Astana to Host 2019 Senior Wrestling World Championships

By United World Wrestling Press

CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY, Switzerland (September 24) – United World Wrestling has announced the city of Astana will host the 2019 Senior Wrestling World Championships September 14-22 at the Daulet Arena.

The Kazakhstan capital city has hosted several United World Wrestling events in recent years, including the 2014 Senior Asian Wrestling Championships, 2016 Asian Olympic Qualifier, and the 2018 Grappling World Championships.

“We were very pleased with the presentation put on by the Organizing Committee from the city of Astana,” said United World Wrestling president Nenad Lalovic.

"With our recent success at the championships last year in Paris, and the upcoming championships in Budapest, I have every confidence that Astana will deliver an excellent event for our athletes, coaches, and fans.”

Competition to host the championships was intense, as the 2019 world championships will serve as the first qualification event for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The top six finishers in each Olympic weight category in Astana will secure an Olympic qualification for their nation, with the remaining qualification spots earned at continental competitions and a “Last Chance Qualifier” during the 2020 competition calendar.

“The Wrestling World Championships are a major event and will help popularize wrestling in Kazakhstan and the region,” said Kazakhstan Wrestling Federation president Sauat Mynbayev.

“We are excited to host the championships in Astana and are confident they will be remembered to you as one of the best sporting events and will receive positive feedback from fans.”

Tickets for the 2019 World Championships are expected to go on sale in January.

#WrestleAcapulco, #WrestleParis

Gomez, Cruz deny USA Paris 2024 spots at Pan-Am Qualifiers

By Gaurav Bhatt

ACAPULCO, Mexico (March 1) — The Pan American Olympic Games Qualifiers wrapped up in style in Acapulco, Mexico, with Puerto Rico and Cuba earning three quotas on offer each, while Mexico and Canada securing two berths apiece.

The day was marked by stunning performances and a few upsets, particularly in the 57kg and 65kg classes where the U.S. wrestlers were eyeing qualification. 
While the two American wrestlers failed in their quest on Friday, two NCAA champions successfully secured quotas for their nations. 

Two-time NCAA champion Roman BRAVO YOUNG (MEX) showcased his NCAA-honed skills with a commanding 14-4 victory over Oscar TIGREROS (COL) in the 57kg semifinal. The 25-year-old — who chose to represent his grandparents' native country Mexico last summer — got the better of Tigreros, an Olympian and five-time Pan-Am medallist Tigreros.

In the second semifinal, 2017 NCAA champion Darian CRUZ (PUR) edged out Zane RICHARDS (USA) in a 2-2 criteria win. The first period between Richards and Cruz ended in a tense 1-1 tie. 

Richards edged ahead early in the second with a shot clock point, before Cruz retaliated. The Puerto Rican team challenged a scoring decision, and Cruz was awarded a point for pushing Richards out, deadlocking the score at 2-2 with just seconds left. Richards fiercely attacked, but couldn't land a takedown, ultimately losing to Cruz for the first time at senior level.

NCAA All-American Austin GOMEZ (MEX) defeated Nick LEE (USA) in the quarterfinal, as the weight class continues to be a thorn in the side of the U.S. at the senior level.

Lee, who won the Pan-Am gold last week, took control and rushed to a 10-4 lead before the first break. However, after a long injury timeout for Gomez in the second period, the tide dramatically turned as Gomez's scoring spree saw him rack up 18 points and ultimately winning by technical fall (22-12).

In the semifinal, Gomez beat fellow All-American Lachlan MCNIEL (CAN) 6-3. 

Alejandro VALDES (CUB), a two-time world medalist and two-time Olympian, lived up to expectations by dominating Shannon HANNA (BAH) with an 11-0 technical superiority win in the second 65kg semifinal.

Geandry GARZON (CUB), aiming for his second Olympic appearance at the age of 40, clinched a berth for Cuba by defeating Julio RODRIGUEZ (DOM) 6-2 in the 74kg division. Garzon — who won the last of his four Worlds medals in 2010 — set a deliberate pace against the 26-year-old finalist from last week's Pan-Am championships.

However, once put on the shot clock, Garzon attacked Rodriguez's right leg and scored a two-point move. Two more two-pointers followed deep in the second period, securing the win for the Cuban.

In the second semifinal, two-time Pan-Am champion Anthony MONTERO (VEN) made a statement with an 11-0 thrashing of Raul PALACIOS (MEX).

In the 97kg division, Arturo SILOT (CUB) showed he's second only to Kyle SNYDER (USA) at the Pan-Am level as the 22-year-old rag-dolled his opponents on his way to securing Cuba a berth at Paris Games. Silot — who has lost three straight Pan-Am championships finals to Snyder — didn't give up a point as he ran through Maxwell LACEY (CRC) and Nishan Preet RANDHAWA (CAN).

In the second semifinal, Luis PEREZ (DOM) clinched a narrow 4-2 victory over Cristian SARCO (VEN) in a battle of last week's bronze medallists.

The 86kg category witnessed Ethan RAMOS (PUR) defeat two-time Olympian Carlos IZQUIERDO (COL) 11-6, while Alexander MOORE (CAN) pulled off an impressive 4-0 win against the top-seeded Pedro CEBALLOS (VEN), who finished runner-up at the Pan-Am championships last week.

Earlier, four-time Pan-Am champion Yurieski Torreblanca TORREBLANCA (CUB) lost a fall to Anthony VALENCIA (MEX) in the qualification rounds.

Former Pan-Am champion Amarveer DHESI (CAN) took little over two minutes to thwart Ibrain TORRES (CUB) 11-0 to earn Canada a spot. Jonovan SMITH (PUR), who grabbed a silver at the Pan-Ams last week, won the other semifinal against Gino AVILA (HON) 5-1.