Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! October 15, 2019

By Eric Olanowski

Reviewing Snyder's move, the list of returning U23 world champions who'll wrestle in Budapest, and the newly-released 2020 Ranking Series locations. Also looking at results from the ANOC World Beach Games, Dmitri Korkin and Continental Cup. 

1. World and Olympic Champion Snyder On the Move 
Late last week, the American training scene felt a monumental shift in training centers power after arguably the biggest transfer in recent memory took place.

Kyle SNYDER (USA), the two-time world and Olympic champion, took to social media to announce that he’d be transferring training centers. In that post, Snyder said, “The simple truth is I need to get better. In order for me to fulfill my obligations as a member of Team USA and as the defending Olympic champ, I must give full effort and take complete responsibility for this process.” 

Snyder's move comes just under a month after "Capitan American" fell to his "worst" World Championships finish in his storied career. Snyder failed to make the world finals for the first time in his career after slipping to fellow Olympic champion Sharif SHARIFOV (AZE), 5-2, in the semifinals. After that loss, Snyder bounced back to a win his fifth consecutive world or Olympic medal. He now has an Olympic gold medal, a pair of world titles, and a world silver and bronze on his resume. 

The Nittany Lion Training Center move will give Snyder the opportunity to train alongside 2018 world champion David TAYLOR (USA), among many other world medalists. He'll be coached by Olympic champions Cael SANDERSON (USA) and Jake VARNER (USA), who won their Olympic titles in 2004 and 2012, respectively. 

 Italy hosted the Sassari City Tournament in Sassari, Italy in 2019. (Photo: Gabor Martin)

2. 2020 Ranking Series Location Announced 
United World Wrestling has announced Rome and Warsaw as hosts of the 2020 Ranking Series. Both events will include all three wrestling styles: freestyle, women’s wrestling, and Greco-Roman and will influence seeding for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Rome will host its competition January 15-18, while Warsaw will welcome wrestlers June 4-7 – one month after the final Olympic qualification tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria.

“We are pleased to announce our host cities for the 2020 Ranking Series,” said United World Wrestling president Nenad Lalovic. “There was outstanding participation at the 2019 events, which helped create excitement around our wrestlers and the World Championships in Nur-Sultan. We thank the local organizing committees in Rome and Warsaw for hosting these events.”

Click HERE to read full release on the 2020 Ranking Series event schedule.

Reigning senior-level Nugzari TSURTSUMIA (GEO) headlines a list of ten returning U23 world champions. (Photo: Tony Rotundo) 

3. U23 World Championships to Feature 10 Returning Champs
The U23 World Championships are less than two weeks away and reigning senior-level Nugzari TSURTSUMIA (GEO) headlines a list of entries that boasts one-third of last year’s U23 world champions. 

As the (unofficial) early entries currently sit, there are 631 athletes from 64 different nations that'll wrestle in Budapest, Hungary from October 28 through November 3. But ten of those 631 wrestlers return to the U23 World Championships looking to defend their world titles from a year ago. 

Greco-Roman will have five returning worlds champions -- headlined by reigning senior-level world champion Nugzari Tsurtsumia, who just reached the top of the 55kg podium at the Nur-Sultan World Championships in late September. He'll be joined in Budapest by fellow Georgian Zviadi PATARIDZE (GEO), who already has six age-group world titles to his name. 

The other three returning U23 Greco-Roman world champions are Mohamed ELSAYED (EGY), Katsuaki ENDO (JPN) and Semen NOVIKOV (UKR). 

El Sayed, who qualified Egypt for the Olympic Games at 67kg, will wrestle at 67kg -- which is the same weight as Japan's Katsuaki Endo, while Novikov will lace up at 87kg. 

Freestyle has a trio of returning U23 world champions. They are Taimuraz SALKAZANOV (SVK), Kamran GHASEMPOUR (IRI) and Shamil ZUBAIROV (AZE). They'll compete at 74kg, 86kg and 92kg, respectively. 

In women's wrestling, Japan's Saki IGARASHI (55kg) and China's Paliha PALIHA (76kg) will travel to Hungary to try to defend their titles from a year ago. 

