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! December 3, 2019

By Eric Olanowski

Previewing the Canadian Wrestling Trials and Alans Tournament. Also looking at the results from the Alrosa Cup and Indian National Championships. 

1. Russia Dominates Alrosa Cup, Takes Down World, 11-1 
Russia’s star-studded squad closed out the Alrosa Cup in Moscow by winning 11 of 12 matches against an all-star world team that featured wrestlers from seven different nations. 

Roman VLASOV (RUS) edged his London Olympic finals opponenet Arsen JULFALAKYAN (ARM), 3-2, in the headlining match of the dual, which came at 77kg (Greco-Roman). 

Vlasov, the two-time Olympic champion, scored his three points from an inactivity then tacked on two additional points with a right-side gut wrench and commanded the 3-0 lead. Julfalakyan made it a match with under a minute left, as he picked up a late second-period takedown and closed the Russian’s lead to one point. But, it wasn’t enough to avenge his Olympic finals loss, as Vlasov hung on to edge the Armenian, 3-2.

On the freestyle side of the dual, arguably the most impressive performance of the night came at 97kg when Alikhan ZHABRAILOV (RUS) scored a 5-2 upset victory over Olympic champion, Sharip SHARIPOV (AZE). 

In addition to Zhabrailov’s win, another significant victory for the Russian Federation came at 125kg, where Bilyal MAKHOV (RUS) continued his quest to improve his Olympic silver medal with a 2-0 shutout win over an undersized Elizbar ODIKADZE (GEO), who was wrestling up from his Nur-Sultan weight of 97kg. 

Azerbaijan’s three-time world champion Haji ALIYEV (AZE) was the lone non-Russian wrestler to seize a win in the 12-match dual. Aliyev scored a last-second takedown to move past Nachyin KUULAR (RUS), 5-4, in the 65kg matchup. 

Russia df. World, 11-1
Freestyle (5-1)
57kg – Ramis GAMZATOV (RUS) df. Giorgi EDISHERASHVILI (AZE), 8-4
65kg – Haji ALIYEV (AZE) df. Nachyin KUULAR (RUS), 5-4 
74kg – Timur BIZHOEV (RUS) df. Avtandil KENTCHADZE (GEO), 2-1
86kg – Magomed RAMAZANON (RUS) df. Ahmad BAZRI (IRI), 3-2 
97kg – Alikhan ZHABRAILOV (RUS) df. Sharip SHARIPOV (AZE), 5-2 
125kg – Bilyal MAKHOV (RUS) df. Elizbar ODIKADZE (GEO), 2-0 

Greco-Roman (6-0)
60kg – Sergey EMELIN (RUS) df. Victor CIOBANU (MDA), 7-0
67kg – Artem SURKOV (RUS) df. Atakan YUEKSEL (TUR), 6-1 
77kg – Roman VLASOV (RUS) df. Arsen JULFALAKYAN (ARM), 3-2 
87kg – Alexander KOMAROV (RUS) df. Metehan BASAR (TUR), 2-1 
97kg – Nikita MELNIKOV (RUS) df. Ibrahim TIGCI (TUR), 8-3
130kg – Vitali SCHUR (RUS) df. Nurmakhan TINALIEV (KAZ), 3-1 

2. Wiebe’s Quest for Second Olympic Gold Kicks off Friday at Canadian Wrestling Team Trials
Erica WIEBE (CAN) has been on the record saying she thought chasing her first Olympic gold was the hardest thing she’d ever do. But after winning gold in Rio, the Canadian’s tone changed, saying pursuing her second Olympic title is a more difficult task. 

The future hall of famer’s quest to become the first non-Japanese woman to win two Olympic gold medals officially begins this Friday at the two-day Canadian Wrestling Team Trials in Niagara, Ontario, Canada. 

The process for Wiebe to make it to the Tokyo Olympic Games is relatively simple, but it'll be no easy task to do so. First, she has to win the Canadian Wrestling Team Trials. Then, she has to qualify the weight at the Pan-American Olympic Qualifier (March 13-15). 

