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! March 17, 2020

By Eric Olanowski

Discussing Valencia Escoto and Destribats' historic performances at the Pan-Am Olympic Qualifiers. Also looking at Cuba's GR team qualifying every weight for #Tokyo2020 and Olympic champs Maroulis and Wiebe qualifying their nation's for the Tokyo Games.

1. Valencia Escoto First Mexican Woman to Qualify for Olympic Games
Alma Jane VALENCIA ESCOTO (MEX) became the first-ever Mexican women's wrestler to qualify for the Olympic Games after winning the 57kg gold medal at the Pan-American Olympic Qualifier. She won all four of her bouts in Ottawa – including a win by fall over world champion Linda MORAIS (CAN) and a victory via forfeit over Helen MAROULIS (USA).

Valencia Escoto opened her day up with a pair of decisive wins over Betzabeth SARCO COLMENAREZ (VEN) and Nes RODRIGUEZ TIRADO (PUR), which inserted her into the semifinals against Canada's reigning world champion, Linda Morais. 

In her semifinals meeting with the current 59kg world-title holder, Valencia Escoto stopped an early open double-leg attempt with a counter-offensive throw. She snuck in an underhook on the Canadian's right side during her shot attempt and tossed her to her back for the early 4-0 lead. 

Valencia Escoto's opponenet fought off her back and nearly scored a takedown of a slide by attempt. Still, somehow, the newly-minted Olympian had the world champion fighting off her back for the second time in the opening period. 

The tides turned quickly, and Valencia Escoto was the one fighting off her back. She got saved by the period-ending whistle and carried the 6-2 lead into the closing period.

In the final period, Valencia Escoto halted a left side high crotch attempt and flattened Morais for the fall – becoming the first-ever Mexican women to wrestle at the Olympic Games.

Agustin DESTRIBATS (ARG) finished in second place at 65kg at the Pan-American Olympic Qualifier and qualified Argentina for the Olympic Games. (Photo: Tony Rotundo)

2. Destribats Ends 24-year Argentinean Freestyle Olympic Drought
Agustin DESTRIBATS (ARG) ended a 24-year Argentinean freestyle Olympic drought and qualified his nation for the Tokyo Olympics after he pinned American Zain RETHERFORD (USA) in the 65kg semifinals. With his semifinal victory via fall, Destribats became the first Argentinean freestyle wrestler to qualify for the Olympic Games since Paulo IBIRE (ARG) did so at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.

In his meeting with the Retherford, Destribats conceded an open double leg and nearly gave up an ankle lace but was able to fend off the turn and catch the American on his back. He held Retherford on his back for 25 seconds before picking up the opening period fall to secure his spot at the Tokyo Olympics. 

Helen MAROULIS (USA) qualified the United States for the Olympic Games at 57kg with her silver-medal finish at the Pan-American Olympic Qualifier. (Photo: Tony Rotundo)

3. Olympic Champs Maroulis and Wiebe Qualify Nation's for Olympic Games 
Olympic champions Helen MAROULIS (USA) and Erica WIEBE (CAN) qualified their nations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games after finishing in the top-two of their respective weights at the Pan-American Olympic Qualifier. The pair remained on course to defend their gold medals from the Rio Olympic Games. 

Maroulis, who was wrestling in her first international competition since the 2018 World Championships, won four matches before injury defaulting out of the finals after locking up the United States' spot at 57kg for the Olympics.

In her first match, Maroulis easily handled Canada's Linda Morias, 10-2, in the battle of Olympic champion and world champion. 

Maroulis defeated Giullia RODRIGUES (BRA) and Lissette ANTES (ECU) in the next two rounds and was one win away from earning a second berth to the Olympic Games for the United States. 

In the semifinals, Maroulis crushed Nes RODRIGUEZ (PUR), 10-0, and qualified the Stars and Stripes for the Olympic Games at 57kg. 

She'll now have to win the Olympic Trials to become the United States' Olympic representative at 57kg.

Canada's Erica Wiebe was the second Olympic champion who qualified for the Olympic Games over the weekend. Wiebe, who was wrestling in her hometown of Ottawa, won the 76kg bracket and locked up her shot at repeating as Olympic champion. 

She opened up her day with a narrow 2-1 win over Aline DA SILVA FERREIRA (BRA). She tacked on dominant wins over Milaimys de la Caridad MARIN POTRILLE (CUB) and Andrimar LAZARO (VEN), setting up a semifinals match with Genesis REASCO (ECU).

Wiebe shutout Reasco Valdez, 6-0, in their semifinals meeting and earned her berth to the Olympic Games. She injury defaulted out of the gold-medal match against Aline Da Silva Ferreira and finished with a silver medal.

Wiebe won the Canadian Wrestling Trails in December and will represent Canada at 76kg at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Yosvanys PENA FLORES (CUB) is one of six Cuban Greco-Roman wrestlers who will wrestle at the Tokyo Olympic Games. (Photo: Tony Rotundo) 

4. Cuba Sending All Six GR Wrestlers to Olympics 
Cuba’s Greco-Roman team came into the Pan-American Olympic Qualifier searching for four qualification spots after earning two Olympic berths from the Nur-Sultan World Championships from Ismael BORRERO MOLINA (CUB) Oscar PINO HINDS (CUB). Over the weekend, they had three wrestlers win gold medals and one individual finish in second place at the Pan-American Olympic Qualifier – which took their qualification total to all six weight categories. 

Their three champions were Luis Alberto ORTA SANCHEZ (CUB), Yosvanys PENA FLORES (CUB) and Gabriel Alejandro ROSILLO KINDELAN (CUB), while Daniel GREGORICH HECHAVARRIA (CUB) finished in second place.

In addition to their Greco-Roman success, Cuba's women's wrestling team also shined in Ottawa. 

Coming into the Pan-American Olympic Qualifier, Katherine VIDIAUX (CUB) was the lone Cuban woman who ever wrestled at the Olympic Games. She'll now be joined in the history books by Lianna MONTERO (CUB) and Yusneylis GUZMAN (CUB), who won gold medals at 50kg and 53kg, respectively, and qualified for the Olympic Games. 

Greco-Roman Qualifying Weights/Athletes
60kg - Luis Alberto ORTA SANCHEZ (CUB) – Pan-Am OG Qualifier gold 
67kg - Ismael BORRERO MOLINA (CUB) – World Championships gold 
77kg - Yosvanys PENA FLORES (CUB) – Pan-Am OG Qualifier gold
87kg - Daniel GREGORICH HECHAVARRIA (CUB) – Pan-Am OG Qualifier silver
97kg - Gabriel Alejandro ROSILLO KINDELAN (CUB) – Pan-Am OG Qualifier gold
130kg - Oscar PINO HINDS (CUB) World Championships silver

5. European, World 'Last Chance' Olympic Qualifiers Postponed
The European Qualifier for the 2020 Olympic Games, scheduled for March 19-22 in Budapest, along with the World "Last Chance" Qualifier in Sofia, Bulgaria, scheduled for April 30-May 3, have been postponed.

The events will be rescheduled, with the European Qualifier expected to take place in mid-May and the World "Last Chance" Qualifier held at the beginning of June.

"We are closely monitoring the governmental response to COVID-19 and will continue to provide updates to our wrestlers, coaches, and fans with more information as it becomes available," said United World Wrestling president Nenad Lalovic.

"The process for determining our Olympic participants will happen on the field of play, but we need to remain patient and vigilant as the worldwide community battles this pandemic. The health and well-being of the athletes is an absolute priority."