Returning U23 World Champions: 
Freestyle 
74kg - Taimuraz SALKAZANOV (SVK) 
86kg - Kamran Ghorban GHASEMPOUR (IRI) 
92kg - Shamil ZUBAIROV (AZE) 

Greco-Roman 
55kg - Nugzari TSURTSUMIA (GEO) 
67kg - Mohamed ELSAYED (EGY) 
67kg - Katsuaki ENDO (JPN) 
87kg - Semen NOVIKOV (UKR) 
130kg - Zviadi PATARIDZE (GEO) 

Women’s Wrestling 
55kg - Saki IGARASHI (JPN)
76kg - Paliha PALIHA (CHN) 

4. Inam Takes out Olympic Bronze Medalist Marsagishvili in ANOC World Beach Games Finals
Muhammad INAM (PAK) avenged his loss from the Rio De Janeiro stop of the Beach Wrestling World Series by scoring a stunning 5-2 win over London Olympic bronze medalist Dato MARSAGISHVILI (GEO). Inam's win came in the 90kg gold-medal match at the ANOC World Beach Games. 

Coming into the ANOC World Beach Games, Marsagishvili was unquestionably the favorite to win a World Beach Games gold medal. This season, the Georgian wrestler was undefeated with Beach Wrestling World Series titles in Chaves and Rio de Janeiro, along with a gold medal at September’s UWW Beach Wrestling World Championships in Zagreb, Croatia. 

Inam, the Beach Wrestling World Series runner-up in Rio De Janeiro, won his first beach wrestling gold medal with the three-point advantage over Marsagishvili in the 90kg finals. 

Click HERE for results from the first day of wrestling at the ANOC World Beach Games. 

Alexander BOGOMOEV (RUS) won the 61kg title at the Dmitri Korkin (Photo: Sachiko Hotaka)

5. Dmitri Korkin and Continental Cup Wrap up in Russia
The 12th Annual Dmitri Korkin and Continental Cup wrapped up last weekend in Russia and the host nation won eight of ten titles at both tournaments.

The Dmitri Korkin, which took place in eastern Siberia in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), saw eight of ten Russian wrestlers win a gold medal.

The pair of non-Russian champs were Peter IANULOV (MDA) and Daniel LIGETI (HUN). Ianulov, the 15th-place finisher in Nur-Sultan, defeated three-time European runner-up Alexander GOSTIEV (AZE) to win his 86kg title. Ligeti, who was also a 15th-place finisher in Nur-Sultan, beat Russian Nationals bronze-medal finisher Pavel KRIVTSOV (RUS) to win the 125kg gold medal. 

The second tournament where Russia claimed eight of ten gold medals was the Continental Cup in Khasavyurt, which is located to the west of the Republic of Dagestan’s capital, Makhachkala. 

The two non-Russian wrestlers to win a Continental Cup title were Azamat DAULETBEKOV (KAZ) and Georgy RUBAEV (MDA). Dauletbekov, a 2017 U23 world runner-up, won the 86kg title with a win over Arsenali MUSALALIEV (RUS), while Rubaev, this year’s world fifth-place finisher (92kg), stopped Gadzhimagomed NAZMUDINOV (RUS) in the 92kg finals. 

Dmitri Korkin RESULTS
57kg 
GOLD - Zhargal DAMDINOV (RUS)
SILVER - Arıyan TYUTRIN (RUS)
BRONZE - Aldar BALZINIMAEV (RUS)
BRONZE - Parviz IBRAGIMOV (AZE) 

61kg
GOLD - Alexander BOGOMOEV (RUS)
SILVER - Kazuya KOYANAGI (JPN)
BRONZE – Eduard GRIGORIEV (RUS)
BRONZE – Peter PAVLOV (RUS)

65kg 
GOLD - Victor RASSADIN (RUS) 
SILVER - Nʹurgun SCRAIABIN (BLR) 
BRONZE - Genghis ERDOGAN (TUR) 
BRONZE - Bulat BATOEV (RUS)

70kg
GOLD - Evgeny ZHERBAEV (RUS)
SILVER - Arbak SAT (RUS)
BRONZE - Revolii SAMSONOV (RUS)
BRONZE - Timur NINKOLAEV (RUS)

74kg
GOLD - Nadirbeg HIZRIEV (RUS)
SILVER - Nikita KNOTS (RUS)
BRONZE - Caballero GARZON (CUB) 
BRONZE - Hadzhimurad HAJIYEV (AZE)

