Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! October 15, 2018

By Eric Olanowski

Reviewing the return of four-time Olympic champion Kaori ICHO (JPN) and reviewing the Youth Olympic Games. Also looking at this week's #BudaWrestle2018 World Championships. 

1. Icho Cruises to Gold, Credits Love of Sport for Return
Four-time Olympic champion Kaori ICHO cleared the first hurdle on the track to a possible fifth gold medal at Tokyo 2020. At this point, however, her sights are set on a more immediate goal.

Icho, returning to the mat for the first time since winning the gold at Rio 2016, had a few blips but otherwise was back to her dominant self in capturing the 57kg title at the All-Japan Women's Open on Sunday in Mishima, Shizuoka Prefecture.

The 34-year-old Icho scored a 38-second technical fall in her opening match, then won both of her next two by falls to take the title in the second-tier tournament that serves as a qualifier for the national championships in December. 

"The one thing I gained by entering this tournament and getting back into the sport was that I feel the joy of wrestling again," Icho said at a 30-minute post-tournament press conference. 

Click HERE for full article on Icho's return 

Akhmedkhan TEMBOTOV (80kg) uses a leg lace against Fateh BENFERDJALLAH (ALG) in the 80kg final to pick up the 10-0 technical fall. (Photo by Max Rose-Fyne) 

2. Russia Nabs 2 Freestyle Golds to Close Wrestling at YOG
Russia, the most titled men’s freestyle nation in the world, seems well-stocked for golden runs in 2024 and 2028 after Akhmedkhan TEMBOTOV (80kg) and Sergei KOZYREV (110kg) capped the competition with back-to-back gold medals in men’s freestyle.

Tembetov wasted little time in disposing of Fateh BENFERDJALLAH (ALG) in the 80kg final, wrapping up the 10-0 technical fall inside the first period.

Zozyrev faced a tougher finals opponent, needing every second to work past Amir Hossein Abbas ZARE (IRI), 6-5. The Iranian had spent the morning rounds dominating the center of the mat, but Zozyrev matched Zare’s gamesmanship and plodded his way to Youth Olympic gold.

Meanwhile, the United States’ Robert HOWARD (55kg) became his country’s first male wrestler to win a Youth Olympic gold, outpacing hometown favorite Hernan ALMENDRA (ARG) by TF, 17-6. Heading into the second period it seemed Howard had the matched handled, but a four-point move by Almendra drew the Argentinian closer to an upset. Howard stayed calm and fought his way for the technical superiority victory.

The final pair of YOG freestyle gold medals went to Turan BAYRAMOV (AZE) (65kg) and Umidjon JALOLOV (UZB) (48kg). 

Click here for full freestyle recap. 

Men’s Freestyle, 48kg


Men’s Freestyle, 55kg
GOLD: Robert Kelly HOWARD (USA)

Men’s Freestyle, 65kg

Men’s Freestyle, 80kg
BRONZE: Mukhammadrasul RAKHIMOV (UZB)

Men’s Freestyle, 110kg
SILVER: Amir Hossein Abbas ZARE (IRI), 6-5
BRONZE: Ahmed Mahmoud Elsayed M. KHALIL (EGY)

Mohammad NOSRATI (IRI) celebrates his 92kg gold medal after defeating Osman AYAYDIN (TUR), 3-1 (Photo: Max Rose-Fyne)

3. Iran Wins Pair, Japan's Sasaki Registers Incredible Comeback
Iran notched their first two gold medals of the 2018 Youth Olympic Games Friday night at the Asian Pavilion at Youth Olympic Park in Buenos Aires, while Japan’s Wataru SASAKI lodged one of the most impressive Olympic comebacks in years.

For the often-dominant Iranian team it was business as usual. Amirreza DEHBOZORGI (45kg) was unstoppable against Jeremy PERALTA GONZALEZ (ECU), pressuring the South American wrestler into a series of missteps and racking up a pair of takedowns. After Dehbozorgi found his second takedown, he followed it up with a step out point to win gold, 8-0.

Mohammad NOSRATI (92kg) imposed his size on Turkey’s Osman AYAYDIN, controlling the mat for four minutes to win the final title of the evening, 3-1. The big man was jubilant after the match, speaking to reporters and interacting with fans.

“This was a great event for me,” said Nosrati. “I have to thank my fans and the people of Iran for their support during the Games.”

Cick here for full Greco-Roman recap. 


Greco-Roman, 45kg

Greco-Roman, 51kg

Greco-Roman, 60kg
SILVER: Elmirbek SADYROV (KGZ), 9-0

Greco-Roman, 71kg
GOLD: Alexandrin GUTU (MDA)
df. Lam

Greco-Roman, 92kg
GOLD: Mohammad Ghorbanali NOSRATI (IRI)

4. Cuba’s Potrille Upends Machuca; Five Nations Win Gold at YOG
The risers shook, and eardrums ached as Linda MACHUCA (ARG) made her walk to the mat Saturday night for her 73kg gold medal final. The local teen had gone 4-0 in early action and was wrestling for her nation’s first gold on the mats. 

Fans at the Asian Pavilion were swaying, dancing, clapping, howling – a moment of pure joy and anticipation for all those in attendance. 

But just as enthusiastic as the teens clapping their red thunder sticks, Cuba’s Milaimys MARIN POTRILLE (CUB) was stoic. Taller than Machuca, Potrille glided across the field of play and climbed to the top of the mat. The wrestlers shook hands and as the whistle blew Portrille launched a double leg for four points, landed in a pinning position and put an end to Machuca’s storybook ending.

