Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! October 8, 2019

By Eric Olanowski

Discussing 63kg world champion Ota moving up to 67kg for an Olympic run and Japan's 50kg Asian Olympic Qualifier spot to be determined at Emperor’s Cup. Also looking at last weekend's Tokyo Test Event, Uruguay's training facility and this week's Veteran World Championships. 

1. World Champ Ota Moving up to 67kg for Olympic Run
Shinobu OTA (JPN) is no stranger to the Olympic Games. The electric ball of energy fell short in finals of the Rio Olympic Games and settled for a silver medal. Since his runner-up finish in 2016, Ota has represented Japan twice at the World Championships -- including a gold-medal performance at the 2019 World Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. 

But for Ota to represent Japan at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games in his home country, he’ll have to move up to 67kg from his Nur-Sultan winning-weight of 63kg. He was expected to drop down to 60kg to challenge Kenichiro FUMITA (JPN) for the spot, but Fumita sealed up his place on Japan’s Olympic team by demolishing his way to a third consecutive world title. Fumita won a senior-level world title in 2017, a U23 world title in 2018 and the aforementioned senior-level world gold this year. 

Japan’s Shogo TAKAHASHI failed to qualify the weight at the World Championships after falling to Fredrik BJERREHUUS (DEN) in the second round at the World Championships -- leaving Japan eyeing the Asian Olympic Qualifier in late March in Xi’an, China, to earn a 67kg berth to the Olympic Games. 

In order for Fumita or Takahashi to lock up Japan’s spot, they’ll be met by stiff competition in Xi’an. Korea’s two-time world champion RYU Hansu failed to qualify the weight for the Olympics and is also expected to be at the Asian Olympic Qualifier, too. 

Finally, Kazakhstan’s four-time world medalist Almat KEBISPAYEV, who was this year’s world bronze medalist at 63kg, is also rumored to be making the 4kg jump to 67kg for the Asian Olympic Qualifier. 

This will leave at least three multiple-time world medalists at 67kg jockeying for two of the spots from the Asian Olympic Qualifier. 

2. Japan 50kg Asian Olympic Qualifier Spot to be Determined at Emperor’s Cup
Shortly after winning her second consecutive seior world title a season ago in Budapest, Yui SUSAKI (JPN) was looked at by many as one of the best pound-for-pound wrestlers in the world. Through her first two senior World Championships, Susaki was a perfect 9-0 and scored an impressive seven technical superiority victories and a fall en route to her pair of world titles. 

But the seven-time world champion (three cadet, two junior and two senior) was dealt a stunning loss to Yuki IRIE (JPN) and failed to make Japan’s Nur-Sultan world team. Susaki was in danger of missing the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, but her rival Irie dropped her quarterfinals match in Nur-Sultan to SUN Yanan (CHN), who ended up falling to eventual champion Mariya STADNIK (AZE) in the semifinals, and left the door wide open for Susaki to return to Japan’s lineup prior to the Olympic Games. 

Japan’s focus at 50kg moves to December 19-22 Emperor’s Cup. The winner of the 50kg weight class, which will feature Irie, Susaki and Rio Olympic champion Erie TOSAKA (JPN), will travel to Xi’an, China to try to secure Japan’s spot at the 2020 Olympic Games. 

Yumeka TANABE (JPN) was one three Japanese wrestlers who won a gold medal at last weekend's Tokyo 2020 Test Event. (Photo: Sachiko Hotaka)

3. Rivals Japan, China Split Head-To-Head Finals on Final Day of Tokyo 2020 Test Event
Host Japan and rival China each came up with a victory in head-to-head duels as the last three gold medals were awarded to bring a close to the three-day Tokyo 2020 Olympic test event in women’s wrestling at Makuhari Messe in neighboring Chiba city. 

LEI Chun (CHN) defeated teenager Miu SHIMIZU (JPN) 5-2 in the 50kg final, before 2018 world junior champion Umi IMAI (JPN) struck back for the host nation by edging LUO Lannuan (CHN) 3-2 for the 53kg gold.

