Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! October 29, 2019

By Eric Olanowski

Previewing this week's U23 World Championships and the upcoming Women's Wrestling World Cup. Also reviewing results from the 7th CISM World Military Games and the Ugra Cup. 

1. U23 World Championships Underway in Budapest 
Freestyle wrestling is underway at the U23 World Championships, and Reineri ANDREU ORTEGA (CUB) and Mojtaba GOLEIJ (IRI) will take the mat on Tuesday night for a shot at winning their second U23 world titles. 

At 57kg, Andreu Ortega will go toe to toe with Adlan ASKAROV (KAZ), and Goleij will square off against Shamil MUSAEV (RUS) in the 97kg finals. 

Women’s wrestling will take over on Wednesday. They'll have a pair of U23 world champs who are looking to repeat their title-winning performances from 2018. Japan's Saki IGARASHI (55kg) and China's Paliha PALIHA (76kg) are the two women’s wrestlers that'll look to win their second consecutive U23 world title. 

Greco-Roman and its five defending gold medalists kick off the championships on Friday. 

The headliner on the Greco-Roman side of the competition is Nugzari TSURTSUMIA (GEO), who last month reached the top of the senior world podium in Nur-Sultan.

His fellow compatriot, Zviadi PATARIDZE (GEO), will look to defend his U23 world title from a year ago. In total, the Georgian big man's resume is littered with six age-group world titles. 

Mohamed ELSAYED (EGY) and Katsuaki ENDO (JPN) are both entered at 67kg, which could set up a colossal matchup of returning U23 gold-medal winners from last season. El Sayed is coming off a fifth-place finish in Nur-Sultan, where he qualified Egypt for the 2020 Olympic Games at 67kg. 

The fifth and final Greco-Roman champ from a year ago is Semen NOVIKOV (UKR). He’s entered at 87kg. 

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Tuesday's Freestyle Finals
57kg: Reineri ANDREU ORTEGA (CUB) vs. Adlan ASKAROV (KAZ)
65kg: Turan BAYRAMOV (AZE) vs. Takuma TANIYAMA (JPN)
70kg: Mirza SKHULUKHIA (GEO) vs. Cherman VALIEV (RUS)
97kg: Mojtaba GOLEIJ (IRI) vs. Shamil MUSAEV (RUS)

Riza KAYAALP (TUR) remained undefeated on the season and won the 130kg World Military Games gold medal. (Photo: Kadir Caliskan)

2. Evloev and Kayaalp Among GR World Military Games Winners
Musa EVLOEV (RUS) and Riza KAYAALP (TUR) remained undefeated in 2019 and closed out their year with gold-medal performances at the 7th CISM World Military Games in Wuhan, China. 

Evloev, the reigning two-time 97kg world champion, went 4-0 on his quest for gold and outscored his opponents 29-1. Evloev grabbed three consecutive technical superiority wins against Udeh JOSEPH (NGR), Michail IOSIFIDIS (GRE) and Oliver HASSLER (GER), before edging Matti KUOSMANEN (FIN), 2-1, in the finals. 

The Russian's undefeated reign of terror now spans over 15 months and nine tournaments. Since Evloev's last loss, he's won gold at the Russian National Championships, European Championships and twice at the World Championships, among many others.

Kayaalp, who is freshly off claiming his Turkish record-breaking fourth world title, avenged his 2018 World Championships loss to Heiki NABI (EST) in the 130kg finals, and won his first CISM World Military Games gold medal with a 3-1 victory.

Meanwhile, Nur-Sultan world finalists Viktor LORINCZ (HUN), Sergei EMELIN (RUS) and Artem SURKOV (RUS) also competed in gold-medal matches in their respective weight classes, but the Hungarian was the only one to reach the top of the podium. 

Lorincz, a 2019 world runner-up, used a three-point second period to sneak past Rafig HUSEYNOV (AZE), 4-1, in the 87kg gold-medal bout. 

Emelin and Surkov each dropped their finals matches and settled for second-place finishes. Emelin was shutout by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s Ri Se UNG, 4-0, in the 60kg finals, while Surkov forfeited to Mohamed EL SAYED (EGY) in the 67kg finals. 

The sixth and final Greco-Roman gold medal went to Iran’s Pejman POSHTAM, who edged Hasan ALIYEV (AZE), 2-1, in the 77kg finals. 

