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. 

RESULTS
Men’s Freestyle, 48kg

GOLD: Umidjon JALOLOV (UZB)
SILVER: Giorgi GEGELASHVILI (GEO)
BRONZE: Halil GOKDENIZ (TUR)

Men’s Freestyle, 55kg
GOLD: Robert Kelly HOWARD (USA)
SILVER: Hernan David ALMENDRA (ARG) 
BRONZE: Vladyslav OSTAPENKO (UKR)

Men’s Freestyle, 65kg
GOLD: Turan BAYRAMOV (AZE)
SILVER: Mohammad Baghi KARIMISEIFABAD (IRI), 6-1
BRONZE: Inayat ULLAH (PAK)

Men’s Freestyle, 80kg
GOLD: Akhmedkhan TEMBOTOV (RUS)
SILVER: Fateh BENFERDJALLAH (ALG) by TF, 10-0
BRONZE: Mukhammadrasul RAKHIMOV (UZB)

Men’s Freestyle, 110kg
GOLD: Sergei KOZYREV (RUS)
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. 

RESULTS

Greco-Roman, 45kg
GOLD: Amirreza DEHBOZORGI (IRI)
SILVER: Jeremy Renzo PERALTA GONZALEZ (ECU)
BRONZE: Edmond Armen NAZARYAN (BUL)


Greco-Roman, 51kg
GOLD: Wataru SASAKI (JPN)
SILVER: Giorgi TOKHADZE (GEO) 
BRONZE: Axel Andre SALAS ESQUIVEL (MEX)


Greco-Roman, 60kg
GOLD: Giorgi CHKHIKVADZE (GEO)
SILVER: Elmirbek SADYROV (KGZ), 9-0
BRONZE: Sahak HOVHANNISYAN (ARM) 

Greco-Roman, 71kg
GOLD: Alexandrin GUTU (MDA)
SILVER: Stepan STARODUBTSEV (RUS) 
BRONZE: Shu YAMADA (JPN)
df. Lam

Greco-Roman, 92kg
GOLD: Mohammad Ghorbanali NOSRATI (IRI)
SILVER: Osman AYAYDIN (TUR)
BRONZE: Mukhammad EVLOEV (RUS)

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. 

RESULTS

Women’s Wrestling, 43kg
GOLD: Emily SHILSON (USA)
SILVER: imran SIMRAN (IND) 
BRONZE: Shahana NAZAROVA (AZE)

Women’s Freestyle, 49kg 
GOLD: Emma Jonna Denise MALMGREN (SWE)
SILVER: Shokhida AKHMEDOVA (UZB) 
BRONZE: Natallia VARAKINA (BLR)

Women’s Freestyle, 57kg
GOLD: Nonoka OZAKI (JPN)
SILVER: Anna Hella SZEL (HUN) 
BRONZE: Anastasia BLAYVAS (GER)

Women’s Freestyle, 65kg
GOLD: Xinru ZHOU (CHN)
SILVER: Oksana CHUDYKF 
BRONZE: Oyun Erdene TAMIR (MGL)

Women’s Freestyle, 73kg
GOLD: Milaimys MARIN POTRILLE (CUB)
SILVER: Linda Marilina MACHUCA (ARG)
BRONZE: Yuka KAGAMI (JPN)

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__ 
#wrestlinggirl#wrestling#training#sport#борьба#спорт

Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! March 19, 2019

By Eric Olanowski

Discussing Russia winning the Freestyle World Cup on home soil and looking at theThor Masters results. Also looking at the upcoming U23 Asian Championships, "Hollywood wrestles Bollywood" and the European Championships. 

1. Russia Wins Freestyle World Cup on Home Soil  
The Russian Federation closed out the Freestyle World Cup with an impressive 9-1 win over Iran to claim their first team title since the 2011 Makhachkala World Cup. This was their seventh Freestyle World Cup title, but first in eight years. 

Overall, Russia went 4-0 on the weekend and compiled a combined individual record of 36-4 over their 40 matches. In addition to their finals win over Iran, they also picked up wins over Cuba (10-0), Japan (8-2), and Turkey (9-1). 

Meanwhile, in the third-place bout, the defending champion the United States edged Japan, 6-4. 