In an all-Japan final at 57kg, Yumeka TANABE (JPN) gained the winning points on a late challenge to top Sena NAGAMOTO (JPN) 6-4.

With no spectator seating and only the set-up of the mats offering a glimpse of what the actual venue will look like during the Tokyo Games, the tournament served mostly to test the newly developed integrated scoring system and to give volunteers and staff experience with the flow of matches.

Here are Ken Marantz’ Daily Wraps:
Preview
Day One Wrap
Day Two Wrap 
Day Three Wrap

Women’s Wrestling Results
50kg (8 entries)
Gold – LEI Chun (CHN) df. Miu SHIMIZU (JPN), 5-2
Bronze – Remina YOSHIMOTO (JPN) df. Daria LEKSINA (RUS) by Fall, 4:10 (10-4) 
Bronze – Mariia VYNNYK (UKR) df. Chihiro SAWADA (JPN), 4-4

53kg (9 entries)
Gold – Umi IMAI (JPN) df. LUO Lannuan (CHN), 3-2
Bronze – Saki IGARASHI (JPN) df. PANG Qianyu (CHN) by Def. 
Bronze – Ibuki TAMURA (JPN) df. Katherine SHAI (USA), 7-3

57kg (8 entries)
Gold – Yumeka TANABE (JPN) df. Sena NAGAMOTO (JPN) 6-4 
Bronze – ZHANG Qi (CHN) df. RONG Ningning (CHN) by Def. 
Bronze – Hanako SAWA (JPN) df. Khadizhat MURTUZALIEVA (RUS), 3-2

62kg (8 entries)
Gold – Yui SAKANO (JPN) df. Atena KODAMA (JPN), 2-1
Bronze – LUO Xiaojuan (CHN) df. PEI Xingru (CHN) by Def.
Bronze – Ilona PROKOPEVNIUK (UKR) df. Anna SHCHERBAKOVA (RUS) by TF, 10-0, 4:04

68kg (8 entries)
Gold – WANG Xiaoqian (CHN) df. Naruha MATSUYUKI (JPN), 2-1 
Bronze – Alina RUDNYTSKA (UKR) df. Alexandra GLAUDE (USA), 4-3
Bronze –Rin MIYAJI (JPN) df. Alena STARODUBTSEVA (RUS), 9-6

76kg (9 entries)
Gold – Paliha PALIHA (CHN) df. ZHOU Qian (CHN) by Def.
Bronze – Romana VOVCHAK (UKR) df. Mizuki NAGASHIMA (JPN) by Fall, 3:19 (3-0)
Bronze – Justina DI STASIO (CAN) df. Yasuha MATSUYUKI (JPN), 3-0

4. Uruguay Wrestling Joins National Training Center Dedicated to Combat Sports
For several years the Uruguay Wrestling Federation struggled to find a dedicated training venue to help develop wrestling. Shuttled from building to building in the capital city of Montevideo the team last trained in the corridors of the national stadium.

But after years of struggling for a secure place to train, the Uruguay Wrestling Federation led by president Dante STEFFANO, has finally found a home.

With valuable contribution and support of Secretaria Nacional del Deporte and Uruguay National Olympic Committee, the first-ever combat training centre of Uruguay was inaugurated on the 30th September 2019. The centre includes space for the wrestling program.

In 2017 United World Wrestling contributed to the federation’s initiative to launch more wrestling programs, receive wrestling mats, and launch a series of action plans to promote wrestling in schools and among the youth.

Click HERE to read more about the Uruguay Wrestling Federation.

5. Veteran World Championships Underway in Tbilisi, Georgia 
On Monday, over 600 veterans from 49 different nations kicked off their quest to become a world champion at the World Championships in Tbilisi, Georgia. The five-day freestyle and Greco-Roman competition started today and will go through Sunday (October 13). 

There are also a pair of major events that’ll take place in the coming weeks. First, the World Beach Games will take place in Doha, Qatar, on October 14-15. 

Then, the U23 World Championships, where 631 athletes will represent 64 nations, begin in Budapest, Hungary, on October 28. 