Click here for full results from the 7th CISM World Military Games.

Greco-Roman Results

GOLD: Ri Se UNG (PRK) df. Sergei EMELIN (RUS), 4-0
BRONZE: Aidos SULTANGALI (KAZ) df. Gyanender (IND), 6-3
BRONZE: Ildar HAFIZOV (USA) df. Tigran MINASYAN (ARM), 8-0

GOLD: Mohamed IBRAHIM (EGY) df. Artem SURKOV (RUS) by forfeit
BRONZE: Mate NEMES (SRB) df. Jolison JUNIOR (BRA), 9-0

GOLD: Pejman POSHTAM (IRI) df. Hasan ALIYEV (AZE), 2-1 
BRONZE: Viktor NEMES (SRB) df. Dmytro PYSHKOV (UKR), 3-0
BRONZE: Florian NEUMAIER (GER) df. Mariea GEORGE VLAD (ROU), 5-0 

GOLD: Viktor LORINCZ (HUN) df. Rafig HUSEYNOV (AZE), 4-1
BRONZE: Denis KUDLA (GER) df. Metehan BASAR (TUR), 6-0

GOLD: Musa EVLOEV (RUS) df. Matti Elias KUOSMANEN (FIN), 2-1
BRONZE: Oliver Adrian HASSLER (GER) df.  Michail IOIFIDIS (GRE) , via fall 
BRONZE-Aliksandr HRABOVIK (BLR) df. Alimulati DALAWUBAI (CHN), 5-1

GOLD: Riza KAYAALP (TUR) df. Heiki NABI (EST), 3-1
BRONZE: Abdellatiif AHMED (EGY) df. Berei LEONARD ISTVAN (ROU), 8-0

Natalia VOROBIEVA (RUS) bumped up to 76kg and scored the fall over WANG Juan (CHN) in the gold-medal match. (Photo: Tony Rotundo)

3. Vorobieva Wins World Military Games Title Up at 76kg 
Natalia VOROBIEVA (RUS) returned to the Olympic weight of 76kg after winning the 72kg world title and reached the top of the podium at the 7th CISM World Military Games. The two-time Olympic finalists and London Olympic champion finished the tournament with three wins but saved the most dramatic win for last. Vorobieva found a way to score the fall over WANG Juan (CHN) after trailing 6-2 in the opening period. 

Vorobieva's  move up a weight is intreaguing because Rio bronze medalist Ekaterina BUKINA (RUS) failed to qualifty the Russian Federation for the Olympic Games at 76kg after a 17th-place finish at the 2019 World Championships. This means Russia could be without one of their Olympic medalists if the pair elect to stay at the same weight class moving into the 2020 calendar year. 

Meanwhile, the host nation was successful in claiming a trio of women’s wrestling gold medals. Their three champions were LI Yuyan, LI Hui and ZHOU Feng, who won the 50kg, 57kg and 68kg gold medals, respectively.

The Democratic People’s Republic finished with the second-most gold medals after they collected titled from Jo Hwa YON and Mun Hyon GYONG won gold at 53kg and 62kg, respectively. 

Click here for full results from the 7th CISM World Military Games.

Women’s Wrestling Results 

GOLD: Yuyan LI (CHN) df. Whitney CONDER (USA), 6-5
BRONZE: kseniya STANKEVICH (BLR) df. Nada ASHOUR (EGY), via fall 
BRONZE: Kim Su JONG (PRK) df. Iwona MATKOWSKA (POL), 5-2

GOLD:  Jo Hwa YON (PRK) df. Seicariu SUZANA GEORGIANA (ROU), via fall 
BRONZE: Milana DADASHEVA (RUS) df. Bolorerdene BATORSHIKH (MGL), 12-6

GOLD: Hui LI (CHN) df. Tserenchimed SUKHEE (MGL), 6-3 
BRONZE: Jong Myong SUK (PRK) df. Mathilde RIVIERE (FRA), 8-1
BRONZE: Katarzyna KRAWCZYK (POL) df. Katsiaryna HANCHAR (BLR), 10-0

GOLD: Mun Hyon GYONG (PRK) df. Mariia KUZNETSOVA (RUS), 11-1
BRONZE: Anastasiya HUCHOK (BLR) df.  Sushila CHAND (NEP) by forfeit