Meanwhile, Emily SHILSON (USA) and China’s Xinru ZHOU (CHN) each won their nation’s first gold medal in wrestling. 

The American opened up a large lead in the 43kg gold-medal bout, but conceded six points late in the match, but managed to escape with the 11-6 win, while Zhou defeated Oksana CHUDYK (UKR) by TF, 10-0 in less than 30 seconds.

The final who golds went to Emma MALMGREN (SWE) and Nonoka OZAKI (JPN)

Sweden’s Emma Malmgren took the 49kg gold medal with a quick pin over Azerbaijan’s Shokhida AKHMEDOVA (UZB). The diminutive Swede erupted in emotion on the mat, realizing that she’d won gold in dominant fashion.

Nonoka Ozaki, whose fanbase dressed in gi blue tops adorned with a large flag of Japan on their back, had no problem showing happiness after winning her final. Ozaki dominated Hungary’s Anna Hella SZEL in final, working to a 10-0 technical superiority victory in the second period.

Click here for full women's wrestling recap. 


Women’s Wrestling, 43kg

Women’s Freestyle, 49kg 
GOLD: Emma Jonna Denise MALMGREN (SWE)

Women’s Freestyle, 57kg
SILVER: Anna Hella SZEL (HUN) 

Women’s Freestyle, 65kg

Women’s Freestyle, 73kg
SILVER: Linda Marilina MACHUCA (ARG)

5. Budapest to Host World Championship October 20 
The 2018 Senior Wrestling World Championships are October 20-28 at the Papp Laszlo Arena in Budapest. More than 850 wrestlers from 97 nations are competing to win one of the 30 world titles in freestyle, Greco-Roman and women’s wrestling!

A schedule shake-up from last year means freestyle kicks off the World Championships on October 20. 

The 2017 world champion’s team race in men’s freestyle came down to the last match of the tournament, featuring Russia’s Abdulrashid SADULAEV and the United States’ Kyle SNYDER competing for 97kg gold. That match, dubbed “Snyderlaev,” captivated the world not only because the two big men were defending Olympic champions, but whoever won would secure the team title for their nation.

Snyder ultimately won the match and secure Team USA’s first freestyle team title since 1995, sparking a rivalry between wrestlers and nations that has continued through 2018. With both squads fully reloaded the team race may once again come down to the final day of competition.

With all the noise surrounding the top two teams, Georgia quietly won a pair of gold medals and edged Turkey by one point, claiming third-place in the freestyle team race.

Women's wrestling follows, beginning on October 22. 

Japan won the 2017 team title with four champions and six overall medals. They return three champions in 2018, with world and Olympic gold medalist, Sara DOSHO (JPN) sitting out due to injury.  The Japanese have shown some weakness in 2018, failing to win a single gold medal at the Asian Games in Indonesia and looking lackluster at certain weights throughout the year.

However, the sheer number of medalists the Japanese can - and likely will - produce is tough for any nation to overcome. If a nation is poised for the upset, it might be Belarus who will be wrestling close to home and has been competing well all season.

Another upset-minded nation could be fellow 2017 second-place team title holder United States will being a roster of established superstars and unproven, but highly touted, newcomers that head coach Terry Steiner believes will make the medal stand in Budapest.

The Canadians, Russians, Swedes, and Mongolians bring veteran teams who under the right conditions would make their way onto the team medal stand.

Finally, Greco-Roman closes out the competition, starting on October 24.

Though Russia failed to win a gold medal at the 2017 World Championships, they still managed to win the Greco-Roman team title - capping off their run to a team title with a silver medal and a pair of bronze medalist. They also used points from a pair fifth-place finishes to edge Turkey by one point - pushing them to the top of the Greco-Roman field.

Russia’s 2017 medalists Musa EVLOEV (RUS), Stepan MARYANYAN (RUS) and Artem SURKOV (RUS) will make the trip to Budapest with hopes of improving on their respective medals from a year ago.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s duo reigning world champions, Metehan BASAR (TUR) and Riza Kayaalp (TUR), will also return to the world championships. But instead of improving on last year’s performances, they’ll try to defend their world titles, while teammates Atakan YUKSEL (TUR) and Fatih CENGIZ (TUR) try to better their third-place finishes from Paris.

Iran, who finished in third-place, return each of their three bronze medalists. Their trio 2017 third-place finishers are Saeid ABDVALI (IRI), Mohammadali GERAEI (IRI), and Hossein NOURI (IRI).

Click here for the full World Championship schedule. 

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media 

1. The United States men’s freestyle team came together in 2017 to win their first team title in 22 years. Will they repeat in 2018? Or will Sadulaev and Team Russia get their revenge? Find out more about Team USA’s journey on October 15th with the release of “From Many, One” the first short film in our Wrestling 360 documentary series. - #wrestling #usawrestling #uww#wrestling360 #usa #freestyle

2. Photo from day one of the 2018 Youth Olympic Games! We are ready for day two. Women’s wrestling today!!!
#unitedworldwrestling #wrestling#youtholympics2018

3. Great action on the first day of the 2018 Youth Olympic Games @maxrosefyne 

4. Amazing Freestyle wrestling today at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games
#buenosaires2018 #uww#unitedworldwrestling

5. Being wrestling girl is like...Rate the video, please. Оцените видео, пожалуйста.😊🎥 @bravewoman__ 

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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