Wiebe's first step in repeating her run to an Olympic gold begins this week in Ontario, where she’s entered at 76kg. Her weight class will feature five other wrestlers, including Canada’s last two world team representatives at 72kg, who are moving up to the Olympic weight of 76kg. 

Wiebe’s strongest competition this week will be 2019 Pan-American champion Dejah SLATER and her biggest domestic rival, Justina DI STASIO, a 2018 world champion.

Wiebe and Di Stasio met earlier this year in the finals of the Canada Cup in Calgary, where Wiebe scored the 7-5 come-from-behind win. In that June meeting, Wiebe trailed 3-2 heading into the closing period, but the Olympic champion outscored the world champion, 5-2, and secured the gold medal with the 7-5 victory.

Outside of the massive storyline at 76kg, another weight to follow will be 57kg. Linda MORAIS, the reigning world champion at 59kg, will make her descent down to the Olympic weight with hopes is chasing Olympic gold in Tokyo. Morais will be met at 57kg by Hannah TAYLOR and Alexandra TOWN. Taylor is fresh off a bronze-medal finish at the U23 World Championships, while Town is a year removed from handing Canada their first-ever women's wrestling U23 world gold medal.

The Canadian Wrestling Team Trials begin Friday and can be followed live on www.wrestling.ca and CBC Sports! You can also follow Wrestling Canada Lutte on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for live updates.

Kyle SNYDER (USA) will lead Team USA to Vladikavkaz, Russia, for the Alans International Tournament. (Photo: Tony Rotundo)

3. Snyder Leads Experienced USA Squad Headed to Russia for Alans International Tournament
Kyle SNYDER (USA) is set to lead a highly experienced American team to Vladikavkaz, Russia, for the Alans International Tournament. The Menezh Sports Palace will host the three-day tournament from December 5-8. 

Thomas GILMAN, James GREEN and Nick GWIAZDOWSKI are the trio of world medalists that'll join Snyder, the two-time world and Olympic champion, in Vladikavkaz over the weekend. In total, the American team that's entered combines for nine world medals and an Olympic title. 

Gilman, a 2017 world silver medalist, will wrestle in Russia for the third time in the last three months. In October, Gilman went 5-0 and won the 57kg gold medal at the Yusup Abdulsalamov Tournament in Dagestan, Russia. He followed that up a week later with a bronze-medal finish at the Intercontinental Cup in Khasavyurt, Russia. 

Green, a two-time 70kg world medalist, will try to improve his bronze medal from last year’s Alans Tournament. But, he won’t be doing so at his normal weight of 70kg. Green will make his first appearance at the Olympic weight of 74kg, where he’ll look to challenge teammate Jordan BURROUGHS for the Tokyo Olympic spot. 

The fourth world medalist on USA’s team is two-time world bronze medalist Nick GWIAZDOWSKI, who’ll wrestle at 125kg. 

Zain RETHERFORD and Mike MACHIAVELLO round out the six-man roster for the United States.  Retherford, a two-time world team representative, will compete at 65kg, while Machiavello will wrestle at 92kg. 

USA Alans Teams 
57kg – Thomas GILMAN ('18 silver)
65kg – Zain RETHERFORD 
74kg – James GREEN ('17 silver, '15 bronze)
92kg – Mike MACHIAVELLO 
97kg – Kyle SNYDER ('15 and '17 gold, '18 silver, '19 bronze) ('16 Olympic gold)
125kg – Nick GWIAZDOWSKI ('17 and '18 bronze)

Prize Money
GOLD - $5000 $ + $1000 to the coach
SILVER - $2000 
BRONZE - $1000 (each bronze medalist)

Vinesh VINESH (IND) (Photo: Tony Rotundo) 

4. Vinesh and Malik Shine at Tata Motors Indian National Championships
Indian stars Vinesh VINESH and Sakshi MALIK shined bright over the weekend, winning gold medals in their respective weight classes at the 64th Annual Tata Motors Indian National Championships in Punjab’s northern city, Jalandhar. 

Vinesh, India’s most prominent women’s wrestling star, followed up her bronze-medal finish at the World Championships with a gold medal at the Indian National Championships. Vinesh, who qualified India for the Olympic Games at 53kg, downed Anju ANJU, 7-3, in the 55kg gold-medal match. 