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media

1. Big Move(s) Monday -- Veteran Worlds 2015
2. Who is your favorite World Champion?
3. Behind the Scenes: The Journey to 53kg Gold at the World Championships
4. What was your biggest upset at World Championships? 
5. When you realize wrestling at the @tokyo2020Olympic Games kicks off in 300 days!

Weekly FIVE!

Weekly FIVE! December 10, 2019

By Eric Olanowski

Reviewing the three Olympic champions who had winning weekends and Chamizo announcing that he'll compete at January's Matteo Pellicone in Rome. Also looking next week's All Japan Championships and U.S. Olympic Trials Qualifier. 

1. Wiebe Outduels Di Stasio in Battle of Olympic vs. World Champion 
Erica WIEBE outdueled Justina DI STASIO in two straight matches at the Canadian Wrestling Trials, as two other Olympians cemented their spots on Canada’s Pan-American Qualifier team.

Wiebe, the 2016 Rio Olympic champion, scored back-to-back victories over 2018 world champion Justina Di Stasio in a best-of-three series and punched her ticket to the Pan-American Olympic Games Qualifier. The Olympic Qualifier is set to take place in her hometown of Ottawa on March 13-15. In her post-match interview, the Rio Olympic champion said, “It’s going to be different. I’ve never wrestled in my hometown of Ottawa, and a lot is on the line, and I’ll just do a lot of what I do every day – that is get one percent better.” 

In the first match, Wiebe scored an inactivity point and held the 1-0 advantage, but Di Stasio scored a takedown and grabbed the 2-1 lead. Wiebe responded in a champion way, scoring four unanswered points and took match one, 5-2. Then, in the second match, Weibe grabbed a pair of one-point exchanges and locked up her spot on Canada’s Pan-American Qualifier team with the 2-0 victory. 

Michelle FAZZARI and Danielle LAPPAGE, who represented Canada at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, also punched their ticket to the Pan-American Olympic Games Qualifier in Ottawa. 

Fazzari, who was returning from a horrific knee injury she suffered while wrestling Adeniyi OLUWAFUNMILAYO (NGR) in the 2018 Commonwealth Games finals, downed Jessica BROUILLETTE in two straight matches. She scored the 3-0 shutout win in the first match, then edged Brouillette, 3-2, in the second match. 

Lappage, the 2018 world runner-up, dropped her first match against three-time Pan-American medalist Olivia DI BACCO, but earned her spot to the Pan-American Olympic Games Qualifier after winning back-to-back matches. She won the second match, 9-0, and the third match, 4-2. 

Meanwhile, Linda MORAIS, the 59kg world champion, dropped down to the Olympic weight of 57kg and easily punched her ticket to Ottawa with a pair of falls over Hannah TAYLOR. 

RESULTS
Women’s Wrestling
50kg - Jessie MACDONALD df. Madison PARKS, two matches to none (7-2, 12-1)
53kg - Samantha STEWART df. Jade PARSONS, two matches to none (11-0, 2-2)
57kg - Linda MORAIS df. Hannah TAYLOR, two matches to none (via fall, via fall)
 62kg - Michelle FAZZARI df. Jessica BROUILLETTE, two matches to none (3-0, 3-2) 
68kg - Danielle LAPPAGE df. Olivia DI BACCO, two matches to one (5-8, 9-0, 4-2) 
76kg - Erica WIEBE df. Justina DI STASIO, two matches to none (5-2, 2-1)
 

Freestyle 
57kg - Ligrit SADIUKU df. Aso PALANI, two matches to one (3-4, 12-2, 4-1)
65kg - Dillon WILLIAMS df. Chris MCISAAC, two matches to none (5-2, 5-1)
74kg - Jasmit PHULKA df. Tyler ROWE, two matches to none (6-2, 6-5)
86kg - Clayton PYE df. Alex BROWN-THERIAULT, two matches to one (15-4, 2-9, 13-2)
97kg - Jordan STEEN df. Nishan RANDHAWA, two matches to none (13-2, 12-2)
125kg - Amar DHESI df. Korey JARVIS, two matches to none (11-0, 10-0)

2. Olympic Champs Ramonov and Snyder Win Alans International Tournament
Olympic champions Soslan RAMONOV (RUS) and Kyle SNYDER (USA) finished atop the podium at the Alans International Tournament in Vladikavkaz, Russia, as nine Russians claimed gold medals.