The pair traded blows and were tied three-all after the first six matches. Sohsuke TAKATANI (JPN) broke that tie after his 14-3 routing of Samuel Joseph BROOKS (USA), but three consecutive American wins from Hayden ZILLMER, Kyven Ross GADSON, and Anthony NELSON gave the Stars and Stripes the 6-4 advantage, and ultimately the third-place finish. 

Cuba finished fifth place after they defeated Mongolia, 6-4, and Georgia claimed seventh place after beating Turkey, 8-2.

RESULTS 
GOLD - Russia df. Iran, 9-1
BRONZE - United States df. Japan, 6-4 
Fifth - Cuba df. Mongolia, 6-4
Seventh - Georgia df. Turkey, 8-2

2. U23 Asian Championships Starts Thursday 
The U23 Continental Championships train continues to roll this weekend and will make its stop in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, for the 2019 U23 Asian Championships

The four-day tournament begins on Thursday and will go through Sunday.

SCHEDULE

Thursday (March 21) 
9:30 - Medical examination and Weigh-in GR - 60,67,72,77,82,97,130kg
11:30 - Qualification rounds and repechage GR - 60,67,72,77,82,97,130kg
14:45 - Draw - GR - 55,63,87kg / WW - 55,59,72kg / FS – 61,92kg
17:30 - Opening Ceremony
18:00 - Finals GR – 60,67,72,77,82,97,130kg

Friday (March 22) 
9:30 - Medical examination and Weigh-in (GR - 55,63,87kg / WW - 55,59,72kg / FS – 61,92kg)
11:30 - Qualification rounds and repechages - GR - 55,63,87kg / WW - 55,59,72kg / FS – 61,92kg 

14:45 - Draw WW – 50,57,65,68kg / FS – 57,65,74,125kg
18: 00 - Finals GR - 55,63,87kg / WW - 55,59,72kg / FS – 61,92kg

Saturday (March 23) 
19:30 - Medical examination and Weigh-in - WW – 50,57,65,68kg / FS – 57,65,74,125kg
11:30 - Qualification rounds and repechages - WW – 50,57,65,68kg / FS – 57,65,74,125kg
14:45 - Draw WW – 53,62,76kg / FS – 70,79,86,97kg
18: 00 - Finals WW – 50,57,65,68kg / FS – 57,65,74,125kg

Sunday (March 24) 
9:30 - Medical examination and Weigh-in - WW – 53,62,76kg / FS – 70,79,86,97kg
11:30 - Qualifications rounds and repechage WW – 53,62,76kg / FS – 70,79,86,97kg 

18:00 - Finals WW – 53,62,76kg / FS – 70,79,86,97kg

Roland SCHWARZ was one of three German wretlers who won a gold medal at the 2019 Thor Masters last weekend. (Photo: Max Rose-Fyne)

3. Germany win Three Thor Masters Golds 
The Thor Masters, an all-Greco-Roman tournament, wrapped up last weekend in Nykobing Falster, Denmark, and Germany was the frontrunner, winning three of the ten gold medals. Denmark and Ukraine had a pair of gold medalists, while Finland, Norway, and Sweden each had a solo gold medalist. 

RESULTS

55kg
GOLD  - Fabian SCHMITT (GER)
SILVER - Marat GARIPOV (BRA)
BRONZE - Anders ROENNINGEN (NOR)

60kg
GOLD - Etienne KINSINGER (GER)
SILVER - Christoph KRAEMER (GER)     
BRONZE - Lauri MAEHOENEN (FIN)

63kg
GOLD - Stig ANDREW BERG (NOR)
SILVER - Lenur TEMIROV (UKR)
BRONZE - Nasrullakh NASIBO (UKR)

67kg
GOLD - Fredrik BJERREHUUS (DEN)
SILVER - Ruslan  KUDRYNETS (UKR)      
BRONZE - Aleksey  KALINICHENKO (UKR)

72kg
GOLD - Parviz NASIBOV (UKR)  
SILVER - Vegard JOERGENSEN (NOR)    
BRONZE - Michael WIDMAYER (GER) 