79kg
GOLD - Tazhidin AKAYEV (RUS)
SILVER - Abubakr ABAKAROV (AZE)
BRONZE - Akhmad TASHUKHADZHIEV (RUS) 
BRONZE - Logan MASSA (USA)

86kg
GOLD - Peter IANULOV (MDA)
SILVER - Alexander GOSTIEV (AZE)
BRONZE - Krzysztof SADOVIK (POL)

92kg
GOLD - Guram CHERTKOEV (RUS) 
SILVER - Anzor URISHEV (RUS)
BRONZE - Marzapet GALSTYAN (ARM) 
BRONZE - Ivan YANKOSKY (BRL)

97kg
GOLD - Igor OVSANNIKOV (RUS)
SILVER - Maksoud VEJSALOV (UZB) 
BRONZE - George DIMITROV (BUL)

125kg
GOLD - Daniel LIGETI (HUN) 
SILVER - Pavel KRIVTSOV (RUS) 
BRONZE - Baldan TSYZHIPOV (RUS)
BRONZE - Zelimkhan KHIZRIEV (RUS)

Azamat DAULETBEKOV (KAZ) was one of two non-Russian wrestlers to win a gold medal at the Continental Cup. (Photo: Gabor Martin)

Continental Cup RESULTS
57kg
GOLD - Abubakar MUTALIEV (RUS)
SILVER - Hasanhuseyn BADRUDINOV (RUS)
BRONZE - Thomas GILMAN (USA) 
BRONZE - Azamat TUSHKAEV (RUS) 

61kg 
GOLD - Ibrahim ABDURAKHMANOV (RUS)
SILVER - Rustam KARAKHANOV (RUS)
BRONZE - Artem GEBEKOV (RUS)
BRONZE - Kilyab HANIPAEV (RUS)

65kg
GOLD - Ramadan FERZALIEV (RUS)
SILVER - Evan HENDERSON (USA) 
BRONZE - Alibek OSMONOV (KGZ) 
BRONZE - Vazgen TEYANYAN (ARM)

70kg
GOLD - Aznaur TAVAEV (RUS)
SILVER - Frank MOLINARO (USA) 
BRONZE - Gitinomagomed HAJIYEV (AZE) 
BRONZE - Umar MUTALIEV (RUS)

74kg
GOLD - Magomed KHIZRIEV (RUS)
SILVER - Magoma DIBIRGADZHIEV (RUS)
BRONZE - Gadzhimurad ALIKHMAEV (RUS)
BRONZE - Amanula RASULOV (RUS)

79kg 
GOLD - Atsamaz SANAKOEV (RUS)
SILVER - Isaiah MARTINEZ (USA)
BRONZE - Adam KHASIEV (RUS)
BRONZE - Magomed MUTALIBOV (RUS)

86kg
GOLD - Azamat DAULETBEKOV (KAZ) 
SILVER - Arsenali MUSALALIEV (RUS)
BRONZE - Zhavrail SHAPIEV (UZB) 
BRONZE - Khabib HAJIYEV (RUS)

92kg
GOLD - Georgy RUBAEV (MDA) 
SILVER - Gadzhimagomed NAZMUDINOV (RUS)
BRONZE - Muslim MAGOMEDOV (RUS)
BRONZE - Ramadan SHABANOV (RUS)

97kg
GOLD - Rasul MAGOMEDOV (RUS)
SILVER - Hayden ZILMER (USA) 
BRONZE - Magomed TAGIROV (RUS)
BRONZE - Tai WALTZ (USA)

125kg
GOLD - Batraz GAZZAYEV (RUS)
SILVER - Magomedgadzhi NURASULOV (RUS)
BRONZE - Alan KHUGAEV (RUS)
BRONZE - Shamil SHARIPOV (RUS)

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media 

1. Big Move Monday -- Sharshenbekov T. (KGZ) -- Senior Worlds 2019
2. Sunday smiles! 😃
3. Here are few moments that stand out for us from World Championships. 
4. Check out some of the best action from day 6 medal matches here at the 2019 Veterans World Championship.
5. A beautiful sequence from Turkey's Murat Ozkan. | #beachwrestling #wrestling

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Sunday smiles! 😃

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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."