Sakshi Malik was the second superstar to win a national title over the weekend. Malik, the Rio Olympic bronze medalist, got back to her winning ways after a disappointing 17th-place finish at the World Championships. Malik defeated Radhika RADHIKA, 4-2, in the finals at 62kg. 

In freestyle, India’s two 2019 world medalists, Bajrang PUNIA and Deepak PUNIA, elected to sit out of the competition. Bajrang, who medaled at his second straight World Championships, is preparing for the 2020 Toyko Olympics, while Deepak, the world silver medalist at 86kg, is nursing the same injury that kept him from wrestling Hassan YAZDANI (IRI) in the 86kg world finals. 

The winners of the Tata Motors Indian National Championships will now travel to Nepal to compete in the South Asian Games. Wrestling at the South Asian Games begins on December 6. 

Women’s Wrestling 
50kg – Sheetal TOMAR df. Nirmal NIRMAL, 7-3 
53kg – Pinki PINKI df. Ankush ANKUSH, 7-3 
55kg – Vinest VINESH df. Anju ANJU, 7-3 
57kg – Sarita MOR df. Neetu NEETU, via default
59kg – Anshu ANSHU df. Lalita SHERAWAT, 4-4
62kg – Sakshi MALIK df. Rashika RADHIKA, 4-2 
65kg – Nisha DAHIYA df. Navjot KAUR, 4-1 
68kg – Anita Sheoran df.  Divya KAKRAN, 5-1 
72kg – Kiran KIRAN  df. Naina NAINA, 4-1 
76kg – Gursharan PREET KAUR df. 4-2 POOJA, 4-2 

Freestyle 
57kg – Rahul RAHUL df. Abasaheb ABASAHEB, 7-6
61kg – RAVINDER Sonaba df. Tanaji TANAJI, 12-2
65kg – Amit KUMAR df. Rahul RAHUL, 12-2
70kg – Naveen NAVEEN df. Vishal VISHAL, 2-1 
74kg – Gourav BALIYAN df. Praveen RANA, 5-3
79kg – Sandeep MANN df. Jutender JITENDER, 7-4
86kg – Pawan KUMAR df. Deepak SAROHA, 4-1 
92kg – Monu MONU df Sunil SUNIL, 10-2
97kg – Satyawart KADIAN df. Kapil Chaudhary, 9-0
125kg – Sumit MALIK df. Abhijut ABHIJIT, 5-0 

Shinobu OTA (JPN) (Photo: Tony Rotundo)

5. Rio Silver Medalists Ota, Higuchi Take Drastic Measures in Quest to Make Tokyo 2020
A pair of Japanese silver medalists from the Rio 2016 Olympics, denied during their preferred routes to Tokyo 2020, will be trying desperate measures in last-ditch efforts to make Games in their host country---which presents a weighty problem for both.

Shinobu OTA, the Rio 2016 silver medalist at Greco-Roman 60kg, has moved up to two divisions to 67kg for the upcoming All Japan Championships, which will serve as the final qualifier for either filling an Olympic berth that Japan has already secured, or earning the chance to win a spot at the Asian Olympic qualifying tournament in March.

Conversely, Rei HIGUCHI, who failed to gain an Olympic ticket at freestyle 65kg, has gone the other way, dropping two weight classes down to 57kg, the division in which he won the silver in Rio, according to the list of entries recently released by the Japan federation for the tournament to be held Dec. 19-22 in Tokyo.

Click here for Ken Martantz' full breaks down of the All Japan Championships. 

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media
1. Big Move Monday -- Islamova V.
2. Mijain LÓPEZ is a three-time Olympic champion, is on a quest to become the first-ever male to win four Olympic titles.
3. The most dominant wrestling nation in the world, Russia 🇷🇺.
4. Happy Friday, wrestling fans! ‬
5. World Champion Spotlight: Abuiazid MANTSIGOV (RUS) outscored his four #WrestleNurSultan opponents 29-0 and captured his first world title. The 26-year-old scored a 53 second 9-0 technical superiority victory over Aram VARDANYAN (UZB) in the finals.