Ramonov, who has been wrestling at 70kg since 2017, returned to 65kg for the first time since his magical run to Olympic gold in Rio, and defeated Kurban SHIRAEV (RUS), 3-0, in the finals at 65kg. 

The Alans was Ramonov’s third tournament back since undergoing back surgery over a year ago. The Olympic champion finished in second place at the Akhmed Kadyrov Cup and third place at the Vladimir Semenov Tournament. 

Last November, Ramonov told United World Wrestling, “It’s true that I had an operation on my back last week, but I’ve already got back to work and started physical therapy.” Ramonov went on to say, “I expect to return to the mat in January, and hopefully enter a tournament at 65kg closer to the fall.” 

America’s Kyle Snyder was the second Olympic champion who won an Alans gold medal. To win his gold, “Captain America” used a takedown and three one-point maneuvers to move past 2018 European champion Vladislav BAITSAEV (RUS), 5-2, in the 97kg finals.

Meanwhile, Ahmed IDRISOV (RUS) and Khetik TSABOLOV (RUS) were also apart of Russia’s gold-medal winning cast. 

Idrisov, the younger brother of reigning world silver medalist Magomedrasul IDRISOV (RUS), scored a three-point win (5-2) over the two-time world bronze medalist ERDENEBAT Behbayar (MGL) in the 57kg finals.

Tsabolov, the 2014 world champion, defeated two-time world medalist James GREEN (USA), 7-4, in the 74kg finals. Up until the Alans, Tsabolov's finals opponent had competed down at 70kg for 20 consecutive tournaments and was making his first career appearance up at the Olympic weight class of 74kg.

In the finals, the Russian gave up an early takedown and trailed 2-0, but scored an inactivity point that was followed by a takedown and a pair of laces to win the match by three points. 

Freestyle
57kg - Ahmed IDRISOV (RUS) df. ERDENEBAT Behbayar (MGL), 5-2
61kg - Ramazan FERZALIEV (RUS) df. Abasgadzhi MAGOMEDOV (RUS), 10-7
65kg - Soslan RAMONOV (RUS) df. Kurban SHIRAEV (RUS), 3-0
70kg - Chermen VALIEV (RUS) df. Ramazan RAMAZANOV (RUS), 4-2
74kg - Khetik TSABOLOV (RUS) df. James GREEN (USA), 7-4
79kg - Khalil AMINOV (RUS) df. Kakhaber KHUBEZHTY (RUS), 8-6
86kg - Soslan KTSOEV (RUS) df. Georgy RUBAEV (MDA), 11-1
92kg - Magomed KURBANOV (RUS) df. Mohammad EBRAHIMI (IRI), 4-2
97kg - Kyle SNYDER (USA) df. Vladislav BAITSAEV (RUS), 5-2
125kg - Batraz GAZZAYEV (RUS) df. Baldan TSYZHIPOV (RUS), 10-0

Yui SUSAKI (JPN) will try to get back on Japan's women's wrestling team by winning next weekend's All Japan Championships. (Photo: Sachiko Hotaka)

3. All Japan Championships Begin Next Week in Tokyo 
Yui SUSAKI will join Rio Olympic silver medalists Shinobu OTA and Rei HIGUCHI next week on their quest to claim All Japan Championship gold and lock up their spots on Japan’s Asian Olympic Games Qualifier team. 

The winners of the All Japan Championships, which will take place at Tokyo’s Komazawa Gymnasium on December 19-22, and will travel to China in March with hopes of doing what their fellow Japanese teammates couldn’t do at the 2019 World Championships -- qualify their respective weight for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. 

