Iran is gearing up to host the Greco-Roman World Cup for the seventh consecutive time. The two-day Greco-Roman World Cup kicks off November 28-29 in Tehran’s Azadi Stadium and will feature six teams -- which is the first time the event has housed less than eight teams since 2008. 

The Russian Federation, who are the defending champions, are looking to become the first team to win back-to-back World Cup titles since Iran did it in 2011 and ’12.  To earn their eighth overall World Cup team trophy, they’ll rely heavily on reigning world champion Abuiazid MANTSIGOV (RUS), who’ll wrestle at 72kg. 

In addition to Mantsigov, Aleksandr CHEKHIRKIN, Stepan MARYANYAN and Sergey SEMENOV are will also compete on Russia's team at the Greco-Roman World Cup. The trio were all 2018 world champions, but Maryanan, who finished with a silver medal at this year’s World Championships, is the lone reigning medalist in the group of three. 

Outside of Russia’s loaded squad, six reigning world champs will travel to Tehran to compete in the Greco-Roman World Cup. 

The biggest storyline heading into the dual meet event is the potential Rio Olympic finals rematch between Ismael BORRERO MOLINA (CUB) and Shinobu OTA (JPN), which could be looming at 67kg. 

Borrero and Ota both won world titles in Nur-Sultan, but the Japanese wrestler will begin his ascent from his title-winning non-Olympic weight of 63kg to the Olympic weight of 67kg, where the Cuban wrestler is the current world-title holder. Shortly after winning his world title last month, Ota announced that he'd climb up 4kg to 67kg to make a run at improving his silver medal from the Rio Olympic Games, where he fell to Borrero in the finals.

In addition to Borrero, Mantsigov and Ota, the Greco-Roman World Cup will also welcome three other world champs. The returning world champs are: Nugzari TSURTSUMIA (GEO), Kenichiro FUMITA (JPN) and Lasha GOBADZE (GEO). 

Reigning World Champions Entered
55kg - Nugzari TSURTSUMIA (GEO)
60kg - Kenichiro FUMITA (JPN) 
67kg - Ismael BORRERO MOLINA (CUB)
67kg - Shinobu OTA (JPN)
72kg - Abuiazid MANTSIGOV (RUS)
82kg - Lasha GOBADZE (GEO)

Two-time world and Olympic champion Kyle SNYDER (USA) highlights the list of entries at the Bill Farrell. (Photo: Kadir Caliskan)

5. Bill Farrell Live on FloWrestling.org 
The New York Athletic Club will host the first qualifier for America’s Olympic Team Trials, the Bill Farrell Memorial (November 16-17). The highest finisher at the six Olympic weight classes in freestyle, Greco-Roman and women's wrestling will cement their spot at April’s Tokyo Olympic Team Trials. 

Our friends at Flowrestling.org have the streaming rights to the event and have provided an early list of participants who are expected to compete. 

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media

1. Big Move Monday -- Khoroshavtseva O. (RUS) -- Senior Worlds 2019
2. ‪Iszmail MUSZHKAJEV 🇭🇺: World Championship Highlights
3. Hassan YAZDANI 🇮🇷 World Championship Highlights
4. Behind the Scenes: Sadulaev and 97kg at #WrestleNurSultan
5. Kazakhstan 🇰🇿 put on a show at the #WrestleNurSultan World Championships — on and off the mat.