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! 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 

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.