77kg
GOLD - Roland SCHWARZ (GER)
SILVER - Florian NEUMAIER (GER)
BRONZE - Vladimir YAKOVLEV (UKR)

82kg
GOLD - Raibek BISULTANOV (DEN)        
SILVER - Hannes WAGNER (GER)          

BRONZE - Bogdan KOURINNOI (SWE)

87kg
GOLD - Zakarias BERG (SWE)   
SILVER - Denis KUDLA (GER)    
BRONZE - Amer HRUSTANOVIC (AUT) 

97kg
GOLD - Matti KUOSMANEN (FIN)        
SILVER - Felix BALDAUF (NOR)  
BRONZE - G'Angelo HANCOCK (USA)

130kg          
GOLD - Nikolai  KUCHMIY (UKR)          
SILVER - Eduard POPP (GER)   
BRONZE - Konsta MAEENPAEAE (FIN)

4. "Hollywood wrestles Bollywood" Begins March 31 
Women's Wrestling stars from the United States and India will face off against each other on Sunday, March 31 in the 'Hollywood Wrestles Bollywood' at Los Angles' historic Wiltern Theater.

According to www.beatthestreets-la.org, "The dual will be apart of Beat the Streets Los Angeles’ 5th Annual Benefit and International Competition, which is a yearly fundraising and awareness event for the LA-based wrestling non-profit."

There will be eleven top-15 ranked wrestlers in action, with six of those being ranked in the top-5 of the latest world rankings. (The latest rankings can be found on www.unitedworldwrestling.org 's homepage) 

Of the ten star-studded bouts, the most intriguing matchup comes at 53kg, where returning world runner-up and top-ranked Sarah HILDEBRANDT (USA) will take on No. 11 Vinesh VINESH (IND). 

This will be a rematch of last months Dan Kolov semifinals, where Vinesh stuck Hildebrant to put herself in the Ranking Series tournament finals. She ultimately fell to China's PANG Qianyu in the finals. 

The dual starts at 15:00 on March 31. 

United States vs. India 
50kg: No. 15 Whitney CONDER vs. Sheetal TOMAR 
53kg: No. 1 Sarah HILDEBRANDT vs. No. 11 Vinesh VINESH
55kg: No. 6 Jacarra WINCHESTER vs. Pinki PINKI
57kg: Jenna BURKERT vs. No. 6 Pooja DHANDA
59kg: Alli RAGAN vs. No. 4 Sarita SARITA
62kg: No. 5 Mallory VELTE vs. Sakshi MALIK  
65kg: No. 2 Forrest MOLINARI vs. Navjot KAUR 
68kg: No. 2 Tamyra MENSAH vs. Divya KAKRAN 
72kg: Rachel WATTERS vs. No. 12 (at 76kg) Kiran KIRAN 
76kg: No. 1 Adeline GRAY vs. Sudesh SUDESH 

Abdulrashid SADUALEV (RUS) is expected to compete for Russia at the 2019 European Championships. (Photo: Max Rose-Fyne) 

5. European Championships Less Than Three Weeks Away 
In less than three weeks, 20 days to be exact, Bucharest, Romania, will be the host site for the 2019 European Championships. Europe proves year in and year out to be the deepest wrestling continent in the world when it comes to placing wrestlers on the podium at the World Championships. 

In total, eighteen of last year’s thirty world champions hailed from Europe. Ten Greco-Roman, five freestyle and three women’s wrestling world champions came from Europe.

The tournament begins on April 8 and will go until April 14 and can be watched on www.unitedworldwrestling.org. 

SCHEDULE 

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media 
1. Big Move Monday -- Nugzari TSURTSUMIA (GEO) -- 2019 U-23 Europe
2. Big Move from Day 2 at the Freestyle World Cup • Yakutsk 2019
#wrestleyakutsk
3. Big Move from Day 1 at the Freestyle World Cup • Yakutsk 2019
#wrestleyakutsk
4. MARGHZARI (IRI) comes back from near loss with a throw straight into a pin!! 🇮🇷 💪 #unitedworldwrestling #wrestling#wrestleyakutsk
5. Big Throw in round 3 from GHIASI CHEKA (IRI) 💪🇮🇷#wrestleyakutsk #uww #wrestling