Susaki, a two-time world champion, will be joined by career rival Yuki IRIE and Rio Olympic champion Erie TOSAKA in the 50kg bracket. Earlier this year, Susaki was stunned by Irie, which kept her from defending her world titles from 2017 and ’18. 

Meanwhile, Rio Olympic runner-ups Ota and Higuchi will be moving weight classes in preparations to improve their silver medals from 2016. 

Ota, this year’s 63kg world champion, will be moving up to 67kg. He planned on dropping down to 60kg, but Kenichiro FUMITA (JPN) not only won the world title, but he also locked up his seat on Japan’s Olympic team at the weight. So that left Ota with no choice but to go up to 67kg.

Next weekend, Ota will challenge defending national champion Shogo TAKAHASHI, defending national runner-up Tsuchika SHIMOYAMADA and last year’s U23 world champion Katsuaki ENDO, for the 67kg spot.

Rei HIGUCHI, who is dropping down to 57kg from 65kg, will have to get through Yuki TAKAHASHI if he has hopes of representing Japan in a second straight Olympics. The task won't be easy, as Takahashi has been one of the best wresters at the weight over the past three years. Higuchi's potential opponent was the world champion in 2017 and world bronze medalist in 2018. But after a disappointing 10th-place finish in Nur-Sultan, Takahashi left the door open for others to challenge, which is why Higuchi is making the change. 

For more information about the All Japan Championships, visit http://www.japan-wrestling.org.

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Talks Tokyo, Burroughs, Sidakov and injury recovery.

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4. Chamizo Announces Plans to Compete at January’s Matteo Pellicone
In an interview with United World Wrestling, Italian superstar Frank CHAMIZO announced that he’ll wrestle at the first Ranking Series event of 2020, the Matteo Pellicone. “I’m going to Rome for the Ranking Series tournament. Right now, I’m training for there in New York,” said the two-time world champion. Chamizo went further, saying, “It will be good. It’s home!”

Chamizo has been one of the biggest supporters of UWW’s Ranking Series events. After winning a gold medal at the third Ranking Series tournament of the year, the Sassari City Tournament, Chamizo said, “I need the training and I need the matches. But the reason for competing so much is I need the Ranking Series points. That’s important.”

Chamizo has competed in four of the eight Ranking Series events since its inception in 2018 and has medaled in each of those four appearances. This year, Chamizo used the Ranking Series events to climb to the top of the world ranking, and ultimately the No. 1 seed at the World Championships, after collecting points at the European Championships, Dan Kolov, Sassari City Tournament and Yasar Dogu.   

With the Olympics seeding the top-four wrestlers at each weight for the first time ever, you can bet that Chamizo will again have his eye on the top seed, and his quest to grab that top seed kicks off at the Matteo Pellicone, which takes place January 15-18. 

Chamizo’s Ranking Series Resume
2018 
Yasar Dogu – gold 

2019 
Sassari – gold 
Yasar Dogu – silver 

Dan Kolov – bronze 

5. Fort Worth to Host U.S. Olympic Trials Qualifier Next Week
The road to State College, Pennsylvania, for the Olympic Trials made its first stop in New York for the Bill Farrell Memorial and will make its second stop next weekend in Fort Worth, Texas, for the U.S. Olympic Trials Qualifier. The Fort Worth Convention Center will host the two-day tournament from December 20-22.

According to USA Wrestling, “The Senior Freestyle top-5 finishers per weight category at the 2019 U.S. Olympic Trials Qualifier will earn a spot in the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials,” which will take place in State College, Pennsylvania, on April 4-5.

Our friends at www.flowrestling.org have the streaming rights to the U.S. Olympic Trials Qualifier. Wrestling kicks off at 11:00 (local time) on December 20. 

Selection Process for 2020 Toyko Olympic Games

Weekly FIVE! In Social Media

1. Big Move Monday -- El Sayed M. (EGY)
2. Top-10 Throws from 2019
3. Top-Five Scrambles from 2019
4. Who scored on this exchange?
5. #TBT - Semenov Smashes Coon, Giving Russia Sixth GR World Gold

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— #uww #unitedworldwrestling

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