GOLD: Feng ZHOU (CHN) df.  Agnieszka WIESZCZEK KORDUS (POL), 6-2
BRONZE: Davaanasan ENKHAMAR (MGL) df. Dailane REIS (BRA), 9-5
BRONZE: Khanum VELIEVA (RUS) df. Tetiana RIZHKO (UKR) by forfeit

GOLD: Natalia VOROBIEVA (RUS) df. Juan WANG (CHN), via fall 
BRONZE: Alla BELINSKA (UKR) df. Ariunjargal GANBAT (MGL), 6-2

Israil KASUMOV (RUS) took down an Olympic champion and a two-time world medalist en route to winning the 70kg title at the Ugra Cup. (Photo: Gabor Martin) 

4. Russia Wins Eight Golds at Ugra Cup
Israil KASUMOV (RUS) knocked off Alan GOGAEV (RUS) and Soslan RAMONOV (RUS) as Russian wrestlers claimed eight of ten gold medals at the Grand Prix of Vladimir Semenov "Ugra Cup" in Russia’s wintery city of Nefteyugansk.

Kasumov won the 70kg gold medal, but his biggest win came in the semifinals when he downed Rio Olympic champion Soslan RAMONOV (RUS), 9-7. Kasumov followed up his huge semifinals win with a 5-3 victory over Alan Gogaev, who is a two-time world medalist.  

Gennadij CUDINOVIC (GER) and Danylo KARTAVYI (UKR) were the two non-Russian wrestlers who won gold medals at the Ugra Cup. The German used a 4-2 victory over Znaur KOTSIEV (RUS) to seize the 97kg title, while the Ukranian wrestler pinned Magomedamin DIBIROV (RUS) in the 125kg finals. 

After three consecutive weekends of high-level competitions, the Russian calendar takes a few weeks off before the Grand Prix Moscow Alrosa Cup (November 29-30) and the Alans International Tournament (December 5-8). 

Ugra Cup Results
57kg – Khasankhusein BADRUDINOV (RUS) df. Artur CHEBODAEV (RUS) , 7-2 
61kg – Abdulmazhid KUDIEV (RUS) df. Efim KORMILTSEV (RUS), 5-2 
65kg – Lulian GREGENOV (RUS) df. Aleksandr BOGOMOEV (RUS), via injury default 
70kg – Israil KASUMOV (RUS) df. Alan GOGAEV (RUS), 5-3 
74kg – Timur BIZHOEV (RUS) df. Magomed KHIZRIEV (RUS), 5-2 
79kg – Kakhaber KHUBEZHTY (RUS) df. Malik SHAVAEV (RUS), via fall ­
86kg – Arsen-Ali MUSALALIEV (RUS) df. Tamerlan TAPSIEV (RUS), 3-2 
92kg – Magomed KURBANOV (RUS) df. Alikhan ZHABRAILOV (RUS), 6-1 
97kg – Gennadij CUDINOVIC (GER) df. Znaur KOTSIEV (RUS), 4-2
125kg – Danylo KARTAVYI (UKR) df. Magomedamin DIBIROV (RUS), via fall 

Adeline Gray is one of five world champions that'll wrestle at the Women's Wrestling World Cup. (Photo: Kadir Caliskan)

5. Women’s World Cup Schedule to be Released this Week
Later this week, United World Wrestling will announce the schedule for the 2019 Women's Wrestling World Cup, which will take place at the Nakadai Sports & Recreation Park Gymnasium in Narita, Japan, from November 16-17.

The can't-miss competition is set to feature an impressive list of wrestlers who have world and Olympic medals on their resumes. As the entries sit, five of the ten women’s wrestling world champions from Nur-Sultan will make the trip to Japan for the 18th installment of the annual dual meet event. Furthermore, the tournament will also feature at least three additional wrestlers that have a world gold on their resume -- bringing the grand total of past and reigning world champions to eight.

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media

1. Big Move Monday -- Nasibov P. (UKR)
2. Who is ready to watch Nugzari TSURTSUMIA (GEO) defend his U23 and SR level world title?!
3. Back and forth match between IBRAGIMOV (AZE) and PANTALEO (USA) with IBRAGIMOV grabbing the 9-8 win 🇦🇿 💪 🌟
4. Some behind the scenes photos from day one at the 2019 U23 World Championships. .
5. The #best10from day 1 at #wrestlebudapest 

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."